There were a few big games tonight in the NHL, and the games were
just as entertaining as you’d hoped they would be. What’s even more
interesting is the immediate, knee jerk reactions you see after some of
these games by fans (and sometimes the media). No, Carey Price should
not be buried for tonight’s loss and let’s not make the Capitals win
over Pittsburgh anything more than really is: a good, regular season
Also, the shootout is the absolute worst way to end a close
game with playoff positioning on the line.
Montreal 2 (SO) – After the game (and even during the game) the
outcry by Habs fans over Carey Price’s play was impossible to
ignore..and completely unfounded. If anything, the Canadiens should be
thanking Price they were able to actually walk away from the game with
at least one point. He withstood 42 shots total in the game, including
18 in the third period and overtime. The game tying goal with less than a
minute to play is more the fault of the hapless Montreal defensemen
standing around and watching, than the multiple saves Price made with
the puck on his doorstep.
Washington 4, Pittsburgh 3 (SO) –
Alex Ovechkin had an assist and finished, yet again, with a plus-2
rating. So he now has about a 3,471 lead on plus/minus on anyone not
wearing a Caps jersey. The player of the game was Jose Theodore,
however, as he withstood 42 shots by the Penguins and made several
great, acrobatic saves. Mike Knuble gets the ‘unlikely shootout hero’
award, as his goal in the fourth round of the shootout iced the win for
But don’t let this win go to your heads too much, Caps
fans. It’s a great victory against a great opponent on home ice (and it
was a very entertaining game to watch), but you’ve already proven this
year you can beat the Pens in the regular season. It’s in the playoffs
that the true test will come.
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.”