Linus Omark was on a hot streak. Literally.
The former NHL forward, who had stints in Edmonton and Buffalo, decided to have his stick blade set on fire before going in on a breakaway attempt in the KHL All-Star Game skills competition. (When the saying ‘Where there is smoke, there is fire’ applies to more than a trade rumor.)
This should probably go without saying, but don’t try this at your local rink, kids.
Cue the creepy music from ‘Jaws’ if you’d like. The San Jose Sharks are on a roll.
Their latest victory came Saturday, as they got a goal from Joe Pavelski — the 23rd of his season and first since Jan. 12 — with 1:24 remaining in regulation to stun the Minnesota Wild by a final score of 4-3.
Pavelski finished the day with three points.
The Pacific Division lead may be too far beyond their reach — the L.A. Kings hold onto that spot, eight points ahead of San Jose — but the Sharks are among the hottest teams in the league right now, with this recent surge pushing them into sole possession of second in that division.
When this hot streak began back on Jan. 9, when they put up a seven-spot on Toronto, the Sharks had been floundering. They were out of a playoff spot, sixth in the Pacific and a single point up on the Edmonton Oilers.
John Tortorella will not be behind the bench for the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday. But it appears Matt Calvert and captain Nick Foligno will return to the lineup versus the Boston Bruins, according to the team’s website.
Calvert, who has six goals and seven points in 39 games this season, hasn’t played since Dec. 29 after he was placed on injured reserve with a lower-body injury.
Foligno has been out since Jan. 8 after he took a high hit from Carolina’s Brad Malone, which the Blue Jackets leader was still taking umbrage with weeks after it occurred, calling it a “joke of a hit.”
Meanwhile, associate coach Craig Hartsburg will take over for Torts behind the bench. Tortorella suffered two broken ribs after being involved in a collision with Rene Bourque during Friday’s practice.
“He’s hurtin’,” Hartsburg told the Columbus Dispatch of Tortorella.
“I talked to him briefly. He didn’t get much sleep. He basically said he can’t move. It’s a tough thing for him, and obviously for us. His health is the most important thing.”
New Jersey Devils forward Jiri Tlusty has undergone wrist surgery, which has put the rest of his 2015-16 season in jeopardy.
Tlusty underwent successful surgery on Friday to repair a torn ligament in his right wrist and is out three to four months, Devils general manager Ray Shero said in a statement released Saturday.
At this point in the season, that likely means the Devils would have to at least make the playoffs for Tlusty to return.
The Devils have won three games in a row. They’re tied in points (53) with the Pittsburgh Penguins but remain outside of a Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference for right now.
The 27-year-old Tlusty, signed by New Jersey in September, has endured a difficult season, scoring twice with four points in 30 games.
The St. Louis Blues were about 54 seconds away from extending their winning streak to four games. Then Colorado Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon buried a perfect pass from Matt Duchene to put it on hold (see the video at the top).
The Blues eventually lost to the Avalanche in the shootout by a final score of 2-1, and now face an important Central Division contest with the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday.
A win would’ve put the Blues within three points of Chicago heading into that game. Instead, they pick up the single point to remain four back of the Blackhawks, who have lost two straight after winning 12 consecutive games.
Semyon Varlamov made 33 saves for the win, while Gabriel Landeskog scored the lone goal in the shootout.
Colorado has won seven of its last 10 games but Friday’s result gives the Avalanche some space between it and the other teams chasing for a Wild Card spot. The Avalanche now hold a three-point lead on Nashville for that final spot.