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Gone in .1 second: Flyers barely miss overtime winner, fall to Sharks in shootout

San Jose 5, Philadelphia 4 (SO)

Sometimes hockey isn’t a game of inches, but rather of tenths of seconds.

That’s ultimately the amount of time it took to distinguish a Philadelphia Flyers overtime win from what ended up being tonight’s result, a San Jose Sharks shootout win. It looked like Mike Richards scored that game winner, but after review it was clear that the clock hit 0.0 just before the puck cleared the red line. It’s about as close as you can possibly get to scoring a goal without scoring.

This isn’t the first time that the Flyers faced overtime heartbreak this season, although at least this time around it wasn’t a controversial call. If you may remember, Philadelphia looked like they won an overtime game against the Calgary Flames only to have the goal waved off when Chris Pronger was penalized for violating “The Avery Rule.”

It’s not the only reason the Flyers will look at this game as a match they should have won, though. After a Ryan Clowe goal gave San Jose a 1-0 lead, Philadelphia rattled off four straight goals (by Claude Giroux, Ville Leino, Nikolai Zherdev and Scott Hartnell) to take a 4-1 lead.

But in the first time in Sharks franchise history, the team ended up winning a game despite being down three goals in the third period. Jason Demers, Logan Couture and Joe Pavelski scored to tie the game up. After that overtime period, Clowe and Couture scored shootout goals to help the Sharks earn an improbable win.

San Jose still has a ways to go, but they’ve won three of their last four games and are back in the thick of things in the wacky Western Conference at 32 points in 27 games played.

The Flyers have lost three shootouts in their last six games (2-1-3)  and now find themselves three points and three wins behind the Pittsburgh Penguins for the Atlantic Division lead with one game in hand.

Here is video of that almost-goal as part of the highlights package. Jump to around the 4:20 mark of this video to see just how close it really was.

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Stars end Capitals’ winning streak, pass Blackhawks for West lead

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For two periods, the Dallas Stars seemed to say, “Are you sure the Washington Capitals are the best team in the NHL?”

They chased Braden Holtby and built a 4-0 lead through those first 40 minutes, and that was enough … but barely. The Stars beat the Capitals 4-3 on Saturday, which accomplished the following:

  • Dallas ended Washington’s winning streak at five games. The Stars have now won three straight.
  • This win slides the Stars ahead of the Chicago Blackhawks for first place in the highly competitive Central Division. While both teams sit at 77 standings points, Dallas holds three games in hand.
  • By passing Chicago, the Stars now lead the Western Conference as a whole.

Impressive stuff. Some might even call it a statement game, although others may hold that nail-biting ending against them (possibly arguing that the Stars’ flaws may come back to haunt them in the playoffs).

Dallas’ biggest concern likely has little to do with doubters. Instead, they must monitor the statuses of forwards Tyler Seguin and Cody Eakin.

Long story short, the Stars are red-hot, yet bigger challenges likely lie ahead.

Blackhawks fall to Ducks in OT, lose Hossa to injury

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The Chicago Blackhawks are on edge on Saturday, and it’s not because of what’s currently a close game against the Anaheim Ducks.

(Not that they’re indifferent toward a match against their opponents from last year’s conference final match, mind you.)

Instead, the Blackhawks are quite concerned about the health of Marian Hossa, who needed help off of the ice following an awkward, scary-looking crash into the boards. (Hampus Lindholm delivered the hip check that sent Hossa sprawling, in case you’re wondering.)

You can see that moment in the video above, while My Regular Face’s GIF also captures that troubling moment:

It’s too early to tell if Hossa will bounce back or miss some time from this. Stay tuned for potential updates.

Update: Joel Quenneville seems optimistic about Hossa, broadly speaking:

Ryan Getzlaf scored the overtime game-winner as the Ducks won 3-2 (OT).

Understatement: Saturday was a rough night for Panthers

Nashville Predators center Colin Wilson (33) checks Florida Panthers center Jonathan Huberdeau (11) during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Sunrise, Fla. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
AP
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If it weren’t for Mike Yeo and the Minnesota Wild, you could argue that the Florida Panthers suffered from the worst night so far.

You can see that Saturday was unpleasant merely from looking at the scoreboard: the Nashville Predators pummeled the Panthers by an unkind score of 5-0.

The pain goes beyond that … literally so.

For one thing, Quinton Howden suffered an upper-body injury and did not return. That’s no good, but if you want to feel sick to your stomach, footage of Brandon Pirri‘s likely lower-body injury (ankle maybe?) may do the trick.

(Seriously, you may be happier if you don’t look.)

The Panthers didn’t make an announcement about Pirri one way or another, so we’ll see if he somehow avoided anything significant.

Either way, it was a night this team would like to forget.

Fractured jaw from fight sidelines Chris Stewart for 4-8 weeks

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It’s unlikely that Chris Stewart will generate another 30-goal season in the NHL, but he still might be missed by the Anaheim Ducks.

The team announced that the ornery forward is expected to miss four-to-eight weeks with a fractured jaw. If that’s the recovery window, Stewart may go into the playoffs a little rusty (if he can get in any regular season games at all).

The Ducks didn’t elaborate, but the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline believes that the injury happened during a fight with Dalton Prout of the Columbus Blue Jackets. You can see that brawl in the video above.

One bright side for Anaheim: if they believe that they need to replace what Stewart brings to the table (rugged play with a dash of offense), then at least this injury happened before the the Feb. 29 trade deadline.