Bobby Ryan

Riding the Zamboni – Wednesday, January 12th

Anaheim 7 – St. Louis 4

Bobby Ryan showed up in a big way for the streaking Ducks. Ryan got his second hat trick of the season and added an assist keying the Ducks to a blowout win over St. Louis. Jonas Hiller saw his shutout streak snapped at 178:34 in the second period when David Backes scored at 3:44. He added another goal just a couple minutes later to cut the Ducks lead to 3-2, but in the third Anaheim blew up big.

The Ducks would score four straight in the third with goals by Ryan, Corey Perry, Lubomir Visnovsky, and Brandon McMillan to pull ahead 7-2. The Blues would score a pair late, but the damage was done. Hiller stopped 30 shots on the night while Ty Conklin was only able to stop 17 in the loss. Things would get ugly in the third period as multiple fights broke out as the Blues vented their frustration at getting beaten so badly. Four different fights would break out in the final period as the teams brought back some flavor from the 80’s with a high-scoring game and a brouhaha in the third. Somewhere, Tony Twist is smiling.

Chicago 4 – Colorado 0

Corey Crawford is quickly becoming the story of the season for Chicago. The suddenly starting goalie earned his second straight shutout in helping the Blackhawks finally beat the Avalanche in their final meeting of the season. The Hawks got 24 saves out of Crawford and goals from four unlikely sources in Troy Brouwer, Dave Bolland, Fernando Pisani, and Jack Skille to pace the offense. Peter Budaj made 27 saves in the loss as the Avs, once again, couldn’t tighten up the defense to keep their opponent off the board. It was a rare night for Colorado in that they didn’t score a goal of their own as the Avs have one of the top offenses in the NHL.

Pittsburgh 5 – Montreal 2

A confidence-boosting win for Pittsburgh who, until tonight, hadn’t won without Sidney Crosby in the lineup. Getting a win over the team they just lost to last week and lost to in the playoffs makes it especially sweeter. Alex Goligoski had two goals and an assist, Jordan Staal had a goal and two assists, and Kris Letang had three helpers in leading the way for Pittsburgh. Marc-Andre Fleury got the last laugh on Carey Price stopping 20 shots in the win and striking a payback pose mocking Price who did so similarly after winning in the shootout over Pittsburgh last week. Price, for his efforts, stopped 31 shots in the loss.

Tampa Bay 3 – Washington 0

Dwayne Roloson stopped 23 shots in shutting out a mostly uninterested looking Caps team and taking sole possession of first place in the Southeast Division. Roloson’s shutout over the Caps, his second in nine days with the Lightning, will have the Caps looking at him as their supreme divisonal nemesis the rest of the way.

Dominic Moore, Sean Bergenheim, and Simon Gagne each had goals for Tampa Bay. For Gagne, it was his fourth of the season and a slump-buster as he hadn’t scored in his last 11 games. If Gagne can get his offensive game going, the Lightning are really going to start looking good. Semyon Varlamov stopped 35 shots in the loss for Washington, a solid effort but he’s got to get tired of seeing his high-powered offense not showing up consistently.

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)
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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.