The National Hockey League had just a trio of games on their Wednesday night schedule. There was a record-setting performance in Vancouver after two all-time greats were honored. Plus, a youngster picked up his first win of the season and there will be a big return in Toronto tonight.
Markstrom Makes Special Night Even Better
Wednesday will be an evening that Vancouver Canucks fans will not forget for a long time. Before the game against their old rivals, the Chicago Blackhawks, the Canucks retired the numbers of Daniel and Henrik Sedin; the two greatest players in franchise history.
Once the puck dropped, the focus of the night switched from the Sedins to All-Stars goaltender Jacob Markstrom. The Canucks were outshot 49-20 but won the game thanks to a historic shutout by Markstrom.
The 49 saves matched Markstrom’s career-high and broke the record for the most saves in a shutout in Canucks’ team history. The previous record was held by Kirk McLean, who made 45 saves in a shutout of the Montreal Canadiens on Dec. 4, 1991.
Markstrom also became the first goaltender in the 51-season history of the Canucks to post two shutouts with at least 40 saves in the same season. He made 43 saves in 1-0 blanking of the Carolina Hurricanes back on Dec. 12.
The records did not stop there either. Markstrom made the most saves in a shutout by a Swedish-born goaltender in NHL history. The previous record was shared by Anders Nilsson and Henrik Lundqvist who each had 45-save shutouts in 2019 and 201, respectively.
“Records don’t come easy in this organization or in this league,” Markstrom said shortly after his big night concluded. “I’ll take it.”
The win was the second straight for the Canucks after losing their previous four. They have a three-point lead over the Edmonton Oilers for the top spot in the Pacific Division. Meanwhile, the Blackhawks have dropped five straight contests are six points out of a playoff spot.
Petersen Snaps Kings’ Losing Streak
When you watch the Los Angeles Kings these days, it feels like light years since the team won two Stanley Cups in three years. Heading into last night’s meeting with the Calgary Flames, they were 2-12-1 in their last 15 games and had lost five in a row.
Calvin Petersen put an end to the losing streak with 35 saves in 5-3 victory over the Flames. The victory was his first in the NHL this season and fifth of his career.
“I really just wanted to play strong for the guys, start to establish some confidence with me in net, and I think getting this win definitely helps,” Petersen said from the winning locker room.
Petersen gave up a bit of a soft goal midway through the second period, but the Kings quickly responded with a pair of goals in 39 seconds.
“We kind of had that fluky goal, and I think that was kind of a turning point in the game where the guys were able to get back and score two quick ones,” Petersen said. “I don’t even think they announced the goal for the other team before we had two on the board, and I think that really flipped the momentum because those are the kind of fluky goals that can sometimes put teams on their heels. Credit to all the guys for turning around and turning it into an advantage.”
Petersen has been up with the Kings since they traded Jack Campbell to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Feb. 5. He made 37 appearances for the Ontario Reign, which still leads the American Hockey League among all goaltenders.
Andersen Ready to Return
The Maple Leafs had a familiar face join them for their morning skate as Frederik Andersen took his rightful spot in the starter’s net. Shortly after the practice ended, Andersen confirmed that he will start tonight’s game versus the Dallas Stars.
Andersen has missed the last four games after suffering a neck injury on Feb. 3, during a game versus the Florida Panthers. The Maple Leafs went 2-1-1 in Andersen’s absence with the duo of Campbell and Michael Hutchinson. The Maple Leafs have placed Hutchinson on waivers so he can return to the AHL if not claimed.
The Maple Leafs are in a dog fight for the third and final playoff spot in the Atlantic Division, so they are very happy to get their top netminder back. In 42 games this season, Andersen is 24-9-6 with a 2.87 goals-against average and .910 save percentage.
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