We’re not sure if the ice in Uniondale is made with holy water but John Tavares and Matt Moulson each had four-point nights in a 5-1 exorcism by the Islanders over the Devils.
Tavares scored two goals in 1:23 at the tail end of the second period to get Islanders up 2-0 before Moulson struck on the power play at 19:04 for a 3-0 lead. Tavares finished off his hat trick on the power play at 14:45 of the third and Michael Grabner’s empty-netter closed the scoring.
SPIN: Well, well, well. The Islanders are a team on the rise as of late. They’ve won a couple in a row and Tavares has a four-game goal streak. Moulson looks to be a sharp player as well and should be started all the time. Evgeni Nabokov is sitting at .500 now and might be worth mentioning as a goaltender to plug into your lineup if the offense can stay intact in front of him. He stopped 30 of 31 shots in the win. The Islanders at 6-7-1 aren’t the most wonderful team in the league but it goes to show that even the mediocre teams and continue to have some positive value. Johan Hedberg was in goal for the Devils and got beaten up a bit. The Islanders got three power-play goals in this one so it looks worse than what it actually was, statistically speaking,
Tampa Bay snapped its six-game losing streak with a wild 6-5 overtime win against the Florida Panthers. Steven Stamkos and Benoit Pouliot each scored twice for Tampa while Florida had five different goal scorers.
SPIN: This may have been the game the Lightning needed to get their offense back on track. They trailed by two early in the third period before Stamkos bagged a power-play goal to make it 5-4. Teddy Purcell was in the right place at the right time to find a loose puck in front of the net and bang it off the goalpost and behind Florida goaltender Jose Theodore and tie the game with 11 seconds left. Vincent Lecavalier now has a four-game point streak going so he’s starting to warm up again. Pouliot looks like he is worth adding on to the back end of your fantasy bench since he now has 10 points this season and can add some depth. Martin St. Louis had a couple assists and that continues to be his most valuable asset to the Lightning. Anders Lindback made 25 saves in goal in his first game back after a short illness.
The Panthers can take some solace in the fact their offense is starting to wake up. In their last four games they’ve scored zero, five, zero then five goals. Florida shows they are capable of breaking out with a big offensive night but needs to find more consistency. Going 0-for-12 on the power play in those four games doesn’t help either. The Panthers will give you balanced scoring, when they do score, so I’m kind of blah on using the Panthers since it’s hard to tell who will get the points. Defenseman Brian Campbell and centers Tomas Fleischmann and Johnathan Huberdeau are the only ones I would use on any sort of consistent basis.
Toronto blanked Ottawa 3-0 behind Ben Scrivens’ 34-save shutout. The Leafs got goals from Frazer McLaren and Tyler Bozak before John-Michael Liles buried an empty netter with 38 seconds left.
SPIN: Scrivens is doing everything he can to take advantage of James Reimer being out with a lower-body injury and seize control of the goaltender position in Toronto. Shutting out Ottawa isn’t quite as impressive since the Senators are so beaten up with big injuries. The better question is where did the Ottawa offense go when Feburary rolled around? Since the first of the month, they’ve scored just 11 goals in eight games. And that was before Eric Karlsson suffered his season-ending Achilles’ injury. Perhaps the fact that the Senators are 0-for-22 on the power play in their last five games might have something to do with it. It’s also hard to put faith in a player like Kyle Turris to get the team going. He scored four goals in the first three games of the season and hasn’t hit the back of the net since.
Toronto’s James van Riemsdyk has been an interesting player when it comes to his production. He’ll go a couple games without a goal, then score twice and then hit the net two times in the next four games. He hasn’t scored in his last couple games so perhaps he’s due for another two-goal game in the near future. Phil Kessel has also been held off the scoresheet the last two games so his offensive outburst hopefully hasn’t ended.
Montreal knocked off Philadelphia 4-1 behind Rene Bourque and Brendan Gallagher’s offensive output of goal and an assist each. Peter Budaj started in goal for Montreal for an ill Carey Price while Brian Boucher gave Flyers netminder Ilya Bryzgalov a much-needed day off. Danny Briere scored the lone goal for the Flyers.
SPIN: The Flyers are still frustrating. When Briere scored at the 13:56 mark of the second period, Philly only had seven shots on goal and finished with 19 for the game. Especially at 2-8-0 on the road, it’s time to think about benching the Flyers especially with higher-scoring offenses of the Islanders (of late) and Pittsburgh coming up next. Claude Giroux has been disappointing with just three goals in 16 games. He’s on pace for nine goals this season. Nine goals. It looks like Giroux’s value is in name-only until his production increases.
Montreal has won three in a row and is starting to get players who can be counted on to contribute consistently in Tomas Plekanec and Rene Bourque. Defenseman Raphael Diaz had an assist in the win, just his second point in the last eight games.
Phoenix bumped off Columbus 5-3 backed by Martin Hanzal’s two-goal game and Keith Yandle’s three assists. Jared Boll had a goal and an assist in the loss.
SPIN: Phoenix might be starting to figure it out. They’ve won three of their last four and bounced back nicely after getting blanked in Nashville on Thursday. They host Calgary before taking the Western Canada three-game road trip in the next week. Goaltender Mike Smith continues to shoulder the load between the pipes and there’s no real reason not to. After they host Calgary, they have five days off before a three-game, four-night run. Surprisingly, Phoenix has the fourth-best offense in the Western Conference trailing only Anaheim, Chicago and St. Louis.
The Blue Jackets are 4-9-2 and last in the West. Nothing to see here from a fantasy perspective as they are on the second of a six-game road trip. The trip is brutal with Anaheim, Detroit, Chicago and St. Louis ahead and all four of those offenses can crank it up.
Anaheim knocked off Nashville 3-2 in a shootout and Victor Fasth has won his eighth straight start for the Ducks with a 32-save effort. David Legwand and Shea Weber scored for Nashville while the Ducks got goals from Matt Belesky and Patrick Maroon.
SPIN: The Ducks just finished a 5-1 road trip in which they scored three or more goals in five of the six games. Add to that some of the weaker teams in the West lie ahead and the Ducks have a recipe for success. Yes, the stars for the Ducks didn’t hit the score sheet but that didn’t stop them. Nashville’s offense sputters along and continues to be one to avoid. The Predators are a Pekka Rinne-or-none proposition in fantasy this season.
Edmonton completed a wild five-goal rally and stormed back to beat the Avalanche 6-4. Jordan Eberle and Ales Hemsky each scored twice and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins tallied his first goal of the season. Semyon Varlamov got pelted in goal for Colorado as the Oilers fired 55 shots on him and he stopped 50.
SPIN: I think the Oilers just woke up and this could be a season-changing win. They could have folded up the tents after falling into a 4-1 deficit 6:24 into the second period. Edmonton had been sputtering along scoring more than two goals once in their previous eight games. The question is whether or not they can build off of this with home games against LA, Minnesota and Phoenix coming up. Devan Dubnyk got the start in goal but was yanked after allowing three goals on 12 shots. Nikolai Khabibulin came on in relief and wound up with the win.
The season of woe continues for Colorado. They blew a 3-0 lead and a 4-1 edge in this game. Varlamov took a pounding between the pipes and it shows other teams that the Avs just don’t have it. Outside of Matt Duchene and PA Parenteau, the Avs just don’t have much to offer in terms of fantasy this season.
Multiple Goal Scorers
Tavares-NYI HAT TRICK
Pouliot-TB, Stamkos-TB, Hanzal-PHX, Eberle-EDM, