James O'Brien

Pittsburgh Penguins v Washington Capitals

Caps recall Schilling because Green can’t go (Update)

Considering the fact that the New York Rangers played last night, the Washington Capitals are the “rested” team coming into Wednesday’s game. It might be a stretch to argue that they’re healthier, though.

As the Washington Post details here, the Capitals’ defense is facing a bit of injury turmoil during what’s been a remarkably healthy season. Mike Green and Brooks Orpik appear to be game-time decisions for tonight’s game against the Rangers, thus necessitating a recall of Cameron Schilling (pictured) today after brining up Nate Schmidt on Tuesday.

This doesn’t confirm that Green or Orpik will be out, but it obviously is an indicator that Washington believes they’re both questionable.

Despite this tough stretch, blueliner Karl Alzner told the Post that he hopes the team’s general run of good injury luck can continue.

“It’s been ridiculous, I think, how nice it’s been,” Alzner said. “There’s been nothing too major, and you knock on wood obviously, but I think that’s what’s helped us play so good.”

Update: Green told Prewitt he cannot play tonight. Nicklas Backstrom is also a game-time decision as he struggles with an illness.

PHT Morning Skate: Guess who’s apparently winning the Cup in 2019?

Mark Scheifele
11 Comments

PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Last night was a brutal for the Winnipeg Jets. But hey, at least things should get a lot better in 2019, apparently. (The Hockey News)

Eric Fehr: Harlem Globetrotter. (Monumental Network)

Editor’s Note: Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $25,000 fantasy hockey league for Wednesday’s NHL games. It’s just $2 to join and first place wins $2,000. Starts Wednesday at 7pm ET. Enter Now!

Quite the, urm, acting job by Jesper Fast. (SBN NHL)

Nice:

Check out this goal by Detroit Red Wings prospect Andreas Athanasiou:

The Florida Panthers try their hands at a Saturday Night Live opening:

Sharks edge Penguins in shootout thriller

Pittsburgh Penguins v San Jose Sharks
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The San Jose Sharks and especially the Pittsburgh Penguins created some great scoring chances on Monday, yet Antti Niemi and Marc-Andre Fleury stole the show.

It makes sense that the increasingly thrilling contest needed eight shootout rounds to wrap up, then, but the bottom line is that Niemi and the Sharks ultimately earned a significant 2-1 win.

Matt Nieto opened up the scoring with a 1-0 goal late in the first period. Despite some muscle-flexing from both sides (Pittsburgh fired 40 shots on goal to San Jose’s 30), Sidney Crosby was the only other player to find the net in regulation.

At least it was a standout goal for Crosby, who netted his first-ever tally against the Sharks:

The Penguins fell just short of sweeping their California stretch. Overall, they went 2-1-1 on a challenging four-game road trip. As much as they would have preferred to win, they probably feel at least somewhat content with their overall effort.

San Jose leaned on Niemi pretty heavily at times, yet they found a way to win, keeping their playoff hopes alive. They still need some breaks to go their way, but losing a game like this would have made the Sharks’ outlook quite a bit bleaker.

While it’s true that these teams rarely face each other, fans of tonight’s game can look forward to another bout between the Sharks and Penguins in Pittsburgh on March 29.

San Jose has to hope that its chances haven’t faded by then.

Predators end six-game skid, regain NHL standings lead

James Neal, Carter Hutton
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The Nashville Predators didn’t earn many style points by barely beating the Arizona Coyotes 1-0 in OT on Monday, but they’ll take the two standings points instead.

James Neal scored the overtime game-winner for his 22nd goal of the 2014-15 season. Six of those tallies have been game-winners, continuing his interestingly mixed first campaign with Nashville.

With Anaheim’s regulation loss, the Predators take a tenuous hold of the NHL’s top standings spot, as they hold a regulation/overtime win tiebraker over the Ducks, who also have 91 points. Both teams have played 68 games and could be passed by the likes of the St. Louis Blues and Montreal Canadiens … but again, Nashville was probably just glad to regain control of its Central Division lead for the time being.

Meanwhile, the Coyotes lose but perhaps bolster a little pride in an overtime defeat. That might not feel like an accomplishment considering the tank race they’re in, but losing has to get old.

Even this league-leading Predators team can relate.

Lack steals one for Canucks against Ducks

Eddie Lack
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Sometimes, a goalie just steals a game for you.

The Anaheim Ducks have been on the right end of contests like these quite a few times this season, but it wasn’t in the cards on Monday, as the Vancouver Canucks managed a 2-1 win. Make no mistake about it, Eddie Lack was easily the star of the show, too.

The 27-year-old make 29 out of 30 stops while Vancouver only managed 16 total shots on goal. It’s obvious his Canucks teammates noticed his efforts, too.

There was a Corey Perry near-goal that was reviewed to be a good save, so there were some close calls. Perry didn’t seem too perturbed about the situation, though.

Again, the Ducks can only gripe so much, as they’ve had a pretty insane run of luck (and skill) in close games:

As you can see from this graphic from Natural Stat Trick, it was indeed a lopsided possession effort:

source:

Vancouver ultimately won an important game and they clearly have Lack to thank above all else.