The NHL named New York Islanders forward Anders Lee the rookie of the month for February.
He topped all rookies with 15 points in 15 February games, finishing comfortably ahead of the likes of Ottawa Senators forwards Mike Hoffman and Mark Stone (who generated 12 points apiece).
Lee, 24, has really taken advantage of his opportunity to play as one of John Tavares’ wingers, as he’s found some nice chemistry alongside Josh Bailey. As of this moment, his six game-winning goals is the most of any rookie this season.
Considering his status as a sixth-rounder (152nd overall in 2009), this is quite the accomplishment, especially on a team as loaded with young talent as the Islanders.
Check out some stats from his breakout month:
Date Opponent G A PTS Result
Feb. 3 FLORIDA 2 0 2 4-2 loss
Feb. 5 at Philadelphia 0 0 0 3-2 win (SO)
Feb. 7 at Boston 0 0 0 2-1 loss
Feb. 8 at Buffalo 1 0 1 3-2 win
Feb. 10 EDMONTON 0 1 1 3-2 win
Feb. 12 TORONTO 2 0 2 3-2 win
Feb. 14 COLUMBUS 0 4 4 6-3 win
Feb. 16 NY RANGERS 0 0 0 6-5 loss
Feb. 17 at Carolina 1 0 1 4-1 win
Feb. 19 NASHVILLE 0 1 1 5-2 win
Feb. 21 at Washington 0 1 1 3-2 loss (SO)
Feb. 22 VANCOUVER 0 0 0 4-0 loss
Feb. 24 ARIZONA 1 0 1 5-1 win
Feb. 27 CALGARY 0 0 0 2-1 win
Feb. 28 CAROLINA 0 1 1 5-3 loss
Total 7 8 15 9-5-1
The San Jose Sharks had a narrow edge with just a third left to play in tonight’s game against the Ottawa Senators. Then San Jose fell apart in the final stretch to lose 4-2.
That’s unfortunately become a great metaphor for their season. With roughly 61% of the campaign in the books, the San Jose Sharks had a 27-17-6 record and were on track to narrowly make the playoffs. Similarly, Patrick Marleau gave the Sharks hope of at least squeaking by with a win tonight after his power-play goal in the second period allowed them to enter the intermission with a 2-1 lead.
The Ottawa Senators came charging back in the third though with three unanswered goals. Ottawa’s Mike Hoffman was the hero tonight with two goals and an assist, including the game-winner.
While the 2014-15 campaign hasn’t reached its conclusion, if San Jose continues down this path it will be remembered as a team that squandered its postseason aspirations in the final third of the season. As it is, the Sharks finished February with a 3-8-2 record. Given that the second Wild Card seed Minnesota Wild won tonight, the Sharks are now five points shy in that race. However, they’re still only two points behind the Los Angeles Kings and the third seed in the Pacific Division.
There’s enough time left for San Jose to dig itself out of this hole, but the team is running out of chances.
Mason looks for his first win vs. Rangers
Steve Mason will make his first start since Feb. 8 tonight when the Flyers play host to the New York Rangers. Mason allowed one goal on nine shots in relief of Rob Zepp on Thursday night. Mason is 0-2-0 with a 2.59 G.A.A. and .914 save percentage in two starts against New York.
Cam Talbot, who has shutout the Flyers twice this season, gets the nod for the Rangers.
Hurricanes at Islanders: Cam Ward vs. Chad Johnson
Devils at Blue Jackets: Cory Schneider vs. Curtis McElhinney
Coyotes at Bruins: Mike Smith vs. Tuukka Rask
Maple Leafs at Canadiens: Jonathan Bernier vs. Carey Price
Wild at Avalanche: Devan Dubnyk vs. Semyon Varlamov (unconfirmed)
Blues at Oilers: Brian Elliott vs. Ben Scrivens (likely)
Senators at Sharks: Andrew Hammond vs. Antti Niemi
Senators GM Bryan Murray confirmed to the Ottawa Sun that he had discussions with the Toronto Maple Leafs regarding a trade to acquire David Clarkson.
ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun reported the Sens had conversations with the Leafs regarding Clarkson.
“What happened was [Dave Nonis] called me and asked if we’d be interested in talking about [Clarkson],” Murray told the Sun. “I think [Clarkson] will be better elsewhere and there’s no question that what happened in Toronto was not a good thing for him or the team.
“I threw some names at [Nonis] and he said he would take their contracts and I said, ‘It has to be more than that and you’d have to eat some money too.’ We just talked one day and I told him I’d think about it.”
Ottawa’s interest in the forward is not all that surprising. The Sens were reportedly interested in the 30-year-old’s services when he was an unrestricted free agent two summers ago.
In the end Murray was concerned the Leafs wouldn’t retain enough of Clarkson’s salary to make the deal worthwhile.
“I just called back [two days later] and said it doesn’t work,” Murray said. “When he played in New Jersey, I always thought he was a competitive guy. I didn’t think he was worth quite the contract that he got [from Toronto].
“We talked [to] him before he went to Toronto. I think he’s competitive and he plays with grit. I watched us play [Los Angeles Thursday] and I thought we need that grit in our lineup, a guy who can stand up for our players, but it wasn’t him.”
Related: Clarkson hoping to get back to the ‘role that I played in New Jersey’
Ryan Kesler started the rally. Corey Perry finished it.
The Anaheim Ducks, challenged two days ago by head coach Bruce Boudreau, used a four-goal outburst in the third period to erase a two-goal deficit and defeat the rival L.A. Kings by a final score of 4-2 on Friday.
Kesler had gone nine games without a goal, or a point for that matter. He got the comeback going by snapping out of his own drought with a goal less than five minutes into the third period. The Ducks took over on the score board from there. They held the edge in shots on goal — the Kings had more attempts at even strength, as per hockeystats.ca, but could only get 12 shots on John Gibson through the final 40 minutes.
It’s a big win for the Ducks. More importantly, they were looking for a better effort, more emotion in their game, as they looked to break free from recent struggles that had seen them go 6-7-1 in 14 games.
Corey Perry scored the winner, then added the empty net goal with 24 seconds remaining, ending any hope of a Kings comeback in the final minute.
The Kings, who played the night before and were shut out by relative unknown goalie Andrew Hammond and the Ottawa Senators, have now lost two in a row after their eight-game winning streak.