Chicago Blackhawks v Colorado Avalanche

Blackhawks’ historic streak ends Friday against Avalanche

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Nothing lasts forever.

Friday, the Chicago Blackhawks historic streak without a regulation loss to begin the 2013 season came to an end at 24 games. Their franchise-best 11-game winning streak also concluded.

The Colorado Avalanche upset Chicago’s remarkable run with a 6-2 victory.

Jonathan Toews opened the scoring, giving Chicago a 1-0 lead less than six minutes into the first period.

But it was all Colorado after that.

Paul Stastny evened the score at 1-1 late in the first period. The second period was all Colorado.

The Avalanche scored four times in less than 10 minutes into the middle frame, putting the Blackhawks streak in jeopardy.

The two teams traded goals in the third period.

It is Chicago’s first regulation loss since March 25 of 2012 – almost an entire calendar year, although the offseason and a lockout also contributed to the span between losses.

Since last March, the Blackhawks had gone 30 games without a regulation loss. That streak is the second longest in National Hockey League history.

The 1979-80 Philadelphia Flyers still hold that record, at 35 games.

Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren, who played on that record-setting Philadelphia team, had high praise for the Blackhawks.

“It’s probably a more difficult task now because of the parity in the League,” Holmgren recently told NHL.com.

“There were teams [in 1979-80] that weren’t great. The parity in the League today makes it very difficult to do what they’re doing and makes it more incredible than anything.

“It’s a different era. I think what they’ve done … it’s a more difficult thing to do today.”

Chicago’s streak had recently drawn a debate about which team was on a more impressive run – the Blackhawks, who at the time had 23 straight games without a regulation loss this season, or the Miami Heat’s then 15-game winning streak.

Just an FYI: the Heat won Friday, making it 17 straight victories for them.

Stars end Capitals’ winning streak, pass Blackhawks for West lead

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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.

Long story short, the Stars are red-hot, yet bigger challenges likely lie ahead.

Blackhawks fall to Ducks in OT, lose Hossa to injury

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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 too early to tell if Hossa will bounce back or miss some time from this. Stay tuned for potential updates.

Update: Joel Quenneville seems optimistic about Hossa, broadly speaking:

Ryan Getzlaf scored the overtime game-winner as the Ducks won 3-2 (OT).

Understatement: Saturday was a rough night for Panthers

Nashville Predators center Colin Wilson (33) checks Florida Panthers center Jonathan Huberdeau (11) during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Sunrise, Fla. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
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If it weren’t for Mike Yeo and the Minnesota Wild, you could argue that the Florida Panthers suffered from the worst night so far.

You can see that Saturday was unpleasant merely from looking at the scoreboard: the Nashville Predators pummeled the Panthers by an unkind score of 5-0.

The pain goes beyond that … literally so.

For one thing, Quinton Howden suffered an upper-body injury and did not return. That’s no good, but if you want to feel sick to your stomach, footage of Brandon Pirri‘s likely lower-body injury (ankle maybe?) may do the trick.

(Seriously, you may be happier if you don’t look.)

The Panthers didn’t make an announcement about Pirri one way or another, so we’ll see if he somehow avoided anything significant.

Either way, it was a night this team would like to forget.

Fractured jaw from fight sidelines Chris Stewart for 4-8 weeks

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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).

The Ducks didn’t elaborate, but the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline believes that the injury happened during a fight with Dalton Prout of the Columbus Blue Jackets. You can see that brawl in the video above.

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.