The Carolina Hurricanes continue to get hit by injuries – Eric Staal’s out, Cam Ward was placed on the IR – but they’re putting together some of their best hockey of the 2013-14 season instead.
Really, Jeff Skinner’s Sunday might represent the image the team is trying to project. Many gasped when he took the puck to the face (the young forward has dealt with concussion issues, after all), but the 21-year-old came back and scored the game-winner.
Skinner now has an outstanding 20 goals in 32 games played this season.
Then again, the real key might be Anton Khudobin’s return from injury. The 27-year-old strated off strong for Carolina, but he was sidelined from Oct. 13 to Jan. 2 with an injury. He’s now 5-0-0 with an outstanding .940 save percentage and 1.99 GAA on the season, certainly making Ward’s injury situation seem like less of a concern. (It is the season of backups, after all.)
With this win, Carolina is now 18-6-9. One might say “Imagine what they could do if they were completely healthy,” yet the Hurricanes simply seem used to this. In the case of their goaltending, it might even be a blessing in disguise.
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.