Washington 5 – Edmonton 0
Make it six in a row for the Capitals. Alex Ovechkin had two goals (one of which being a beauty) and an assist while Eric Fehr had two goals of his own to lead the offense. Rookie Braden Holtby earned his first career shutout stopping 22 shots against the NHL’s worst team. The Caps maintained their two point lead on Tampa Bay in the Southeast Division as the Lightning also won tonight.
Anaheim 5 – NY Rangers 2
Bobby Ryan had himself a good night scoring a goal and adding three assists in leading the Ducks to victory. Ryan’s four point night was the most impressive of many big nights for the Ducks. Lubomir Visnovsky continues to impress as he had two goals and an assist. Corey Perry likewise had two goals and an assist. Dan Ellis made 30 saves for the Ducks in the win. Marian Gaborik scored his 18th goal of the year while Brandon Dubinsky scored his 20th for New York.
Los Angeles 2 – Detroit 1
The Kings won an important one for themselves thanks to second period goals from Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown. Detroit has a bit to complain about on Brown’s goal as officials missed a clear high stick to the face of Nick Lidstrom courtesy of Michal Handzus just moments before Brown tipped home the eventual game winning goal. Jonathan Quick made it all stand up for L.A. stopping 28 shots. Darren Helm scored his 10th goal of the year for Detroit who lost a point off their lead on Chicago as the Blackhawks lost in a shootout. Detroit leads Chicago by five points in the Central and holds a two point lead on San Jose for the second seed in the West.
Tampa Bay 4 – Chicago 3 (F/SO)
Calgary 4 – Dallas 3 (F/SO)
Curtis Glencross’ shootout goal was the decider in Calgary’s win over Dallas. Calgary did hold a 3-0 at one point in the first period and appeared ready to roll over the Stars. As has been typical of late for Dallas, they were able to whittle away and finally tie the game in the third thanks to Tomas Vincour’s first career NHL goal. Both Miikka Kiprusoff and Kari Lehtonen stopped 31 shots in the game. Lehtonen did not fare as well in the shootout giving up two goals on three shots. Brad Richards had no points and was a -1 for Dallas in his first game back after suffering a concussion.
Atlanta 3 – Carolina 2 (F/OT)
A thriller in Carolina saw the Thrashers pick up their second straight win thanks to Tim Stapleton’s overtime game-winner. Carolina rallied from a 2-0 early deficit thanks to goals from Troy Bodie in the second and yet another clutch goal from Erik Cole in the third to tie it. Ondrej Pavelec was outstanding in goal for Atlanta stopping 35 shots to earn the win. Carolina sits tied with the Rangers with 72 points in the East while Atlanta is to within five points of New York for the eighth spot in the East.
St. Louis 4 – Columbus 3 (F/OT)
Another night, another soul crushing defeat for Columbus as they saw their 3-1 lead after two periods evaporate in the third and ultimately lose in overtime thanks to Chris Stewart. Stewart tied the game 6:23 into the third scoring his 21st goal, minutes after Ian Cole scored his first NHL goal to cut the lead to one. In overtime, Stewart would fool the Columbus defense and snipe a wicked backhand shot past Mathieu Garon to win it for the Blues with his 22nd goal of the season. Jaroslav Halak earned the win in goal for St. Louis stopping just 19 shots.
What a story Joseph Blandisi‘s been for the New Jersey Devils this season.
The 21-year-old played in his first NHL game on Dec. 11 and has stayed with the Devils ever since.
It took him five games to pick up his first career point, but he’s done a whole lot more damage since then.
Blandisi came into Saturday’s action with 10 points in his last 12 games and he added to that against the Flyers.
He opened the scoring with this beautiful between-the-legs goal on goalie Michal Neuvirth (top of the page).
That’s Blandisi’s fourth goal of the season.
Some Twitter reaction to the goal:
The Boston Bruins will be without center Patrice Bergeron in Saturday afternoon’s matinee against the Minnesota Wild.
It’s unclear how Bergeron suffered the undisclosed injury, but there’s reason to believe it occurred after he dropped the gloves with Jets forward Blake Wheeler (above).
He’s considered day-to-day at this point.
Losing him for an extended period of time would be devastating for Boston.
“You don’t like seeing your star players (fight), but you also understand that it’s an emotional game and that stuff happens and at one point a player says, ‘Enough is enough and I’m going to stand up for myself,’” Bruins head coach Claude Julien said after the game, as per the Boston Herald.
“From what I gathered there was a lot of slashes behind the legs behind the play and stuff like that. He took things upon himself. As much as you don’t like it, you can’t tell him he’s not allowed. He’s a big boy and he can certainly make some decisions on the ice. And it’s not the first time that he’s fought. But I like the fact that he doesn’t fight much.”
After this incident, there’s no doubt that the Bruins will tell Bergeron to keep his gloves on from now on.
Jets captain Andrew Ladd still doesn’t have a contract for next season and with the Feb. 29 trade deadline approaching, something’s gonna have to give.
According to TSN’s Gary Lawless, the Winnipeg Jets will make one last push to sign the forward before making him available on the trade market.
Ladd doesn’t want to leave and the team wants to keep him, but after Dustin Byfgulien got an extension earlier this month, there may not be enough money to go around.
At one point, the Jets reportedly made Ladd a six-year offer worth $6 million per year, which he obviously didn’t accept.
Can they top that? Time will tell.
Waiting to trade Ladd is probably the smartest decision.
Keeping the captain around would be great, but if the two sides can’t agree to a new contract, there’ll be no shortage of suitors for Ladd’s services.
Lawless mentions the Penguins, Panthers and Blackhawks as potential landing spots for the 30-year-old.
The Kings have also been mentioned as a potential destination for Ladd.
Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff will have to make some crucial decisions over the next few weeks.
Michal Neuvirth will make his first start of the month in Saturday’s game against the New Jersey Devils.
The 27-year-old missed five games with a lower-body injury. He was activated off the injured list earlier this week and served as Steve Mason‘s backup in Thursday’s game against Buffalo.
Neuvirth has an 11-6-2 record with a 2.14 goals-against-average and a .933 save percentage in 2015-16.
He’s put up some solid numbers against the Devils in his career. Neuvirth has a 5-2-4 record with 2.03 goals-against-average and a .927 save percentage in games against New Jersey.
Steve Mason, who’s coming off a 41-save performance in a win over Buffalo, hasn’t been as good against Saturday’s opponent.
Mason is 0-7-0 lifetime against the Devils.
Puck drop is at 1:00 p.m. ET.