Note: We’ll take a look at the late game between the Carolina Hurricanes and Los Angeles Kings tomorrow morning or early that afternoon.
In the mean time, let’s take a gander at the three games that finished at a more reasonable time for non-West Coasters.
Buffalo 4, Atlanta 1
After a discouraging five-game losing streak, the Buffalo Sabres got off the hook in a big way with a 4-1 win over the Atlanta Thrashers. After keeping the team in games but coming up short during most of the team’s 0-4-1 streak since a season opening victory, Ryan Miller had it easy in this one. The Vezina Trophy winner only faced 18 shots, setting aside 17 of them. You certainly cannot blame Miller’s counterpart, Chris Mason, as he stopped 38 out of 42 shots to claim the game’s third star.
Columbus 3, Anaheim 1
Well, the good news is that the Blue Jackets won this one while both Rick Nash and Steve Mason came to play. The bad news is that less than 10,000 people showed up to see it, making that the smallest crowd to attend a Blue Jackets home game. Read all about it here.
Chicago 2, Vancouver 1 (SO)
Even when Roberto Luongo plays well, he still cannot seem to thwart the thorn in his side known as the Chicago Blackhawks. He made some great stops on a 31-save night, but couldn’t stop a single shootout attempt as the Blackhawks handed Marty Turco his fourth consecutive win. During that winning streak, Turco stopped 136 out of 144 shots for a 94.4 save percentage. So, yeah, let’s forget about a goalie controversy in Chicago for a while.
The Canucks must be a little worried about their depth scoring, as their only goal came from one of the Sedin twins again (Daniel on the power-play in the third period).
A more reckless pun maker might even say they’re too “twindependent” but I’m far too sophisticated to make such a joke. Naturally.
The Boston Bruins updated Malcolm Subban‘s condition a day after the goaltending prospect was hospitalized after being struck in the throat with a puck.
“Malcolm Subban was struck in the throat with a puck Saturday night during pregame warmups. He was transported to Maine Medical Center and was diagnosed with a fractured larynx. He stayed overnight at Maine Medical Center and was transported to Mass General Hospital on Sunday for further evaluation. He is in stable condition and will be sidelined indefinitely. The team will provide additional details when they become available.”
Awful news, although at least he’s in stable condition.
PHT will stay tuned for further updates regarding the 22-year-old.
Subban did tweet a thanks for support:
A little context makes that a little sad, too.
Pulling Anders Nilsson didn’t stop the bleeding for the Edmonton Oilers. Instead, it really just spread the “wealth.”
The New York Islanders are up 7-1, so don’t be surprised if there’s some ugly stuff in the final frame.
Zack Kassian is an author of at least one outburst, as he was tagged with 19 penalty minutes for a display that included fighting Brian Strait, as you can see in the video above.
It’s not the only fight stemming from the blowout, either, as Eric Gryba just tangled with Matt Martin.
Could there be more?
There was a time when Anders Nilsson seemed like the best bet in the Oilers’ net this season. This … is not that time.
Less than 12 minutes into Sunday’s game, the New York Islanders roared to a 3-0 lead, and that was enough for Edmonton to give Nilsson the hook.
He allowed those three goals on 10 shots, so to be fair, that’s a pretty impressive chunk of chances (almost a shot on goal per minute).
Still, the Oilers were likely hoping to give Cam Talbot a breather, and instead he was rushed into action. Nilsson hadn’t played since Jan. 19, and he’s only appeared in three games in 2016.
As if this didn’t sting enough for Nilsson, consider the fact that he began his NHL career with the Islanders, who eventually decided he wasn’t worth keeping.
Alex Ovechkin scored to join Wayne Gretzky and Mike Gartner as only players with at least 30 goals in each of their first 11 NHL seasons, and Matt Niskanen netted the game winner as Washington beat the Flyers 3-2 at Verizon on Super Bowl Sunday.
Michael Del Zotto and Nick Schultz replied for the Flyers, who suffered their second straight loss.
The win was the Capitals’ third in a row.
It didn’t always look as though Washington would emerge the victor, however. The Caps were out-shot 35-30 on the day and looked disjointed at times, finishing with 12 giveaways (Philly was credited with just five, for comparison’s sake).
But good teams find ways to win when they’re not playing especially well, and the Caps are a pretty good team — especially when Braden Holtby is on his game.
Holtby, atop many Vezina lists at the moment, had another terrific outing on Sunday, making 33 saves, perhaps none better than this one on Mark Streit in the second period:
Holtby’s counterpart, Steve Mason, had a solid outing as well, finishing with 27 stops.
Looking ahead, the Caps will now head out on a three-game Western Conference swing through Minnesota, Nashville and what promises to be a high-octane game in Dallas on Feb. 13.
The Flyers, meanwhile, will now kick off a three-game homestand against Anaheim, Buffalo and New Jersey.