morning shot of hockey to go with your coffee.
LAST NIGHT’S SCORES:
Quick Hits today. Here are yesterday’s picks in case you missed them. Asterisk indicates who I picked:
Maple Leafs edge Bruins* 4-3 – Tyler Bozak and Jonathan Bernier. Bozak had three points, two goals and an assist, while Bernier had 38 saves. You would think that when the Bruins take 41 shots and the Leafs only take 26, Boston would come out on top. But nope, Bernier shut them down.
Lightning* STRIKE Rangers 2-1 – 9 seconds! The Lightning’s two goals came within 9 seconds of each other! That ties their franchise record. The Rangers gave away the puck 14 times and had two power play opportunities in the third period.
Sharks* edge Capitals 2-1 (SO) – SHOOTOUTS!!! At least I won this time, but still! That’s Washington’s 14th shootout of the year. Ovi scored again, which is nice, but Antti Niemi stopped 35 of 36 shots. Say hey San Jose.
Devils down Canadiens 4-1 – Jaromir Jagr scored his 14th goal to get sole possession of 7th on the all time goals list; he would later add an assist for the night. The Canadiens were only able to put 19 shots on Marty Brodeur, a big part of this was thanks to the Devils blocking 13 shots.
Panthers defeat Islanders 4-2 – Well you’d expect to see neither convert on a power play (a total of eight combined) and you’d expect to see Timmy T make 31 saves. Well, the Tim Thomas of old anyway. The Islanders outplayed the Panthers no doubt: out shooting, out hitting, and taking away the puck. The Timmy T of old just wouldn’t let it in, that’s why the Panthers signed him.
Avalanche drop Blackhawks 3-2 (OT) – Gotta give the Hawks credit for recovering from a two goal deficit after one period. But you have to give the Avalanche goaltender Sebastian Varlamov even more credit. He stopped 46 of 48 Chicago Blackhawks shots, in Chicago. That’s easily the toughest place for a goaltender to play. They don’t call it the Madhouse on Madison for nothing.
Blues edge out Coyotes 2-1 – A low scoring game is what the Coyotes would want, but the Blues were able to get through the Phoenix defense. Rather, T.J. Oshie was able to get through. Oshie scored the only two goals for the Blues for his ninth and tenth goals of the year.
Preds down Flames 4-2 – The Preds got out-smashed in Smashville, losing the hits battle 15-7. The difference maker here was that the Predators outshot the Flames 34-24. The big story with Nashville is that their captain, defenseman Shea Weber, is third on their on team in goals with 11. That’ll need to change if the Preds want to have serious success in this league.
Senators blank Wild 3-0 in Minnesota – and Craig Anderson wasn’t in net for Ottawa. The Wild have really been on a slump recently. They’ve now fallen to eight points behind Colorado for third place in the Central Division and have fallen to a negative point differential. Luckily for them, the Coyotes have also been in a slump so the Wild are still a playoff team right now.
Stars thrash Oilers 5-2 – The Star got to an early lead and there was no looking back. Dallas had a 3-1 lead only 10:22 into the first period. The Oilers lost the turnover and the Stars were able to capitalize.
2-1 last night. 51-46 on the season now.
The Flyers hit the road last night to Buffalo where the Flyers looked to bounce back after losing two straight games. The Sabres came out early playing very physically, shutting down the Flyers and going into the first intermission with a 1-0 lead. The Flyers went 0 for 2 in the first but came out quickly and netted an early second period power play goal from Jake Voracek. The rest of the second period was riddled with penalty kills for the Flyers that they were able to kill off. Then came the wild third period. Matt D’Agostini scored a beautiful goal for the Sabres to take the lead. Later on Brayden Schenn tied it up by scoring on a wild play for an open net. Minutes later, Scott Hartnell roofed one on the power play for the Flyers lead. They were playing complete hockey. The Road Power Play was back! But on the very next play, Tyler Ennis was able to come down and tie it up. The goal was easily one of the weaker goals Steve Mason had let up this season. In the final minute, the Flyers come into the Buffalo zone for one last rush. The puck came around to the point, VINNY!!!!!!!!! Vincent Lacavalier sniped one through the Sabres’ defenders and the Flyers took the lead with 15 seconds left. The final 15 weren’t a cakewalk though. Tim Nolan called a timeout for the Sabres and they took it down to the Flyers zone. After an attempted clear that hit the Flyers’ bench, there would be a faceoff with 3.5 seconds left to the right of Steve Mason. Luckily, Captain Claude won the faceoff and the Flyers held on to win!
With the win, the Flyers move back above .500 and into a tie for 2nd place in the Metropolitan Division. The Flyers return home tomorrow night to host the Nashville Predators.
Highlight of the Night:
Three games around the league tonight: Sabres @ Maple Leafs at 7:30, Capitals @ Penguins at 8, and Canucks @ Ducks at 10:30. I’m going all home teams for tonight. Maple Leafs over Sabres: The Sabres loss last night ended their great play at home recently. On the road, however, they are awful. Penguins over Capitals: They’re one of the best home teams in the NHL, easy pick. And also, I’m for once not upset that this is the “NBCSN Wednesday Night Rivalry.” Ducks over Canucks: THE best home team in the NHL and THE hottest team in the NHL right now, even easier pick.