The Minnesota Wild won their fourth game in a row on Friday, edging the Vancouver Canucks 2-1 via a lengthy shootout.
The most interesting part – beyond one seemingly fringe team hurting another bubble squad’s playoff chances – is that the Wild are riding the work of another goalie who is enjoying unexpectedly effective work. With Josh Harding’s health in question, it’s been Darcy Kuemper who is stepping up for the Wild.
Kuemper, 23, won his (and the Wild’s) fourth game in a row extending back past the Olympic break. His teammates provided the effusive praise.
Prosser on Kuemper: "he was a machine." Fontaine on Kuemper: "unreal. That's a win for him." #mnwild
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.