After starting the season 4-10-1, the Philadelphia Flyers have done well to get back in the playoff race. But now they face another challenge — eight road games in their next nine, starting tonight in Florida against a Panthers side that just went 2-2-1 on a tough five-game journey of its own.
“This is a challenge,” Flyers d-man Braydon Coburn said, per CSN Philly. “Anytime you go on the road for an extended period of time, it’s a challenge to the hockey club. You need to become road warriors.”
The Flyers have six wins and a shootout loss in their last seven, and that’s good. But with the exception of Pittsburgh, their competition over that stretch wasn’t. Two wins came versus imploding Ottawa; the three others over Edmonton, Buffalo, and the Islanders, currently three of the four worst teams in the NHL.
Of note, the last time the Flyers played the Panthers, on Oct. 8, goalie Steve Mason stopped 33 of 34 shots to earn Philadelphia its first victory of the season.
Video: Canucks escape Arizona with another win for the moms
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.