Michael Hutchinson gets the nod in Nashville
Michael Hutchinson will look to right the ship tonight in Nashville. The Jets’ goaltender allowed three goals on 17 shots in a loss to the Senators on Wednesday. Hutchinson has lost three of his last five games while posting a 2.57 GAA and .906 save percentage. The Jets have not won in Nashville this season and will look to avoid a third straight loss to the Preds.
Pekka Rinne, who has lost four in a row, gets the nod for Nashville.
Blues at Leafs: Brian Elliott vs. Jonathan Bernier
Stars at Lightning: Jhonas Enroth vs. Andrei Vasilevskiy
Islanders at Panthers: Michal Neuvirth vs. Dan Ellis
Sabres at Capitals: Anders Lindback (unconfirmed) vs. Braden Holtby
Avalanche at Blue Jackets: Semyon Varlamov vs. Curtis McElhinney
Canadiens at Coyotes: Carey Price vs. Mike Smith
Penguins at Kings: Marc-Andre Fleury (unconfirmed) vs. Jonathan Quick (unconfirmed).
Canucks at Sharks: Eddie Lack vs. Antti Niemi
Olli Jokinen may not be the only player suiting up for his third team this season.
The Columbus Blue Jackets have added Rene Bourque on emergency recall from the AHL’s Springfield Falcons.
The Jackets play host to the Colorado Avalanche tonight.
Columbus acquired Bourque, who started the season with the Montreal Canadiens, from the Anaheim Ducks on Monday.
The 33-year-old appeared in 30 games for the Ducks scoring two goals and six assists to go along with a minus-4 rating.
Bourque had two assists in 13 games with Montreal prior to being waived in November. He also dressed in four AHL games with the Hamilton Bulldogs scoring two goals and two assists.
The Ducks acquired Bourque in exchange for defenseman Bryan Allen on Nov. 20.
Columbus won its only other meeting against Colorado 4-3 on Jan. 4.
With less than a minute remaining in regulation, his team needing a win and down a goal, Marian Gaborik came through. And he did so again in the shootout, too.
Gaborik scored early in the period, and then the tying goal with 45 seconds remaining in the third period to send Thursday’s game between his L.A. Kings and the visiting Montreal Canadiens to overtime. In the shootout, Gaborik scored L.A.’s first goal and the Kings eventually prevailed over the Habs, with Dustin Tokarski in net, by a final score of 4-3.
After getting dominated through the opening 20 minutes — the Kings held a 13-2 advantage in shots on goal — the Habs got back into the game and took the lead in the third period.
That was before Gaborik’s heroics. Jeff Carter and Anze Kopitar also scored in the shootout.
And that has only tightened up the playoff race in the Western Conference.
The Kings came back to win in a shootout.
The Minnesota Wild won in regulation.
The Calgary Flames won in a shootout.
The Vancouver Canucks lost in the shootout.
These are results that could eventually determine the post-season picture.
With a single point, the Canucks stayed second in the Pacific Division. But both the Flames and Kings are right on their heels, each sitting with 74 points, two back of Vancouver.
Each of those three teams have now played 64 games. Eventually, something has to give.
Toronto forward Richard Panik has become the seventh player to be fined for diving this season, the NHL announced on Thursday:
Panik was issued a Warning following an incident flagged by NHL Hockey Operations during NHL Game No. 824 at Montreal on Feb. 14. His second Citation, which triggered the $2,000 fine, was issued for an incident during NHL Game No. 936 at Washington on Mar. 1.
Capitals defenseman Mike Green received a minor penalty for holding on the play, at 10:57 of the second period.
Here’s video of the incident against the Caps:
With that, Panik joins Islanders goalie Michal Neuvirth (fine occurred while with Buffalo), Montreal’s P.K. Subban, the Islanders’ Cal Clutterbuck, Detroit’s Gustav Nyquist, Florida’s Vincent Trocheck and Nashville’s James Neal as the seven players to be publicly outed as divers, under new rules put forth by the league this season.
The race for the playoffs is heating up, and so is the race for the Presidents’ Trophy for the NHL’s top regular season team. Right now, the Anaheim Ducks are slightly out in front of the pack.
In what would be a battle of the top team from the West versus the top team from the East, the Ducks soundly defeated the visiting Montreal Canadiens by a final score of 3-1, giving them 91 points, which puts them two ahead of the Nashville Predators, who are second in the league’s overall standings.
John Gibson made 37 saves for the win. The Ducks are now on a four-game winning streak.
Playing against his former team, Ducks winger Jiri Sekac, acquired from Montreal in exchange for Devante Smith-Pelly on Feb. 24, set up what would be the winning goal off the stick of Rickard Rakell in the second period.