NHL Recap: Panthers, Hurricanes, Wild, Rangers, Golden Knights & More

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In this edition of NHL Recap, these are the top quotes from players and coaches following all games played on Feb. 20, 2022:

Carolina Hurricanes @ Pittsburgh Penguins

Final Score: Hurricanes 4-3 Penguins

The Carolina Hurricanes won its second game in a row with a 4-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday. It was a back-and-forth game between the two Metropolitan Division rivals, but the Hurricanes ultimately came out on top by one goal.

Hurricanes forward Jordan Staal: “They’ve got a great squad. We play a fair amount against each other the next few weeks, in the division. It’s a lot of fun. Two good teams going at it. First one is always good.”

Jordan Staal Carolina Hurricanes
Jordan Staal, Carolina Hurricanes (Photo by Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Penguins put together a strong effort, outshooting the Hurricanes, 34-30, but came up short. After coming back from a two-goal deficit in the second period, it fell back down by another pair of goals in the third period and couldn’t finish a second comeback.

Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan: “It was about attention to detail and execution. For me, in some instances there, we self-inflict with some of the opportunities that we gave them. It’s hard to beat a team that’s as good as Carolina is if we do that.”

Montreal Canadiens @ New York Islanders

Final Score (SO): Canadiens 3-2 Islanders

The Montreal Canadiens win its second game in a row, the first two wins under new head coach Martin St. Louis, in a 3-2 shootout victory over the New York Islanders on Sunday. The Canadiens are building confidence and momentum as the franchise looks to get back on track.

Canadiens head coach Martin St. Louis: “Fun is part of it. You need direction, you need a culture, but inside all that, fun has to be part of it. Winning brings that, but also I think as coaches, you’re in the business of convincing your players why you’re doing things a certain way. And once you have convinced them, it really takes off.”

Martin St. Louis 2018 Hockey Hall Of Fame
Martin St. Louis, Montreal Canadiens (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The Islanders outshot the Canadiens, 32-27, and came back from two one-goal deficits in the game, but couldn’t skate away with two points in the shootout. New York is looking to find consistency, with a 3-6-1 record in its last 10 games.

Islanders head coach Barry Trotz: “I can’t put my finger on one thing, but I can say we can right the ship if we get four lines going and our [defense] pairs are all going well and we get goaltending, then you get that confidence, you get that ability to play. We don’t have one line that can carry us, so we need at least three lines every night.”

Florida Panthers @ Chicago Blackhawks

Final Score: Panthers 5-2 Blackhawks

The Florida Panthers continue the NHL’s second-longest active winning streak with a third consecutive victory, defeating the Chicago Blackhawks, 5-2, on Sunday. There were many momentum swings in the game, but ultimately, the Panthers capitalized on more opportunities and came out on top.

Panthers head coach Andrew Brunette: “It wasn’t a pretty game, but we did enough to get a win. I think we’ve managed the game pretty well on the road of late. I thought at different times we got a little ‘fire-wagony.’ We have so much skill and can play at such a high level. Sometimes we get a little carried away. I think we did an excellent job this whole trip of playing road hockey, and whatever they give us, we’re taking. We’re not forcing issues. … It wasn’t maybe our best stretch of hockey, but we found ways to score and do the right things.”

Florida Panthers Celebrate
Florida Panthers (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

The Blackhawks, who rank 24th in the NHL, refused to fold against the League’s second-ranked Panthers. Despite never holding a lead in the game, Chicago continued to fight back.

Blackhawks head coach Derek King: “I think we fared pretty good with the challenge. We hung in there with them. The third period, they came and they were like, ‘OK, enough with this.’ They started playing. But still, we were in it, we got back, we creeped back in. At least we kept it to the point where we could get our goalie out. It would’ve been nice to see us eat the puck in our skates or get on the forecheck a little harder and not back off. That’s stuff we’ll talk about.”

New York Rangers @ Ottawa Senators

Final Score: Rangers 2-1 Senators

The New York Rangers escape with a 2-1 win over the Ottawa Senators on Sunday. After the Senators opened the scoring at 4:52 of the first period, the Rangers responded with a goal at 7:27 of the opening frame, and then another at 9:14 of the second period.

Rangers forward Ryan Strome: “We come to the game, every game, expecting that we have the ability to get two points. I thought tonight was a good example of that. I thought everyone did what we needed to do to win. Some gutsy efforts.”

Ryan Strome New York Rangers
Ryan Strome, New York Rangers (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

The Senators can be proud of their effort on Sunday, despite falling short of earning any points in the standings. The underdog Ottawa was only outshot by three shots, 33-30, and battled until the very end.

