There were 13 games in total around the NHL on Saturday night, 12 outside of Ottawa’s Overtime win against Buffalo. The Sens got some help in the playoff race and sit a point better today than they did yesterday in terms of their lead on 9th place. Here is a quick tour around the league.
- The Penguins did the Senators the biggest favour yesterday by shutting out 9th place Rangers 3-0. Beau Bennett scored 1:30 in, New York could never get on the board and then Tyler Kennedy and Pascal Dupuis scored less than a minute apart in the third to seal the deal.
- Boston took over first place (at least for a few hours) in the Northeast Division with a 4-1 win over the Capital. Nathan Horton, David Krejci, Andrew Ference and Rich Peverley scored for the Bruins, while only Marcus Johansson beat Anton Khudobin, who made 32 stops. Horton and Krejci added two assists each, while their linemate Milan Lucic had 3 helpers as it was Boston’s line 1A’s turn to dominate a game.
- Winnipeg scored 4 times in 10 minutes in the second period to take a 4-1 lead but had to do 10 rounds deep in the shootout to finally beat the Maple Leafs 5-4. The Leafs got a pair of goals from Joffrey Lupul, in his first game back from a broken forearm, as well as Nikolai Kulemin and Phil Kessel as they made a valiant comeback. Blake Wheeler had a pair for the Jets in their 10 minute outburst, while James Wright‘s first goal as a Jet and Antti Mienttinen started the rally off after Lupul had put Toronto up 1-0 after 1. Curiously, Randy Carlyle pulled Ben Scrivens after 40 minutes in favor of James Reimer, just after the Leafs had rallied to bring it within 2. Zach Bogosian had the winner in the 10th round of the shootout as each goalie stopped all but 1 shooter before Bogosian’s winner.
- Jarred Tinordi assisted on Tomas Plekanec‘s third period winner in his first NHL game as the Canadiens re-took first place in the division and conference with a 2-1 win over the Devils, doing the Senators a favor in the process. Colby Armstrong had the Habs’ other goal, in the first period while Peter Harrold scored on the power play in the second for the Devils. Carey Price made 32 saves for the win.
- Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat each scored their first NHL goals and Nate Thompson and Ted Purcell added to the lead to give Tampa a 4-1 win over the Hurricanes, who with Winnipeg’s win over Toronto, fall from the Southeast Division lead and the 3rd seed to the 8th seed. Eric Staal finally got the Canes on the board more than 6 minutes into the third, but it was too little, too late.
- The Islanders are not making it look easy, but are clawing their way into the playoff picture as they passed the Rangers to move into 9th place, just 3 points back of Carolina. The Isles got a 3-0 lead on the Panthers, but allowed 3 goals in 1:41 in the third period to make it a new game. Casey Cizikas‘ goal almost 13 minutes into the third stood up as the game winner. Kyle Okposo, Radek Martinek and Brad Boyes had given the Isles the big lead, but new acquired TJ Brennan got the Panthers on the board just over 5 minutes into the third. Less than 2 minutes later, the score was all even as Marcel Goc and Mike Santorelli quickly scored.
- Devin Setoguchi had two goals and an assist in Minnesota’s 6-4 win over Colorado. The Wild jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first 10 minutes and held off Avalanche comeback attempts to come away with the win. Ryan Suter, Cal Clutterbuck, Kyle Brodziak and Pierre-Marc Bouchard had the other Minnesota goals, while John Mitchell, P.A. Parenteau, Gabriel Landeskog and Chuck Kobasew replied for the Avs. The win combined with Vancouver’s loss later in the evening vaulted the Wild into first place in the Northwest Division and the #3 seed.
- The Blue Jackets now have points in 10 straight games, as Sergei Boborovsky made 41 saves in total (39 in game action and 2 in the shootout), for a 1-0 SO win over the Coyotes. Mike Smith made 23 stops to get credit for a shutout, but allowed goals to both Artem Anisimov and Mark Letestu in the shootout. Columbus’s points streak now has them within 2 points of 8th place, although they have played a game or two more than the teams they are chasing.
- Jake Allen is quickly bringing himself into the Calder Trophy conversation with his 8th win of the season, a 2-1 overtime win over the mighty Ducks. Chris Stewart scored the winner 45 seconds into the extra frame and also assisted on Kris Russel’s second period tying goal. Saku Koivu had the lone Anaheim goal, a late first period marker that gave the Ducks a 1-0 lead. Allen is now 8-1 on the season and has usurped both members of the Blues’ Jennings Trophy winning duo of Jaroslav Halak and Brian Elliott in the St. Louis net.
- The Stars and Blackhawks played a very close game….for about 9 minutes. Then Jonathan Toews broke the ice with his first of 2 in a span of 1:35 and the Hawks scored 6 more enroute to the 8-1 win. Marian Hossa also had a pair, while Johnny Oduya, Nick Leddy, Duncan Keith and Patrick Kane added singles. Trevor Daly broke the shutout bid of Corey Crawford with a power play goal 6:30 into the third, when the Stars were trailing 7-0. Leddy, Kane, Toews, Viktor Stallberg and Bryan Bickell all had 3 point games for Chicago.
- Alex Burrows scored a club record 6 seconds into the game, and then added his second of the game with 2:38 left in the contest, but that is all the Canucks would get. Detroit scored 5 times in between for the 5-2 win. Henrik Zetterberg scored twice, as did Justin Abdelkader while Dan Cleary added the single for the Wings.
- Kyle Clifford scored twice for the Kings as part of their 5-2 win over the Sharks. Justin Williams, Jarret Stoll and Dwight King also counted for LA, while Patrick Marleau and Matt Irwin replied for San Jose.
That concludes our tour around a very busy Saturday in the NHL. Sunday is pretty light with just 4 games on the schedule, including a battle for first in the Eastern Conference as the Bruins and Penguins lock horns for the second time in a week, along with the Senators returning home to host the Jets. Check back tomorrow for a full recap.