There were a six pack of NHL games played on Sunday, after a very busy Saturday with many teams going back to back. Here is a quick tour around the league:
- The Kings waited until the very last minute to tie up the game with the Red Wings, and they still didn’t even get a point out of the game. Alec Martinez knotted the game at 2 with just 53 seconds left, but Jonathan Ericsson‘s point shot trickled through Jonathan Quick and just over the line with less than 5 seconds left to give the Wings a regulation win. Pavel Datsyuk and Damien Brunner had given the wings a 2-0 lead, but before the first period was out, Anze Kopitar got one of those goals back. That was it until the final minute, and the defending Stanley Cup Champs continue to struggle to find their game.
- The Oilers moved into a tie with the Blues and Stars for the final two playoff spots on the strength of their 3-1 win over Columbus. Sam Gagner made up for letting his points streak end on Saturday, getting an assist on Magnus Paajarvi‘s winner with 3:10 remaining and then scoring one of his own into the empty net with 13 seconds left to secure the win. Ales Hemsky had the other Edmonton goal, while R.J. Umberger was the only Blue Jacket to beat Devan Dubnyk, who made 39 saves. Columbus outshot the Oilers 40-14.
- Patrice Bergeron broke a 1-1 tie with a power play goal in the third period as Boston beat Buffalo 3-1. Brad Marchand and Milan Lucic, into the empty net, also scored for Boston. Anton Khudobin made 25 saves giving Tuukka Rask a rest. Boston held Buffalo’s top line of Thomas Vanek, Cody Hodgson and Jason Pominville off the scoresheet, as only Tyler Ennis could find the back of the net.
- The Rangers kept the Lightning offense at bay, and provided some of their own in a 5-1 victory. Carl Hagelin had a pair and added an assist as the Rangers top line of Rick Nash, Marian Gaborik and Brad Richards was broken up. Nash had a goal and an assist wile playing with Hagelin. Henrik Lundqvist made 27 stops after being criticized publicly by coach John Tortorella.
- For the second time in as many days New Jersey scored a 3-1 victory over the Penguins. David Clarkson scored his 8th and 9th goals of the year and Ilya Kovalchuk also found the back of the net for the Devils, who opened up a three point cushion over the Penguins in the Atlantic Division with the back to back wins. Johan Hedberg made 23 saves, and only James Neal was able to beat him with an early 3rd period goal.
- Corey Crawford had a 17 save shutout as Chicago continues to be the class of the NHL, beating Nashville 3-0. Marcus Kruger, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane lit the lamp behind Pekka Rinne, while the Hawks held the Predators to 7 shots through the first 40 minutes.
There are another half dozen games on tap Monday night, including two struggling teams that were supposed to be contenders squaring off when LA visits St. Louis. Check back tomorrow for all the highlights.