The Chicago Blackhawks continue to win and with each victory they add to their already record setting start to the NHL season. 23 consecutive games without losing in regulation and counting as we kick off the morning after with a salute to the Hawks.
Not only did the Blackhawks improve to 20-0-3 on the season but they managed to set yet another record, this time a franchise 10th straight victory thanks to a 5-3 win over the visiting Minnesota Wild. The Hawks fell behind early in the first but roared back with four unanswered goals to lead 4-1 after twenty minutes. The Wild would make it close but close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. The pressure is mounting on the Blackhawks and how long will it go is anyone’s guess. They host the Colorado Avalanche tonight.
Meanwhile out west, the Los Angeles Kings look a team possessed, pulling off another victory to give them wins in seven of their last eight. The win came over the struggling St. Louis Blues who have now lost five of seven and are in need of some offensive reassurance who are ravaged with injuries at the moment. For the Kings, they are finally playing like the team that everyone thought they would be when the season started and many picked them as favorites to possibly repeat as champions.
Staying out west, the San Jose Sharks picked up a shootout win in Vancouver last night for a 3-2 final. The victory for San Jose is their second straight third in the last four games after losing nine of ten. For the Canucks, they pick up a point and remain in third but are only three points up on the Minnesota Wild who sit in tenth place.
The Detroit Red Wings continue to plug away at the season that many believed would be the year they finally miss the playoffs. Thanks to a 2-1 win over the visiting Colorado Avalanche, the Wings sit in sixth in the Western Conference and appear to be playing solid hockey that should get them into the spring dance. Goals from Johan Franzen and Niklas Kronwall in the second period were enough to hold off the Avs who got a third period tally from Paul Stastny.
A battle between Southeast division foes took place in Florida when the Panthers were not gracious hosts, defeating the Winnipeg Jets 4-1. It was really a battle of deflated teams who won’t be in the playoffs. The cats are dead last in the east and the Jets, despite winning three in a row last week are too inconsistent to put together any type of winning streak that would catapult them into the playoffs. Realignment is next for the Jets and maybe the travel schedule will be kinder to them. That and maybe the organization will spend some money on free agents that will make this club competitive.
The New York Rangers leap frogged the Philadelphia Flyers into eighth in the east by beating the Broad Street Bullies 4-2 last night. Captain Ryan Callahan and Rick Nash had two goals each but the game was marred when Marc Staal took a puck to the eye. Let the debate about visors commence.
The lackluster Edmonton Oilers made a deal to acquire Mike Brown from the Toronto Maple Leafs, hoping he would provide some spark and toughness to an otherwise emotionless club. It’s hard to say if Brown had that impact last night given the Oilers dropped a 4-3 shootout decision to the lowly Columbus Blue Jackets. Brown had 15 shifts and just over eleven minutes of ice in his debut. The Oilers need much more than a fourth line, sandpaper type player or they’ll be competing with Columbus yet again for the draft lottery.
The Washington Capitals rallied back to stun the Boston Bruins with a 4-3 overtime thriller. After the B’s charged out of the gates to a 3-0 lead in the first, the Caps chipped away at the lead before tying it half way through the third, setting up the opportunity for Eric Fehr to play hero. And he didn’t disappoint with a beauty of a game winner. Check out the Hub to watch the goal.
No Cam Ward? No problem so far for the Carolina Hurricanes who could lock up the Southeast division quicker than any other team this season. The Canes continued to make life miserable for the Buffalo Sabres thanks to a 4-3 win at home Tuesday. Buffalo scored three times in the third to make it interesting but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Hurricanes on this night. For the record the Sabres are just one point out of dead last in the East.
The upset of the night comes to us from the island where the New York Islanders beat the first place Montreal Canadiens, 6-3. The Isles used three goals in the second and three more in the third to stun the Habs and pull the long Island club to within two points of a playoff spot. I wonder if Max Pacioretty thinks the Islanders are jealous too?
Finally, the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the New Jersey Devils 5-2 . For the Devils, it’s now six straight games without a win and they’ve fallen in the standings, all the way down to seventh. With Martin Brodeur close to returning, this club needs him now more than ever.
It’s a light game on the schedule tonight with just four games that includes the battle of Ontario when the Leafs host the Senators. The Blackhawks try and make it 24 straight games without a regulation loss, the Sharks invade Calgary and the Coyotes visit Anaheim.
Enjoy the hockey and we’ll catch up with you tomorrow.
Topics: Buffalo Sabres, Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, Edmonton Oilers, Florida Panthers, Los Angeles Kings, Montreal Canadiens, New Jersey Devils, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, San Jose Sharks, St.Louis Blues, Washington Capitals, Winnipeg Jets