The Penguins needed a big performance this afternoon and they got a few of them. Jordan Staal had a goal and an assist while Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 44 shots, including 20 in the third period to give the Penguins a 3-2 win over the Bruins.
Much like their game on Monday in Pittsburgh, the Pens jumped out to a 2-0 lead thanks to goals from Chris Kunitz and Pascal Dupuis. The Bruins bounced their way back into the game in the second period scoring goals 13 seconds apart from Dennis Seidenberg and Michael Ryder. Suddenly the Penguins were having flashbacks to their third period meltdown against Boston on Monday where the Pens blew a 2-0 lead with less than five minutes to play and lost 4-2. Fleury made sure those worries were allayed on this day.
With the teams knotted at two going to the third, Jordan Staal’s hard-working goal early in the period got the Penguins the lead once again. The goal seemed to inspire the Bruins into playing even harder than they were and the Pens spent essentially the final five or six minutes in their own end fighting off Boston’s attack. Fleury was cool and collected and didn’t give up anything else the rest of the way while Staal outworked the Bruins centers on faceoffs. Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask stopped 33 shots in the loss.
The loss for Boston snapped the Bruins three game win streak and for Pittsburgh earned them a bit of redemption after their failure to close things out on Monday. The Bruins did get a scare late in the game as concussion-addled star center Marc Savard was crunched into the boards after a big, solid hit from Deryk Engelland. Savard was down momentarily and went to the bench looking dazed. It’ll be worth watching to see how he responds after the fact.
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.)
Video isn’t yet available, but My Regular Face’s GIF 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.
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.
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.
As many expected, the Minnesota Wild will make John Torchetti their interim head coach, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s Michael Russo.
(He’s not the only one to report as much, as TSN’s Bob McKenzie also stated that he’s likely to take the job.)
The team itself hasn’t made an official announcement about Torchetti, and the reasoning is probably simple enough: he’s coaching their AHL affiliate the Iowa Wild on Saturday night.
Torchetti is no stranger to the NHL, although he’ll probably be frustrated if this opportunity doesn’t turn into a full-time gig. He was also an interim head coach for the Los Angeles Kings and Florida Panthers.
As of this writing, the Wild are in a three-way tie for the first spot outside of the West’s wild card mix, although they could sink a bit depending upon how Arizona and Vancouver handle the one game they have in hand on the Wild.
More importantly, Minnesota’s currently three points behind Nashville for the final wild card spot.
That’s not an impossible goal for Torchetti. For whatever it’s worth, Sports Club Stats gives Minnesota a 34.7 percent chance to make the playoffs.
(Note: photo via the Iowa Wild.)