It’s way too early to rush to final judgments on the trade that sent Devante Smith-Pelly to Montreal and Jiri Sekac to Anaheim, yet the bottom line is that “DSP” is off to a rough start with the Canadiens.
Smith-Pelly, 22, is a healthy scratch for the Habs against the Florida Panthers tonight.
This isn’t just a momentary issue, either; the young forward has produced just an assist and 20 shots on goal in 15 games with the Canadiens. While Sekac (also 22) hasn’t set the world on fire with Anaheim, he’s been a bit more productive and has even seen a shift or two with Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf.
The focus is on getting the most out of Smith-Pelly (not proving that he’s better than Sekac), and that’s where the concern lies.
The Canadiens can clinch a playoff berth in a variety of ways today. The question remains if Smith-Pelly will be able to make an impact in their postseason run, and that’s a pretty big question right now.
For much of Thursday’s game, it looked like the Boston Bruins would do just enough to beat the Anaheim Ducks. Instead, they suffered a bitter 3-2 OT loss, now their sixth straight defeat.
Simply put, the Ducks’ big guns ultimately made the difference. Corey Perry scored the game-tying goal with about 40 seconds remaining in the third period while Ryan Getzlaf nabbed the OT clincher.
(The Ducks noted that Getzlaf’s seven OT-winners stand as a club record.)
Bruins head coach Claude Julien has his beefs about Perry’s 2-2 tally, yet one wonders if the Bruins simply didn’t give themselves enough of a margin for error. The (rather stunning) numbers reveal that the Ducks finish out games with astounding proficiency:
David Krejci looked understandably tentative in his return to action, but he also made some nice plays, including picking up an assist. It wasn’t enough, yet he could be a key component down the stretch.
Some close calls may turn the knife a little deeper for the Bruins during this six-game skid. Counting tonight’s OT defeat, three of these setbacks could have been wins (two were in shootouts).
Could those three points end up being the difference? We’ll see. The only good news for Boston is that tonight was probably even rougher for the Ottawa Senators.
Boston fell just short tonight, and if the Bruins aren’t careful, that may just be the story of their 2014-15 season.
Tonight’s game between the Anaheim Ducks and New York Rangers was billed as a potential Stanley Cup preview and both teams certainly showed a lot of drive in the first period.
Rangers forward Chris Kreider netted the first goal of the game just 1:24 minutes in and over the following 10 minutes an additional four markers found the back of the net.
Ducks goaltender Frederik Andersen looked shaky tonight and was pulled after stopping just four of seven shots over 10:16 minutes of ice time. He was replaced by John Gibson, who turned aside the Rangers’ final four shots on goal prior to the first intermission.
On the other end of the ice, the Ducks bombarded Cam Talbot with 17 shots, but the Rangers netminder managed to stop all but two of them. In both cases, Corey Perry was the man who solved Talbot. Those were Perry’s 30th and 31st markers of the 2014-15 campaign, making this the fifth season of his career that he has scored at least 30 goals. He’s behind just Paul Kariya and Teemu Selanne when it comes to posting 30-goal campaigns with Anaheim, per the NHL Communications Department. Kariya and Selanne achieved that feat six and seven times respectively.
You can watch all five goals below:
NBCSN will continue its coverage of the 2014-15 campaign tonight as the New York Rangers host the Anaheim Ducks at Madison Square Garden, starting at 7:30 p.m. ET. In addition to NBCSN, you can also watch the game and pre-show online.
The New York Rangers and Anaheim Ducks rank among their respective conferences’ best, so Sunday presents an interesting test for each team. Some may even wonder if this could end up being the 2015 Stanley Cup Final preview.
The Rangers hold a commanding lead on the top spot in the Atlantic Division while the Ducks’ Pacific Division brethren faded from their rear-view mirrors long ago.
Each team is now eyeing broader seeding goals, but that hasn’t stopped them from playing well as of late.
Anaheim is on a four-game winning streak as they begin a five-game road trip against Eastern Conference teams with this game versus the Rangers at MSG. The Blueshirts are winners of seven of their past nine contests including Saturday’s 3-2 win against the Carolina Hurricanes (so the Ducks hold a slight fatigue advantage today).
Interestingly, both the Rangers and Ducks are gunning for the Montreal Canadiens to some extent.
Montreal owns a tiebreaker advantage over the Ducks for the NHL’s top standings spot while the Rangers only trailing the Habs by two points despite holding three games in hand.
There should be plenty of firepower on hand with Rick Nash, Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry representing three of the NHL’s premier power forwards.
The netminders may not be so familiar to some fans, yet Cam Talbot will face a quality goaltender, whether it’s Frederik Andersen or John Gibson in net.
These two teams don’t see each other all that frequently, yet they hope to face off in a certain seven-game series in June if things break the right way. Even if this ends up being the last time these two teams meet in 2014-15, it should be a great show on NBCSN.
Corey Perry, with the puck on his stick on a breakaway in overtime — it was trouble for the Colorado Avalanche.
Perry scored his 29th goal of the season 1:25 into overtime to give the Anaheim Ducks a 3-2 victory over the Avalanche, which still picks up a single point to move within six points of the Winnipeg Jets for the final Wild Card spot. Colorado trailed after two periods, quickly built a lead early in the third period, with goals 1:51 apart, but couldn’t hang on.
The Ducks have now won four in a row, and move to 99 points. That keeps them atop the Western Conference standings, and the Presidents’ Trophy race as the league’s best regular season team.
Perry, who benefited from a Colorado turnover caused by Sami Vatanen in the Anaheim zone, went in alone and snapped a quick shot from the hash marks to beat Semyon Varlamov, who made 37 saves.