Gabriel Landeskog had a goal and two assists to help the Colorado Avalanche erase a 3-0 first-period deficit and take a wild 5-4 win over the visiting Calgary Flames. Paul Stasny and Matt Duchene also scored for Colorado while Jarome Iginla scored twice in the losing effort. Jiri Hudler had three assists for Calgary.
SPIN: With Landeskog back in the lineup, the Avalanche might actually pick it up a little more and make a run towards a winning record. They currently sit at 8-8-3 on the season. I’m feeling a little shakier about Seymon Varlamov since he still allowed four goals on just 23 shots. This was the same goaltender who allowed five goals…on a night when he got pelted with 55 shots against Edmonton. Also of note, Colorado has finally come to terms with Ryan O’Reilly with an offer sheet. O’Reilly racked up 55 points in 81 games last season for the Avalanche and they could welcome any offensive boost they can get.
Iginla is getting it going at long last and now has four goals in his last three games. It’s hard to say what gave him the wake-up call he needed from a fantasy standpoint but it’s nice to see him produce. The only question is whether he can sustain it or not. The bigger question is the goaltending problem for Calgary. They’re continuing their trend of grinding goaltender after goaltender into oblivion be it through injury or exhaustion. Right now it’s Joey MacDonald’s turn to be the horse that the Flames are saddling up on. He’s made the last five starts and is 2-3 in those games. Calgary is mediocre this season and isn’t anywhere near close to having a hot hand in goal to ride.
Patrice Bergeron and Nathan Horton each scored for Boston as the Bruins slipped past Ottawa 2-1 in overtime. Tuukka Rask made 30 saves for Boston in the win but allowed Jim O’Brien to score in the second period for the Senators’ lone goal.
SPIN: Boston continues to improve this season and is 13-2-2 despite a bad power play. Robin Lehner made 44 saves in his season debut for the Senators and played in his 14th career NHL game. These are the kind of games to expect when you get two of the league’s better teams together. Both teams are still very viable options for your fantasy lineups.
Toronto knocked off the Islanders 5-4 in overtime on Dion Phaneuf’s game-winning goal. Nazem Kadri registered a hat trick for Toronto and James van Riemsdyk had the other goal for the Leafs.
SPIN: Kyle Okposo had a goal and two assists in the loss for the Islanders. John Tarvares was held without a point for his second straight game but still has 25 points this season. The game was also surprising as no penalties were called. Three of the four Islanders that scored in this game logged their first goal of the season; the other lodged his second. The Islanders are a team that once you get past Tarvares, Matt Mouslon and Michael Grabner they don’t have much to offer offensively. They’re also a league-worst 2-8-1 at home so consider deploying any other Islander on the road.
James Reimer made his first start in goal for Toronto after missing eight games with a knee injury. The revolving door of goaltending has resumed in Toronto. Ugh.
The Rangers beat back the Bolts 4-1. Rick Nash returned to the lineup and had a goal and an assist for New York while Carl Hagelin scored in his third game against Tampa Bay this season. Martin St. Louis scored the lone goal for Tampa Bay.
SPIN: Nash fired off an eye-popping 12 shots on goal in this game. The Rangers had a huge shot advantage in this game that was 20-3 after one period and 42-25 for the game. Ryan McDonagh and Michael Del Zotto also came back to the lineup so the Rangers are mended up in short order. Steven Stamkos assisted on the Tampa goal to extend his point streak to eight games and he has points in 17 of 20 games this season.
I’m still wondering just what happened to Tampa Bay. They started out like a house on fire but have since gone 3-9-1 in this last 13 games and dropped four of their last five. The Tampa offense has suddenly stopped in February. Could changing the calendar to March be the answer? Hopefully, it’s not that simple. The Rangers swept Tampa Bay in the season series 3-0.
Carolina downed Pittsburgh 4-1 behind a two-goal effort from Jiri Tlusty. Eric Staal had a goal and two assists in the win and Cam Ward made 26 saves as Carolina picked up its 10th win of the season.
SPIN: Jeff Skinner scored the other goal for Carolina in his first game back after missing several games with concussion symptoms so get him back in your lineup. The Hurricanes are going to be in a fight all season long to claim the crown of a weakened Southeast Division so look for them to have something to play for and put forth their best effort all season. Chris Kunitz got the lone goal for Pittsburgh in the loss. Evgeni Malkin has been skating at the Pens’ facilities but there is still no timetable for his return so just be patient with him. Pittsburgh was held without a power play goal for the first time since February 2nd.
Buffalo bumped off Florida 4-3 in the shootout. Ryan Miller made 40 saves in the win and Nathan Gerbe scored his first two goals of the season in the win. Brian Campbell picked up a goal and an assist in the losing effort.
