76672_islanders_flyers_hockey

Riding the Zamboni – February 24; Flyers win in OT, Stars beat Wings

Philadelphia 4 – NY Islanders 3 (F/OT)

It was setting up to be a heartbreaker for Philly when Matt Martin scored his second goal of the game with 28 seconds left in the third to tie it up, but Andrej Meszaros’ goal in overtime gave the Flyers the two points they were seeking in their hunt for the best record in the league. Jeff Carter had a goal and an assist while Claude Giroux had two assists to lead the offense for Philly while Sergei Bobrovsky made 32 saves to get the win. Al Montoya was outstanding in defeat for New York making 39 saves.

Dallas 4 – Detroit 1

Dallas snapped their five game losing streak and got themselves back into the heavy mix for the Western playoffs thanks to a huge game from Kari Lehtonen. Lehtonen stopped 38 of 39 shots he saw, only allowing a late goal to Tomas Holmstrom to give Dallas a much needed win. Loui Eriksson scored his 20th goal, a shorthanded tally late in the first period. Mike Ribeiro, Krys Barch, and Jamie Langenbrunner also tallied goals for the Stars as they moved into a five-way logjam for sixth place in the West.

Toronto 5 – Montreal 4

Chicago 3 – Nashville 0

Vancouver 3 – St. Louis 2

Cory Schneider gave Roberto Luongo the night off and made it work out nicely stopping 28 of 30 St. Louis shots while Manny Malhotra scored the go-ahead goal 1:05 into the third period to put the Canucks back on top of the NHL with the best record. Mikael Samuelsson and Sami Salo added the Canucks other two goals while St. Louis got tallies from Alex Pietrangelo and David Backes. Ty Conklin had a rough start to the game allowing the goals to Samuelsson and Salo in the first. The Blues did well to counter by tying it up in the second, but Malhotra’s goal was enough to motivate Vancouver into locking it down the rest of the way to get the win.

Los Angeles 4 – Minnesota 2

Talk about a nice way to come home. After a 10-game road trip, the Kings made their presence felt at home by taking out the Wild and jumping up to fifth in the Western Conference standings. Wayne Simmonds scored a pair of goals while Anze Kopitar and Drew Doughty also added tallies to pace the Kings. Doughty’s proved to be the game-winner while Kopitar’s was an impressive slam dunk from 150-feet away on an open net. Eric Nystrom and Brent Burns scored for Minnesota. For Burns, it’s his 15th goal of the year and ties the team record for goals by a defenseman that he set back in 2007-2008.

Capitals accuse Letang of leaving his feet, hitting Johansson in head

17 Comments

Get this: the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins seem divided on the legality of Kris Letang‘s hit on Marcus Johansson.

(Take a moment to gather your thoughts amid this shocking revelation.)

You can watch the hit over and over in the video above. This post features some takes on that check, which the NHL’s Department of Player Safety is reportedly reviewing.

Generally speaking, the three things people discuss regarding the check is how late it might be, if Letang used his feet and if Johansson’s head was the principal point of contact.

Letang told his side of the story:

The Capitals disagree:

While Barry Trotz pleads the Fifth after his previous comments about Brooks Orpik‘s suspension:

No doubt about it, Letang’s status is the top story to follow in this series between Games 3 and 4. We’ll find out soon enough how it all shakes out.

Penguins ride Murray’s masterpiece to 2-1 series lead vs. Capitals

22 Comments

If Marc-Andre Fleury suiting up bothers Matt Murray, then the rookie goalie channeled those feelings into a masterful performance on Monday.

The Washington Capitals absolutely dominated Game 3, but Murray was even better, stopping 47 shots as the Penguins stole one 3-2 to take a 2-1 series lead.

(Capitals fans might see some parallels to Washington’s Game 5 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers; they fell 2-0 despite a 44-11 shots on goal edge thanks to Michal Neuvirth‘s heroics.)

Murray stopped chance after chance before Alex Ovechkin finally broke through for his first goal of this series. Justin Williams then brought the Penguins’ lead down to 3-2 to make for a hold-your-breath final minute.

A driven Ovechkin and strong overall play from the Capitals (despite this defeat) aren’t the only reasons why Game 4 might present some twists.

First things first: Kris Letang might get suspended for Game 4 (if not for more than one game) thanks to this controversial check on Marcus Johansson.

Beyond that, there could be some bumps and bruises from this contest.

Bryan Rust left during the first period and didn’t return to the game after blocking a shot. Brian Dumoulin seemed shaken up after an Alex Ovechkin hit in the third period. The Capitals might have a player or two to look at, as well.

In other words, the Penguins could really lack for quality defensemen with Letang possibly suspended and possible injury absences for Dumoulin and Olli Maatta.

This series is living up to the hype … and really building up the hate.

Yes, NHL is reportedly looking at Letang’s hit on Johansson

22 Comments

It remains to be seen if Kris Letang will get suspended for his hit on Marcus Johansson … and if he does, for how long.

(You can read initial reactions and some analysis about the specifics of the check vs. the one that got Brooks Orpik suspended here.)

There are a few things we do know already.

For one thing, the NHL’s Department of Player Safety is reportedly looking into it.

Another factor that could help Letang avoid a suspension or limit the duration of supplemental discipline: Marcus Johansson returned during the second period.

In fact, Johansson delivered some hits on Letang.

There have been some nasty moments in Game 3, and more might be coming. The Penguins lead 2-0 with a few minutes remaining in the middle frame.

Kris Letang may face suspension for hit on Marcus Johansson

99 Comments

Update: Reports indicate that the NHL’s Department of Player Safety is indeed looking into the hit.

***

As thrilling as this Pittsburgh Penguins – Washington Capitals series has been, it seems like every game presents another controversial hit.

Game 3’s most noteworthy entry (so far?) came when Kris Letang was whistled for interference on Marcus Johansson.

Penguins fans griped that Brooks Orpik didn’t get a major penalty for his hit on Olli Maatta … now Capitals fans likely feel the same about the check Letang delivered.

Watch it in the video above. Also, Stefanie “My Regular Face” has it in GIF form:

Things could get ugly in Game 3:

One factor in a suspension happening – or at least the duration of the suspension – would be what the point of contact was:

Also, lateness of the check:

The Penguins ended the first period up 2-0 against the Capitals, even though Washington played one of its best 20 minutes of the series. Expect more drama.

Update: The Penguins won the game 3-2.

Read reactions to the check here.