Vancouver Canucks v Phoenix Coyotes

Riding the Zamboni – Wednesday, February 2nd

For a recap of the Pittsburgh Penguins’ 3-0 win over the New York Islanders and video of Brent Johnson’s one-punch knockout of Rick DiPietro, click here. Here are recaps of the other five games.

Detroit 7, Ottawa 5

Johan Franzen scored as many goals as the Senators in this one, as he collected a career-best five in this one. Henrik Zetterberg was a big part of his Swedish teammate’s night, earning the primary assist on three of those goals. The Senators did their fair share of scoring too, as Milan Michalek lead the way for Ottawa with two goals.

Jimmy Howard didn’t have a great night, but at least he made it through the whole game. The same cannot be said for Robin Lehner, who eventually was pulled for Brian Elliott.

Montreal 3, Florida 2

There was a while there when it looked like the Habs might fall out of the playoff picture, but they are now a solid 9-2-3 in their last 14 games. Meanwhile the Panthers are watching their playoff hopes fade as they’ve lost both of their games coming out of the all-star break.

Los Angeles 3, Edmonton 1

The Kings are now 1-0-1 in the first two games of what could be a make-or-break 10 game road run. They won’t play again until Saturday, so winning this game should improve their spirits considerably.

Magnus Paajarvi scored the opening goal, but the Kings scored three unanswered tallies, with Ryan Smyth tying and then winning it while Jack Johnson earned an insurance marker. Ales Hemsky failed to score a point in his return, but played a little more than 20 minutes.

Vancouver 6, Phoenix 0

The Canucks earned their fourth win a row, putting them four points ahead of the Flyers for the top spot in the NHL. While Vancouver is prospering, the Coyotes are watching what looked like a semi-comfortable playoff spot after losing two games in a row in two very different ways.

Roberto Luongo earned a shutout with 23 saves while Ryan Kesler scored two goals and four other Canucks filled the net.

San Jose 4, Anaheim 3

While the Canucks pounded the Coyotes, the Sharks earned a come from behind victory against Phoenix last night. They nearly allowed a similar thing to happen to them tonight, as they almost coughed up a 3-0 lead to the Ducks but held on for their second win a row. To underscore the constant upheaval in the West, San Jose is now in fifth place.

Video: Tempers flare between Oilers and Predators, as Lucic and McLeod drop the gloves

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Things got feisty between the Edmonton Oilers and Nashville Predators on Friday.

It started in the second period after P.K. Subban took an elbow from Matt Hendricks along the end boards. Hendricks was immediately grabbed by Anthony Bitetto. Nothing really materialized from that, however the main event broke out between Milan Lucic and Nashville newcomer Cody McLeod.

Lucic landed some pretty heavy punches before the two players fell to the ice.

Video: Cam Ward loses it on Hornqvist, Hurricanes suffer ’embarrassing’ loss to Penguins

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Cam Ward had enough.

The Carolina Hurricanes goalie seemed particularly ticked off with Patric Hornqvist on Friday, twice taking out his frustrations in front of the net on the Pittsburgh Penguins forward.

Earlier in the game, Ward delivered a slash to the back of Hornqvist’s leg. In the third period, with the Hurricanes down five goals — that should give you an indication of what kind of night this was for Carolina — Ward snapped, delivering a punch with the blocker to Hornqvist after he slid into the Hurricanes puck stopper a split second after Evgeni Malkin jammed the puck in for a goal.

The final score? A 7-1 disaster of a loss to the Penguins, highlighted by Pittsburgh’s second-period offensive outburst. Ward played the entire game, allowing seven goals on 41 shots.

Carolina’s night also included star forward Jeff Skinner getting benched for the third period, after he took a pair of minor penalties — embellishment and unsportsmanlike conduct — in the second period.

“That’s pretty embarrassing. You don’t want to suffer a loss like that, especially in your home building,” Skinner told reporters.

The Hurricanes entered this game with a chance to jump into a wild card spot in the East.

Last week, the Hurricanes won four in a row, including a victory over Columbus, and continued their steady rise into the playoff hunt in the East. This week? It’s included losses to the Blue Jackets and Penguins.

The Hurricanes won’t have much time to think about this one. They travel to Columbus for a game Saturday evening.

With Claude Julien on the hot seat, Bruins lose late heartbreaker to Blackhawks

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The Boston Bruins have now lost three in a row, a losing streak that coincides with reports circulating that head coach Claude Julien’s job security is in jeopardy.

The bad news just keeps piling up for the Bruins: They’ve been shut out twice this week, as scoring continues to be an issue in Boston. They’re 22nd in the league in that category.

On Friday, the Bruins had their chances and once again held the edge in puck possession against the Chicago Blackhawks, finishing the game with 19 more shot attempts then the visitors, per hockeystats.ca.

But they couldn’t beat Scott Darling, who made 30 saves, and the real dagger came late in the third period when Marian Hossa scored off the rush with just over one minute remaining in regulation. Boston couldn’t even salvage a point out of this contest, losing 1-0.

The Bruins were all over the Blackhawks in the first period. They held a wide edge in shots on goal, but the Blackhawks were able to escape on the strength of some solid goaltending. They just hung around, and were able to break through in the third period.

The Bruins are still in a playoff position in the Atlantic Division. They are the top puck possession team in the league (although they have the second lowest shooting percentage at five-on-five) and Julien has had plenty of success behind that bench, helping guide the organization to a Stanley Cup championship in 2011 and a run to the Final in the lockout shortened campaign.

It would seem unfair to pin this roster’s shortcomings on the coach, especially given the offseason plans initially set out by Bruins management.

Though this loss likely puts Claude Julien Watch on high alert.

Sabres’ McCabe suffers shoulder injury, will not return versus Red Wings

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The Buffalo Sabres will be down a defenseman for the remainder of Friday’s game against the Detroit Red Wings.

Jake McCabe has left the game due to a shoulder injury suffered during the first period and will not return, the club stated during the second period.

Signed to a three-year, $4.8 million contract extension last summer, the 23-year-old McCabe has one goal and 10 points in 44 games this season for Buffalo

More recently, McCabe drew the immediate ire of the Winnipeg Jets after he delivered an open-ice hit on rookie Patrik Laine, who suffered a concussion on the play.