If you wanted star power tonight, Tampa Bay was where to find it.
The Lightning and Blackhawks traded body blows all game long with all the biggest stars delivering them all the way through until it concluded with the Lightning winning in shootout 4-3 thanks to Martin St. Louis.
St. Louis delivered a goal in regulation and then capped off the Lightning win with a stirring and spectacular goal in the shootout. While we’re not fans of the shootout here at all, let’s give credit where it’s due, the move St. Louis puts on Corey Crawford provides the entertainment value we hope to find in the NHL’s favorite gimmick.
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St. Louis wasn’t the only star to show up in this game. Steve Stamkos broke his six game goalless streak, scoring in the first period for Tampa Bay. For Chicago, Jonathan Toews’ hot streak since the All-Star Break rolled on as he scored the tying goal and assisted on goals by Patrick Kane and Patrick Sharp. Toews now has 11 goals and 17 assists in the 18 games since the All-Star break and has nine goals and nine assists in his last 11 games.
The Lightning were able to keep pace with the Capitals in their hunt for the Southeast Division lead. The Caps won easily over the Oilers 5-0. The Blackhawks were able to get a point in their pursuit of Detroit for the Central Division crown as the Wings lost in regulation to Los Angeles 2-1. Chicago will get to do their part to help the Lightning as they face the Caps on NBC’s Game of the Week on Sunday afternoon at 12:30 p.m. ET. With both teams playing well of late, it’s shaping up to be a big game for both teams.
But the chance for at least a single point slipped at the worst possible time, as Jonathan Toews scored with 1:18 left in regulation and then set up an empty net goal from Marian Hossa just a few seconds later to secure the 4-2 win.
The Canucks remain stuck at five wins — just five wins — on the road. They have the 29th-ranked road record in the entire NHL. Only the Arizona Coyotes have been worse away from home ice. So, that’s a problem that needs to be fixed down the stretch.
Vancouver had a chance to move into a wild card spot. Instead, they let the Blackhawks regain momentum as the period went on, and as a result, they remain on the outside of the Western Conference playoff picture for right now.
Corey Crawford earned his 200th career win, making 26 saves. That’s a milestone night for him. For Toews, that’s his most productive night of the season, as he factored into all four Chicago goals, which, of course, included the winner.
So overtime against the New York Islanders seemed like a perfect time for captain Claude Giroux to bust his scoring slump.
Without a goal in his last 12 games, or since Dec. 21 before the holiday break, Giroux finished the Flyers comeback with an overtime goal to give Philly a 3-2 victory on Sunday. Jakub Voracek did great work along the boards to force a turnover from John Tavares, and Shayne Gostisbehere followed up his chance with a quick pass to a wide-open Giroux at the top of the crease.
That comeback win — Philly trailed by two goals early in the second period — bumps the Flyers back into a wild card spot.
Steve Mason had a big game in net for Philly, with 36 saves, while the Flyers fired 47 shots on goal toward Thomas Greiss, although it’s a difficult task trying to re-set and stop Giroux — an accomplished scorer in the NHL — on the doorstep.
Goals, goals and more goals! Blue Jackets outlast Senators for overtime win
Plenty of goals. A little three-on-three overtime. Seemed like an enjoyable afternoon of hockey between the Ottawa Senators and Columbus Blue Jackets.
Well, maybe the goalies, Mike Condon and Joonas Korpisalo, didn’t enjoy it as much.
The Blue Jackets prevailed for a 7-6 overtime win, with Cam Atkinson scoring just 1:09 into the extra period. That’s his 23rd goal of the season. Only two players — Jeff Carter (24) and Sidney Crosby (28) — have scored more goals than Atkinson this season.
With the win, and the Capitals sitting idle today, the Blue Jackets move back into a tie with Washington at 68 points in the fight for first place in the Metropolitan Division.
There were some anxious moments for Columbus.
Rookie defenseman Zach Werenski was hurt blocking a shot in the third period. He briefly left the game, unable to put any pressure on his right leg as he was helped off.
The good news: He only missed a few minutes, returning late in regulation and for the overtime as well, which is important for the Blue Jackets.
#CBJ Zach Werenski said on @FOXSportsOH post-game he "thought it was broken" and "long term" injury when he blocked the shot.
“He’s made a couple of huge mistakes in a game and he comes to the bench, shakes it off and then goes out and makes a great play. For a 19-year-old playing that position and the amount of time he’s getting in key situations with this organization, it’s pretty impressive.”