Ryan Miller put on a show with a 0.935 save percentage on the 31 shots faced.
It was special teams that made the difference. The Sabres’ first two goals (Tyler Myers and Brad Boyes) were both power play goals as was the Rangers first goal by Erik Christensen late in the second.
The Rangers came out looking to make their one goal deficit against the Sabres a tie game; however Jochen Hecht had other plans. The Buffalo forward tipped-in a shot from Andrej Sekera to regain the two goal lead.
Less than two minutes later Artem Anisimov brought the Rangers back within one; and Mats Zuccarello got shot past Miller’s five hole late in the third only to see Miller swipe it away from behind before it crossed that line.
It took extra time for the Capitals to come out with the extra point over the visiting Islanders.
While out shooting the Islanders the Capitals had nothing to show for it on the scoreboard as N Lawson eventually stopped 40 of 42 shots rifled at him. It took the last minute of play for Brooks Laich to finally get one past Lawson from a pass from the newly acquired Jason Arnott. Alex Ovechkin had the secondary assist on Laich’s goal to make his 300th career assist.
It was captain Alex Ovechkin that put the game to rest as he got a breakaway in overtime; marking his ninth game-winning goal this season.
It took all of 5:25 for Cory Stillman to start proving to his new fan base why he is now part of their team. An early goal put Carolina up over Florida early and all his teammates had to do was hold on to that lead.
A few minutes after Stillman scored a fight broke out between Carolina’s Troy Bodie and Florida’s Hugh Jessiman.
By the end of the period the Hurricanes captain scored a power play goal on the man advantage from a holding call on Panthers Darcy Hordichuk.
If Staal and Stillman had not stolen the show with their goals (earning them 3rd and 1st star of the game honors) than maybe it was Cam Ward (2nd star) with his 41 saves. Only Stephan Weiss was able to get a shot past Ward.
Montreal Canadiens 3 Atlanta Thrashers 1
The Price is right as Corey Price returns to the ice after being out with the flu. Price had a 0.976 save percentage after facing 41 shots from the Thrashers to earn first star honors in the game.
Montreal’s Max Pacioretty scored first, late in the first, to give the Canadiens the early lead. Sending the team to the locker room fired up after a late cross checking penalty to Thrashers Anthony Stewart, with their number one goalie back in net, and an early lead. They returned in the second with the man advantage and saw defenseman James Wisniewski score what turned out to be the game winning goal on the power play.
Late in the third Nik Anthropov tipped-in a shot from Anthony Stewart to bring Atlanta within one of Monteal. Exactly two minutes later the Thrashers had pulled their goalie for the extra man to try pushing the game into overtime when Candiens’ Brian Gionta scored a backhanded empty netter to settle it in regulation.
Boston Bruins 1 Ottawa Senators 0
It all comes down to goaltending as Boston’s Tuukka Rask took on Ottawa’s some what recently acquired Craig Anderson. Rask with a shutout took first star of the game honors while Anderson took second star with a 0.952 save percentage.
It took until the third period for Bruin’s Nathan Horton to finally solve Anderson with a wrist shot to earn the Bruin’s sixth straight win; and the full two points.
It was a tough loss for Senators defenseman Filip Kuba who was dressed for this 700th regular season NHL game.
Zdeno Chara took the third star of the game.
Calgary Flames 6 St. Louis Blues 0
Maybe trading away defenseman Erik Johnson was not the best of ideas for the Blues. The Calgary Flames took advantage of St. Louis re shaped blue line and got six goals past Ben Bishop (maybe putting Ty Conklin on waivers was not such a good idea either).
It was Alex Tanguay that scored late in the first period to give the Flames the lead and they never looked back.
The teams came out in the second pushing but not pushing too hard as neither steam scored and penalties were low. That all changed when the teams hit the ice in the third.
Within the first five minutes of the third captain Jarome Iginla gave the Flames a two goal advantage. Less than a minute later the newly acquired Kevin Shattenkirk took a boarding penalty for St. Louis that saw Calgary’s David Moss tip-in a shot from Mark Giordano on the power play.
…but it did nothing to motivate his teammates.
Jarome Iginla scored again just a few minutes later and then Robyn Regehr scored on the man advantage when Blues Chris Stewart was called for tripping.
