(For a recap of tonight’s other game – Philadelphia ending Pittsburgh’s winning streak, but not Sidney Crosby’s points streak – click here.)
Tonight we had an Eastern Conference confrontation between the two best teams in the Atlantic Division (or conference/league, depending to ask) and a game that wouldn’t mean much except it’s between two Canadian teams.
Toronto 4, Edmonton 1
Both Kris Versteeg and Phil Kessel scored one goal and one assist in the game. Dion Phaneuf and Mikhail Grabovski also scored for the Toronto Maple Leafs, while Oilers rookie Taylor Hall scored for Edmonton.
Jean-Sebastien Giguere stopped 23 out of 24 shots in this game, while Nikolai Khabibulin couldn’t stop the Leafs (allowing four goals on 34 shots).
Interestingly enough, the Leafs are now one point (28) ahead of the Oilers (27) after 30 games. Toronto is tied for 10th in the East while Edmonton finds themselves last in the West again.
Mike Babcock’s reign with the Detroit Red Wings ended in another first-round defeat, yet it may be lost in time just how close that series was.
Yes, the Tampa Bay Lightning shut down the Red Wings to win Game 7 at home, but Ben Bishop deserves a ton of the credit. The Red Wings snagged the puck for much of the contest, just not enough to beat the big goalie.
While change is in the air in Detroit, the Bolts are largely the same squad that generated a nice showing in the 2015 Stanley Cup Final. We’ll get to see if the Red Wings gain a measure of revenge on NBCSN tonight, with home-ice advantage this time around.
Damon Severson was a healthy scratch on Saturday.
It’s the last game he wants to miss this season.
“I had a good chat with a few people and just pretty much said, ‘I want to be in the next 80 games,’” Severson said, per The Record. “I sat out my game and that’s all I want to be out for for the year.”
Severson is one of the Devils’ most important young players. But this is also the 21-year-old defenseman’s sophomore season, and that’s when slumps can occur.
Hence, the early message he was sent by the coaching staff.
Severson is expected to be back in the lineup tonight when New Jersey hosts Nashville.
“He doesn’t have to be perfect,” coach John Hynes told reporters. “We’d just like to see him have a high compete level. We know he’s ready to go. We had a couple of good meetings with him. He’s in a good spot mentally. I know he’s ready to roll.”