Mike Smith

Smith steals Quick’s spotlight, sets NHL record of his own

4 Comments

Last Friday, we highlighted the record matched by LA Kings goalie Jonathan Quick after a 2-1 win in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals:

Jonathan Quick has won his last eight playoff starts and has not allowed more than two goals in any of them (he owns a 1.24 goals-against average and a .950 save percentage).

That matches the longest such streak within one season in NHL playoff history. Detroit’s Terry Sawchuk won all eight of his playoff starts and did not allow more than two goals in any of them back in 1952.

Impressive stuff, perhaps impressive enough to leave a mark on his goaltending counterpart, Mike Smith.

The Coyotes netminder responded with a record of his own in Game 4, from Elias Sports Bureau:

Mike Smith made 36 saves in his 2-0 victory at Los Angeles that enabled the Coyotes to avoid being swept by the Kings in the Western Conference Final. Smith is the seventh goaltender in NHL history to record a shutout with his team trailing three-games-to-none in a playoff series and the first ever to do so on the road.

Before Smith, the last goaltender to record a shutout with his team facing a four-game sweep was the Rangers’ Henrik Lundqvist against the Penguins in a second-round series in 2008.

To put Smith’s accomplishment in perspective, he posted the shutont in a road game that:

— Was scoreless for the first 14 minutes.

— Saw his team get out-shot by 15.

— Featured six Los Angeles power plays.

Lundqvist’s game in 2008 was a far different situation. One, it was at home rather than on the road. Two, the Penguins only managed 29 shots on goal (and the Rangers out-shot them by five). Three, Pittsburgh received only four PP opportunities to New York’s seven.

Now all Smith needs to do is figure out how to replicate his road success at home. He has three shutouts this posteason, all of them coming away from Jobing.com Arena.

Video: Canucks escape Arizona with another win for the moms

at Pepsi Center on February 9, 2016 in Denver, Colorado.
Getty Images
1 Comment

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.

After beating the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday, the Canucks held on for the 2-1 victory in Arizona on Wednesday, despite being without Brandon Sutter (broken jaw), Alex Edler (broken fibula) and Derek Dorsett, who was scratched from the lineup due to illness, as per Sportsnet’s Dan Murphy.

It was only a few days ago, following a home loss to the Calgary Flames, that it felt like the Canucks’ playoff hopes were essentially dashed. They fielded their healthiest lineup in months and couldn’t score and couldn’t win.

Two quick wins later, they’re two points out of a Wild Card spot in the West, despite getting outshot in Arizona.

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

Screen Shot 2016-02-10 at 9.02.42 PM
3 Comments

A day after getting traded out of Toronto, Dion Phaneuf made his Ottawa Senators debut.

It ended with a 3-1 road loss for the Senators, and Phaneuf getting burned by Henrik Zetterberg on the eventual game winner early in the third period.

Zetterberg picked up the puck near the Ottawa blue line, beat Phaneuf to the outside, slipped the puck under the stick of the Sens’ newest blue liner and quickly roofed his shot on Craig Anderson.

“He made a real good play and you’ve got to give credit when credit is due,” Phaneuf told the Ottawa Sun.

“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.

Video: Rangers shut out red-hot Sidney Crosby and the Penguins

2 Comments

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.

In the process, they held a red-hot Sidney Crosby off the score sheet, which has been a difficult, sometimes impossible task for opposing teams since about the middle of December. He entered this game with a seven-game scoring streak.

(In fact, New York held No. 87 to without a shot on goal in the entire game.)

Henrik Lundqvist stopped all 34 shots he faced for the shutout.

Kevin Hayes gave the Rangers the lead in the first period, before Dominic Moore and Jesper Fast put the game away in the third.

Pittsburgh remains in the second Wild Card spot in the East. The Rangers now move three points clear of the rival Islanders for second in the Metropolitan.

Video: Wideman hearing ‘a tricky case’ as NHLPA hopes to get 20-game suspension reduced

Leave a comment

There is no certain timeline for when NHL commissioner Gary Bettman might rule on Dennis Wideman‘s appeal, according to a report from hockey insider Darren Dreger on NBCSN, as the Calgary Flames defenseman hopes to get his 20-game ban for hitting linesman Don Henderson reduced.

“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.”