Perhaps it makes some sense that the Dallas Stars’ franchise record eight game winning streak ended on a night in which Jarome Iginla – a player who ended up being a very important part of the team’s history – made a little history of his own.
The former Stars draft pick (who was traded to the Flames in a mutually beneficial swap in which Dallas acquired key Stanley Cup run fixture Joe Nieuwendyk) reached the 20 goal plateau for the 12th season in a row as Calgary manhandled Dallas 7-4 tonight.
Iginla also earned an assist on a high-scoring night for both squads. David Moss scored two goals and one assist, while Iginla, Olli Jokinen, Brendan Morrison and Alex Tanguay produced one goal and one assist nights for the Flames. Mike Ribeiro was arguably the best Star on the ice, notching three assists.
Neither goalie will want to remember this game, as Henrik Karlsson made 17 out of 21 saves while Andrew Raycroft allowed seven goals on only 19 shots.
This was the Stars’ first regulation loss of 2011, as they are 7-1-1 in the month of January. Their Pacific Division lead is still safe, as Dallas has a six point and five win lead over their nearest divisional rival, the Phoenix Coyotes. (Some teams in the Pacific might not need as many wins to tie the Stars, but would need more points than the Coyotes.)
The Flames are still on the outside of the playoff picture, although they’re starting to inch their way closer to contention. They trail the current seventh seed Chicago Blackhawks and current eight seed Colorado Avalanche by six points right now. That’s far from an insurmountable distance, but Calgary will need to keep plugging along if they hope to make up that space.
Raanta rewards Rangers for starts over Lundqvist by blanking Blackhawks
If someone told you that the New York Rangers started a goalie on back-to-back nights, and that goalie wasn’t Henrik Lundqvist, you’d probably wonder if he was hurt or retired.
Nope. It just so happens that Antti Raanta is playing at an incredibly high level, Alain Vigneault noticed, and that decision paid dividends on Friday night. Raanta won both nights of a back-to-back, allowing a single goal (with the Rangers protecting him, being that he only needed to stop 43 of 44 shots during that span).
Raanta and the Rangers blanked the Chicago Blackhawks with a 1-0 overtime win, at least briefly climbing to first place in the massively competitive Metro Division:
1. Rangers – 39 points in 29 games played
2. Penguins- 37 points in 27 GP
3. Blue Jackets – 36 points in 25 GP
4. Capitals – 35 points in 26 GP
5. Flyers – 35 points in 29 GP
Nick Holden ended up scoring the only goal of the game:
Meanwhile, the Blackhawks lost but at least salvaged a standings point and it seems like Patrick Kane is OK after this injury scare:
Raanta improved to 7-1-0 on the season, allowing two goals or less in all but one of his appearances so far this season. That’s the kind of work you’d expect to see if you’re going sit a guy who’s, you know, a living legend.
Blue Jackets remain in thick of things in Metro on tough night for Red Wings
As the Columbus Blue Jackets keep rolling, the Detroit Red Wings are probably just happy to get Friday behind them.
For the second straight game, the Blue Jackets beat their opponent 4-1.
They’re now on a five-game winning streak, and like the climbing St. Louis Blues, things look great if you go back a little further. They’re 10-1-2 in their last 13 games and 13-2-3 since November began.
The New Jersey Devils have been incredibly difficult to beat at home. Lately, the St. Louis Blues have been on a roll just about anywhere.
On Friday night, the Blues were the hotter team, handing the Devils their first home loss in regulation in 2016-17. And it wasn’t particularly close, with St. Louis winning 4-1.
It’s a convenient time to note that the Blues rank among the hottest teams in the NHL. Most recently, they’re 5-1-1 in their last seven games, but they’ve been especially impressive since they flirted with .500 at 7-6-3. Beginning with a 4-1 win against the Buffalo Sabres on Nov. 15, the Blues are on a 8-2-1 tear.
This leaves them second in the Central with a 16-8-4 record.
That’s impressive stuff.
This 4-1 win was quite the showcase for Robby Fabbri and Vladimir Tarasenko, in particular. Tarasenko collected three assists while Fabbri scored two goals on Friday night. His second goal was particularly slick:
The Blues are right in saying that this was a pretty fitting opportunity to drop a “Holy Jumpin.”
Minnesota Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk has been the most difficult goalies to score against this season. Leave it to a high-level player like Leon Draisaitl to make it look this, well, “easy.”
Draisaitl scored his 13th goal of 2016-17 by capping this pretty give-and-go play with Benoit Pouliot. You can see the frustration from Dubnyk at the end of the tally, as if he was saying “How was I supposed to stop that?” (though probably with more colorful language).
Draisaitl came into Friday with five goals and three assists in his last five games, so he’s been almost unstoppable lately.