Three of tonight’s six games have already come to an end, so let’s take an early ride on the recap Zamboni.
Detroit 4, Montreal 2
After losing two straight games at home, you had to think that the Red Wings would bring a focused (and angry) effort into this one against the Canadiens. They did just that, as Detroit answered an early Travis Moen score by rattling off three unanswered goals (Nicklas Lidstrom, Niklas Kronwall and Pavel Datsyuk) to take a 3-1 lead into the third period. Benoit Pouliot made it interesting with a goal in the final frame, but a Patrick Eaves empty-netter sealed the deal for the Red Wings.
Both goalies were solid-to-great in this one, with Jimmy Howard stopping 36 out of 38 while Carey Price made 28 out of 31 saves. Howard (15 wins) now only trails Price (16) by one win for the league lead.
Ottawa 3, New Jersey 2
It’s still kind of difficult to believe it, but the Devils have become the team that you just need to win or you’ll feel like you left crucial standings points on the board. It’s even that much harder to believe that the same holds true when they start Martin Brodeur, as the future Hall of Fame goalie is now 4-11-1 this season after allowing three goals on 29 shots in this one.
The Devils scored both of their goals against Pascal Leclaire on the power play, but the Senators beat them 3-0 at even strength to improve their home record to .500 (8-8-1).
Colorado 4, Atlanta 2
It’s been a tough tour through the Southeast Division for the Avalanche lately, as they previous lost to Atlanta at home and Carolina, Tampa Bay and Florida on the road in an unfamiliar road trip. They finally beat some unfamiliar foes tonight, as they took down the Thrashers in Atlanta 4-2.
This Avalanche win ended a five-game road losing streak for Colorado as well as a six-game home winning streak for Atlanta. Craig Anderson was able to nurse a 3-2 lead against fellow previously banged up goalie Ondrej Pavelec before Paul Stastny put it out of reach with an empty net goal.
Sometimes an angry Evgeni Malkin means a stray power play or two for his opponents, but it’s usually not the best idea to make him angry.
Giving a player that big and talented extra motivation just seems like a bad idea, right?
Joel Ward experienced that phenomenon on Tuesday, as Malkin responded to a blow from Ward with the goal you can see above.
This continues a red-hot streak for Malkin. Tonight’s goal and assist (and counting?) stretches his scoring streak to four games, each with at least one goal.
Malkin came into Tuesday with 10 points in his last six games as well, so … yeah, no. 71 is feeling it right now.
You know what they say: “What a difference a game makes.”
Even in the 82-game marathon that an NHL regular season is, that can be true.
Ryan Suter admitted he went too far with comments during tough times, yet there he was on Tuesday night, grinning ear-to-ear after scoring the 2-1 goal that ended up being the game-winner.
Heck, people were even joking about things. The healing powers of winning, right?
As of this writing, this win places Minnesota in the last wild card spot, and they’re close to elbowing in on the Chicago Blackhawks (who own a standings point advantage, but have played two more games so far in 2015-16).
Jeremy Roenick labels this 2-1 win as a “team win” for Minnesota, and it showed on that 2-1 goal, as the Wild showed off some picture-perfect passing and a willingness to crash the net for rebounds.
Let’s face it, though; Devan Dubnyk deserves plenty of credit, too.
It won’t be easy in the Central Division, and things may get heated again. Still, this is the sort of win that may just help Minnesota build up some confidence.
When you’re talking about bright sides, most people believe that they boil down to the light at the end of the tunnel for the Philadelphia Flyers.
Sometimes it’s nice to enjoy a little success in the present while waiting for that bright future, though.
The Flyers are providing at least a burst of sunshine lately, as Tuesday’s 4-2 win against the Ottawa Senators gives them … (drum roll) their first three-game winning streak of this season.
Even in recent darker moments, Philly’s been pretty impressive on offense, so Flyers fans are likely relieved to see a relative offensive outburst.
Sure, it wasn’t all rainbows and unicorns – Radko Gudas might have gotten himself into some trouble, for instance – yet this is still a nice sign of life for a team expected to finish in the draft lottery.
If that fails … hey, the future may require shades.
Here’s an understatement: things haven’t gone very well for Dougie Hamilton early in his first season with the Calgary Flames.
(It must feel like the opposite of Tyler Seguin in Dallas for Boston Bruins fans, but feel free to disagree in the comments.)
You could look at Hamilton’s meager offensive stats and break down his disappointing work through a very of “fancy” and traditional metrics …
… Or you could just fire up a projector and show this own-goal on a loop.
Update: Did Hamilton picture all the negative headlines and harness that energy for a greater good? He scored the game-tying goal as Calgary upset Dallas 4-3 via a shootout.