If you want a single video clip that summarizes how Columbus Blue Jackets fans must feel about this season, this Drew Doughty game-winner might be it:
That goal sealed the deal at 3-2 with somewhere between .5 and .3 seconds left in the third period, which is just brutal – and typical, really. Actually, what’s truly brutal is that it appears the clock “malfunctioned” in Los Angeles and allowed the goal to take place:
Replays shown by both Fox Sports Ohio and Fox Sports West, which covers the Kings, show the game clock mysteriously stopping for at least a full second with 1.8 seconds remaining. Had the clock kept running — the puck was still in play, so it should have — the buzzer would have sounded before Doughty dropped to a knee and buried the loose puck.
Adding to the intrigue is the fact that NHL referee Stephen Walkon initially ruled no-goal on the ice. It was that ruling — no goal, time expired — that Walkon sought to confirm when he skated over to off-ice officials for a replay. The looked only at the time when the puck crossed the line and ruled that it did go into the net with time remaining.
Portzline caught up with Blue Jackets interim head coach Todd Richards, who was understandably upset.
“I don’t have any official report,” Todd Richards said. “But watching the replay and talking to the producer who does our show (on Fox Sports Ohio), the clock stopped at 1.8 and stopped for 1.5 seconds. They scored with 0.5 … I’m really disappointed for the players.”
The one saving grace is that Columbus is well out of the playoff race, but on the Kings’ end, that break might have earned them an extra point and win that might not have happened had the game gone into overtime. This solidifies Los Angeles’ spot in seventh place in the West at 60 points while the Blue Jackets remain, well, just as deep in the basement as they were before.
Stars end Capitals’ winning streak, pass Blackhawks for West lead
For two periods, the Dallas Stars seemed to say, “Are you sure the Washington Capitals are the best team in the NHL?”
They chased Braden Holtby and built a 4-0 lead through those first 40 minutes, and that was enough … but barely. The Stars beat the Capitals 4-3 on Saturday, which accomplished the following:
Dallas ended Washington’s winning streak at five games. The Stars have now won three straight.
This win slides the Stars ahead of the Chicago Blackhawks for first place in the highly competitive Central Division. While both teams sit at 77 standings points, Dallas holds three games in hand.
By passing Chicago, the Stars now lead the Western Conference as a whole.
Impressive stuff. Some might even call it a statement game, although others may hold that nail-biting ending against them (possibly arguing that the Stars’ flaws may come back to haunt them in the playoffs).
Dallas’ biggest concern likely has little to do with doubters. Instead, they must monitor the statuses of forwards Tyler Seguin and Cody Eakin.
The Chicago Blackhawks are on edge on Saturday, and it’s not because of what’s currently a close game against the Anaheim Ducks.
(Not that they’re indifferent toward a match against their opponents from last year’s conference final match, mind you.)
Instead, the Blackhawks are quite concerned about the health of Marian Hossa, who needed help off of the ice following an awkward, scary-looking crash into the boards. (Hampus Lindholm delivered the hip check that sent Hossa sprawling, in case you’re wondering.)
You can see that moment in the video above, while My Regular Face’s GIF also captures that troubling moment:
It’s unlikely that Chris Stewart will generate another 30-goal season in the NHL, but he still might be missed by the Anaheim Ducks.
The team announced that the ornery forward is expected to miss four-to-eight weeks with a fractured jaw. If that’s the recovery window, Stewart may go into the playoffs a little rusty (if he can get in any regular season games at all).
One bright side for Anaheim: if they believe that they need to replace what Stewart brings to the table (rugged play with a dash of offense), then at least this injury happened before the the Feb. 29 trade deadline.