Only two games last night; one thriller and one laugher, and not the
ones you would have expected.
Stars 4, Washington Capitals 3 (SO) — We all thought this one would
be over by the end of the first period and it actually seemed like it
would be by the time the first intermission had arrived. The Stars were
down 1-0 and had been outshout 19-5. After 40 minutes the Capitals had
42 shots on goal, yet had been able to build only a 2-0 lead; despite
the dominance you had a feeling that the Capitals were letting the Stars
hang around just a bit too close. Dallas then scored on consecutive
power plays — one on a very questionable penalty call, must be that
pro-Ovechkin conspiracy at work or the other way around depending on
which side of the fence you sit — and James Neal put them ahead 3-2. Of
course, Alex Ovechkin would score a gem of a goal to tie the game with
minutes left in regulation, but he was unable to score in the ensuing
shootout. Loui Eriksson would score the game-winning shootout goal in
the fourth round.
Blue Jackets 0, Los Angeles Kings 6 — Alexander Frolov’s career
day led the Kings to a 4-0 lead in the first period, on the way to an
easy 6-0 rout of the Blue Jackets at home. Fredrick Modin added a goal
and an assist against his former team, and Jonathan Quick got perhaps
the easiest shutout of his career. The Kings were outshooting the Blue
Jackets 26-5; Columbus would manage just 11 total shots on goal for the
game. Rick Nash left the game late in the first with an injury but by
that point the game was over. Steve Mason is having one heck of a
sophomore slump in net for the Blue Jackets; just one more check box
added to the list of things that have gone wrong for Columbus this
But the chance for at least a single point slipped at the worst possible time, as Jonathan Toews scored with 1:18 left in regulation and then set up an empty net goal from Marian Hossa just a few seconds later to secure the 4-2 win.
The Canucks remain stuck at five wins — just five wins — on the road. They have the 29th-ranked road record in the entire NHL. Only the Arizona Coyotes have been worse away from home ice. So, that’s a problem that needs to be fixed down the stretch.
Vancouver had a chance to move into a wild card spot. Instead, they let the Blackhawks regain momentum as the period went on, and as a result, they remain on the outside of the Western Conference playoff picture for right now.
Corey Crawford earned his 200th career win, making 26 saves. That’s a milestone night for him. For Toews, that’s his most productive night of the season, as he factored into all four Chicago goals, which, of course, included the winner.
So overtime against the New York Islanders seemed like a perfect time for captain Claude Giroux to bust his scoring slump.
Without a goal in his last 12 games, or since Dec. 21 before the holiday break, Giroux finished the Flyers comeback with an overtime goal to give Philly a 3-2 victory on Sunday. Jakub Voracek did great work along the boards to force a turnover from John Tavares, and Shayne Gostisbehere followed up his chance with a quick pass to a wide-open Giroux at the top of the crease.
That comeback win — Philly trailed by two goals early in the second period — bumps the Flyers back into a wild card spot.
Steve Mason had a big game in net for Philly, with 36 saves, while the Flyers fired 47 shots on goal toward Thomas Greiss, although it’s a difficult task trying to re-set and stop Giroux — an accomplished scorer in the NHL — on the doorstep.
Goals, goals and more goals! Blue Jackets outlast Senators for overtime win
Plenty of goals. A little three-on-three overtime. Seemed like an enjoyable afternoon of hockey between the Ottawa Senators and Columbus Blue Jackets.
Well, maybe the goalies, Mike Condon and Joonas Korpisalo, didn’t enjoy it as much.
The Blue Jackets prevailed for a 7-6 overtime win, with Cam Atkinson scoring just 1:09 into the extra period. That’s his 23rd goal of the season. Only two players — Jeff Carter (24) and Sidney Crosby (28) — have scored more goals than Atkinson this season.
With the win, and the Capitals sitting idle today, the Blue Jackets move back into a tie with Washington at 68 points in the fight for first place in the Metropolitan Division.
There were some anxious moments for Columbus.
Rookie defenseman Zach Werenski was hurt blocking a shot in the third period. He briefly left the game, unable to put any pressure on his right leg as he was helped off.
The good news: He only missed a few minutes, returning late in regulation and for the overtime as well, which is important for the Blue Jackets.
#CBJ Zach Werenski said on @FOXSportsOH post-game he "thought it was broken" and "long term" injury when he blocked the shot.
“He’s made a couple of huge mistakes in a game and he comes to the bench, shakes it off and then goes out and makes a great play. For a 19-year-old playing that position and the amount of time he’s getting in key situations with this organization, it’s pretty impressive.”