Quick hits all across the board today after a busy night in the NHL:
-Erik Condra doubled his goal production on the season with two last night as Ottawa won it in the last three minutes, 2-1 over New Jersey.
-Keith Aulie’s first NHL goal wasn’t enough for Toronto. They traded goals with the Islanders until overtime when Blake Comeau won it with a tip-in, 4-3.
-Jeff Carter had two goals, Daniel Briere had a goal and an assist, and Sergei Bobrovsky put up 24 saves as Philadelphia dismissed the visiting Oilers 4-1.
-Zbynek Michalek’s first of the season (and as a Penguin) was the second in a three goal output for Pittsburgh. Buffalo scored first, but Pittsburgh had the next three, Penguins win 3-1.
-The Panthers nearly blew a 3-0 lead, allowing two in the second period, but they held on to shut-down the Chicago Blackhawks with a 3-2 win.
-Boston and Montreal met up in yet another chippy affair where a hit by Zdeno Chara on Max Pacioretty stole the headlines. We’ll get to that in NEWS, but the Bruins fell 4-1.
-Jared Spurgeon had the first two-point game of his career, and Martin Havlat had two as well during Minnesota’s 5-2 win over Colorado.
-Dan Hamhuis had a pair of goals, including the game-winner in OT, and the Sedin twins had a three-point night each. Eric Belanger had three as well for Phoenix, but the Coyotes lost 4-3.
-The Nashville Predators forced overtime, but Patrick Marleau played hero as his 27th helped the Sharks beat the Predators 3-2.
What’s on Tonight?
The Oilers go from Philadelphia to Washington, Atlanta visits Carolina, and St. Louis and the Columbus Blue Jackets hook up again. Los Angeles heads to the Motor City to take on Detroit, Chicago looks for better luck in a different part of Florida against Tampa Bay, Calgary looks to stay hot in Dallas, and the New York Rangers head to Anaheim.
The Injury Bug:
-Chris Higgins has begun practicing with the Vancouver Canucks and the thought is that he could be in the lineup as early as Thursday.
-Mikko Koivu is expected back in the Wilds’ lineup during their road trip. He’s been looking a lot better in practice recently as March 14th and March 17th look like possible return dates.
News and Rumours from Around the NHL:
-Zdeno Chara’s hit on Max Pacioretty sent Pacioretty to the hospital on a stretcher yesterday, while it also sent Chara to the dressing room. He’ll meet with Mike Murphy to discuss the hit later today. It is a difficult hit to assess however, as if this happens on the other side of the ice, Chara simple erases Pacioretty along the boards. Instead, Pacioretty is run head-first into the partition over the cutout along the benches. The fact that Pacioretty was hurt on the play will play a part in the suspension (if there is one), so this will be one to watch.
-Anaheim was able to lock up Luca Sbisa yesterday to a four-year contract worth $8.7-million. You may remember Sbisa as the centerpiece in the Chris Pronger deal when Pronger went to Philadelphia. Sbisa has impressed the Ducks with his season so far, becoming one of their most physical players.
The Overlooked Fantasy Line of the Night:
Lars Eller had two goals, including one that was a highlight-reel show-stopper against Boston last night. His second last night became the game-winning goal as he also finished with a plus-one rating. The only thing left to be desired was his work in the faceoff dot as he went 2-for-11 on faceoffs.