It was a battle between goalies that have been doing everything they can to keep their teams in games and they both showed why they’re good at what they do. It’d be Jon Quick getting the W tonight though stopping all 34 shots he faced in earning his fifth shutout of the year in a 2-0 win over Boston. Tim Thomas also played spectacularly stopping 32 shots. Only Ryan Smyth’s power play goal and Andrei Loktionov’s second goal of the season eluded Thomas as the Kings won their second straight game. For Boston, despite all the shots it wasn’t a very cohesive game and they were lacking a little something. They’ll have to hope that it’s not a sign of things to come as they’ll be without Marc Savard for an indefinite amount of time with a concussion.
It wasn’t their best effort but it was a win nonetheless and the hero of the game is a guy who was a healthy scratch on and off for the last couple weeks. Brandon Yip scored twice for Colorado as they were able to hold off a late rally by St. Louis to get the win. Kevin Shattenkirk’s power play goal in the third broke a 2-2 tie while Ryan Stoa’s goal 44 seconds later provided the game winner. David Backes would score with under two minutes to play to cut the lead and Peter Budaj would make a tremendous stop in the waning seconds to keep the Blues from tying it. Budaj finished the game with 21 saves to get the win. Jaroslav Halak stopped 28 shots in the loss.
NY Rangers 2 – Washington 1 (F/SO)
Very quietly the Calgary Flames are getting themselves back into the playoff picture in the West. Their win over Nashville tonight was their third straight win and gives them 52 points on the season, four back of Colorado and Chicago for seventh and eighth in the conference. Curtis Glencross, Jarome Iginla, and Brendan Morrison each had a goal while Matthew Stajan and Alex Tanguay had two assists each to keep Calgary rolling. Miikka Kiprusoff was solid stopping 23 shots giving up only a goal to David Legwand. The Predators fail to gain more ground on Central leading Detroit with the loss. Pekka Rinne stopped 24 shots in a losing effort.
A wild game in Raleigh helps set the tone for the upcoming All-Star Game by seeing guys who definitely aren’t considered as much taking center stage. Brandon Sutter scored two goals to lead the Hurricanes to victory while Tim Brent scored two of his own including a stunning shot-fake deke of Cam Ward while shorthanded to give the Leafs hope early on. Brent finished the game with three points. Meanwhile, Jean-Sebastien Giguere was mediocre for Toronto stopping just 21 shots in the loss. The win pulled Carolina to within one point of Atlanta for the eighth spot in the East. The East doesn’t quite have the mass hysteria in the mix for the playoffs, but things might play out very fun with a sense of elimination if nine or ten teams are actual playoff threats.