Los Angeles 2 – Boston 0
It was a battle between goalies that have been doing everything they can to keep their teams in games and they both showed why they’re good at what they do. It’d be Jon Quick getting the W tonight though stopping all 34 shots he faced in earning his fifth shutout of the year in a 2-0 win over Boston. Tim Thomas also played spectacularly stopping 32 shots. Only Ryan Smyth’s power play goal and Andrei Loktionov’s second goal of the season eluded Thomas as the Kings won their second straight game. For Boston, despite all the shots it wasn’t a very cohesive game and they were lacking a little something. They’ll have to hope that it’s not a sign of things to come as they’ll be without Marc Savard for an indefinite amount of time with a concussion.
Colorado 4 – St. Louis 3
It wasn’t their best effort but it was a win nonetheless and the hero of the game is a guy who was a healthy scratch on and off for the last couple weeks. Brandon Yip scored twice for Colorado as they were able to hold off a late rally by St. Louis to get the win. Kevin Shattenkirk’s power play goal in the third broke a 2-2 tie while Ryan Stoa’s goal 44 seconds later provided the game winner. David Backes would score with under two minutes to play to cut the lead and Peter Budaj would make a tremendous stop in the waning seconds to keep the Blues from tying it. Budaj finished the game with 21 saves to get the win. Jaroslav Halak stopped 28 shots in the loss.
NY Rangers 2 – Washington 1 (F/SO)
Calgary 3 – Nashville 1
Very quietly the Calgary Flames are getting themselves back into the playoff picture in the West. Their win over Nashville tonight was their third straight win and gives them 52 points on the season, four back of Colorado and Chicago for seventh and eighth in the conference. Curtis Glencross, Jarome Iginla, and Brendan Morrison each had a goal while Matthew Stajan and Alex Tanguay had two assists each to keep Calgary rolling. Miikka Kiprusoff was solid stopping 23 shots giving up only a goal to David Legwand. The Predators fail to gain more ground on Central leading Detroit with the loss. Pekka Rinne stopped 24 shots in a losing effort.
Vancouver 7 – Dallas 1
Carolina 6 – Toronto 4
A wild game in Raleigh helps set the tone for the upcoming All-Star Game by seeing guys who definitely aren’t considered as much taking center stage. Brandon Sutter scored two goals to lead the Hurricanes to victory while Tim Brent scored two of his own including a stunning shot-fake deke of Cam Ward while shorthanded to give the Leafs hope early on. Brent finished the game with three points. Meanwhile, Jean-Sebastien Giguere was mediocre for Toronto stopping just 21 shots in the loss. The win pulled Carolina to within one point of Atlanta for the eighth spot in the East. The East doesn’t quite have the mass hysteria in the mix for the playoffs, but things might play out very fun with a sense of elimination if nine or ten teams are actual playoff threats.
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.
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).
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.