The Ottawa Senators grabbed a “charity point” and probably gained a little bit of confidence from Tuesday’s game, but it may prove to be a costly night.
The reasoning is simple: Craig Anderson left the contest with a lower-body injury and did not return. It’s not clear how serious the issue is beyond that, but Andrew Hammond might be the go-to guy for the Ottawa down another stretch.
(Granted, “The Hamburglar” was perfect until the shootout, so maybe a blessing in disguise?)
St. Louis roared to a 3-0 lead, but the Senators managed to push it into overtime thanks in large part to Jean-Gabriel Pageau‘s late heroics, including this dramatic effort:
After that, the Blues ultimately won 4-3 via a shootout … that went very, very long.
St. Louis is now tied for the top spot in the Central – although they lack games in hand – while the short-term inspired positive reactions:
Tarasenko: "This is a lesson. You have lessons in every game. Some are good. We still stayed together, and Jake saved us a couple times."
It was a chippy game, with Sidney Crosby‘s only major impact (zero shots on goal, one assist) being a knee-to-knee hit on T.J. Oshie. Oshie was OK, and also shook off an amusing-yet-scary collision with Alex Ovechkin.
With the possibility of this being a playoff series mounting, this game sure had a playoff atmosphere.
Hockey fans without a horse in the race are screaming “Yes, please.” Fans of the Penguins and Capitals, on the other hand, might fret about the stress.
Big blow? Hurricanes pry precious points from Devils
If the Carolina Hurricanes and New Jersey Devils are to be taken seriously in the East playoff races, they need to win games like these … or get into overtime, at minimum.
The Hurricanes were the only team who succeeded on Tuesday, grinding out a 3-1 win against the Devils.
To an extent, it was a “One team has to win” situation. The Hurricanes broke a three-game losing streak and won for the second time in six games; the Devils dropped their third straight and only hold one win in seven contests.
It’s not as if either team was loading up at the trade deadline, but they’re not so far from the mix that you can dismiss their chances altogether.
The Devils may be in particular trouble, however, with a brutal stretch of tough opponents and road dates (five of six away from New Jersey) coming up.
If Ray Shero & Co. haven’t already written off the season, they may really rue these lost points.
On another note, Derek Ryan made waves by scoring his first NHL goal in his first game … at age 29.
Video: Healthy Malkin scores first goal since Jan. 23