SPIN: Jose Theodore came on in relief of Scott Clemmensen who started this game for Florida. Clemmensen gave up three goals in the first 16 minutes and was chased to the bench. Theodore stopped all 12 shots he saw in relief. Miller is starting to get back into form and is looking a little more valuable as the Sabres are getting him some offense. Tyler Ennis is also picking it up as of late and could be a good depth add to your roster if he’s available. Ennis had a goal and an assist in the win.
Winnipeg knocked off New Jersey 3-1 and the Jets wasted no time getting started with Andrew Ladd scoring just eight seconds into the game. Ladd had two goals and an assist to power the Jets.
SPIN: Andrei Loktionov scored the lone goal for the Devils but isn’t fantasy relevant. Blake Wheeler added an empty-net goal for the Jets. Dustin Byfuglien is starting to see his stock rise a little more with an assist in this game and better puck handling. The Jets have won three straight and five of their last six games. That’s even more surprising considering the Jets have just one power play goal in their last 11 games. If Winnipeg could pick it up on the power play they might be able to get some breathing room atop the Southeast Division. The Devils are going in the opposite direction with one win in their last six games.
Chicago blanked St. Louis 3-0 for a 20th consecutive game with a point to start the season. Johnathan Toews scored twice and Andrew Ladd had the other goal for 17-0-3 Chicago.
SPIN: Corey Crawford and Ray Emery combined on the shutout. Crawford left the game with an upper-body injury in the first period after making six saves. Emery finished off the Blues with 15 more saves. Crawford’s injury is reportedly not the same one that he had earlier this season so it looks like the Hawks are going to be relying on Ray again. The Blues have been shut down on their last 13 power-play chances and there’s a concern with their offense. The Blues scored three goals in their final four games in February so hopefully they can turn it around quickly since they start a five-game road trip this weekend.
Edmonton hammered Dallas 5-1 in Kari Lehtonen’s first start since coming off of injured reserve (groin). Ales Hemsky had a goal and an assist while Devan Dubnyk made 33 saves for the Oilers.
SPIN: Lehtonen got hammered in this one. When it’s a goalie’s first start after an IR stint, you know it has the risk of being a rough welcome back and that’s what he got from the Oilers. Jaromir Jagr broke up Dubnyk’s shutout bid with a goal with 5:55 left. The Oilers have quietly scored on the power play in five of the last six games so they’re starting to get it going in the right direction. Edmonton needs to since this was the second stop on a nine-game road trip. Sam Gagner picked up a goal 1:!3 into the game and now has 19 points in 19 games for the Oilers.
Minnesota had an offensive explosion in a 4-3 win over Phoenix. Dany Heatley scored twice and Matt Cullen had a pair of assists for the Wild.
SPIN: Wow, the Wild actually have some offensive punch. They still have a league-worst 43 goals scored this season but they are getting it done with defense from goaltender Nicklas Backstrom who made 25 saves in this one. Phoenix got back into this one late on a fluke goal from Keith Yandle. His dump in hit a divider in the glass, took an awkward bounce and handcuffed Backstrom. Shane Doan hammered one home from the slot with the extra attacker to make it 4-3 with a minute left. The Coyotes pulled Mike Smith in favor of backup Jason LaBarbera to start the third period. Phoenix, in a scheduling quirk, plays the Ducks in the next three games.
Detroit nipped San Jose 2-1 in the shootout. Logan Couture scored for San Jose and Patrick Eaves had the lone Detroit goal.
SPIN: The game was scoreless heading into the third period as Antti Niemi (33 saves) and Jonas Gustavsson (25 saves) were locked in a goaltender’s duel. The wheels seem to have completely fallen off for San Jose this month. They lost 10 of 12 games this month and have one regulation win in their last 14 games. Also, San Jose has 10 goals in its last nine games. I’m leaving most of my Sharks on the bench until they can light the lamp with any level of positive consistency.
Multiple Goal Scorers
Kadri-TOR HAT TRICK
Heatley-MIN, Tlusty-CAR, Gerbe-BUF, Ladd-WPG, Iginla-CGY, Toews-CHI
Stat of the Night
Kadri’s hat trick was the first by a Leaf in the Nassau Coliseum since Paul Henderson did it on Feb. 20, 1974.
Stat of the Night II
Carolina is 0-5 against the other Southeast Division teams but is 10-3-1 against the rest of the East.
Three Stars of the Night
1. Kadri Hat Trick for the Leafs
2. Ladd Three-point night in a 3-1 win.
3. Miller 40-save effort for Buffalo
Friday’s Games (all times ET)
Edmonton at St. Louis 8pm These are two of nine Western Conference teams separated by three points that are gunning for the five wild-card spots in the West.
Columbus at Chicago 830pm Will the Hawks make it 21 straight with a point against lowly Columbus?
Minnesota at Anaheim 10pm Will the Wild’s offensive outburst continue for a second straight night?