Another lightly scheduled Sunday in the NHL. We’re glad to see everyone get out of the way so we could relax so nicely on a Sunday evening. Well, that is unless you’re the Oilers and Rangers who might be icing down tonight after duking it out this afternoon.
NY Rangers 8 – Edmonton 2
A hat trick from Marian Gaborik, two goals from Alexander Frolov, and a non-busy night for Martin Biron helped make this one a laugher for the Rangers. The Oilers, again, struggled defensively making mistakes both rookie and veteran alike. Oh yeah, and things got a bit ugly in the third with a full-on line brawl erupting when Sean Avery got a jump on fighting Ladislav Smid and virtually the rest of the Oilers disagreed with that. The loss is the fourth straight for Edmonton and things are getting out of control quickly for the young Oilers.
Washington 6 – Atlanta 4
A weird, back-and-forth game between these rivals ended up being decided late in the third period thanks to a goal by none other than tough defenseman John Erskine. Oh sure Alex Ovechkin, Alex Semin, and Mike Green also got on the board for the Caps, but it was Erskine’s slap shot in the third that proved to decide the game. Bryan Little had two goals for Atlanta in a losing effort. The Caps win gets them a nice bounce back after losing to Buffalo in overtime last night. On a side note, John Erskine and Eric Boulton had one of the best fights we’ve seen this year.
Minnesota 4 – Tampa Bay 1
Safe to say that Tampa Bay is officially struggling, although to be fair, dealing with the kind of goaltending the Wild have going for them you could almost understand. Niklas Backstrom made 37 saves to earn the win for the Wild, meanwhile Martin Havlat notched three assists as the Wild got goals from Cal Clutterbuck, Eric Nystrom, John Madden, and Antti Miettinen. Martin St. Louis had Tampa Bay’s lone goal while Dan Ellis only stopped 14 of 17 shots he saw.
Chicago 3 – Anaheim 2 (F/OT)
Viktor Stalberg’s overtime goal helped lift the Blackhawks and snap the Ducks’ six-game winning streak all at once. Marian Hossa came through with a solid game as well for Chicago with a goal and an assist. Meanwhile, Corey Crawford got the win in giving Marty Turco a night off. Crawford stopped 24 shots in the win. The one guy he couldn’t stop was Corey Perry who scored both Anaheim goals. Jonas Hiller was the hard-luck loser after stopping 40 shots.
Things got feisty between the Edmonton Oilers and Nashville Predators on Friday.
It started in the second period after P.K. Subban took an elbow from Matt Hendricks along the end boards. Hendricks was immediately grabbed by Anthony Bitetto. Nothing really materialized from that, however the main event broke out between Milan Lucic and Nashville newcomer Cody McLeod.
Lucic landed some pretty heavy punches before the two players fell to the ice.
Cam Ward had enough.
The Carolina Hurricanes goalie seemed particularly ticked off with Patric Hornqvist on Friday, twice taking out his frustrations in front of the net on the Pittsburgh Penguins forward.
Earlier in the game, Ward delivered a slash to the back of Hornqvist’s leg. In the third period, with the Hurricanes down five goals — that should give you an indication of what kind of night this was for Carolina — Ward snapped, delivering a punch with the blocker to Hornqvist after he slid into the Hurricanes puck stopper a split second after Evgeni Malkin jammed the puck in for a goal.
The final score? A 7-1 disaster of a loss to the Penguins, highlighted by Pittsburgh’s second-period offensive outburst. Ward played the entire game, allowing seven goals on 41 shots.
Carolina’s night also included star forward Jeff Skinner getting benched for the third period, after he took a pair of minor penalties — embellishment and unsportsmanlike conduct — in the second period.
“That’s pretty embarrassing. You don’t want to suffer a loss like that, especially in your home building,” Skinner told reporters.
The Hurricanes entered this game with a chance to jump into a wild card spot in the East.
Last week, the Hurricanes won four in a row, including a victory over Columbus, and continued their steady rise into the playoff hunt in the East. This week? It’s included losses to the Blue Jackets and Penguins.
The Hurricanes won’t have much time to think about this one. They travel to Columbus for a game Saturday evening.
The Boston Bruins have now lost three in a row, a losing streak that coincides with reports circulating that head coach Claude Julien’s job security is in jeopardy.
The bad news just keeps piling up for the Bruins: They’ve been shut out twice this week, as scoring continues to be an issue in Boston. They’re 22nd in the league in that category.
On Friday, the Bruins had their chances and once again held the edge in puck possession against the Chicago Blackhawks, finishing the game with 19 more shot attempts then the visitors, per hockeystats.ca.
But they couldn’t beat Scott Darling, who made 30 saves, and the real dagger came late in the third period when Marian Hossa scored off the rush with just over one minute remaining in regulation. Boston couldn’t even salvage a point out of this contest, losing 1-0.
The Bruins were all over the Blackhawks in the first period. They held a wide edge in shots on goal, but the Blackhawks were able to escape on the strength of some solid goaltending. They just hung around, and were able to break through in the third period.
The Bruins are still in a playoff position in the Atlantic Division. They are the top puck possession team in the league (although they have the second lowest shooting percentage at five-on-five) and Julien has had plenty of success behind that bench, helping guide the organization to a Stanley Cup championship in 2011 and a run to the Final in the lockout shortened campaign.
It would seem unfair to pin this roster’s shortcomings on the coach, especially given the offseason plans initially set out by Bruins management.
Though this loss likely puts Claude Julien Watch on high alert.
The Buffalo Sabres will be down a defenseman for the remainder of Friday’s game against the Detroit Red Wings.
Jake McCabe has left the game due to a shoulder injury suffered during the first period and will not return, the club stated during the second period.
Signed to a three-year, $4.8 million contract extension last summer, the 23-year-old McCabe has one goal and 10 points in 44 games this season for Buffalo
More recently, McCabe drew the immediate ire of the Winnipeg Jets after he delivered an open-ice hit on rookie Patrik Laine, who suffered a concussion on the play.