By losing Game 4, the Montreal Canadiens’ ineffective power play became the story. Of course, the narrative could have been very different if the New York Rangers ended up losing in overtime, as they nearly shot themselves in the foot by taking eight penalties in that 3-2 overtime win.
The Rangers rightfully saluted their penalty kill unit (which scored a goal and allowed a goal on those eight chances), yet they also admitted that it’s not ideal to walk that tightrope, as NHL.com.com reports.
“We put ourselves behind the eight-ball a few times,” Alain Vigneault said. “But give credit to our killers and our goaltender. They did a real good job. The goal they had on the power play was deflected, but for the most part I thought we did a pretty good job killing those penalties. But we’re going to have to be better than that.”
Carl Hagelin scored shorthanded and created another chance or two on the PK, yet he put the situation simply enough.
“We have got to play smarter,” Hagelin said.
It’s easy to look at a 3-1 series lead as rosy and easier to ignore mistakes when you win, but the Rangers know all too well that a series can turn when one team faces the possibility of elimination. After all, these games have been close lately, with the last two contests requiring overtime.
If you think the Dallas Stars are struggling because of defense more than anything else, then you’ll make sure to keep the video above “on file.”
There Kari Lehtonen was, helpless on a 2-on-0 rush for the Calgary Flames, which Johnny Gaudreau finished with calm and ease. For some, that goal is the symbol of the Stars’ season.
Either way, it was a painful goal in the Flames’ 2-1 win against the Stars. Calgary won despite Dallas firing 30 shots on goal versus the Flames’ 20.
One team climbing, the other stumbling
With that, the Flames are now on a four-game winning streak. Since falling to 5-10-1 on Nov. 12, the Flames have gone 9-3-1 in their last 13 games, pushing them to 14-13-2 overall. Gaudreau coming back is the icing on the cake after Chad Johnson really took charge of the Flames’ top job.
During a similar span, the Stars can’t seem to get it together. Dallas stood at 6-6-3 after beating the Oilers 3-2 on Nov. 11. They’re now 10-11-6, essentially standing in place as a .500 team.
Dallas can’t seem to get momentum going, a thought that might have left them envious of the team on the other end of the ice on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, it wasn’t just about Jack Eichel vs. Connor McDavid. Instead, it was a clash between a fleet of young scorers who were in their prime, with the Buffalo Sabres coming up on top against the Edmonton Oilers.