morning shot of hockey to go with your coffee.
January 31st, 2014
LAST NIGHT’S SCORES:
Quick Hits today. Here are yesterday’s picks in case you missed them. Asterisk indicates who I picked:
Habs down Bruins* 4-1 – The Canadiens really stepped up in this one. Goalie Peter Budaj stopped 34 shots while the defense blocked 16 and killed off all three Boston power plays.
Maple Leafs double up Panthers 6-3 – The Leafs scored five straight goals after trailing 2-0. Two of the goals came within 31 seconds of one another in the second period. Even better news for Toronto, Jonathan Bernier stopped 35 of 38 Florida shots that came his way. The goalie tandem of Bernier and James Riemer could help the Leafs go far.
Blue Jackets blast Capitals* 5-2 – Bob did a great job proving me wrong and shutting down the Capitals. The crazy about this game is that both teams each had seven power plays. How many of the seven goals in this game came from those 14 power plays? Zero. It speaks to the Metropolitan itself, as much as it pains me to say. Aside from the Penguins, the other seven teams in the division miss out on a lot of great opportunities. Six points separate second and seventh place not because they’re all equally talented, but because they’re all missing golden opportunities. I hate to say it, but the Met’s spot in the Eastern Conference Finals is easily the Penguins to lose.
Sens down Lightning 5-3 – Tampa Bay goalie Ben Bishop left the game 1:49 into the first period after being kicked in the head by a teammate. He hope he will wake up today and be able practice. Bishop (16-7-4, 2.01 GAA) is a big reason the Lightning are in second place right now and if this injury does turn out to be serious, the Lightning could be in trouble.
Devils down Stars in OT: 3-2 – The Stars rallied to tie up the game with less than a minute left in the third period, but Patrick Elias and Jaromir Jagr made up for it only 40 seconds into overtime. Corey Schneider didn’t have to do much as he only saw 16 shots.
Flames beat Sharks 4-2 – The Flames have won their fourth in a row while the Sharks have now lost three-straight, and the last two have came against the worst teams in the West. The Sharks are now 11 points behind the Ducks in the Pacific Division and are 15-15 on the road. That could be their weakness when the playoffs come around.
Avs edge Wild 5-4 – Colorado inked goaltender Seymon Varlamov to a five-year extension yesterday and Varlamov’s play last night backed it up with 31 saves, 17 of which came in the third period. For Minnesota, Zach Parise scored two goals and assisted the other two goals for the Wild. Parise was named captain for the US Men’s Olympic Team. AMERICA!
Sabres rally over Coyotes 3-2 – Ryan Miller saved 38 of 40 shots he saw from the Coyotes. The Sabres sweep the season series against the Coyotes.
Penguins rock Kings* 4-1 – Jonathan Quick had a rough outing against Penguins. He also saw seven shots in the one period he played, and he let up three goals. Martin Jones played better for the final two periods, saving 14 of 15, but Quick will want to rebound fast to make a great case to be the USA’s goalie in Sochi.
0-3 last night. 63-60 on the season now.
The Flyers had a rough night in Anaheim, losing to the Ducks 5-3. The Ducks’ defense locked down blocking 21 shots and only letting the Flyers’ great road power play convert 1 of 4. Ryan Getzlaf scored his career-high 26th goal, assisted Corey Perry’s 29th goal, and fought Steve Downie for the Gordie Howe Hat-Trick. The Flyers continue their trip tomorrow in LA to face the Kings. LA is great at home, but the Flyers have a better shot at winning in the Staples Center than they did last night in the Honda Center. The Keys will the same as usual: puck control and goalie-screening.
GAMES THIS WEEKEND:
A busy weekend around the league. Three games to look out for are: Islanders @ Rangers tonight at 7, Blackhawks @ Sharks tomorrow at 10:30, and Red Wings @ Capitals Sunday at 12:30. Islanders over Rangers: The Isles have dropped four straight including their last game at Yankee Stadium against these Rangers. The difference here is that the Isles are much better on road, as are the Rangers. NYR is 12-16 at Madison Square Garden. Sharks over Blackhawks: Coming home is always a good cure for losing streak. Chicago is 15-12 on the road and are 4-6 in their last ten. The Sharks may have lost their last three, but they are 19-6 at the Shark Tank. Capitals over Red Wings: The NHL knows better than to schedule a game against the Super Bowl, hence the 12:30 start time. Both of these teams are on serious slumps. The difference for me is that the Red Wings have been shut out in their last three road games. That streak should end, but they won’t be able to pull this one out.