Goalie nods: Slumping Smith goes for Phoenix

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News and notes from around the blue paint…

Smith looks to get back on track

Even though he was named to the Canadian Olympic team, Mike Smith has not played especially well this season. He’ll look to change that tonight when the Coyotes take on the Jets in Winnipeg.

Smith, who came on in relief of Thomas Greiss during Saturday’s 5-3 loss to Anaheim, is just 15-11-8 with a 2.89 GAA and .910 save percentage this season and hasn’t won a game since Dec. 21.

He’ll be going up against Ondrej Pavelec in the Jets goal as Paul Maurice debuts as Winnipeg’s new head coach.

Bishop back for Bolts

Ben Bishop, out since Jan. 5 with a sprained wrist, will be back in the Tampa Bay lineup tonight when the Bolts take on the Blue Jackets in Columbus.

Bishop will sit as Anders Lindback gets the nod, marking Lindback’s fifth straight start. The lanky Swede has been very good in a temporary No. 1 role and stopped 35 of 38 shots in a win over Philly on Saturday.

He’ll face a tall task tonight, though, as the Jackets will start Sergei Bobrovsky. The reigning Vezina winner has been brilliant since returning from injury, going 2-0-0 with a .962 save percentage.


Flames at Hurricanes: Karri Ramo in for Calgary. No word yet on who Carolina will start.

Canucks at Kings: Jonathan Quick likely for Los Angeles. Eddie Lack starts for Canucks.

Scary moment: Carlo Colaiacovo hospitalized with ‘dented trachea’

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Buffalo Sabres defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo has experienced plenty of bad injury luck in his winding career, but Saturday presented one of his worst scares.

As you can see from the video above, Colaiacovo received a scary cross-check from Viktor Arvidsson of the Nashville Predators, who received a major penalty and game misconduct.

Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma said that Colaiacovo was hospitalized with a “dented trachea” yet is OK, the Buffalo News’ John Vogl reports.

Frightening stuff from an eventual 4-1 Sabres win.

PHT will keep an eye out for additional updates regarding Colaiacovo’s health (and a possible suspension for Arvidsson).

Comeback Kings: Gaborik pulls L.A. past Kane, Blackhawks

Jake Muzzin, Scott Darling
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Patrick Kane set an American scoring record, and added another assist to make it more impressive, but the Los Angeles Kings just wouldn’t be denied.

In the end, Marian Gaborik‘s big night meant more than Kane’s; he scored the tying and then overtime game-winner, both assisted by Anze Kopitar, for a rousing 4-3 overtime Kings win.

Gaborik’s first goal:

And here’s video of the OT-GWG:

Noticing a theme tonight? Yeah, it’s been an evening in which it’s dangerous to assume a lead would stand.

With that, the Kings stick to the No. 1 spot in the Pacific Division, but Chicago shouldn’t feel all bad. The Blackhawks were able to piece together a decent run during their dreaded “circus trip.”

Patrick Kane’s streak hits 19 games, setting a new American record


When it comes to point streaks for U.S.-born NHL players, Patrick Kane now stands alone.

With a power-play goal early in Saturday’s Blackhawks – Kings game, Kane extended his streak to 19 games, breaking a tie with Phil Kessel and Eddie Olczyk (who finished with at least a point in 18 straight).

As of this writing, Kane has 11 goals and 19 assists during this 19-game streak. He also leads the NHL in scoring.

Bobby Hull’s 21-game point streak stands as the Chicago Blackhawks’ overall team record, by the way.

So, how would you protect a lead against the Stars?


You know what they say: it’s easy to bash a strategy in hindsight.

Slam that NFL head coach for going for it on fourth down … or settling for the field goal. Bury that MLB manager because he kept a pitcher in too long. And so on.

“Score effects” settle in during almost any lopsided hockey game, yet the Dallas Stars present quite a conundrum: what’s the best way to put a way a team with this much firepower?

Tonight may have presented the greatest evidence that this team won’t go away easy, as it seemed like the Minnesota Wild had the best of a tired Stars team* when they built a 3-0 lead.

Instead, the Stars scored three third-period goals while Tyler Seguin capped the comeback with an overtime-winner.

It was one of those bend-and-then-break moments for Minnesota. Dallas generated a 44-26 shot advantage, including a ridiculous 35-15 edge in the final two periods.

Does that mean that Mike Yeo may have tried to play too conservatively with a healthy lead? It’s a possibility.

On the other hand, would the Wild be wiser to try to run-and-gun with one of the most dangerous offenses in the NHL?

It sure seems like a pick-your-poison situation. Which way would you lean, though?

* – To be fair to Minnesota, each team was on back-to-backs.