Tim Thomas stole many of the headlines (and at least a couple should-be goals) on Saturday night, but Jaromir Jagr made history as the New Jersey Devils beat the Florida Panthers 2-1 in OT.
Jagr assisted on Marek Zidlicky’s game-winning goal with just a few seconds left in the overtime period. With that, he broke a tie with Mario Lemieux for seventh all-time in point scoring with his 1,724th.
The 41-year-old has 36 points in 46 games this season. He reached that 1,724th point in the 1,437th game of his NHL career.
Here are the six players ahead of Jagr, all-time:
1. Wayne Gretzky – 2,857 points
2. Mark Messier – 1,887
3. Gordie Howe – 1,850
4. Ron Francis – 1,798
5. Marcel Dionne – 1,771
6. Steve Yzerman – 1,755
For all the critiques Jagr has sent his team’s way, the veteran winger is backing up his words on the ice, even after all this time. The Devils improved to 19-18-9 on the season with the win while Florida fell to 17-21-7.
Related: Thomas didn’t make it easy for the Devils to score tonight, to say the least.
It’s not often that you see two saves that could be the best of a given season in the same night, but Corey Crawford and Tim Thomas did just that on Saturday.
First, let’s take a look at Corey Crawford’s second-effort stop in the Chicago Blackhawks’ game against the Montreal Canadiens:
Next, we’ll plunk this example of Tim Thomas’ flexibility down here, in case you don’t want to go back to this post about his exploits in the Florida Panthers’ match against the New Jersey Devils:
So, which one impressed you more? Would both be save of the year candidates for 2013-14?
Update: Both goalies lost in overtime on Saturday, as Andrei Markov collected the marker for Montreal against Chicago while Marek Zidlicky finished Jaromir Jagr’s record-breaking assist to win it for New Jersey vs. Florida.
However you feel about Tim Thomas, most would agree that there are few – if any – goalies who bring the same kind of impressionistic flair to the position that Thomas does. He showed that on Saturday, as he made an astounding stop against the New Jersey Devils:
Sometimes he’s even exciting when he’s not making a save, as you can see from his little spin after giving up this goal by Michael Ryder:
So, either way, the unorthodox goalie entertains.
Update: He didn’t win, however, as Jaromir Jagr’s history-making assist powered the Devils’ 2-1 OT win against Florida. Thomas did make another big save or two, though.
News and notes from around the crease…
Reimer gets a shot
The Leafs will get James Reimer some much-needed game action tonight against Carolina, as he’ll make his first start since allowing three goals on 12 shots against Detroit on Dec. 21.
Reimer did see some action in relief of Jonathan Bernier during Saturday’s 7-1 loss to the Rangers, but will be in from the get-go tonight after Bernier struggled against the Isles on Tuesday.
Carolina hasn’t confirmed its starter yet, but Anton Khudobin seems likely to be in goal.
Hiller gets a rest
The Ducks will give red-hot Jonas Hiller the night off Thursday, allowing Frederik Andersen to get the nod against Nashville.
Andersen last played on Dec. 29 — allowing three goals on 23 shots in a loss to San Jose — but has been stellar this season overall, posting a 9-2-0 record with a 1.98 GAA and .927 save percentage.
Andersen will take on Marek Mazanec in the Preds goal.
Panthers at Sabres: Tim Thomas vs. Jhonas Enroth
Stars at Devils: Cory Schneider in for New Jersey. No word yet on a Dallas starter.
Capitals at Lightning: Philipp Grubauer vs. Anders Lindback
Blues at Flames: Jaroslav Halak vs. Karri Ramo
Wild at Coyotes: Niklas Backstrom vs. Mike Smith
Bruins at Kings: No confirmations yet. Jonathan Quick likely for Kings.
Red Wings at Sharks: Jimmy Howard in for Detroit. Antti Niemi likely for San Jose.
News and notes from around the blue paint…
After missing extensive time to a groin injury, Sergei Bobrovsky will make his first start since Dec. 3 tonight in New York, against the Rangers.
Prior to getting hurt, Bobrovsky had relatively mediocre numbers — 10-11-2 with a 2.72 GAA and .909 save percentage — but the Jackets will look for him to solidify the goaltending position after Curtis McElhinney allowed far too many goals in recent games. In their last three losses, the Blue Jackets were scored on 16 times.
The Rangers will counter with Henrik Lundqvist tonight after Cam Talbot beat the Leafs 7-1 on Saturday.
Stars at Islanders: Kari Lehtonen vs. Evgeni Nabokov
Panthers at Canadiens: Carey Price in goal for Montreal, Tim Thomas likely for Florida.
Flames at Avs: Karri Ramo vs. Jean-Sebastien Giguere.