NHL Recap: Avalanche, Flames, Blues, Bruins, Oilers & More

The daily “NHL Recap” column is your go-to for the top quotes from every game in the NHL. Listen to THW contributors talk hockey every weekday on The Hockey Writers Podcast, available on iHeartRadio and wherever you listen to podcasts.

In this edition of NHL Recap, these are the top quotes from players and coaches following all games played on Feb. 19, 2022:

Colorado Avalanche @ Buffalo Sabres

Final Score: Avalanche 5-3 Sabres

The Colorado Avalanche were put to the test in a 5-3 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday. The Avalanche only found itself trailing once, 1-0, early in the first period, but coughed up two one-goal leads in the game, eventually hanging on for the win and sealing the Sabres’ fate with an empty-netter for its only two-goal advantage of the night.

Avalanche forward Alex Newhook: “I think there’s still a lot that we know we can play better, especially against every opponent. I think sometimes our approach can be a little different, but we’re finding ways to win and that’s what’s most important right now for us.”

Alex Newhook Colorado Avalanche
Alex Newhook, Colorado Avalanche (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

The Sabres did not go down easy and put up a strong fight against the NHL’s top-ranked team through all three periods. Buffalo’s valiant effort comes as a response to an uninspiring 3-1 loss to the Ottawa Senators on Thursday.

Sabres forward Tage Thompson: “Losing [stinks]. It never feels good to lose, but I think the team responded well. After last game, that’s not our standard. That’s not what we’re about and everyone in the room knows that. I think we showed up today with the right attitude, the right mindset and the focus going into the game. We played a full 60. That was the outcome. The effort was there, but the result [stinks].”

Edmonton Oilers @ Winnipeg Jets

Final Score: Oilers 4-2 Jets

The Edmonton Oilers won its fifth consecutive game under new head coach Jay Woodcroft, 4-2, over the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday. The Oilers held a 3-0 lead heading into the third period, allowed two Jets goals in the final frame, but held on for the win, adding an empty-netter with three seconds remaining.

Oilers head coach Jay Woodcroft: “What I really, really enjoyed about tonight’s game was the fact that [Winnipeg] got a little bit of momentum the last eight or nine minutes of the game but our team didn’t flinch. … Everyone was calm. We’re saying the right things on the bench and we found a way to come out of tough building with two points, which is the most important thing.”

Jay Woodcroft Edmonton Oilers
Jay Woodcroft, Edmonton Oilers head coach (Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Jets responded well in the third period but came up just short of completing the comeback. The loss put an end to Winnipeg’s two-game winning streak.

Jets head coach Dave Lowry: “I liked the way that we got down but we stayed with it. We talked about going into the third, we had to get that first one to generate some momentum. Then we were able to get that second one.”

Boston Bruins @ Ottawa Senators

Final Score (OT): Bruins 3-2 Senators

The Boston Bruins got the win in a tightly-contested 3-2 overtime victory against the Ottawa Senators on Saturday. Bruins forward David Pastrnak scored 2:42 into overtime for his 25th goal of the season, putting an end to Boston’s two-game winless skid.

Bruins forward David Pastrnak: “It’s been a little bit of a grind lately. … It’s a big win for us to end the [four-game] road trip. We know it wasn’t pretty. … You never want to come back home from the road trip without wins. So today was a big one.”

David Pastrnak Boston Bruins
David Pastrnak, Boston Bruins (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

The Senators gave themselves a great chance of winning but fell short in the extra frame. Ottawa earned a point in the standings with the overtime loss.

Senators forward Brady Tkachuk: “We gave ourselves a 60-minute effort there. Get us to overtime, and then anything happens in 3-on-3. … I think there were a lot of great efforts tonight. Everybody stepped up against a great team that’s been a great team for a bunch of years now. It was definitely a fun one to be a part of, but obviously, we wish we could get that extra point.”

St. Louis Blues @ Toronto Maple Leafs

Final Score: Blues 6-3 Maple Leafs

The St. Louis Blues shut down the Toronto Maple Leafs with a strong third period in a back-and-forth game, winning 6-3 on Saturday. The Blues held and lost a two-goal lead, then did the same with a one-goal lead, before pulling away with all three goals scored in the third period.

