It was a very busy Thursday night in the NHL, and fortunately for the Senators, there were no three point games in the East as 3 of the 4 teams chasing them in the standings were in action. Here is a tour around the league:
- Boston moved back to within a point of Montreal for first in the Eastern Conference with a 4-1 win over the Panthers. Patrice Bergeron scored twice with Zdeno Chara and Shawn Thornton also scoring. Shawn Matthias scored a great shorthanded goal, which was the only highlight for the last-place Panthers.
- Tyler Bozak put the Leafs up a goal on the Penguins just past the midway point of the game, but Pascal Dupuis scored twice in the third and Craig Adams iced it with an empty netter to give Pittsburgh a 3-1 win, much to the delight of Senators fans.
- Washington not only came back from a 2-0 first period deficit, but Mike Ribeiro scored with just over 2 minutes remaining to beat the Hurricanes in regulation by a score of 3-2. Alexander Semin and Patrick Dwyer scored the Carolina goals in the first period, while Joey Crabb answered with one in the second. Alex Ovechkin tied it up a minute into the third, setting the stage for Ribeiro’s winner just when it appeared overtime, and a third point, was inevitable. Michal Neuvirth kicked aside 36 Carolina shots to get the win for the Caps.
- Brad Boyes had a goal and an assist and Evgeni Nabokov made just 18 saves for the shutout as the Islander blanked the Lightning 2-0. John Tavares scored on the power play just past the midway point to break the ice, and it was all that the Isles would need but Boyes added the empty netter to seal the deal.
- The Jets broke an 8th place tie with the Rangers by beating New York in regulation, 3-1. Antti Mietinen scored his first of the season to break a 1-1 tie and Andrew Ladd iced it with the empty netter. Nik Antropov got the Jets on the board in the first, while Ryan Callahan evened the score early in the second for the Rangers, who are now two points out of 8th in the playoff race. The Jets move into sole possession of 8th, and now sit 1 point back of the Canes for first in the Southeast Division.
- Sergei Bobrovsky made 39 saves, including 7 in overtime to get the Blue Jackets a point in their ninth straight game. However, Mr. Clutch Patrick Kane scored the shootout winner to get the Blackhawks back in the win column after two straight losses, making the final 2-1. Johnny Oduya and Jack Johnson swapped goals less than a minute apart in the second period for the balance of the scoring in regulation.
- Jake Allen cemented his hold on the #1 job in St. Louis, making 28 saves for the 3-0 shutout of the Coyotes. Chris Stewart is returning to his monster power forward form from a couple of years ago with two goals and an assits, while Alex Steen had a goal and two assists in his first game back from injury for the Blues.
- Minnesota kept pace in the tight Western Conference race with a 5-2 win over the Avalanche. Mikko Koivu had a pair, including the winner and the insurance goal into the empty net. Torrey Mitchell, Jonas Brodin and Devin Setoguchi had the other Wild goals, while off season acquisitions Zach Parise (2) and Ryan Suter (3) combined for 5 assists.
- Ray Whitney and Andrew Cogliano scored in regulation for the Stars and the Ducks respectively, and it was Ryan Getzlaf‘s shootout winner that ultimately decided the game in favour of the Ducks. Jonas Hiller made 33 saves and stopped both Star shooters while Kari Lehtonen was almost as good, turning aside 29 shots.
- The Canucks lit up Pekka Rinne for 4 goals on 12 shots, chasing him after just 25 minutes as they beat the Predators 7-4. Roberto Luongo wasn’t exactly stellar either, allowing 4 goals on 33 shots, but it was enough for the win. Andrew Ebbett and Jannik Hansen each had a goal and two assists to lead the Canucks, while former Senators centre Mike Fisher was among the Predators goal scorers.
- San Jose jumped out to a 3-0 lead, causing the Kings to pull Jonathan Quick after just 12 shots in 28 minutes, and although the Kings made it close late in the third, the Sharks held on to win 4-3. Logan Couture had two goals and an assist including the winner 27 seconds into the third period. Dustin Brown had 2 of the Kings’ goals in the loss.
That concludes our tour around the NHL for a busy Thursday night. It is a light Friday with just 3 games on tap, ahead of a massive 13 game schedule on Saturday. Check back tomorrow for a recap of all the action.