The Ottawa Senators’ injury woes continued as goaltender Craig Anderson left last night’s 3-2 win over the NY Rangers with a right ankle injury. Ben Bishop came on in relief and wound up giving up both goals in the third period before triumphing in a seven-round shootout. Anderson stopped all 21 shots he saw before leaving as Ottawa posted its third straight win.
Ryan Callahan and Ryan McDonagh scored for the Rangers while Jakob Silfverberg and Mika Zibanejad lit the lamp for Ottawa.
SPIN: It didn’t look pretty when Anderson got plowed in the crease in this picture from Senators Extra in the Ottawa Citizen. Anderson is another tough pill for Ottawa to swallow after Jason Spezza and Erik Karlsson were both lost for long periods of time. Robin Lehner is going to get the call up from the American Hockey League to backup Bishop for the duration of Anderson’s injury.
Losing Anderson isn’t easy but I think Bishop is going to be a decent waiver wire pickup if you need a replacement for Anderson. I’m not a doctor by any stretch of the imagination but I won’t be surprised if Anderson is out at least two weeks with the injury. We all know how much of a pain the dreaded high ankle sprain is in other sports but it’s even that much worse for a goaltender. Other goaltenders I would consider are Ondrej Pavelec of Winnipeg or Tomas Vokoun of the Penguins of you’re looking for another option. The final thought on the Anderson injury is this could really bring the Senators even closer together and fire them up. Or it could tear them apart if this is any sort of long-term injury.
Rick Nash missed his second game for the Rangers with an undisclosed injury and we don’t have any insight as to what it is or when he might be back.
Minnesota knocked off Edmonton 3-1 and the Wild was fueled by Matt Cullen’s two goals and an assist. Ryan Smyth had the lone goal for the Oilers. Nicklas Backstrom made 25 saves in the win for the Wild.
SPIN: If Minnesota can learn to play better on the road, they might be one of these teams to creep into the playoffs. They might be able to build some momentum against a reeling Calgary team that they face in the next couple games so look to get your Wild into your lineup. With the amount of time between games, Backstrom should start a run of several starts in a row and would make a good option in goal for your team.
It looks like Edmonton put everything it had into the win against Colorado because they’ve scored just two goals in the last two games since that amazing rally. With Phoenix and Chicago up next, there might be a goal drought coming up for the Oilers.
Toronto took down Buffalo 3-1 to improve to 11-7-0. James van Riemsdyk scored twice for the Leafs and Ben Scrivens stopped 31 of 32 Buffalo shots in the win.
SPIN: Ryan Miller continues to get no help in goal for Buffalo. He’s been allowing three or fewer goals in each of his last seven games but the offense isn’t doing anything for him. I’m looking to bench the Sabres except for Miller and Thomas Vanek until they can get something going on the offensive end of the rink.
Toronto has won 7 of its last 9 games and with games against Ottawa and Philadelphia coming up it could get to a 9 of 11 run for the Leafs. van Riemsdyk now has 11 goals on the year and is a must-start. Dion Phaneuf scored the other goal for Toronto and might be on the verge of turning his season around.
That thud you heard was the Flyers crashing back to Earth after a 5-2 loss to Florida. Johnathan Huberdeau had two goals and two assists in the win for Florida. Peter Mueller also scored twice for the Panthers in the win. Jakub Voracek continued his hot streak with a third period goal in the losing effort.
SPIN: Ilya Bryzgalov made it through little more than half the game before getting yanked for Brian Boucher. And I thought the Flyers had it all together again. This is now the fourth time this season they could have gotten to .500 and the fourth time they’ve fallen short. The Flyers also lost Matt Read for six weeks to torn muscles in his rib cage. At this point in the season, this could put him out for the rest of the fantasy season as he might not be back until early April if all goes well. It just might be time to put Bryz on the bench on your fantasy team until he gets his head screwed on the right way.
The Panthers continue to be nauseating with the roller coaster of offense that they’ve been putting their owners on. Over their last six games they’ve scored zero, five, zero, five, zero and now five again. While it’s a pattern it also makes me want to run and get a bottle of Pepto if I own Panthers. It also is just as puke-inducing if you own their goaltenders as well.