Already up 5-0 Niklas Hagman got one more past Bishop with 5 seconds left in the game.
Dallas Stars 3 Phoenix Coyotes 2
A game that saw the Stars get off to a good start with the first goal of the game late in the first was followed by dumb penalty by Stars Jamie Benn at the end of the first for throwing his stick.
There would be no more scoring for either team until after the half way mark of the third when Dallas would go up 2-0 over Phoenix with a tip-in goal form Jamie Langenbrunner off a shot from Steve Ott.
The Coyotes were not just going to let the Stars skate them into circles so captain Shane Doan stepped up and helped set up goals for both Rostislav Klesla and Ray Whitney to tie the game at the 19:22 mark in the third.
It was at the 19:55 mark when it looked as though the teams could walk away with a point each when it all fell apart for Phoenix.
A few seconds earlier Radim Vrbata took the first penalty of the period for hooking. At 19:55 Stars Jamie Benn scored with the man advantage and saw an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty assessed to Derek Morris (PHX) and 10 minute misconduct penalties given to both Derek Morris and teammate Keith Yandle with five seconds to go in the game.
The Predators came up short on their hunt in Edmonton as they leave with only one point.
Nashville scored first seeing rookie Blake Geoff ion (the first ever fourth generation NHL player) score his first NHL goal. Only to see Edmonton’s Jim Vandermeer cut the celebration short as he tied the game less than a minute later.
And that was it. No more scoring in regulation.
Edmonton’s goaltender Martin Gerber took the first star of the game with a 0.971 save percentage on the 35 shots he faced. Nashville’s Pekka Rinne stopped 25 of 26 shots he faced, but lost in the shootout.
Jordan Eberle EDM Goal
Martin Erat NSH Goal
Gilbert Brule EDM Save
David Legwand NSH Miss
Upshall used his debut with the Blue Jackets to make a point. He is here.
After Vancouver scored first from a backhand shot from Mason Raymond it was Upshall that scored the only goal for Columbus that took the team to overtime against the conference leading Vancouver Canucks.
Canucks Roberto Luongo and Blue Jackets Steve Mason made it a show of goaltending. In regulation and overtime combined Luongo faced 31 shots and Mason 26; but they forced a shootout into eight rounds.
CBJ Rick Nash Goal
VAN Jeff Tambellini Miss
CBJ Scottie Upshall Save
VAN Ryan Kesler Miss
CBJ Jakub Voracek Save
VAN Mason Raymond Goal
CBJ Matt Calvert Save
VAN Daniel Sedin Save
CBJ Antoine Vermette Goal
VAN Alexandre Burrows Goal
CBJ Fedor Tyutin Save
VAN Mikael Sanuelsson Save
CBJ Derek MacKenzie Save
VAN Henrik Sedin Save
Yesterday was a good day to be Antti Niemi. The Sharks goaltender signed a four-year contact extension worth $3.8 million a year, was first star of the game with a 0.947 save percentage and a shoot out win, oh and he earned the Sharks the much needed two points in the Western Conference playoff race.
Not that it was a bad night for Colorado’s new goalie Brian Elliot. Elliot acquired via trade with the Ottawa Senators for Craig Anderson before the trade deadline saw Elliot post a 0.947 save percentage and take second star of the game as he stopped 34 of the 35 shots the Sharks threw at him.
It took until the third period and a power play for Colorado’s newly acquired defenseman Erik Johnson to score an unassisted power play goal on the Finnish net minder and put Colorado up 1-0 over the Sharks.
It was Joe Thornton that tied the game in the final minutes for the Sharks to keep them from handing two points over to the Avalanche.
Ryane Clowe SJS Goal
Milan Hejduk SOL Save
Logan Couture SJS Save
Matt Duchene COL Miss
Up into the Netting
Not the best publicity for the sport but how does this even happen? Coach is turns himself in for trying to move marijuana.
A good reminder for everyone after the trade deadline from Justin Bourne: When a players gets traded, so does his family.
Risto Pakarinen has a great piece on the International Ice Hockey Federation website about the rise and fall of Frölunda (SEL).
Fox and Turner are showing interes in the NHL. Will there be a change in television coverage come next season? Stay tuned.