The Buzzer: Hurricanes fish for another win celebration

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Three Stars

1. Robin Lehner

Both the Islanders and Coyotes had incentive to win on Sunday, but only the Isles could score any goals, as Lehner continues his fantastic season.

Lehner earned his fifth shutout of 2018-19 by stopping all 31 shots by Arizona. He’s pushed his excellent save percentage to .928 on the season, improving to a 22-12-5 record. On a day full of strong goalie performances – even by those who lost, such as Philipp Grubauer – Lehner stood out as the brightest of the bright.

It’s truly remarkable to see the goaltending the Isles have enjoyed from Lehner and Thomas Greiss.

2. Josh Anderson

It’s tempting to run with the goaltending theme, as Sergei Bobrovsky‘s up-and-down season persisted with another very “up” moment: a shutout, his seventh of 2018-19. Yet, Bob only needed to make 21 saves against the lowly Canucks to do so.

Of the Blue Jackets who contributed to an absolutely crucial win, Anderson had the best game, scoring two goals and one assist.

The first of Anderson’s two goals ended up being the game-winner, while he enjoyed a +4 rating, fired three SOG, and delivered one hit. He was also reasonably close to a hat trick, but just missed on that attempt.

It turns out the Blue Jackets can be pretty dangerous when they get at least a few bounces.

3. Braden Holtby

The Capitals maintained their lead on the Metro Division title despite Lehner pitching a shutout because Holtby was his steady self.

Holtby stopped 35 out of 36 shots in this win, only allowing a power-play goal on Sunday. After losing despite only allowing two goals in his last appearance against the Wild, Holtby improved to 28-19-5 record on the season. With two more victories, Holtby will generate his fifth consecutive 30+ win season.

How did the Hurricanes celebrate their latest win?

Carolina went fishing. Goofy-fun:

Highlights of the Night

Duncan Keith already impressed in containing Nathan MacKinnon during an overtime one-on-one chance, and that outdid himself with a tremendous game-winner:

[More on that game here.]

Lehner’s been a revelation for the Islanders this season, and he could do worse than showing this clip when it comes time for contract negotiations:

Factoids

Scores

WSH 3 – PHI 1
NYI 2 – ARI 0
CAR 2 – MTL 1 (OT)
CHI 2 – COL 1 (OT)
CBJ 5 – VAN 0

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

March Madness is theme of Hurricanes’ latest win celebration

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When you think of March Madness, it won’t take long for the Duke Blue Devils and North Carolina Tar Heels to come to your mind, especially if you’re living in the Carolinas. That apparently isn’t lost on the Carolina Hurricanes.

The team’s latest celebration evoked the NCAA’s beloved college basketball tournament, as the Hurricanes distanced themselves from the East’s bubble teams by thoroughly defeating (the very much West-bubble-dwelling) Minnesota Wild 5-1 on Saturday.

It was a great performance, with Teuvo Teravainen playing the role of MVP via one goal and two assists.

If Teravainen was the star, then call Trevor van Riemsdyk “The Human Hockey Highlight Reel,” as he showed some solid ups with his dunk during this fun celebration:

The Hurricanes are only going deeper into the “prop” stage of these win celebrations, and let me tell you: I’m all for it, and not just because it annoys the crustiest of crusty old hockey men.

Carolina now holds the first East wild-card spot with 89 points in 74 games played. The Montreal Canadiens are behind them in the second WC spot (87 points in 75 GP), making things only tenser for the struggling Blue Jackets, who remain out of the top eight with 84 points in 74 games played.

More and more, it looks like the Hurricanes will avoid another trip to hockey’s NIT (which would be the golf course, or maybe the hockey championship tournament overseas?), as their grip tightens on a playoff spot.

If things go really well, maybe the Hurricanes could celebrate a big win by cutting down the nets?

via Getty Images

Hey, they might as well file away ideas if they keep winning at this pace.

The Buzzer: Roslovic rocks Ducks; Duck-duck-goose truce?

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Three Stars

1. Jack Roslovic

Saturday almost makes you wonder if Randy Carlyle will be sadly muttering “Roslovic” in his sleep.

The young forward played a big role in the Jets humiliating the Ducks 9-3, as Roslovic generated his first hat trick while also adding an assist for four points. You could probably put some other Winnipeg players as 1B, as … you know, there were obviously a lot of goals to go around.

2. Vladimir Tarasenko

There were some other players who generated big nights, even ones who don’t play for Winnipeg. Ryan Pulock‘s a nice example, as he generated three assists to help the Islanders stay surprisingly hot.

Tarasenko’s three points came via one goal and two assists, so consider that a slight boost compared to others.

It’s been a tough season for Tarasenko – at least by his lofty standards – but the deadly sniper has been heating up. This three-point game extends his point streak to four games (three goals, three assists for six points). Tarasenko also fired five shots on goal and generated a +2 rating.

The Blues face an uphill battle to make the playoffs, although they’re improving their chances with strong recent play. This also really hurt Columbus, as the Blue Jackets’ losing streak stretched to five games.

3. Jonathan Bernier

There were some other strong goaltending performances on Saturday, but Bernier comes out ahead because a) he nabbed a shutout and b) had to make 35 saves to do so.

Bernier generated his first shutout as a member of the Red Wings, and his first victory since December. He’s not playing that much behind Jimmy Howard – and in all honesty, it’s probably better for Detroit that he struggles, at least for draft lottery purposes – but this had to be big for Bernier’s confidence.

Speaking of the Blue Jackets

While Nick Foligno believe that the Blue Jackets aren’t far from getting back on track despite losing five in a row for the first time in a long time, John Tortorella isn’t so easily convinced. He seemed pretty glum after the loss.

The Athletic’s Aaron Portzline reports that the Blue Jackets have a team meeting coming soon. There might be yelling.

Highlights

Lightning – Rangers had some great moments. Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov made great music together. Mika Zibanejad‘s pass on Kevin Hayes‘ goal was saucy, and Henrik Lundqvist sent Zibanejad with a great pass of his goalie-own. Lundqvist’s save on Ryan Callahan was gorgeous. So just enjoy the full highlights.

Video evidence of Roslovic’s rollicking night.

This is a hectic one. First, Tomas Hertl makes a nice play (it’s tempting to call him Tomas Hurdle, even if that’s a stretch), then Brent Burns makes some great moves to score the OT-winner.

Ridiculous goal by Connor McDavid, part bajillion.

Mad at silly geese

The next evolution of Carolina Hurricanes celebrations is “Duck-Duck-Goose,” and it’s wonderfully goofy.

But there are plenty of hockey people who do not approve of players go the way of the silly goose.

As you’d probably expect, Brian Burke remains displeased with the Hurricanes’ antics, deeming that “bush league.” (You can see his rant in the final 30-45 seconds of this Sportsnet video.)

There seems to be disapproval from younger onlookers, too, though:

Factoids

Scores

PHI 5, EDM 4 (OT)
NJD 3, MTL 2 (OT)
WIN 9, ANA 3
TOR 3, PIT 2
DET 2, OTT 0
FLA 3, VGK 1
NYI 4, LAK 2
STL 4, CBJ 2
TBL 3, NYR 2
DAL 3, NSH 1
CHI 4, MIN 3 (OT)
VAN 5, COL 1
SJS 3, ARI 2 (OT)

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.