NHL Recap: March 31, 2013 – Columbus In A Playoff Spot?; Chicago Pounds Detroit


There were 5 games in the NHL on Easter Sunday, including a couple of messages being sent to other teams. Here is a quick tour around the league:

Mar 31, 2013; Buffalo, NY, USA; Boston Bruins center David Krejci (46) celebrates his goal against the Buffalo Sabres during the third period at the First Niagara Center. Bruins beat the Sabres 2-0. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

  1. Chicago scored early and often against the Red Wings, putting up a converted touchdown before all was said and done.  Was it a message directed at the Pittsburgh Penguins?  Only the Hawks know for sure, but the barrage led by Jonathan Toews (1G, 2A) and Brandon Saad (2G, 1A) was definitely a statement game.  Dave Bolland also had a pair of goals with singles coming from Nick Leddy and Jeremy Morin for Chicago.  Detroit broke Corey Crawford‘s shutout bid when Cory Emmerton scored with 33 seconds left, which was the only bright spot for the Wings.
  2. Washington missed out on a chance to join the Islanders and then Rangers in a tie for 8th, falling in overtime to the Flyers.  With the win, the Flyers move within 2 points of 8th, making things very tight.  Kimmo Timonen capped a 2 goal comeback to send the game to OT with just 10 seconds left in the game and Ruslan Fedotenko scored the winner for the Flyers.  Maxim Talbot, Matt Read and Claude Giroux had the other Philly goals.  Nicklas Backstrom, Mike Green, Marcus Johansson and Alex Ovechkin had the Capitals goals.
  3. David Krejci and Nathan Horton each had a goal and an assist in a 3 minute span in the third period to lead Boston to a 2-0 win over the Sabres. Anton Khudobin made 26 saves for the shutout as the Bruins move within a point of the Canadiens for the Northeast Division lead, but have used up the games in hand they once held in their back pockets.
  4. The Blue Jackets wake up this morning occupying sole possession of 8th place in the West after their 2-1 OT win over the Ducks.  Mark Letestu scored the winner and also assisted on Derick Brassard‘s opening goal for Columbus.  Emerson Etem replied for the Ducks, who dropped four points behind the Blackhawks.  The Blue Jackets are in 8th, but the four teams that are within 2 points of them all have at least one game in hand (and as many as 3) so it is not quite time to book playoff days off just yet.
  5. The Kings further cemented their playoff standing with a 3-2 win over the Stars.  Jeff Carter, Brad Richardson and Justin Williams scored for LA, who are now 7 points clear of 9th, and will likely avoid the last week stress that they went through last season just to qualify for the postseason.  Jamie Benn and Ray Whitney scored for Dallas, who are now 2 points behind Columbus for the 8th spot in the playoffs.

That concludes our tour around the NHL.  Monday It is an uncharacteristically busy Monday night, with 9 games on the schedule. Winnipeg visits the Rangers while Carolina plays in Montreal and the Devils host the Islanders in three games with big implications in the Eastern Conference and Southeast Division races.  Check back tomorrow for a full recap.