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. 17, 2022:
Washington Capitals @ Philadelphia Flyers
Final Score: Capitals 5-3 Flyers
The Washington Capitals stole the game with three goals in the final three minutes of a 5-3 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday. Washington forward Garnet Hathaway scored two goals 1:45 apart, before defenseman John Carlson fired the puck into an empty net to seal the victory, giving the Capitals back-to-back wins for the first time since Feb. 1.
Capitals forward Garnet Hathaway: “I think if you look at the string of games we’ve been having lately, it’s a special one. We’ve a break between games, we’ve got a week between games right now (play at the New York Rangers on Feb. 24), and we wanted to come out and have a game that we could look back on during the break and say, ‘That was great. Lets continue to build off that.’ And up until the third, I don’t think we were happy with it.”
The Flyers came back from a one-goal deficit twice in the game, eventually taking a 3-2 lead at 16:09 of the third period. The one-goal advantage lasted less than a minute though, as the Capitals dominated in the final minutes and took over, handing Philadelphia its fourth consecutive loss.
Flyers goaltender Martin Jones: “We just have some breakdowns late in the game. It’s frustrating because we did a lot of the right things during the course of the game. I thought we played them really well. They’re a good team, they’re going to have a push, but I think as a group we can do a better job of managing that.”
Detroit Red Wings @ New York Rangers
Final Score (SO): Red Wings 3-2 Rangers
The Detroit Red Wings skate away with the win after a six-round shootout victory over the New York Rangers on Thursday, ultimately winning the game, 3-2. It marks just the eighth road win of the season for the Red Wings, who hold an 8-13-3 record as the visiting team.
Red Wings goaltender Thomas Greiss: “It’s huge for us. On the road we haven’t been that good this year, it’s definitely something we have to work on. Overall, as a team, we took a big step here tonight and it’s good to see.”
The Rangers trailed, 1-0, at the end of the first period, tied the game up, 1-1, in the second period, but allowed the Red Wings to tie it up, 2-2, just 1:30 later. New York forward Mika Zibanejad sent the game to overtime with the final game-tying goal at 11:51 of the third period.
Rangers head coach Gerard Gallant: “The second half of the game, I liked our game, but the first half we came real flat, obviously, and Detroit took it to us pretty good. … But the second half we played good enough to get back in. We probably got the one point we deserved, but no more.”
Pittsburgh Penguins @ Toronto Maple Leafs
Final Score: Maple Leafs 4-1 Penguins
The Toronto Maple Leafs win a second consecutive game with a 4-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday. Maple Leafs’ goaltender Jack Campbell took the spotlight, making a season-high 45 saves on 46 shots, for a .978 save percentage (SV%).
Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe: “[Campbell]’s been outstanding for us all season, but I just thought today was maybe as calmed and poised as he’s looked all season. I thought we defended pretty well, but at times when there is lots of stuff happening in tight, even the difficult saves I thought he made look easy tonight, and I thought that was really, really good. He made the coach feel very comfortable on the bench today.
The Penguins outshot the Maple Leafs, 46-29, but couldn’t get more than one puck past Campbell. Even with five power plays in the game, Pittsburgh struggled to finish on its scoring chances.
Penguins forward Sidney Crosby: “You have to learn from it but obviously try to move by it. I think we know we can be better and we have to execute better, and for whatever reason we didn’t. It was consistently, whether it was special teams or 5-on-5, we just didn’t do a good enough job of executing. It’s hard to win games like that.”
St. Louis Blues @ Montreal Canadiens
Final Score (OT): Canadiens 3-2 Blues
The Montreal Canadiens win its first game under new head coach Martin St. Louis with a 3-2 overtime victory over the St. Louis Blues on Thursday. The win puts an end to the Canadiens’ 10-game winless skid and gives it some optimism heading forward.
Canadiens forward Cole Caufield: “I think these past couple of games we’ve been playing well, down to the wire, things like that. For sure it feels good to be on the other side of things. I think we can build off these past couple of games. And to get a win for Marty and the guys, I think it will go a long way for the future.”
The Blues looked destined for a regulation win, until Caufield scored with 10 seconds left, tying the game at 2-2. St. Louis couldn’t find a way to pull ahead of Montreal, and ultimately dropped the contest when Caufield tallied his second goal of the night at 2:22 of overtime.
Blues head coach Craig Berube: “They didn’t give us much time and space out there. But in saying that, we have to [be] better. We have to have better execution, and we’ve got to find a way.”
Ottawa Senators @ Buffalo Sabres
Final Score: Senators 3-1 Sabres
The Ottawa Senators put together a strong performance on Thursday, defeating the Buffalo Sabres, 3-1. After the Sabres carried a 1-0 lead into the first intermission, the Senators tallied the game-tying goal in the second period, before adding another pair in the third period.
Senators forward Zach Sanford: “I think we had a game plan the whole game and we really got to [it] in the third period there. I think it showed and we were able to play our game — stay on the puck, stay hard, stay heavy, and it worked out for us in the end.”
The Sabres had hope through the first two periods, but couldn’t keep up with the Senators in the third period. The loss puts an end to Buffalo’s two-game winning streak.
Sabres head coach Don Granato: “The execution was not there. But still, you have to look at your work ethic, you have to look at your willingness to battle and, at the end of the day, if you have a team that wants to compete and is hungry, you’ve got to return that. And that was the difference tonight. They were hungrier than we were, more than we were. And we weren’t that enough, period, and that accumulated to the point where they hit that break point in the third period there.”
Boston Bruins @ New York Islanders
Final Score: Islanders 4-1 Bruins
The New York Islanders get back on track after dropping two games in a row, with a 4-1 victory over the Boston Bruins on Thursday. The game was tied, 1-1, heading into the third period, before Noah Dobson gave the Islanders a 2-1 lead at 5:50 of the third period, which was then followed by another two New York goals.
