A light night in the NHL on Friday saw just 3 games on the NHL schedule. The Devils earned a losing point while the Flames dealt the Predators and Pekka Rinne a blow. Here is a quick tour around the league:
- The Flyers kept their very slim playoff hope alive with a 2-1 shootout win over the Devils. Maxime Talbot scored the Philly goal in the first period, and David Clarkson answered in the second for the Devils to get each team a point. Matt Read and Claude Giroux scored in the shootout while Ilya Kovalchuk was the only Devil to put it past Johan Hedberg. The Flyers moved within 3 points of 8th place, but have a couple of factors working against them: They have played 2 more games (at least) than every team they are chasing, and they have 3 teams to pass. The Devils’ single point moves them into a tie for 5th with the Senators.
- Curtis Glencross scored three times in the third period to ensure the Flames 6-3 win over the Predators. The Flames had only 2 shots against Pekka Rinne in the first 8 minutes, but the problem for the Preds was that both went in, and Rinne’s night was over early. Mark Giordano and Blake Comeau did that damage, and then Jiri Hudler put Calgary up 3-0 in the second before Gabriel Bourque got Nashville on the board. Glencross made it 4-1 early in the third, and then quickly had answers for Nashville goals from Mike Fisher and David Legwand, scoring just a couple of minutes after each Predator goal, never allowing them to really get back in the game.
- Edmonton took a 2-0 lead into the locker room after 40 minutes on goals by Taylor Hall and Sam Gagner, having dominated the Red Wings to the tune of 26-14 on the shot clock. However, a strong third period from Detroit and an own goal from Oilers defenseman Jeff Petry allowed the wings to strike twice to send the game to overtime. Niklas Kronwall and Valtteri Filppula got credit for the Detroit goals, with Petry actually shooting the tying goal in after Kronwall’s point shot was blocked. Petry’s nightmare continued as he was the victim of Pavel Datsyuk‘s inside-outside dangle a moment before the Wings’ sniper buried the winner past Devan Dubnyk for the 3-2 Detroit win.
That concludes our tour around the NHL for Friday night. It is a busy Saturday with 13 games on the schedule, kicking off at 1:00 with a pair of games, including a big one that Senators fans will be keeping an eye on as Pittsburgh visits the Rangers. A loss by the Rangers combined with an Ottawa win over Buffalo (3:00 puck drop) would drop the Rangers 7 points back of the Sens and ensure that Ottawa has at least a 6 point lead on 9th place, pending the Islanders-Florida game.