Blues head coach Craig Berube: “I think we played pretty solid all three periods. I thought we did a good job of protecting the middle of the ice, especially in our end. They’re a very good team finding it. Third period we let a couple slip there, but our goalie came up big for us in the third and made some big saves. We scored on our opportunities tonight and stayed out of the penalty box.”

Craig Berube
Craig Berube, St. Louis Blues (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

The Maple Leafs struggled to hold off the Blues’ highly-skilled offense, especially in the final frame. Toronto’s two-game winning streak came to an end with its loss on Saturday.

Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe: “They have a lot of skill. They’re one of the top teams in the NHL on the rush, and we knew that going into the game that it was going to be a challenge for us to defend against that, and they got the better of us. We didn’t do a good enough job. … They’re as dangerous as any team in the NHL on the rush, and they showed that tonight.”

Los Angeles Kings @ Arizona Coyotes

Final Score: Kings 5-3 Coyotes

The Los Angeles Kings made a pair of comebacks in a 5-3 victory over the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday. The Kings came back from a one-goal deficit in the first period, fell down by a pair of goals in the second period, then proceeded to score four consecutive goals (one in the second period, three in the third period) to defeat the Coyotes.

Kings defenseman Drew Doughty: “That’s one of the reasons why we’re in the spot we are, we have guys that just don’t give up. That’s something be very proud of. … I haven’t had this much fun in a couple of years, and every game feels so important.”

Drew Doughty Los Angeles Kings
Drew Doughty, Los Angeles Kings (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

The Coyotes failed to hold its leads in the game and allowed the Kings to take over and dominate play as it progressed. Arizona began the third period with a 3-2 lead and came out with a 5-3 loss.

Coyotes head coach Andre Tourigny: “They scored, made it 3-2, and that put us back on our heels. And I didn’t like the way we played the third. I thought we froze, kind of, and instead of digging deep, we forced things.”

Anaheim Ducks @ Vancouver Canucks

Final Score: Ducks 7-4 Canucks

The Anaheim Ducks got back on track with a strong 7-4 win over the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday. The Ducks needed a big game to end its four-game winless skid, and it did exactly that, taking the lead 57 seconds into the first period and never allowing the Canucks to even the score for the remainder of the night.

Ducks head coach Dallas Eakins: “We were very direct to the net. We just wanted to get pucks there. We didn’t care how they got there, with bodies going there, and we wanted to be physical, and we were able to check all those three boxes early on.”

Dallas Eakins Anaheim Ducks
Dallas Eakins, Anaheim Ducks (Photo by Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Canucks found themselves trailing, 2-0, at 3:23 of the first period and never managed to take control of the game afterward. Vancouver was unable to handle the Ducks, who desperately needed to get back in the win column.

Canucks forward Bo Horvat: “They scored those two quick ones on us early and there was just no pushback from us. We’ve been in that position before where it’s tough to fight back down that much. It just was not a good start for us today.”

Seattle Kraken @ Calgary Flames

Final Score: Flames 2-1 Kraken

The Calgary Flames won its ninth consecutive game, taking down the Seattle Kraken, 2-1, on Saturday. The Flames are going full steam ahead and taking down any team in its path, with the latest victim being the Kraken.

Related: NHL Recap: Panthers, Hurricanes, Stars, Kings & More

Flames goaltender Jacob Markstrom: “I think right now we just want to win. You want to keep winning. I don’t think anybody’s looking at that. We want to keep the momentum and keep getting two points. That’s the only thing that matters right now. Short memory, and right now we’ve got to look at the next game and get ready and prepare. That’s kind of how we look at it.”

Jacob Markstrom Calgary Flames
Jacob Markstrom, Calgary Flames (Photo by Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Kraken kept the game close, but never managed to take a lead on the night. Seattle dropped its third game in a row with its loss to the Flames.

Kraken head coach Dave Hakstol: “We came here to win a hockey game and we didn’t do that. The end result isn’t what we want. Competitively, there were some good pieces in our game today, but we came up short.”