For a while there, it looked like the Montreal Canadiens were going to lose another game in another painful way.
The Tampa Bay Lightning turned a 2-1 deficit into a 3-2 lead during a staggering 21-second span, but the Canadiens ultimately shook off the shock to win 4-3 via a shootout.
No, this isn’t the prettiest win, but standings points are more important than style points.
With this desperately needed win – ending a losing streak of six games – Montreal keeps the revolving door atop the Atlantic Division moving, as they’re back at No. 1. And, hey, it might help them shake Tampa Bay’s recent mental edge to boot:
.@CanadiensMTL earned their 1st regular-season win vs TBL since exactly 2 years ago on 12/28/13, ending a 7-game regular-season skid (0-5-2)
The gap is small enough that this might be a short-lived advantage, but Montreal needed this … badly.
Here’s what the Atlantic’s top six looks like as of this writing.
Montreal: 21-14-3, 45 points, 38 games played
Florida: 20-12-4, 44 points, 36 GP
Detroit: 18-11-7, 43 points, 36 GP
Boston: 19-12-4, 42 points, 35 GP
Ottawa: 18-12-6, 42 points, 36 GP
Tampa Bay: 18-15-4, 40 points, 37 GP
This loss stings for the Lightning, yet it was also a statement that they might not fade away so easily.
Stamkos: "In my eyes, we gave away a couple points tonight." #tblightning
There’s a mix of good and bad/murky news for the Los Angeles Kings as they face the Vancouver Canucks on Monday.
The good: Remember Jake Muzzin‘s match penalty from Sunday? It put the Kings in a bind against the Arizona Coyotes there, but Los Angeles won, and they’ll get the valuable defenseman in the lineup tonight.
His debatable match penalty was rescinded.
Hearing that Jake Muzzin's match penalty Saturday has been rescinded. NHL will rescind the hit to head penalty. Won't be on his record.
Washington’s two biggest stars figured in to a feisty one on Wednesday, as Braden Holtby grabbed a 31-save shutout and Alex Ovechkin scored his 493rd career goal in a 2-0 victory against the Buffalo Sabres.
With that, the Capitals are now on an impressive eight-game winning streak.
Ovechkin’s goal ended up being the game-winner, but Holtby continued to be the brightest star for the Caps. He secured his shutout with a stop against Kane being arguably the biggest highlight:
It seems like a 7-3 win against the Colorado Avalanche on Nov. 21 may have been the springboard for Washington. Since then, the Capitals have gone 14-1-1.
The Dallas Stars hold the overall NHL standings lead with 57 points, yet the Caps are nipping at their heels with 56 points and two games in hand. Maybe most importantly, Washington is far ahead of any other team in the Metropolitan Division and Eastern Conference in general.
After weathering a tough schedule, the Capitals showed that some rough stuff won’t deter them tonight: