The Phoenix Coyotes scored five goals in 8:26 of the first period to chase Pekka Rinne from the Nashville goal and set the stage for a 7-4 win Thursday night. Rinne allowed three goals in the first 3:50 before getting yanked. Chris Mason came on in relief and gave up three more goals before Rinne started the second period and stayed on the ice.
SPIN: Phoenix built a 5-0 lead on goals from Martin Hanzal, the first of two from Radim Vrbata, David Moss, Matthew Lombardi and Keith Yandle. Nashville answered back with goals from David Legwand and Richard Clune 30 seconds apart for a 5-2 game just 9:33 into the opening period. Vrbata scored again at 15:57 and Gabriel Bourque responded for Nashville at 16:29. Yeah, that’s a heckuva period. Rostislav Klesla picked up four assists in the first period for Phoenix.
Rinne continues to concern me with his inability to put together good starts consecutively. I’d be looking for a backup plan just in case he continues to implode as we approach playoff time. This was a nice breakout for Phoenix but I wouldn’t expect it to continue. Don’t go tripping over each other racing to the waiver wire to get Coyotes after this game.
Toronto doubled up Carolina 6-3 as the offensive explosions continued on Thursday. Toronto led 2-0 before Carolina scored three straight goals to take a 3-2 lead and the Leafs scored four unanswered to close the scoring.
SPIN: The Hurricanes continue to dissipate in the East as they have dropped seven straight. At least they’re scoring more than just one goal a game as they did in the five outings prior to this one. Dion Phaneuf led the way with a goal and two assists in the win. Joffrey Lupul scored again for Toronto while Phil Kessel had a pair of helpers. Alexander Semin led Carolina with a goal and an assist while Jordan Staal and Eric Staal each scored for the Hurricanes. Outside of those three players and an inconsistent Jiri Tlusty, there isn’t much to write home about from a fantasy perspective in Carolina.
Islanders beat the Flyers 4-3 in a shootout. Scott Hartnell had a pair for the Flyers while Colin McDonald lit the lamp twice for New York.
SPIN: Hartnell stole the point for Philly by scoring the game on a power play in the final 30 seconds. John Tarvares bagged his 21st goal of the season and continues to be one of the best forwards in fantasy this season. The balance of these two teams is mainly blah outside of the big-name players.
Pittsburgh made it 14 straight wins as they blanked the Jets 4-0. Pascal Dupuis scored twice and Tomas Vokoun turned aside all 20 shots for the shutout.
SPIN: Pens look great right now. They got Evgeni Malkin back in the lineup and acquired Jarome Iginla in a trade from Calgary. He’s expected to join the team for its next game and returns to being a starter.
Ben Bishop turned aside all 24 shots he saw as Ottawa blanked the Rangers 3-0. Mika Zibanejad led the Senators with a pair of assists.
SPIN: Ottawa has won three straight and looks to be much closer to nailing down a playoff spot than this time last week. And with the return of Craig Anderson coming in the next few days, the Senators are going to be that much better.
Florida bumped off Buffalo 5-4 in the shootout. Shawn Matthias scored twice for the victorious Panthers and Brian Campbell had a pair of assists in the win.
SPIN: Thomas Vanek was scratched with an upper-body injury so it’s that much more surprising Buffalo scored four goals, even against the lowly Panthers. Johnathan Huberdeau found the scoresheet again after an extended layoff.
The Kings doubled up the Blues 4-2. Vladimir Tarasenko scored twice for the Blues but late goals from Mike Richards and Justin Williams broke open a 2-2 game in the final three minutes.
SPIN: Jaroslav Halak stopped 36 of 39 shots in this game for the Blues. After seeing this kind of result, I have more trust in starting him since he held up well to this workload from the defending champs.
Edmonton dumped Columbus 6-4. Cam Atkinson scored twice in the loss while six different Oilers lit the lamp.
SPIN: Edmonton does just enough to stay in the playoff race but doesn’t offer much in fantasy right now. Sam Gagner led the Oilers with a goal and two assists but the team is so inconsistent it’s frustrating. Nikolai Khabibulin started in goal for Edmonton but got lifted for Devan Dubnyk after allowing the Jackets’ fourth goal. Dubnyk came on made nine saves and vultured the win. Sergei Bobrovsky has found life on the road to be tough as he’s dropped three straight on this road trip for Columbus.
Vancouver knocked off Colorado 4-1 behind 32 saves from Corey Schneider. Alexander Burrows, Daniel Sedin and Henrik Sedin each had a goal and an assist in the win.
SPIN: The Canucks have won six in a row to keep pace with the Wild on top of the Northwest Division. Colorado continues to limp along towards the end of the season.
San Jose shutout Detroit 2-0 with Antti Niemi stopping all 27 shots. Joe Pavelski and Brent Burns scored for San Jose.
SPIN: Niemi has thrown consecutive shutouts in goal for San Jose. Perhaps getting back home was what the Sharks needed since they’ve won 10 games at home this season.
Multiple Goal Scorers
Vrbata-PHX, Dupuis-PIT, McDonald-NYI, Hartnell-PHI, Mattias-FLA, Tarasenko-STL, Atkinson-CBJ,
Stat of the Night
San Jose has the best home record at 10-1-4 this season and they have nine home games left.
Three Stars of the Night
Friday’s Games (all times ET)
New Jersey at Tampa Bay 730pm
Minnesota at Dallas 830pm
Anaheim at Chicago 830pm
Columbus at Calgary 9pm