Your daily shot of hockey to go with your coffee
Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014
LAST NIGHT’S SCORES:
Islanders double up Panthers 4-2: Both teams are playing for pride now and the Islanders are hot. The Isles have won six of their last ten games, giving John Tavares exciting things to look forward to when he returns.
Canes blast Penguins in Pittsburgh 4-1: The Hurricanes shocked everyone by squandering Penguins’ opportunity to clinch the division last night. Pittsburgh is 8-8-2 since Sochi but still has substantial division lead, a testament to their excellent start. The Penguins will need to turn around this trend in their six games before the playoffs begin two weeks from today.
Maple Leafs shake skid, down Flames 3-2: Toronto snapped an eight-game losing streak that took them from comfortably in the playoffs to sitting a point out of the second wild card. The Leafs have the fewest games left (5) of the five teams in the wild card chase.
Stars blast Capitals 5-0: Washington has lost four in a row now and with six games left, Ovi will need to take over if wants any chance at his first Cup.
Avs edge Blue Jackets 3-2 in OT: Colorado extends their winning streak to four while CBJ falls to 4-4-2 in their last ten games. The points help both teams in their playoff causes; the second Central seed for Colorado and the wild card for Columbus. The Avs seem to be catching fire at the right time while the Blue Jackets seem like they are going to limp across the finish line.
Lightning cool off Canadiens 3-1: These two teams will be playing each other in the first round, barring any miracle run from Detroit. Tampa Bay has won 3 of the 4 regular season matchups but last night was the first game that didn’t go to overtime. Their playoff series is an early frontrunner to be the most competitive.
Rangers edge Canucks 3-1: King Henrik shut down the team of his former coach saving 34 of 35 shots. Martin St. Louis finally scored his first goal with the Rangers, and it was a doozie (see below).
Jets edge Coyotes 2-1 in SO: Phoenix is tied for the last wild card spot now but you have to give the Jets all the credit in this game; specifically goaltender Ondrej Pavelec. Pavelec stopped 28 of 29 Phoenix shots last night, showing Winnipeg has life left.
Sharks down Oilers 5-4: I’ve said this point numerous times and I’ll say it again: Edmonton’s youth will make them REALLY good in a few years. The youth carried the Oilers last night as Taylor Hall and Jordan Hall each netted a goal and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored two goals. The experience of San Jose was the difference here as Joe Thornton, Joe Pavelski, and Patrick Marleau helped the Sharks overcome a 4-3 Oilers lead in the third period.
The Devils and Flyers both fell in shootouts last night; the Flyers to the Blues and the Devils to the Sabres.
I have the recap in my Flyers coverage here
Iceman’s coverage of the Devils game will come later today
HIGHLIGHT OF THE NIGHT
Four game tonight: Islanders @ Senators at 7, Bruins @ Red Wings at 8 (NBCSN), Oilers @ Ducks at 10, and Coyotes @ Kings at 10:30. Senators over Islanders: The Isles have won the season series but the Sens three-game winning streak has given them a small glimmer at the playoffs. Bruins over Red Wings: Boston’s defense will shut down Detroit’s forward even if Datsyuk does return tonight. Jerome Iginla will continue his dominance of the NHL with a goal, calling it now. Ducks over Oilers: The Edmonton youth is still too young to be able of high-production on back-to-back nights, especially in Anaheim. Coyotes over Kings: BIG stretch picking Phoenix on the road but if their offense can produce like it’s capable of, they could give Jonathan Quick a tough time.
Apologies for streaky Hockey Roundup coverage over the last two weeks. Preparations for the NCAA Tournament and the MLB season took up more time than I would have liked. I am very proud to announce the expansion of Thundercrew Team Coverage as baseball begins and hopefully into other sports as well. If you are interested in writing about your favorite team(s), leave a comment below and we’ll connect. Thanks for supporting the THUNDERBLOG!