Despite falling behind 3-1 in the first period, many (reasonably) believed that the New York Islanders were frequently taking Game 2 to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday. The crowd is divided on how much of it had to do with a fight, though.
After Matt Niskanen landed a hit on Matt Moulson, Kyle Okposo engaged in his first NHL fight with the Penguins defenseman. If you judge a scuffle by how each player looked afterward, it’s easy to give the win to Okposo:
Some will say it was just a matter of time for an aggressive Islanders team. Those who tout the momentum-generating powers of fights would likely counter that the Islanders scored about 15 seconds after the round of fisticuffs.
Either way, the contest is up for grabs as the score was tied 3-3 going into the final frame.
Flames keep showing life, Stars stumble once again
If you think the Dallas Stars are struggling because of defense more than anything else, then you’ll make sure to keep the video above “on file.”
There Kari Lehtonen was, helpless on a 2-on-0 rush for the Calgary Flames, which Johnny Gaudreau finished with calm and ease. For some, that goal is the symbol of the Stars’ season.
Either way, it was a painful goal in the Flames’ 2-1 win against the Stars. Calgary won despite Dallas firing 30 shots on goal versus the Flames’ 20.
One team climbing, the other stumbling
With that, the Flames are now on a four-game winning streak. Since falling to 5-10-1 on Nov. 12, the Flames have gone 9-3-1 in their last 13 games, pushing them to 14-13-2 overall. Gaudreau coming back is the icing on the cake after Chad Johnson really took charge of the Flames’ top job.
During a similar span, the Stars can’t seem to get it together. Dallas stood at 6-6-3 after beating the Oilers 3-2 on Nov. 11. They’re now 10-11-6, essentially standing in place as a .500 team.
Dallas can’t seem to get momentum going, a thought that might have left them envious of the team on the other end of the ice on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, it wasn’t just about Jack Eichel vs. Connor McDavid. Instead, it was a clash between a fleet of young scorers who were in their prime, with the Buffalo Sabres coming up on top against the Edmonton Oilers.