For recaps of Friday’s first six games, click here. Let’s take a look at the remaining three games from a busy night of NHL action.
San Jose 4, Calgary 3 (SO)
Now that the Devils lost to the Lightning, the Sharks now hold the NHL’s longest winning streak at six games. They beat the previously-hot Flames in a shootout tonight thanks to a Ryan Clowe winner. The Sharks must feel good about themselves going into a six-game homestand, while Calgary improved their playoff chances with the charity point. Miikka Kiprusoff (30 save) & Co. are in seventh place with 71 points now.
St. Louis 5, Edmonton 0
Ben Bishop stood taller (literally and figuratively) in a match between towering netminders as he earned his first career shutout (39 saves) while Devan Dubnyk allowed five goals on 22 shots. Chris Stewart continues his scorching hot run to being his stay in St. Louis, notching two goals (including the game-winner) to improve to six goals in five games with the Blues. This moves the Blues to a reasonable-but-still-daunting five points behind the eighth place Dallas Stars, which would be fine except that four other teams are still ahead of them for that eighth spot.
Minnesota 3, Anaheim 2 (OT)
At this point, just about every game is important for the Western Conference playoff bubble teams. These two teams showed just how intense this race could end up being, as they played a hard-fought game won thanks to an overtime breakaway game-winner by Pierre-Marc Bouchard.
It’s tough to beat up the Ducks too much considering the fact that they sent 48 shots at Minnesota’s sturdy backup Jose Theodore, but the bottom line is that the streaky Ducks have lost five straight games. Two of those defeats came at the hands of the Wild, who find themselves in a virtual fifth-place tie with the Los Angeles Kings (the Kings are technically in fifth because they’ve played one less game and hold an extra win).
Dan Ellis lost his first start as the Ducks’ (temporary) go-to goalie, although he was solid (28 out of 31 saves).
Thursday’s game between the New York Islanders and Philadelphia Flyers wasn’t even nine minutes old by the time Dale Weise had recorded the Gordie Howe hat trick.
Already with the opening goal and an assist on Radko Gudas‘ goal, giving Philly a 3-0 lead, Weise dropped the gloves with Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic for a spirited fight off a faceoff.
Not many, if any, positives for the Islanders after a disastrous start. Needing a win to close the gap on the Boston Bruins in the wild card race, New York fell behind 5-0 by the time the first period was over.
There is perhaps even more bad news for the Islanders: Hamonic wasn’t on the bench to begin the second period.
The Islanders have since provided an update: Hamonic will not return to this game due to an upper-body injury.
Talk about the worst possible start for the New York Islanders.
Trailing the Boston Bruins by four points for the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference, the Islanders lived through a nightmare to begin Thursday’s game, falling behind the Philadelphia Flyers by a score of 4-0 — before the midway point of the first period.
Dale Weise started the scoring at 4:30 of the first period. By the 9:19 mark, the Flyers opened up a four-goal lead and had already chased Islanders starting goalieThomas Greiss, who allowed three goals on eight shots.
Jaroslav Halak was brought into the game and promptly surrendered a goal to Jordan Weal.
It continued to get worse for the Islanders, who finished the first period trailing by five goals. Shots? They were 19-10 in favor of Philly. Yup. It was bad.
With Josh Ho-Sang in the box serving a double-minor for high sticking, Wayne Simmonds gave Philly a 5-0 lead with his 30th goal of the year.
Shaping up to be a long night for the Islanders.
For the first time since the lockout-shortened season, the Ottawa Senators will not have star defenseman Erik Karlsson in their lineup.
With the Sens four points back of Montreal for the Atlantic Division lead, Karlsson will not play tonight versus the Minnesota Wild, which ends his ironman streak at 324 consecutive games played.
Karlsson trails Brent Burns by only five points for the lead in that category among NHL defenseman. He also logs close to 27 minutes of ice time per game. Only three blue liners in the entire league — Dustin Byfuglien, Drew Doughty and Ryan Suter — play more on average per game.
The injury reportedly occurred when Karlsson blocked a shot against the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday. Trade deadline acquisition Jyrki Jokipakka is expected to make his debut for Ottawa, per the Citizen.
“If we miss him for a game or two, we’re not sure what’s going to happen,” forward Mark Stone told the Ottawa Citizen. “He’s the best defenceman in the world. If you take him out of your lineup, it’s obviously a huge blow.”
The Boston Bruins hold the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference, and they will look to continue their push for the playoffs when they host the Dallas Stars on Thursday.
You can catch the game on NBCSN (7:30 p.m. ET) or online with NBC Sports’ Live Extra.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE
Here are some links to check out for tonight’s game:
McAvoy has the talent to improve Bruins right now
NHL on NBCSN: Bruins continue push for playoff spot against Stars
Stars go deeper than rock bottom in Ruff’s ‘worst game’ with team