Rod Brind'Amour

Riding the Zamboni – Friday, February 18th

For a recap of the Devils’ 1-0 win over the Rangers, click here. Let’s summarize the other six games now, shall we?

Detroit 4, Florida 3

Todd Bertuzzi has been a thorn in Florida’s side, whether he was with them (for a blink) or against them. The aging forward scored the first and final goal against his former team as the Red Wings outlasted the perennially bubble bound Panthers. Pavel Datsyuk provided a one goal, one assist game for the Wings while Stephen Weiss did the same for the Panthers.

Boston 4, Ottawa 2

Both the Bruins and Senators look different after making deadline deals, yet the result wasn’t very different. Tomas Kaberle and Chris Kelly suited up for Boston, but it was Brad Marchand (two goals), David Krejci (two assists) and Tuukka Rask (32 saves) who made the biggest impact in the team’s win.

St. Louis 3, Buffalo

It seemed like all the pieces were in place for a Sabres win. The Blues aren’t very good on the road and haven’t been very effective in general lately. They went into the game without their big money goalie Jaroslav Halak. St. Louis also shipped off their captain Eric Brewer, which might not be a white flag but couldn’t be a great sign of confidence either. Yet Ty Conklin shut out the Sabres and TJ Oshie scored a goal and an assist to keep their faint playoff hopes alive while leaving Buffalo’s dimmer.

Carolina 3, Philadelphia 2

The Hurricanes and Flyers must have made Rod Brind’Amour proud on a night in which the two teams honored him while Carolina retired his No. 17 jersey. It was an intense, exciting game that featured some great goaltending and yet another game winning goal by human GWG-generator Erik Cole. It’s hard to argue with the allure of this possible first round top vs. bottom seed series.

Minnesota 5, Anaheim 1

It’s too early to tell how long Mikko Koivu might be out of the Wild lineup, but for at least one night, they looked OK without him. (OK, for at least two+ periods.) Koivu actually scored the tying goal before injuring his hand blocking a shot, but Kyle Brodziak ended up being the star of the game with one goal and two assists. Niklas Backstrom showed why he’s the team’s other player of the future/big moneymaker, stopping 29 out of 30 shots for his 19th win of the season.

Columbus 4, Chicago 3

The Blue Jackets rode a three-goal outburst during a six minute span of the second period to outlast the Blackhawks, thus tying the two teams at 10th place with identical 29-23-6 records (for 64 points). While Chicago struggles as an up-and-down team, Columbus is hot, going 6-1-1 thanks in some part to a great run of games by their best player Rick Nash. The Hawks lost despite a two-goal, one assist performance by Patrick Sharp and two point outputs by Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane.

Penguins thump the Ducks as Crosby’s hot streak continues

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In a meeting between two clubs enjoying hot streaks and their own subsequent climbs through the standings, the Pittsburgh Penguins bested the Anaheim Ducks courtesy another dominant Sidney Crosby performance on Monday.

After that slow start, Crosby has put together a growing number of dominant performances of late.

The latest, a four-point night, helped the Penguins to a 6-2 final over the Ducks, stopping Anaheim’s winning streak at six games.

— He extended his scoring streak to a career best seven games, and did so with two beauty goals versus the Ducks.

— From Dec. 18 to Feb. 8, he’s appeared in 21 games. In that span, he’s recorded 34 points.

— Crosby is now into the top five among NHL players in points, with 53 in 51 games this season.

He wasn’t the only Pittsburgh player to have a big night. Keep in mind, Evgeni Malkin wasn’t even in the lineup due to a lower-body injury.

Ten different Penguins players recorded points. In addition to Crosby, Chris Kunitz and Kris Letang had multi-point efforts, and four players — Kunitz, Crosby, Olli Maatta and Patric Hornqvist — were plus-four.

The Penguins now move into third in the Metropolitan Division, while the New York Islanders slip into the first Wild Card spot in the East. Pittsburgh’s lead over the Islanders, however, is only one point.

The Islanders also have a game in hand.

Panthers’ Barkov (upper-body injury) leaves game versus Red Wings

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The Florida Panthers will be without Aleksander Barkov for the remainder of their game versus the Detroit Red Wings on Monday.

As per multiple reports, Barkov will not return due to an upper-body injury suffered after a hit from Justin Abdelkader early in the second period.

Abdelkader wasn’t given a penalty on the play. Barkov didn’t play another shift after that hit.

In 42 games this season, the 20-year-old Barkov has 16 goals and 35 points.

 

Video: Sidney Crosby extends scoring streak to career best seven games

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What is wrong with Sidney Crosby?

His slow start to the season has been well documented. But, um, he’s been on one heck of a roll offensively for some time and the points continue to pile up.

Crosby extended his scoring streak to a career best seven games on Monday, as he gave Pittsburgh a 4-1 lead over the Anaheim Ducks in the second period.

That was goal No. 23 on the season for Crosby. He added No. 24 later in the game on a spectacular individual effort.

Oh, and here’s his second goal of the night. Not bad.

Turris: Public trade requests can be ‘very difficult’ to go through, as Drouin saga drags on

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When it comes to the pressures of trade requests that go public, Kyle Turris can relate to what Jonathan Drouin might be going through.

Of course, Drouin’s request to be dealt from Tampa Bay made its way into the public via his agent, Allan Walsh, earlier this season.

The talented 20-year-old forward and third overall pick in 2013 has since been suspended indefinitely without pay for failing to show up to an AHL game while down in the minors and hasn’t played since Jan. 18.

It’s been a while now, but Turris found himself in a similar situation when, in October of 2011, his agent Curt Overhardt confirmed that the now 26-year-old center wanted to be traded out of Arizona.

Back then, Turris, another third overall pick, was a restricted free agent and had been in contentious contract talks with the Coyotes. He eventually signed a two-year deal with the Coyotes and was acquired by Ottawa not long after.

He’s been there ever since, with two 20-plus goal seasons.

“It’s tough,” Turris told the Tampa Bay Times. “Everyone has mixed feelings, and especially not being an established player. Then people are doubting that you’re doing the right thing, you really have to have confidence in yourself and your ability to do it.

“It was very difficult to do. You’re getting a lot of heat from the media and people, and people within the organization. It was a tough, tough go.”

Speaking of heat from the media: In addition to the suspension, Drouin was ripped in a local newspaper column — He’s the kid who quit” was one particular line that stands outfor his request and the drama that ensued from that.

For now, the trade deadline (Feb. 29) approaches and Drouin’s request has yet to be granted.

The wait continues.