It’s Goundhogs Day!
Florida Panthers 3; Toronto Maple Leafs 4 (SO)
Fresh off the All-Star weekend and all the controversy wrapped up with the Maple Leafs they went to a shootout against the Panthers. Scott Clemmensen had the start for Florida while Jean-Sebastien Giguere was in net for Toronto. Toronto’s All-Star Phil Kessel took an elbowing penalty with less than 5 minutes left in the game only to come out of the box and get a breakaway in the final seconds; however, he was not enough to beat Clemmensen who extended Kessel’s goalless streak to eight games.
Ottawa Senators 1; New Jersey Devils 2
As the Senators are slumping the Devils seem to have risen from the ashes as they are now 7-1-1 and have won four straight at home; while the Senators are 1-9-4 in their last 14 games. The Senators were outshoot 33-16 by the Devils; Martin Brodeur made 10 saves in the third period.
Boston Bruins 3; Carolina Hurricanes 2
Tim Thomas may have wiped out in his fastest goalie race with Cam Ward during the SuperSkills competing over the All-Star weekend in Raleigh; but he got his when it really counts. Making 24 saves and earning first star of the game Thomas lead the Bruins over Ward’s Hurricanes. Speaking of SuperSkills – hardest slapshot winner (105.9 mph) Zdeno Chara recorded eight shots on goal.
New York Islanders 4; Atlanta Thrashers 1
With Evgeni Nabokov still suspended for not reporting after being claimed off of waiver the Islanders put Kevin Poulin in net. Poulin recorded a .962 save percentage earning him third star of the night in what is being called “Embarrassing” outing for the Thrashers.
Do the Islanders even need Nabokov?
Chicago Blackhawks 7; Columbus Blue Jackets 4
After going down 4-3 to the central division rival Blue Jackets the Blackhawks looked to be on a slight All-Star Weekend hangover. The Blue Jackets scored twice in 42 seconds that forced Coach Joel Quenneville to call a timeout to settle and refocus the team. The Blue Jackets never saw the back of the next again as the Blackhawks unleashed four unanswered goals upon Steve Mason as they fell to Chicago.
Pittsburgh Penguins 4; New York Rangers 3 (SO)
In a game where the Rangers gained back Ryan Callahan, Dan Girardi, and Vinny Prospal they went up by two before allowing the Penguins to answer two un answered goals that saw the teams head to a shootout. Rangers Mats Zuccarello was 4 for 4 in the shootout heading into the game tonight; however; all streaks come to an end as Zuccarello put the puck right into the pads of Marc-Andre Fleury.
Penguins Jordan Staal was assessed a game misconduct and match penalty finding himself ejected from the game for punching Rangers Brandon Prust. There is an automatic indefinite suspension for the match penalty that was called on Staal that is in effect until the commissioner weighs in.
Montreal Canadiens 3; Washington Capitals 2 (SO)
For the eighth consecutive time the Capitals have lost a game that needed extra time to decide. The Canadiens outshot the Capitals in all three regulation periods; overpowering the Capitals who had a 2-0 lead. Washington’s Mathieu Perreault took second star honors with his goal and assist on Mike Knubles goal; while Montreal’s Brian Gionta and James Wisniewski bookmarked the star of the game honors.
Philadelphia Flyers 0; Tampa Bay Lightning 4
Dwayne Roloson may have been the biggest acquisition new Lightning General Manager Steve Yzerman has made. The 41 year old Roloson came to Tampa in early January and now has four shutouts since the move south. Tampa’s Teddy Purcell scored twice in the first 2 minutes; while Steven Stamkos tallied his league leading 39th goal of the season. Is this the year the Lightning make it back to the playoffs? They have missed the playoffs the last three season; the last time they won a playoff series was when they won the Stanley Cup in 2004.
Colorado Avalanche; St. Louis Blues – Postponed due to weather
Calgary Flames 3; Nashville Predators 2 (SO)
Two teams in the thick of the playoff hunt in the West should not be shocked they needed extra time to decide a victor. Rene Bourque was the only one to score in the shootout; and that was all the Flames needed to gain the extra point in yet another three-point Western Conference game. Martin Erat got a goal and Hornqvist scored on the power-play for the Predators while Sergei Kostitsyn assisted on both allowing Nashville to walk away with at least a point.
Los Angeles Kings 0; Minnesota Wild 1 (SO)
In baseball they call it the perfect game when no runs are score. Does the same hold true for hockey? It took until a shoot out for Minnesota’s Niklas Backstrom and LA’s Jonathan Bernier to finally let in a goal. It was Minnesota’s Andrew Brunette’s 1,000 NHL game. Did you know that the Wild are now in 8th place in the West?
Vancouver Canucks 4; Dallas Stars 1
Reunited and it feels so good… The All-Star weekend is over and the Sedin twins are back together. Daniel Sedin had two assist as the Canucks took the league lead. How Swede it is in Vancouver these days as Mikael Samuelsson let lose a wrist shot from the circle that beat the glove of Stars’ Kari Lehtonen as the Stars fall to 1-3-0 in their last four games and have lost all three match ups verses the Canucks this season.
Phoenix Coyotes 3; San Jose Sharks 5
Coyotes’ Keith Yandle extended his point-steak to 10 games. Recently claimed off of re entry waiver by the Sharks from the St. Louis Blues Kyle Wellwood tied the game after Joe Pavelski kick started the Sharks come back with goals at the end of the second and the start of the third periods. Rookie goalie Alex Stalock got the win in his NHL debut with the Sharks, even after allowing Coyotes’ Paul Bissonnette his first goal of the season. The Coyotes have now lost to the Sharks in each of their last seven meetings.
Up into the Netting
NHL Three Stars of the week: Eric Staal, Jonathan Quick, and Michael Grabner.
It is hard for players in Toronto these days. Waffles being thrown, the Toronto media not dropping the fact that Phil Kessel went last in the All-Star Fantasy draft (hey he ended up on the winning team though!), and now Kris Versteeg’s Audi R8 has been hit with spit and some nasty messages.
Reports are surfacing that the New Jersey Devils are up for sale. Mike Colligan has the scoop amidst silence, questions surround Devils in wake of Kovalchuk Saga.
Hey Hey Hockeytown! George Malik over at Kukla’s Korner discusses that the All-Star game was well-recived by the U.S. markets. Detroit lead the way with a 3.8 rating but that does not include the many Detroit area views watching CBC.