Islanders defenseman Noah Dobson: “Obviously, we got the results we wanted, and that’s the way we need to play in those tight games. We’ve got to find a way to get a big goal and then lock it down when we need to. It was a good effort in the third for sure.”
The Bruins held an early lead, but let the game slip away as it progressed. The Islanders were strong on home ice, and proved too much to handle for Boston.
Bruins forward Taylor Hall: “Like I’ve said before, I don’t care what their record is, they’re such a hard team to play against. When they’re on, when they have four lines going like they did tonight, it’s a tough matchup. We have to realize that and know that it’s going to be a very hard game from start to finish. I don’t know if we played, if we rolled over the lines that we could tonight. We left a couple of points on the table for sure.”
Seattle Kraken @ Winnipeg Jets
Final Score: Jets 5-3 Kraken
The Winnipeg Jets win on back-to-back nights, after defeating the Minnesota Wild, 6-3, on Wednesday, with a 5-3 victory over the Seattle Kraken on Thursday. Sitting three points out of the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference, the Jets are earning important points in the standings.
Jets defenseman Josh Morrissey: “We know where we’re at in the standings, and we need points and wins right now. I’ve liked where our game has been at since we’ve come back from the break, for the most part, and it was an emotional win for us last night and to rebound against a team that is coming in fresh and waiting for us here tonight.”
The Seattle Kraken drop a second game in a row, keeping it ranked 30th in the NHL and last in the Pacific Division with a 16-30-4 record. The Kraken held a 2-0 lead in the first period, but coughed up a shorthanded Jets goal with 13 seconds left in the frame, giving Winnipeg momentum to score the only two goals in the second period, and two of three in the third period.
Kraken head coach Dave Hakstol: “They took advantage of opportunities when they had the opportunities. I thought too many of their opportunities came off of our stick. We gave up nothing in the first period until the shorthanded goal. The second period, once they got the second goal, that gave them a little bit of life and the four of five chances they had in the second period came off of our stick.”
Columbus Blue Jackets @ Chicago Blackhawks
Final Score: Blue Jackets 7-4 Blackhawks
The Columbus Blue Jackets tallied seven goals against the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday, in a convincing 7-4 win. Columbus heads back home after winning five of six games on its latest road trip, moving it within nine points of the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.
Blue Jackets head coach Brad Larsen: “I don’t know if it was a test. I was just worried about the energy. I was exhausted today, just being honest. There’s not many opportunities you get to take four of five on a road trip. I don’t care who you are. That’s a tough thing to do in the NHL. I was hoping it would give us some juice and be excited about that opportunity.”
The Blackhawks allowed two early goals to the Blue Jackets in the first half of the first period, which forced it to chase the game from the very start. In his third NHL game, 22-year-old Chicago goaltender Arvid Soderblom made 30 saves, but didn’t get much help from his teammates in front.
Blackhawks head coach Derek King: “We just had too many passengers at the start. Guys were not ready to play and kind of easing their way into it and you can’t do that when you have a young goalie in there. You have to be ready. We talked about it. You have to be ready when the puck drops, and we weren’t, and the poor kid was left hanging out to dry. I mean, that’s not very nice.”
Anaheim Ducks @ Edmonton Oilers
Final Score: Oilers 7-3 Ducks
The Edmonton Oilers win its fourth consecutive game since hiring new head coach Jay Woodcroft, with a 7-3 victory over the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday. Lighting the lamp seven times, Edmonton is getting contributions from all parts of its lineup.
Oilers forward Derek Ryan: “I feel like we feel that everyone is getting a chance and an opportunity to provide help. Obviously, we can’t rely on Leon [Draisaitl] and Connor [McDavid] to do everything. We need support for those guys and for everyone in the top six. I think it has been good for myself to get some confidence built up to play more and to get more of an opportunity offensively. I think that has helped a lot in my game.”
The Ducks drop a third consecutive game and were underprepared for the Oilers’ onslaught after an exhausting matchup with the Calgary Flames the night prior, a 6-2 loss. Anaheim was unable to keep up with Edmonton’s offense, especially down the middle.
Ducks head coach Dallas Eakins: “We were simply outmatched. We’re coming on a back-to-back and we were not prepared depth-wise to take on a team like that. There’s not a team in this League that has three guys down the middle like that. We all know about McDavid and Draisaitl, but Ryan Nugent-Hopkins might be the most underrated player in this league.”
Vancouver Canucks @ San Jose Sharks
Final Score (OT): Canucks 5-4 Sharks
The Vancouver Canucks slip away with two points, defeating the San Jose Sharks, 5-4, in overtime on Thursday. The Canucks looked to win the game in regulation time, but allowed the Sharks to tie it up with just 0.6 seconds remaining in the third period.
Canucks head coach Bruce Boudreau: “To give it up with less than a second [left] was pretty upsetting, but we got the two points. I don’t know if we deserved it, but sometimes those are the games you need to get a jump-start.”
The Sharks’ winless skid extends to five games with its latest loss on Thursday. Stealing a point with a last-second goal was credit to San Jose sticking to its plan and never giving up, which should give it some confidence going forward.
Sharks forward Timo Meier: “We didn’t play too bad, so it was sticking to the system and not trying to get away from it when you’re down goals. We did a good job with that, we stuck with it. We got a point out at the end. Obviously frustrating losing in overtime, but I think tonight we showed a lot of character.”
Tom Pepper is an NHL columnist at The Hockey Writers. He lives in Toronto and is a diehard fan of the St. Louis Blues.