The Pittsburgh Penguins broke their three-game slump at the expense of the Nashville Predators by a score of 4-1 on Friday, extending Nashville’s losing streak to four games.
It was also a night in which some struggling Penguins bounced back. James Neal scored his first goal of 2013-14, possibly showing that he’s over the injury issues that have limited him to just four games. Evgeni Malkin looked strong and Pascal Dupuis ended his month-long goalless nightmare.
The Predators must feel like the ultimate rebound generator right now. The Winnipeg Jets had lost seven of nine before trampling Nashville 5-0. New Jersey just ended a slump of its own before beating the Predators. The New York Islanders’ only win in their last six games came against Nashville and now Pittsburgh broke its dry spell tonight.
Nashville isn’t just losing; the Predators are getting pummeled. They’ve been outscored 17-2 in their last four games. Even golden rookie Seth Jones seems to be struggling; he played in less than three minutes in the first period and didn’t log his usual hefty amount of ice time (17:23 overall).
Considering the big changes in Buffalo and Florida this past week, Preds head coach Barry Trotz and maybe even GM David Poile might be feeling the heat.
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.
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
“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.
Blashill says DeKeyser has a bruise, not a break. Will know more tomorrow, but probably day-to-day
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.
“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.”
7 hours of back and forth legal speak…otherwise known as the Wideman appeal has concluded in NYC.