I want to apologize for the weekend hiatus as I was slightly busy with H2H2 activities.
Chicago Blackhawks 3 Washington Capitals 4 (OT)
In a battle of the rookie goalies Capitals Brendan Holtby took on the Blackhawks Corey Crawford and saw Holtby give up the early goal to the current Stanley Cup champions.
The Blackhawks lead did not last long as Boyd Gordon got a breakway on a turnover by Patrick Sharp and tied the game while the Blackhwaks were on a man advantage. It was then the Capitals took the lead with a goal from Jason Arnott after Marian Hossa turned over the puck late in the first.
Tomas Kopecky scored his 13th of the season as he took a bad angle shot and snuck the puck in behind Holtby to tie the game at two early in the second.
In the final 19 seconds of the second Chicago’s Brent Seabrook and Washington’s Jason Chimera dropped the gloves, then Chimera dropped Seabrook.
It took just over five minutes into the third for Brooks Laich took give the Capitals the go ahead goal and go up 3-2 over the Blackhawks.
The Capitals dominated the overtime period but it took nearly four minutes for Mike Knuble to finally get the puck elevated and up and over Crawford for the win.
Chris Kunitz scored with just 35 seconds left in the first to send the game into intermission with a Pittsburgh 1-0 lead. It took Maxime Talbot 6:27 into the second period to double the lead over Edmonton.
Finding an increased role as both Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby are sidelined with injuries Jordan Staal tipped in a Tyler Kennedy shot in the final few minutes on for the second to make it 3-0 Penguins after 40 minutes of play.
Oilers Ryan Jones finally put them on board 1:11 into the third only to have any comeback attempted routed by a Zbynek Michalek goal a few minutes later to make it 4-1. A power play goal by Kunitz rounded out the scoring for the game and helped year him the first star of the game.
LA Kings 3 Dallas Stars 2
An early penalty by Dallas Stars Loui Eriksson lead to an early lead for the Kings. Drew Doughty capitalized on the man advantage with a slap shot that got past Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen just after three minutes of play.
The Kings held the lead steady even after two penalties themselves in the first period. It wasn’t until nearing the final five minutes on the second period that Dustin Penner was able to take the Kings up 2-0 over the Stars.
Not wanting to head into the second intermission down by two it was Brad Richards that stepped up for Dallas and cut the lead in half after 40 minutes of play.
The third period saw an early penalty to Stars Jamie Langenbrunner for hi-sticking then just over halfway though the period saw Stars Steve Ott and Kings Dustin Brown both called for roughing. In the final minute of play Langenbrunner came back with a wrist shot and tied the game. Just as it looked as though each team would head into extra time with at least a point in the hard fought western conference race Michal Handzus scored for the Kings making it 3-2 with only 21 seconds remaining on the clock.
Ottawa Senators 4 Buffalo Sabres 6
The Eastern Conference is getting tighter as the playoffs move closer and with the win over Ottawa the Buffalo Sabres were able to take over 7th place and bump the New York Rangers down to 8th.
Buffalo took the early lead with a backhander from Tyler Ennis. It was only a few minutes later that Jason Spezza tied the game with a power play goal. Sabres Thomas Vanek gave Buffalo the lead again just over halfway though the period only to see it taken away again by Colin Greening before heading into intermission.
After the intermission Buffalo came out motivated and saw Ennis and Paul Gaustad each score to put the Sabres up 4-2 before three minutes had played out in the second period. Nearing the halfway point of the period Spezza cut the lead to 4-3 only to have Nathan Gerbe slapshot one in and put the Sabres up 5-3 after 40 minutes of play.
The third period say Brad Boyes score the 6th goal for Buffalo before the halfway point and the Sabres maintained a 6-3 lead over the Senators until the final minute of the game when Erik Karlsson scored the fourth for Ottawa.
Phoenix Coyotes 5 Anaheim Ducks 2
In the ever changing playoff race positioning the Phoenix Coyotes claimed 5th place in the Western Conference with the win over the Ducks (10th place) last night.
Anaheim came out with an early lead after Corey Perry scored his 35th of the season just minutes into the game; however Phoenix’s Taylor Pyatt had something to say about that by tying the game less than two minutes later. It was Lauri Korpokoski that gave the Coyotes the 2-1 lead with a late first period goal.
There was no scoring again until 15:46 into the second when Perry scored a power play goal tying the game at two. It was one minute after Perry tied the game at 2 that Korpikoski got the go ahead goal for Phoenix and then a late period goal by David Schiemko that sent the teams to the second intermission with a 4-2 lead for the Coyotes.
The third period saw roughing penalties called on Coyotes Vernon Fiddler and Ducks Bobby Ryan at the 15:15 mark; but no goal scoring until Phoenix captain Shane Doan scored an empty net goal in the final minute for the 5-2 win and the two points.
Up into the Netting
The Blackhawks made their visit to the White House for winning the Stanley Cup back in June. Also at the White House were five members of the American Special Hockey Association whom will partake in the festivities and a hockey clinic that saw the Blackhawks, Capitals, and First Lady Michelle Obama and others participate.
NHLPA statement from Executive Director Don Fehr about player safety.
After beating cancer Eric Naughton, age 40, had decided to take on another challenge – playing hockey.