Winners of five straight, the Tampa Bay Lighting are the Eastern Conference’s hottest team. Yet one guy largely responsible for the streak — goalie Mathieu Garon — doesn’t want to take any credit.
“When you win, it seems like all the credit goes to the goalie, and when you lose it’s the opposite,” Garon told the Tampa Bay Times. “It all depends on how the team is playing.”
Why Garon is deflecting praise? If we had to guess, it’s probably because he’s taken the No. 1 gig away from Dwayne Roloson.
The 42-year-old Roloson was a hero in Tampa Bay last year after coming over from the Islanders in early January. He posted four shutouts in his first 11 games and was a big part of the Lighting coming within a game of the Stanley Cup finals.
This year? Different story. Roloson ranks 45th — dead last — among the league’s GAA leaders and 44th in save percentage. As such, Lightning head coach Guy Boucher has turned the reins over to Garon, who has won his last four starts with a 2.22 GAA and .918 save percentage.
“I know Roli is chomping at the bit and wants more, and I understand that,” Boucher said. “But right now Garon has given us solid consistency. We’re kind of riding that.”
Riding it indeed. Garon got the nod for Tuesday’s win over Washington (where he assisted on Steve Stamkos’ game-winning goal) and will be back in tonight against Winnipeg, his fifth start in the last six games. With Tampa slowly creeping back into the playoff picture — the Bolts are just nine points back of New jersey for eighth place — wins will be at a premium, so expect to see Garon plenty more down the stretch.
Video: Canucks escape Arizona with another win for the moms
With their mothers traveling on the road trip — Matt Bartkowski‘s mom, Beth, has become a cult hero in Vancouver after another priceless media interview — the Canucks took back-to-back wins, moving them right back into the thick of the playoff fight in the Western Conference.
Up by a goal in the third period, defenseman Alex Biega played the hero, pulling the puck out of the crease after it got by Ryan Miller on a backhand shot from Kyle Chipchura, maintaining Vancouver’s lead.
Phaneuf burned on Zetterberg game-winner in Sens debut
“I put my stick there, he put (the puck) under and he made a good shot. I’ve got to have a better stick in that situation, but you’ve got to give him credit for that play.”
Phaneuf finished the night with a minus-one rating and two hits in almost 22 minutes of ice time, putting him second among Sens defensemen in that category behind Erik Karlsson, who played a whopping 33:30.
Phaneuf drilled Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser with a hard slap shot early in the third period.
DeKeyser played one more shift — all of 10 seconds — before exiting the game.
Blashill says DeKeyser has a bruise, not a break. Will know more tomorrow, but probably day-to-day
The New York Rangers are likely too far behind the Washington Capitals to take any legitimate run at the Atlantic Division down the stretch.
But winners now of four straight, the Rangers have opened up a bit of a gap between them and other Eastern Conference teams in the playoff race. New York scored a 3-0 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins, winners in six of their last seven games, on Wednesday.
“Now, ultimately what they’re hoping from a Wideman perspective and the Players’ Association is that commissioner Gary Bettman will rule and he will reduce the number of games suspended down from 20,” said Dreger during a segment on NBCSN.
“Is he going to reduce it by three games? Five games seems a bit of a stretch. And when might he do that? There’s no timeline on this.”
7 hours of back and forth legal speak…otherwise known as the Wideman appeal has concluded in NYC.