There might be three games tonight, but there’s only one that really matters: Boston vs. Washington. That game has big implications for the Bruins, who still need to scratch-and-claw in order to make their way into the playoffs. Let’s take a look at that match and Monday’s other two games.
Boston Bruins (36-30-12, 84 pts) at Washington Capitals (51-15-12, 114 pts) 7 PM ET
The Capitals haven’t just wrapped up the East’s No.1 seed, they’ve already clinched the Presidents’ Trophy. It doesn’t seem like the team is really stepping off the pedal all that much, which is bad news for Boston. It’s really mind blowing how far these teams are apart; the Caps have 30 more points this season and their leading scorer (Ovechkin, 102) has more than double Boston’s leading point getter (Bergeron, 50). Boston is going to have to win this one the way they’ve done it all season: by grinding out an ugly victory.
Columbus Blue Jackets (32-34-13, 77 pts) at St. Louis Blues (38-31-9, 85 pts) 8 PM ET
While the Blue Jackets are already mathematically eliminated, the Blues are still technically “alive.” Really, though, the Blues are on the verge of being in the same club. Is this a more realistic depiction of these two teams’ potential, or is this just a bump in the road for the two franchises?
Minnesota Wild (37-35-7, 81 pts) at Edmonton Oilers (24-46-8, 56 pts) 9:30 PM ET
The Oilers can be forgiven if they’re more interested in the Taylor Hall-Tyler Seguin battles than their own games right now. It must be oddly freeing, though, that the Oilers clinched the bottom spot in the league so there’s no question of tanking. With Minnesota, they might be better off losing out.
Buffalo Sabres defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo has experienced plenty of bad injury luck in his winding career, but Saturday presented one of his worst scares.
As you can see from the video above, Colaiacovo received a scary cross-check from Viktor Arvidsson of the Nashville Predators, who received a major penalty and game misconduct.
Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma said that Colaiacovo was hospitalized with a “dented trachea” yet is OK, the Buffalo News’ John Vogl reports.
Frightening stuff from an eventual 4-1 Sabres win.
PHT will keep an eye out for additional updates regarding Colaiacovo’s health (and a possible suspension for Arvidsson).
Patrick Kane set an American scoring record, and added another assist to make it more impressive, but the Los Angeles Kings just wouldn’t be denied.
In the end, Marian Gaborik‘s big night meant more than Kane’s; he scored the tying and then overtime game-winner, both assisted by Anze Kopitar, for a rousing 4-3 overtime Kings win.
Gaborik’s first goal:
And here’s video of the OT-GWG:
Noticing a theme tonight? Yeah, it’s been an evening in which it’s dangerous to assume a lead would stand.
With that, the Kings stick to the No. 1 spot in the Pacific Division, but Chicago shouldn’t feel all bad. The Blackhawks were able to piece together a decent run during their dreaded “circus trip.”
When it comes to point streaks for U.S.-born NHL players, Patrick Kane now stands alone.
With a power-play goal early in Saturday’s Blackhawks – Kings game, Kane extended his streak to 19 games, breaking a tie with Phil Kessel and Eddie Olczyk (who finished with at least a point in 18 straight).
As of this writing, Kane has 11 goals and 19 assists during this 19-game streak. He also leads the NHL in scoring.
Bobby Hull’s 21-game point streak stands as the Chicago Blackhawks’ overall team record, by the way.
You know what they say: it’s easy to bash a strategy in hindsight.
Slam that NFL head coach for going for it on fourth down … or settling for the field goal. Bury that MLB manager because he kept a pitcher in too long. And so on.
“Score effects” settle in during almost any lopsided hockey game, yet the Dallas Stars present quite a conundrum: what’s the best way to put a way a team with this much firepower?
Tonight may have presented the greatest evidence that this team won’t go away easy, as it seemed like the Minnesota Wild had the best of a tired Stars team* when they built a 3-0 lead.
Instead, the Stars scored three third-period goals while Tyler Seguin capped the comeback with an overtime-winner.
It was one of those bend-and-then-break moments for Minnesota. Dallas generated a 44-26 shot advantage, including a ridiculous 35-15 edge in the final two periods.
Does that mean that Mike Yeo may have tried to play too conservatively with a healthy lead? It’s a possibility.
On the other hand, would the Wild be wiser to try to run-and-gun with one of the most dangerous offenses in the NHL?
It sure seems like a pick-your-poison situation. Which way would you lean, though?
* – To be fair to Minnesota, each team was on back-to-backs.