Just two games, but the headlines were stolen by Matt Cooke, who received the punishment for his blatant elbow on Sunday. The two games that did happen though were exciting, one featuring a tight-checking, low-scoring contest while the other had a massive comeback.
The Night that Was:
Leave it to the Detroit Red Wings to make things exciting. Down 4-0 halfway through the second period, Detroit rattled off four unanswered goals of their own to tie things up and send it to overtime against the Penguins. Both teams had four shots in the extra session but nothing came of it as the game moved on to a shootout where James Neal was the only one to score, giving Pittsburgh the 5-4 win. Four Red Wings had two-point nights, including Captain Nik Lidstrom who had assists on the third and fourth Detroit goals while Pascal Dupuis had two goals and an assist and two other Pens had two points. Pittsburgh sits just six points back of Philadelphia while Detroit has a two-point lead over San Jose for second in the West. Pavel Datsyuk and Johan Franzen did not play for Detroit.
The Kings and Flames would trade third period goals from Jarret Stoll and Olli Jokinen, both scoring with less than six minutes left and things would head to a shootout. Stoll would score again in the shootout to tie things up after Alex Tanguay put Calgary ahead, and Anze Kopitar would net the winner for LA, 2-1. Jonathan Quick made 27 saves and Miikka Kiprusoff stopped 26 saves in the tight contest as Calgary moved into a three-way tie for eighth in the Western Conference while Los Angeles now has sole possession of fifth.
What’s on Tonight?
We go from two games to ten: New Jersey faces off against Boston in hopes of moving closer to a playoff spot, Florida hits Broadway to face the Rangers, Ottawa faces the ‘Canes at the site of this year’s All-Star game, and Washington and Philadelphia face off in what could be the matchup of the evening. Buffalo and Montreal meetup in a Northeast matchups, the Islanders take on Tampa Bay and Edmonton visits the Predators. Toronto makes a rare visit to Minnesota, Columbus and Colorado go head-to-head in the Mile-High City and the St. Louis Blues hit the desert.
The Injury Bug:
-Manny Malhotra’s season is done. This is a big blow to the league-leading Canucks as Malhotra suffered an eye injury last week when he was hit in the face by a deflected puck.
-The San Jose Sharks got much better news than Vancouver on the Logan Couture front. Couture, who went into the boards awkwardly on Saturday night and had many fearing the worst (like a broken leg), said that it’s not as bad as it looked. He’s been able to put pressure on it, and is hoping to return to practice, if not play on Wednesday.
-Alexander Ovechkin has been shut down by the Washington Capitals for the next week to ten days to rest up for the playoffs. Ovechkin has been playing through an undisclosed but nagging injury.
Rumours and News Around the League:
-The Ottawa Senators made sure everyone knows what’s going on in their crease over the next few years. Craig Anderson got a four-year extension worth $12.75-million, while word is that Pascal Leclaire won’t be returning to Canada’s Capital next year.
-Matt Cooke was handed a suspension for the last ten games of the regular season along with the first round of the playoffs for his hit on Sunday. Mr. Cooke, you’ve been served.
-The Toronto Maple Leafs dipped into the NCAA again, signing Tyler Brenner to a two-year entry-level contract yesterday. Brenner will report to the Marlies of the AHL after scoring 102 points in his three-year collegiate career.
-And just because you should know: Dominik Hasek is planning on playing another season in the KHL at 46-years old.
The Overlooked Fantasy Line of the Night:
Jarrett Stoll scored in regulation and again during the shootout last night, helping the Kings to a 2-1 win. He was a plus-one with two shots and his impact was felt in the faceoff circle yet again as he won 10 of his 17 faceoffs.