Rookie goalie Sergei Bobrovsky did a heck of a job merely getting the Philadelphia Flyers into overtime, but eventually the high-powered Washington Capitals’ power play was too much for him. Mike Green scored a power-play goal in overtime to give the Capitals the win, powering them to a narrow lead over the Flyers for the top spot in the East Conference.
The Flyers managed to snag three out of four points in two hard-fought back-to-back contests with the Islanders and Capitals, but they might kick themselves a bit for losing this one. They squandered two one goal leads and were out-shot in each period as they lost for the first time after reeling off six straight wins.
Washington is on quite the hot streak themselves, winning six out of their last seven matches as they clearly rekindled the positive energy from their Presidents Trophy winning 2009-10 season. Three of those six wins happened in overtime or shootout, indicating that this team is really rising to the occasion right now. The best part might be that they’re doing so well against tough opponents, as they foiled hot goalies in Boston (Tim Thomas) and Philadelphia (Bobrovsky).
While Bobrovsky is garnering some serious Calder Trophy attention, he was bested by the Capitals’ barely known other rookie goalie: Braden Holtby. He is now 2-0 since he earned a win after relieving Michal Neuvirth in a win over the Boston Bruins.
Green extended his goal scoring streak to four games while Alexander Semin earned his team-leading ninth goal and Eric Fehr also notched a nice one for the Capitals. Nicklas Backstrom earned two assists while Alex Ovechkin assisted on one goal. Meanwhile, Ville Leino and Nikolai Zherdev scored for the Flyers.
As Joe pointed out earlier today, the Flyers and Capitals are developing an intriguing under the radar rivalry. Was this game a possible preview of the Eastern Conference finals? We’ll have to wait and see, but such a series could be awfully entertaining.
Red Wings rally by Bruins in another game that evokes the Eighties
Things looked pretty grim for the Detroit Red Wings after the Boston Bruins chased Jared Coreau from the net with a quick 3-0 lead. Maybe the Red Wings took note that this has been a weird, high-scoring week in the NHL, because they rallied back and eventually won 6-5 via a shootout.
To recap the zaniest games of each day from this odd few days of hockey:
(That’s the coach’s answer to slamming a video game controller in a frustrating loss.)
Fitting in with this week’s other wilder contests, there were flurries of goals even beyond the trio that quickly gave Coreau the boot. The Red Wings warped a 4-1 Bruins lead to a 4-4 tie with three goals in a little more than 10 minutes of time.
Adam McQuaid then regained Boston’s lead 21 seconds after it was tied, but the Red Wings didn’t give up. Instead, they applied a ton of pressure in the third period until Gustav Nyquist tied it up with about three minutes left.
Detroit still has a long way to go to protect its remarkable playoff streak, especially when teams like the Bruins can at least salvage “charity points” with losses. If the Red Wings want to make an unlikely push, they’ll need to show the kind of resolve that was on display on yet another wild night in the NHL.
#RedWings win a game after allowing 4 first-period goals for the first time since November 1, 1991 vs Hartford
PHT brings you the hard-hitting math, as you know, so here’s the latest burst: Connor McDavid is more than a point-per-game player.
You see, he scored the 100th point of his promising NHL career, and he did so in just his 92nd career game on Wednesday. Let us remind you that he’s just 20 years old (and he turned 20 on Jan. 13). Yeah.
Point 100 came on via an assist on a Zack Kassian goal as the Edmonton Oilers went up 1-0 against the Florida Panthers.
Here’s the clip:
Considering how quickly McDavid got to 100 and how young he is, it tempts you to do all sorts of speculative math. Maybe you’ll even wonder where No. 97 will finish on all-time lists:
In case you're wondering, it took Jagr 118 games to get to 100 points. Of course, he's only 5 shy if 1,900 right now
In the video above, you can see Bob McKenzie lay out the Detroit Red Wings’ status as the trade deadline begins to look like more of a consideration.
Considering their playoff streak, it’s not that shocking that they’re at least struggling with the idea of being sellers. More than a few people probably did a double-take (or spit-take?) when McKenzie noted that management might opt to re-sign forward/remarkable reclamation project Thomas Vanek instead of moving him for assets.
It’s reasonable to question that logic, but then you see what he’s doing lately, particularly the chemistry he seems to be building with Andreas Athanasiou.
Wednesday’s gorgeous assist to Athanasiou illustrates some of that brilliance, if stats bore you:
If stats tell some of the story, well, they’re impressive. Vanek now has a seven-game point streak with the assist; if he doesn’t score another point, he’ll have 10 points during that span. He also has at least a point in 11 of his last 12 contests.
Athanasiou’s really “feeling it” lately, too. If he stays at a goal tonight, he’ll have five goals and eight points in his last seven games, only failing to generate a point in two of those contests. His speed and skill really seem to be coming to the surface, a great sign for the 22-year-old.
Still, Vanek is 32, and the Red Wings would need a heck of a run to even make the playoffs. So that’s where the discussion gets a little sticky.
There’s still time to sort that out, though. In the meantime, fans should enjoy what those two have been accomplishing, even if many want the window to close on that combo soon.