After dropping five straight games and with their hopes of making the playoffs fading, the Carolina Hurricanes were in desperate need of a big, morale boosting win. Tonight’s 5-4 overtime victory over the Montreal Canadiens certainly qualifies.
Montreal got off to a strong start, thanks in large part by Max Pacioretty, who scored twice to give the team a 3-0 lead going into the second intermission.
Then the Hurricanes turned the tide. Jeff Skinner scored back-to-back power-play goals in just 37 seconds to shave the Canadiens’ lead to a single marker. It wasn’t long before Eric Staal managed to tie it and then Manny Malhotra found the back of the net for just the second time this season. All-in-all, the Hurricanes scored four goals in under nine minutes to climb ahead 4-3.
Montreal defenseman P.K. Subban managed to capitalize on a power-play opportunity to even the game. The contest went into overtime and it was up to Alexander Semin, who has struggled significantly this season, but is showing signs of heating up, to break the tie in overtime:
The Hurricanes improved to 15-16-9 this season, but this was just their second win in 10 games. They’ll try to make it two in a row against Washington on Thursday.
Saturday’s been unkind to the Toronto Maple Leafs, and not just on the scoreboard (where it’s 3-0 early on against the Ottawa Senators).
The Maple Leafs lost Tyler Bozak to an apparent upper-body injury thanks to a questionable hit by Sens forward Mika Zibanejad.
You can judge that check (which drew a minor penalty for illegal check to the head) in the video above. Again, Bozak will not return to tonight’s game.
It’s unclear if Bozak will miss time beyond this contest.
Scary stuff on Saturday: multiple reporters (including the Maine Hockey Journal’s Chris Roy) note that Malcolm Subban was taken to a hospital after a puck struck his throat during warm-ups.
There’s no word yet on Subban’s condition beyond that he was taken away in an ambulance.
The AHL’s Providence Bruins seem like they’ve been left scrambling for a backup goalie in Subban’s absence.
Subban stated days ago that he’s taken some significant steps forward during the 2015-16 season.
The Ottawa Senators cannot pin all of their troubles on missing their No. 1 center, yet it probably feels like a huge relief to get him back.
After missing six games with his latest injury, Kyle Turris is in the lineup as the Senators take on the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Again, it’s not all a matter of missing Turris, but the Senators went 1-5-0 during his six-game absence. They’ve really been falling since late December, to be honest.
Will Turris be enough to stop the bleeding? Perhaps to an extent, but the Senators are in for a serious battle if they hope to fight through the East bubble.
Times have been tough for Montreal Canadiens and Edmonton Oilers fans lately, even if they’ve been frustrating in different ways.
Saturday’s 5-1 Habs win highlights a few things, but the most tantalizing thought for those fans is that it’s likely that we’ll see more great things from P.K. Subban and Connor McDavid … sometimes against each other.
Perhaps this will be a confidence booster for Montreal. More than anything else, it directed attention to Subban, who’s quietly been absolutely fantastic for the floundering Canadiens.
Consider how much of an offensive burden he’s currently carrying:
From one current All-Star to someone who could be a perennial one: McDavid certainly seemed to grab Subban’s attention.
Then again, when you make moves like these, who won’t notice?
The Oilers did lose, mind you, so it’s not surprising that Todd McLellan mentioned that the team can’t depend upon McDavid for everything.
That said, the funny thing about that quote is that McDavid might just carry the Oilers for two decades, at least if health and other factors go the right way.
If that’s true, Subban vs. McDavid could be a fun matchup to watch a few times per season for a long, long time.