Senators head coach D.J. Smith: “I thought we stayed in the fight. I thought [in the] third period we gave ourselves some looks. We don’t get the result we want, but you really can’t be down on anybody.”

Buffalo Sabres @ Columbus Blue Jackets

Final Score: Blue Jackets 7-3 Sabres

The Columbus Blue Jackets took advantage of a tired Buffalo Sabres team, winning 7-3 on Sunday. The Blue Jackets fired on all cylinders with a seven-goal night, with six different players putting the puck in the back of the Sabres’ net.

Blue Jackets head coach Brad Larsen: “Whenever you get contributions up and down the lineup, it’s huge, it’s infectious.”

Brad Larsen Columbus Blue Jackets
Brad Larsen, Columbus Blue Jackets (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

The Sabres flew to Columbus after a heartbreaking 5-3 loss to the Colorado Avalanche in Buffalo the night prior. After expending all its energy trying to take down the NHL’s top-ranked team less than 24 hours before, the Sabres couldn’t keep up with the Blue Jackets.

Sabres head coach Don Granato: “We just looked tired. Tired plays. Tired mistakes. Physically tired. Mentally tired a little. We just couldn’t finish simple stuff. … There were so many signs of fatigue but the bottom line for us is we have to learn how to play through that. We just didn’t adjust to not having your game.”

Dallas Stars @ Arizona Coyotes

Final Score: Coyotes 3-1 Stars

The Arizona Coyotes are back in the win column after dropping back-to-back games, with a 3-1 victory over the Dallas Stars on Sunday. The Coyotes entered the game with desperation, buckled down, and never allowed the Stars to take a lead through all 60 minutes.

Coyotes head coach Andre Tourigny: “Our focus, our attention to details, our calm during this game was really good. I’m really happy about the way the guys responded, the way they prepared, and the way they were focused.”

André Tourigny head coach of the Arizona Coyotes
Andre Tourigny, head coach of the Arizona Coyotes (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

The Stars had some great opportunities, but couldn’t find the back of the Coyotes’ net more than once. The loss ends a two-game winning streak for Dallas.

Stars head coach Rick Bowness: “We were putting a lot of pressure on them, and when you put a lot of pressure on them, the other team hopes their goalie makes the big saves at the right time. And [Coyotes goaltender Scott Wedgewood] did.”

Vegas Golden Knights @ San Jose Sharks

Final Score: Golden Knights 4-1 Sharks

The Vegas Golden Knights ended its three-game winless skid with a 4-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Sunday. Golden Knights forward Jack Eichel scored the game-winning goal and added an assist, marking his first multi-point game in a Vegas uniform.

Golden Knights head coach Pete DeBoer: “It just takes a little bit of pressure off him. I liked his game tonight. I thought every game he’s taking another step and tonight he was that much better than it was in game one and two. He’s starting to get more comfortable, use his speed, starting to get his timing. So good signs.”

Jack Eichel Vegas Golden Knights
Jack Eichel, Vegas Golden Knights (Photo by Jeff Bottari/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Sharks found themselves trailing, 2-0, at the end of the first period and then, 3-0, at the end of the second period. San Jose’s only goal came in the third period, which was too little, too late.

Sharks head coach Bob Boughner: “We had some breakdowns defensively tonight. It’s a good offensive team over there, and we held them to only a couple of chances against in the second period. Just another first period where we’re chasing and we’re down 2-0 or [there are] a couple, I would say soft kinds of goals on us. That’s not a recipe for success for our team.”

Minnesota Wild @ Edmonton Oilers

Final Score: Wild 7-3 Oilers

The Minnesota Wild pounced on the Edmonton Oilers with a convincing 7-3 win on Sunday. The Wild jumped out to a 4-0 lead at 13:38 of the first period, which kept the Oilers chasing for the remainder of the night.

Wild forward Matt Boldy: “I think we played our game more tonight, right from the beginning, just getting pucks in and playing hard and not letting them break out. It’s definitely more our style of how we want to play. No matter what, our starts could be a little better than they were, and that’s obviously a big key to our game, getting a good start, getting pressure on them and getting on them from the beginning.”

Matt Boldy Minnesota Wild
Matt Boldy, Minnesota Wild (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)

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

The Oilers dropped their first game under new head coach Jay Woodcroft after winning five consecutive contests. The quick start by the Wild doomed the Oilers from the early stages of the game.

Oilers head coach Jay Woodcroft: “I’m not happy with the result, I’m not happy with the way we began the game as a group. I thought we made some errors that can be cleaned up. You find yourself down 4-1 at the end of the first period, and you go into the dressing room and you talk about the things you want cleaned up. I thought we got a little better as the game went on, but just some mental errors that ended up in the back of our net.”

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