Montreal Canadiens v Philadelphia Flyers

Riding the Zamboni – Tuesday, January 25th

For a recap of the Leafs-Lightning game – including Dion Phaneuf’s hit on Dana Tyrell – click here.

Anaheim 3, Columbus 2

The Ducks head into the All-Star break having won seven of their last nine and 10 out of 13 games, while Jonas Hiller earned his league-leading 25th win. This game marked Teemu Selanne’s 100th career game winning goal and Jason Blake’s 200th career goal.

Pittsburgh 1, NY Islanders 0

The Penguins might not have Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin right now, but they still have a red-hot Marc-Andre Fleury in net. Fleury stopped all 29 Islanders shots to earn a 1-0 win, as Craig Adams scored the game’s only goal. Kevin Poulin stopped all but one of Pittsburgh’s 31 shots in this one.

Florida 4, NY Rangers 3

Mike Weaver scored a game winning goal on the Panthers’ only shot in the third period, breaking Florida’s four game losing streak in the process. They almost blew a 3-1 lead but managed to squeak by thanks to Weaver’s goal.

Buffalo 3, Ottawa 2 (OT)

While the Senators’ playoff hopes are almost dead at six losses in a row, the Sabres are only four points out of the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference with two less games played than the Thrashers. Shoane Morrisonn scored the overtime game winner for Buffalo.

Philadelphia 5, Montreal 2

The Flyers will go into the weekend as the top team in the NHL thanks to the 1,000th home win in their franchise history. They scored two power-play goals in the first period to give themselves a nice lead and never really let the Habs get in the game. Chris Pronger provided four assists while Danny Briere scored a goal and an assist.

Minnesota 4, Chicago 2

The Wild continue to be tough on the road, as they earned their 14th away win – one less than they earned all of last season. Of course, when you have a goalie playing as well as Niklas Backstrom (31 saves) has, maybe it shouldn’t be so surprising.

Edmonton 4, Phoenix 3

It looked like this game would go into charity point mode (er, overtime), but Dustin Penner spoiled the Coyotes’ chances by winning it with 21 seconds left in the third period instead.

Latest way the Wild lost? Killed by penalty kill

Minnesota Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk sits on the ice after giving up a goal to St. Louis Blues' Jori Lehtera, of Finland, during the second period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
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It’s said that variety is the spice of life, yet it seems to be the spite of the Minnesota Wild.

As head coach Mike Yeo said, this struggling team appears to find a new way to lose virtually every night. That couldn’t have happened once again on Saturday, when they fell 4-1 to the St. Louis Blues, could it?

Actually …

If you ask Jarret Stoll, the latest problem was the penalty kill.

Honestly, Stoll may have been too specific, likely trying to throw his own unit under the bus. Instead, it might be more accurate to say that Minnesota’s special teams let them down.

Indeed, the Wild struggled to limit the Blues’ power play, which went an unsettling 3-for-6. That said, Minnesota had a chance to trade blows with St. Louis. Instead, the Wild managed one power-play goal on seven opportunities.

The silver lining is that the Wild believe that they showed more fight than this fragile bunch had been generating before.

On the other hand, with Jonas Brodin on IR and Jared Spurgeon apparently hurt, that silver lining may not be so easy to see.

Statement in Blackhawks’ blowout of Stars? Coach Q says they’re even

Chicago Blackhawks center Artem Anisimov (15) scores a goal against Dallas Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen (32) during the second period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016, in Dallas. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
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Worry (if you’re pulling for the Stars) or gloat (if you’re a Blackhawks fan) all you want, but the bottom line is that the Central Division’s No.1 spot is clearly in Chicago’s control after Saturday night.

The Blackhawks earned a decisive 5-1 win against the Dallas Stars, giving them a five-point standings lead over Dallas for the Central Division lead.

You may feel like that’s more of the same, but consider this: things would look a lot closer if Dallas won or gained points, as they hold three games in hand on the ‘Hawks.

At least one Blackhawks player admits this game means a little more than your average W.

Indeed, while Antti Niemi was pulled from the game and Kari Lehtonen faced his own struggles in Dallas’ net, Corey Crawford ranked as one of the big reasons why the score was so lopsided.

(Artem Anisimov had a big say in that, too.)

As a wise coach with 1,000+ games of experience would do, Joel Quenneville didn’t go overboard in assessing the victory.

Was this a statement game? Who knows, but a certain statement is that the Blackhawks now have a five-point standings lead.

Brad Marchand wins it … on a penalty shot … in overtime

Boston Bruins' Brad Marchand celebrates after scoring on a penalty shot during the overtime period of the Boston Bruins 2-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres in an NHL hockey game in Boston Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
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Looking at the standings, beating the Buffalo Sabres was pretty important for the Boston Bruins. The Atlantic Division’s run for spots appears particularly congested out East.

Of all the Bruins to get a chance to win it all, the team might have wanted Brad Marchand to have that opportunity. He’s on pace to destroy his previous career-highs for scoring, and Marchand’s been particularly hot lately.

Either way, Marchand came up big indeed, scoring the rare overtime game-winner on a penalty shot. Check out the drama below:

That can be a big extra point and ROW (regulation/overtime win) when the regular season is finished.

Note: Many believe that Marchand should not have received a penalty shot on the play.

Crosby kills the Cats: Penguins end Panthers’ winning streak

Pittsburgh Penguins' Sidney Crosby (87) collides with Florida Panthers' Connor Brickley (86) during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Pittsburgh, Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
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For quite some time, it looked like the Florida Panthers would keep the Pittsburgh Penguins under wraps.

Florida nursed a 1-0 lead into a 2-0 margin almost halfway through the third period, looking to win its sixth consecutive game. That looked great … and then Sidney Crosby + Kris Letang happened.

Let’s put it this way: this GIF of Crosby being frustrated is amusing, yet it doesn’t exactly tell the story of Saturday’s 3-2 overtime win for the Penguins:

Instead, Crosby grabbed his 900th point assisting on a Letang goal, and finished the night with 902 by collecting the game-tying goal and grabbing a helper on Letang’s overtime game-winner.

Crosby crossing that barrier is indeed special, even if it prompts “What if?” questions about No. 87’s health.

The resurgence of Crosby and Letang already played a big role in the Penguins going from disjointed and frustrating to sneaky and scary, so it  shouldn’t be that surprising to see them play so well. Doing so in such brisk order is a little bewildering, however.