The Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins are stumbling a bit through the dog days of the 2011-12 season, which has opened the door for the surging New Jersey Devils. Peter DeBoer’s team is 8-1-1 in their last 10 games, including a 3-1 win against the Montreal Canadiens tonight:
The Devils are now in fourth place with 72 points, leaving them one point ahead of both the fifth place Flyers The Devils have 34 wins to 32 for Philly and 26 for Pittsburgh, although New Jersey has lived off of shootouts with a whopping 10 of their 34 victories coming via the skills competition. That leaves the Flyers with 31 regulation/overtime wins, the Penguins with 26 and the Devils with only 24.
It sets up for an interesting race for the four to six seeds, although this study of the Southeast Division race makes an argument that the team that “falls” to the sixth spot could be the real winner – at least in the first round.
It’s been getting that spotlight since the Columbus Blue Jackets faced off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a brisk playoff series, though it wouldn’t be surprising if the bad blood stemmed to Dubinsky’s days with New York.
To some, Dubinsky’s cross-check on Crosby will resonate far more than the end result of this game:
The bottom line is that he’ll get the last laugh, at least for now. (In-game, that moment merely drew a minor penalty.)
That’s because Dubinsky set up the overtime game-winner, and the cherry on the top of that spite sundae came with Crosby being on the ice when it happened:
They’re not just rubbing the Penguins the wrong way.
Cheap shot on a superstar, a little uncalled goalie interference and presto – Blue Jackets win!
The Buffalo Sabres probably deserved better during at least some chunks of their six-game skid, yet Jack Eichel swooped in on Friday to remind fans that there’s a light shining at the end of the tunnel.
You can watch his goal from tonight’s eventual 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes in the video above.
That’s not necessarily the absolute height of his on-ice magic, yet it clearly gave his team a lift:
Coach Bylsma: Feel like after Jack's goal, the game changed for us. #gamechanger