New Jersey slipped past Washington 3-2. Washington took five straight penalties in the third period and it opened the door for the Devils to rally back and win. Patrick Elias had a goal and an assist for the Devils while Ilya Kovalchuk added a goal in the win.
SPIN: Nicklas Backstrom picked up his 11th assist of the season but is still stuck on one lousy goal. The Caps only managed 19 shots on goal in this game which was their worst output of the season yet they went 2-of-4 on the power play. That sentence alone means I can’t figure this team out for anything in 2013. Alex Ovechkin had a five-game point streak but he’s now gone pointless in three games since it ended.
Elias and Kovalchuk are must-starts and Elias has a surprising 16 assists. The goals aren’t there in mass for the Devils but they are winning thanks to their goaltending. David Clarkson was hot for the Devils but cooled off in the last 10 days with one goal in his last five games.
Winnipeg knocked off Carolina 4-3. Winnipeg’s Blake Wheeler had two goals which offset the two-goal game by Jiri Tlusty of the Hurricanes. Andrew Ladd had a goal and two assists in the win.
SPIN: Anyone else think Tlusty is starting to become the Jeremy Lin of this NHL season? Both were guys who weren’t doing much but got more playing time and got hot for about 10 games then went back into relative obscurity. So far the pattern seems to fit Tlusty to a tee. Wheeler scored for the first time in eight games for Winnipeg. Ondrej Pavelec picked up a rare win in goal for Winnipeg and could fill in if you lost Anderson of Ottawa last night. Winnipeg is 0-for-17 in its last seven games on the power play so it makes me a little gunshy about putting Jets in my lineup. Dustin Byfuglien is in a funk going pointless in his last five games since coming back from an injury.
The Islanders beat Montreal 4-3 in overtime on Thomas Hickey’s first NHL goal. Matt Moulson scored twice in the win while the Canadiens got a pair of goals from Max Pacioretty in the loss. (Note: Hickey Hurts Habs was our second choice for a headline.)
SPIN: Evgeni Nabokov has quietly become a halfway decent goaltender to put in your lineup. I was quite surprised to see him at 7-6-1 following this win in which he made 30 saves on 33 shots. It was a good bounce back game after getting hammered for seven goals allowed on Monday against Philadelphia. John Tarvares picked up a couple assists to get to 22 points this season (11G, 11A). Get Pacioretty into your lineup since he has scored all four of his goals in the last three games.
Boston slipped past Tampa 3-2 despite Steven Stamkos posting a goal and an assist for the Bolts. Brad Marchand got the game-winner and that is his second goal in as many games.
SPIN: Boston is 10-2-2 this season. Tampa is 8-7-1 after a fast start. Nathan Horton scored his fifth and sixth for Boston so he looks like a good addition to the regular lineup. That is all.
Vancouver nipped Dallas 4-3. Alex Burrows led the way for Vancouver with a goal and an assist.
SPIN: Sedins look sharp again with a goal and an assist. Jamie Benn picked up his fifth goal of the season for Dallas to break a little drought. Ryan Kesler had a couple assists in the win for the Canucks.
Columbus beat Detroit 3-2 on Vinny Prospal’s sixth goal of the season that came in the final minute of the game.
SPIN: Detroit, really, what is happening? Five in a row in the loss column and the only bright spot is that two of them came in overtime. I’m benching Jimmy Howard for a few days here until the Wings get this figured out especially since four of the five losses are one-goal games.
Multiple Goal Scorers
Cullen-MIN, van Riemsdyk-TOR, Huberdeau-FLA, Mueller-FLA, Wheeler-WPG, Moulson-NYI, Pacioretty-MTL, Horton-BOS, Tlusty-CAR
Stat of the Night
Minnesota is 28-8-2 against Edmonton in the last six seasons.
Stat of the Night II
Backstrom is 23-3-1 lifetime against the Oilers.
Three Stars of the Night
1. Huberdeau Four-point night for the Panthers
2. van Riemsdyk Continues to impress with 11 goals this season
3. Tlusty Will the hot month continue?
Friday’s Games (all times ET)
Florida at Pittsburgh 7pm
Vancouver at Nashville 8pm
San Jose at Chicago 830pm