The last 12 games for the Columbus Blue Jackets have been “The Sergei Bobrovsky Show.” The goaltender for Columbus has been the driving force behind the Blue Jackets’ 12-game surge where they’ve gone 8-0-4 and are on the cusp of the Western Conference playoffs.
Bobrovsky had an easy time of it this night as the Blue Jackets doused the Flames 5-1. Nick Foligno scored twice in a 51-second span. Add to that an Artem Anisimov goal and Columbus had three goals in 75 seconds to break open a 1-1 game.
SPIN: The run Columbus has been on is nothing short of amazing but it might come to a screeching halt, quickly. In this 12-game run, they’ve played 10 games at home with the only two road games at Chicago and Detroit. Now the Blue Jackets will face a bigger test with four straight in the road (NSH, VAN, CGY, EDM) and have just five home games remaining. It’s not quite time to hop of the Bobrovsky Bandwagon but be don’t be surprised if you need to find the nearest emergency exit in case of an unexpected stop. The Blue Jackets had 14 of their last 16 games decided by one goal.
Curtis Glencross had the lone goal for Calgary (his 13th) and the Flames have gone from bad to worse to eeek. They’re winless in their last nine games (0-8-1) away from the Saddledome. Jarome Iginla looks like he could be moved at the trade deadline since things are looking bleak in Alberta.
Washington pummeled Winnipeg for the second straight night, this time it was 6-1. Alex Ovechkin scored twice for the Capitals as they have consecutive wins for the first time in two weeks. Dustin Byfuglien scored the lone goal for Winnipeg.
SPIN: Ovechkin is playing like the first-round pick you spent on him, much to your relief, after his miserable start. Ondrej Pavelec regressed this weekend between the pipes for the Jets. He got pulled 5:50 into the second period after allowing a third goal on just nine shots. Al Montoya mopped it up the rest of the way and he also allowed three goals. The Jets allowed 10 goals this weekend to Washington and face high scoring teams Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh in two of their next four games. The other two games they have are against Carolina which can be the make-or-break week on the top of the Southeast Division. Safe to say, Pavelec and Montoya should be getting comfortable on the bench for the next week. I would also be hesitant to put many Jets out there if your league has plus-minus ratio as a factor as well.
Washington has won three of its last four games. The Capitals have power play goals in all four of those games. Coincidence? I think not.
The Penguins doubled up the Islanders 4-2 for their 11th win in a row. Pascal Dupuis had a goal and an assist, Sidney Crosby had two assists and Chris Kunitz bagged his team-leading 19th goal of the season.
SPIN: John Tarvares had an assist for the Islanders and has points in seven of his last 10 games this month. The Islanders are a lousy 5-11-2 at home and have fallen into the start-the-stars-only category. The Islanders had a 12-0 edge in shots in the game’s first 12 minutes…and held just a one-goal lead. Tomas Vokoun made 33 saves and picked up an assist on the empty-netter in the final second for Pittsburgh. The Pens just continue rolling.
Detroit thumped Anaheim 5-1 to halt the Ducks’ home winning streak at 13 games. Justin Abdelkader had a hat trick in the first two periods and Jimmy Howard made 33 saves in the win.
SPIN: The Ducks had to lose sometime at home, right? Teemu Selanne scored first for the Ducks but little else went right. Jonas Hiller got pulled for Viktor Fasth after allowing Detroit’s third goal. Johan Franzen had a goal and a pair of assists. Detroit might be on its way back to the playoffs as they jumped back into the sixth spot with this win. Sustaining it is a question but I think they might be able to build off of this win.
Multiple Goal Scorers
Abdelkader-DET ***HAT TRICK*** Foligno-CBJ, Ovechkin-WSH
Stat of the Night-Coughing It Up
The Islanders have led or been tied in the third period in 25 of their 31 games this season yet they are 13-9-3 in those situations. The third-period woes are why they are not looking like a playoff team.
Three Stars of the Night
Saturday’s Games (all times ET)
San Jose at Minnesota 2pm The Wild search for a fifth straight win.
Tampa Bay at Ottawa 2pm The Lightning try to save their season.
Vancouver at Los Angeles 4pm The winner of this one gets fourth in the West for now.
Boston at Toronto 7pm Northeast Division foes duke it out.
Buffalo at Montreal 7pm It will be an uphill climb for the Sabres to get a third-straight win.
Florida at New Jersey 7pm The Panthers weak offense faces the game’s best goaltender.
Columbus at Nashville 8pm Will it be 13 straight with a point for Columbus?
Colorado at Dallas 8pm Two teams on the outside of the playoffs try to stay alive.
St. Louis at Edmonton 9pm Edmonton has just 11 losses…and is only at the break-even point (11-11-7).