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. 16, 2022:
Minnesota Wild @ Winnipeg Jets
Final Score: Jets 6-3 Wild
The Winnipeg Jets recover from an early deficit to defeat the Minnesota Wild, 6-3, on Wednesday. Winnipeg trailed, 1-0, at the end of the first period, but forward Mark Scheifele scored twice in the second period to put the Jets up, 2-1, before completing a natural hat trick with the opening goal of the third period that saw four goals by Winnipeg and two by Minnesota.
Jets forward Mark Scheifele: “I think we just kind of got our feet under us. Sometimes it just takes a little bit to get into the game and you’ve just got to stick to the plan. We did that. We got our chances. … It’s just a matter of sticking with it and not trying to do it all in one shift.”
The Wild came out hot but cooled down as the game progressed. It failed to score any goals in the second period to answer the Jets’ pushback, which was the last time Minnesota held a lead in the game.
Wild defenseman Alex Goligoski: “They kind of took over a little bit in the second there. We left [Wild goaltender] Cam [Talbot] out to dry. A couple backdoor goals, breakaway, deflection. It’s a 60-minute game. We can’t take shifts off and stuff like that, and I think that was the story tonight.”
Florida Panthers @ Carolina Hurricanes
Final Score (OT): Panthers 3-2 Hurricanes
The Florida Panthers win a thrilling, chippy game over the Carolina Hurricanes, 3-2, in overtime on Wednesday. It is Florida’s first game since a 5-2 loss against the New York Rangers on Feb. 1, which keeps it ranked second in the NHL and first in the Atlantic Division with a 33-10-5 record.
Panthers head coach Andrew Brunette: “Coming off that break, it was a grinding game and we were very ready to grind. We probably didn’t have our best game with the puck, but I thought we did a lot of the right things. We defended in packs, we kept them a little bit to the outside and we had energy.”
The Hurricanes held two one-goal leads in the game, in the first and third periods, but allowed the Panthers back into the game both times. Carolina was outshot by Florida, 31-18, and couldn’t match its pace of play, especially later in the match.
Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind’Amour: “You’ve got to give them credit, they put the gas on. It’s disappointing, but the better team won tonight. It’s no question.”
Anaheim Ducks @ Calgary Flames
Final Score: Flames 6-2 Ducks
The Calgary Flames are the NHL’s team to beat right now, winning an eighth consecutive game with a 6-2 victory over the Anahiem Ducks on Wednesday. Calgary opened the scoring at 5:34 of the first period and led the game from that point onward.
Flames forward Elias Lindholm: “We just play, follow the system, and everyone’s buying in. We just do the same things over and over again and eventually, the teams are wearing out and we take over the games.”
The Ducks trailed by two goals at the end of the first period and failed to catch up to the red-hot Flames. While Anaheim had some hope with forward Sonny Milano scoring at 1:35 of the second period to bring the Ducks within a goal, Calgary responded with the final two goals of the period and proved too much to handle.
Ducks defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk: “Even after the first it’s 2-0, I think we had some good opportunities that we obviously didn’t score on. At the end of the day, it’s still 2-0. That’s a tough lead to come back on, especially against a team like that. That lapse we had in the second is really what shot us in the foot.”
Colorado Avalanche @ Vegas Golden Knights
Final Score: Avalanche 2-0 Golden Knights
The Colorado Avalanche post a shutout in a 2-0 win over the Vegas Golden Knights on Wednesday. Colorado goaltender Darcy Kuemper was in the spotlight as he recorded his second shutout performance in a row, making 29 saves on the night, after stopping 23 shots in his previous start, a 4-0 win at the Dallas Stars on Sunday.
Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar: “I thought [Kuemper] was solid, start to finish. Made some big saves for us. Was fighting to make sure he could see the puck. … You have to make the perfect shot to beat him right now.”
The Golden Knights couldn’t buy a goal in forward Jack Eichel’s debut with the team. Going up against the Avalanche, who rank No. 1 in the NHL standings, Vegas didn’t find any way to get pucks past Kuemper, despite outshooting Colorado, 29-25.
Golden Knights head coach Peter DeBoer: “We knew it was going to be a tight game. You’ve got two real good teams. We got shut out, so you’re never happy. … We had some good looks. You have to give their goalie some credit.”
Tom Pepper is an NHL columnist at The Hockey Writers. He lives in Toronto and is a diehard fan of the St. Louis Blues.