A quiet night in the NHL last night as there were just three games, but there was plenty of excitement. All three games went to overtime and two of them went to a shootout.
The Night that Was:
Sean Bergenheim and Alexander Semin traded goals in regulation, but that 1-1 tie between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Washington Capitals lasted all the way until a shootout. Alexander Ovechkin was the only shooter to score, giving his team a 2-1 win and expanding the Caps lead over Tampa Bay in the Southeast to two points. Dwayne Roloson made 29 saves for the Lightning, but it was Bradon Holtby who stole the show, coming in and replacing Michal Neuvirth after one period of play (Neuvirth took a shot off of the mask in the first before pulling himself during the intermission) and making all 21 saves through the second, third, and overtime.
The Blues and Blue Jackets found themselves in a shootout as well, but there was a whole lot more scoring in this one. Andy McDonald had a pair of goals for the Blues while Patrik Berglund and David Backes each had two points as well. Jakub Voracek and Rick Nash each had multiple points for Columbus as Nash avoided a three-game scoreless streak as the two teams left the first tied at three and the second tied at four. Both Ty Conklin and Ben Bishop saw action for the Blues as Bishop made 19 saves in relief of Conklin, while Steve Mason played the whole game, making 32 saves himself. The shootout was just as high-scoring, as only two players out of the seven that shot failed to score as Alex Steen got the winner.
We were three-for-three in overtime games last night, but Brenden Morrow made sure that the Dallas Stars didn’t make it three-for-three games going to a shootout. Just 38 seconds into overtime, Morrow put home his 26th of the season, the second-highest total of his career. Both Justin Williams and Anze Kopitar had a big night in a losing effort for the Kings, Williams had a goal and an assist and Kopitar had two helpers, but it was really Mike Ribeiro’s night. Riebeiro had a goal and two assists, as he scored the goal that got things going for Dallas and assisted on the one that gave them the 4-3 OT win. Dallas has lost just one game during their last seven while LA has earned points in five of their last seven.
What’s on Tonight?
Ottawa heads to New Jersey in hopes of slowing the red-hot Devils. That would do Toronto a favour as they’re in Long Island visiting the Isles and the Devils are breathing down their neck. Edmonton heads to Philadelphia as Chris Pronger takes on one of his former teams, while Buffalo takes on Pittsburgh. It’s the always fun Boston/Montreal matchup, Chicago heads to Florida, Colorado and Minnesota hook up in a Northwest Division showdown, Vancouver takes on Phoenix in the desert and Nashville heads to San Jose.
The Injury Bug:
-Brendan Morrison will be out for the next two-to-three weeks with a knee injury. Morrison is having his best season since 2006-07.
-Nicklas Backstrom is still recovering from his broken thumb and left last night’s game and didn’t return. Bruce Boudreau however said it wasn’t serious.
-If you’re an Ottawa Senators fan, this is pretty depressing: Peter Regin’s season is over thanks to shoulder surgery, Milan Michalek’s broken foot will keep him out for a month at least, and Matt Carkner will be out a couple of weeks as well with knee surgery.
-Still no updates on concussed super stars Sidney Crosby and Brad Richards.
The Overlooked Fantasy Line of the Night:
Alex Goligoski had a solid night in behind Mike Ribeiro’s three-point effort as he recorded two assists, including one on the game-winner. Goligoski finished with a plus-one rating, and it was his second multi-point game with the Stars.