The Ottawa Senators dropped their third straight game, and rubbing salt in the wound of Ottawa fans was its nemesis Dany Heatley was an integral part in this latest defeat.
Heatley scored in the second period and added an assist for a two-point night, helping the visiting Minnesota Wild defeat the Senators 4-3. A goal from Mikko Koivu with less than three minutes remaining in regulation broke a tied hockey game.
Koivu, unabated, was allowed to walk in off the right wing into the middle of the ice and let go a wrist shot that beat Craig Anderson, who allowed four goals on 25 shots.
“Well it’s disappointing. We got the game tied up again, but again, we’re chasing the game,” said Senators head coach Paul MacLean, as per the team’s website.
“Anytime you’re chasing the game it makes it hard, but on the positive side we look at the stat sheet and the balance is starting to go the other way, so that’s a positive for us.”
The Senators have now lost four of their last five games, and sit sixth out of eight teams in the Atlantic Division. They’re four points back of the Montreal Canadiens and only four points ahead of the Florida Panthers.
MacLean, however, remains positive. Kind of.
“Are we going in the right direction? We think so, but we won’t know until our next game,” he said.
That’s Saturday, on the road, against the Detroit Red Wings.
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.