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.
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Quite the, urm, acting job by Jesper Fast. (SBN NHL)
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.
Penguins had 93 shot attempts to 59 for the Sharks, including a 10-4 edge in overtime
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.
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.
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.