Marian Hossa scored twice to help the Chicago Blackhawks post a 4-3 shootout win over Vancouver last night and tie the 2006-2007 Anaheim Ducks for the longest undefeated (in regulation) streak to start a season at 16 games.
Hossa’s two goals came as part of a three-goal second period for Chicago and erased the 1-0 lead Daniel Sedin staked them to in the first period. Vancouver came back with two late goals from Alexander Edler and Kevin Bieksa in the final three minutes of regulation to force overtime. Patrick Sharp had the other goal for Chicago.
SPIN: The two late Vancouver goals came on long slap shots that found their way past Emery. Did the Canucks possibly find the last piece of the puzzle needed to have someone take down the Hawks in regulation? The Sedin Twins continued their nice roll as of late with another four points between them tonight. Sharp is finally starting to show signs of playing up to his potential with goals now in back-to-back games. The only downside is they are just his third and fourth goals of the season and we’re a third of the way in. Cory Schneider made 40 saves in the losing effort but is nothing more than a second-banana role behind Roberto Luongo. Given how well Luongo has played, I’d look to dump Schneider at the NHL trade deadline unless he gets moved.
Winnipeg slipped past Buffalo 2-1 as Ondrej Pavelec made 29 saves in goal for the Jets. Bryan Little and Andrew Ladd scored for Winnipeg while Jason Pominville got the lone goal for Buffalo.
SPIN: The Sabres are finding new ways to lose as they’ve dropped four of their last five. It used to be that goaltender Ryan Miller would give up a bunch of goals and the hole would be too big for the offense to dig its way out of. Instead, Miller is giving up 2.6 goals per game over his last five and the Sabres are still losing. Outside of his goal in the win over Pittsburgh, Thomas Vanek has gone pointless in his last five games. Buffalo plays seven of its next nine on the road so this could have a chance to improve on a 3-5-0 road record. The other thing I’ve noticed is Buffalo’s power play is beginning to smell like a wet buffalo. In the month of February, the Sabres have all of two power play goals in 37 chances. Eek.
Winnipeg got in the win column for the first time in ten days but there are still concerns surrounding this team. Since they got pounded by Tampa 8-3 on the first of the month, the Jets have been grounded offensively. They’ve managed a meager 12 goals in the seven games since. They’re certainly not making it easy on Pavelec back in goal and his record is getting hurt because of it. The Jets will still be without defenseman Tobias Enstrom for at least another 10 days while he recovers from a shoulder injury that landed him on injured reserve. It’s tough to rely on any of the Jets at this point in the season and there are better fantasy options than what you can find in Manitoba. And they’re starting a run of 8 of their next 10 games on the road. Yikes.
Montreal took down the NY Rangers 3-1 for its fifth straight win. Carey Price returned from a short illness-related absence to stop 24 of 25 shots to help the Canadiens improve to 11-4-1 this season. Anton Stralman scored the only goal for the Rangers while Max Pacioretty and Alex Galchenyuk scored for Montreal.
SPIN: Rick Nash was scratched for the Rangers about an hour before the faceoff with an undisclosed injury. It’s hard to tell is we should be concerned but it bears watching over the next few days to see how it all plays out. Carl Hagelin picked up an assist for the Rangers and now has a six-game point streak.
Ottawa knocked off the Islanders 3-1. Craig Anderson stopped 37 of 38 Islander shots to cool them off. Colin Greening, Andre Benoit and Dave Dziurzynski scored for Ottawa while Travis Hamonic got the goal for the Isles.
SPIN: Anderson is back to form again after getting a day off in the Senators’ last game and looks to be a strong candidate for the title of best goaltender in fantasy hockey a third of the way through the season. John Tarvares didn’t have a poiint but he and Matt Moulson are still worth riding.
Tampa Bay doubled up Toronto 4-2 and the Lightning have now won a couple in a row. Steven Stamkos scored his 10th of the season and Vincent Lecavalier scored his sixth for the Bolts. James van Riemsdyk picked up his ninth of the season in the loss.
SPIN: Ben Scrivens‘ bid for three straight shutouts got derailed with Lecavalier’s goal in the first period. Even though he got pulled the in the third period, Scrivens is still worth a starting spot in your lineup unless he performs poorly. Benoit Pouliot is a little of an under the radar name in fantasy. He had three assists in this one and is riding a three-game point streak. Scoop him up if you can and enjoy the ride.
San Jose finally got a win when they downed St. Louis 2-1 for their first win since their season-opening seven-game winning streak. Tim Kennedy’s third-period goal was the winner for San Jose. Patrick Berglund scored for the Blues while Joe Thornton got the other Sharks goal. Antti Niemi made 25 saves in the win.
SPIN: The Sharks are finally off the druthers of an 0-4-3 run but still haven’t shown much of any signs of life in their offense. I don’t trust the Sharks farther than I can throw them at this point and I want to see more offense with three and four goal games on a regular basis from them. Berglund is on a roll having scored in four straight but I wonder what happened to Vladimir Tarasenko after his hot start. People are starting to drop him but I’d wait a little longer and see what he can do, hoping this is just a small slump in the season.
Nashville beat Detroit 4-3 in overtime. Shea Weber had the overtime winner just 44 seconds into the extra period to give the Red Wings their fourth straight loss. Pavel Datsyuk and Daniel Cleary each scored for Detroit in the loss.
SPIN: Maybe the Predators had their breakout game. Weber owners must be thrilled that he’s finally looking like the defenseman you drafted with his third straight game with a goal. The Red Wings continue to backslide and can hopefully get it back on track against Columbus Thursday before these two teams go at it again on Saturday. Outside of the big starts, the Red Wings really haven’t done much in terms of fantasy this season and even their goaltending is looking rather blah at this point.
Los Angeles took care of Edmonton 3-1. The Kings are back to .500 with this win as Jeff Carter and Jarret Stoll each scored in the final minute of regulation to break open a 1-1 tie. Nikolai Khabibulin had 35 saves in the loss for Edmonton.
SPIN: The Kings have now won three of their last four games but I’m not putting them in my lineup unless I am out of options. They came into the game with just 30 goals in 13 games as a team. In the world of fantasy, that screams please don’t play us. So I don’t. Edmonton is just bobbing back and forth between wins and losses and has yet to put together consecutive wins more than once this season. That’s a little concerning since that creates a roller-coaster effect for owners of the Oilers’ players and makes them hope to have a sick bag nearby.
Multiple Goal Scorers
Hossa-CHI was the only one.
Stat of the Night
Detroit has lost four straight for the first time since a six-game slide March 10-21, 2012 when they lost to Nashville, Anaheim, Los Angeles, San Jose, Washington and the NY Rangers. They righted the ship against Carolina and went 4-3-1 to close the regular season.
Three Stars of the Night
1. Hossa Two big goals for the Hawks.
2. Anderson Getting back to form and shutting down the Isles
3. Stamkos Picked up his 10th goal of the season.
Wednesday’s Games (all times ET)
Philadelphia at Pittsburgh 730pm Which Flyers will show up? The ones who scored seven on Monday or the ones who have sputtered along most of the season?
St. Louis at Colorado 10pm Can the Blues pick up their 10th win of the season and stay within shouting distance of Chicago?
Los Angeles at Calgary 1030pm The Kings could get above .500 with a win while Calgary would get to .500 with a win.