The Anaheim Ducks finished second in the Western Conference standings, but will be pushed to the limit by the Detroit Red Wings in the opening round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
The Red Wings forced a seventh and deciding game with a 4-3 overtime victory over the Ducks on Friday. The Ducks found themselves down two goals with less than four minutes remaining in the third period, but forced overtime with goals 51 seconds apart.
Henrik Zetterberg scored twice for Detroit, including in the winner.
Zetterberg also had an assist for a three-point night. His teammate, Pavel Datsyuk, also had three points in the win.
Meanwhile, the duo of Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf combined for just one assist, which came on Bobby Ryan’s tying goal that sent the game to overtime.
The Red Wings’ big-name players were simply better than the Ducks’ big-name players, at least on Friday.
“I think we need more out of Corey, out of [Getzlaf]; I mean, we rely on them,” Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau told NHL.com.
“But we’ve been a four-line team all year long. The Palmieris and the Etems are the guys playing as good as anybody right now. If we can equalize Zetterberg and Datsyuk, I think we’ve got a good chance.”
The Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins are going to take their rivalry outside on Saturday.
The Flyers visit the Penguins in a Stadium Series clash at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, beginning at 8 p.m. ET. You can catch the action on NBC or online with the NBC Sports Live Extra.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE
Here are some links to check out for tonight’s game:
Goalie nods: Murray, Neuvirth get the call at Heinz Field
Kris Letang won’t play in outdoor game; Schultz game-time decision
NHL On NBC: Penguins, Flyers meet in Stadium Series
Giroux: ‘It’s all business’ between Penguins and Flyers at Heinz Field
The Tampa Bay Lightning and Arizona Coyotes have made a minor league trade.
The Bolts on Saturday acquired right winger Stefan Fournier from the Coyotes in exchange for right winger Jeremy Morin, who has played 82 career NHL games between the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets.
Fournier stands six-foot-three-inches tall and 226 pounds. He has two goals and four points in 29 games with the Tuscon Roadrunners in the AHL.
Morin, who has spent the majority of his pro career in the Blackhawks organization, has been a productive minor league player over the years. He has nine goals and 21 points in 43 games this season with the Syracuse Crunch in the AHL.
The New York Islanders entered today with a three-game winning streak and holders of the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.
But yeah, it’s been a disastrous start for the Islanders on Saturday. The Blue Jackets scored three times in the first period, chasing Thomas Greiss from the New York net after he stopped 14 of 17 shots faced.
Jean-Francois Berube entered the game to begin the second period and promptly surrendered a goal to Josh Anderson, who scored his 12th of the season.
Oh, look at that: Another heated melee involving the Anaheim Ducks and L.A. Kings.
You’ll recall a first-period fight fest in a pivotal Pacific Division game between these teams almost one full year ago. On Saturday, in another meeting between these California rivals, the Ducks and Kings were once again at odds.
This latest conflict? Well, Corey Perry was involved. Again. (Last year, order had been restored during a brief scrum before Perry gave an extra shot to a Kings player, resulting in mayhem.)
Perry was called this time around for interference on Anze Kopitar. Kings players, as you might expect, suddenly rushed over before Nate Thompson and Brayden McNabb squared off in the main event.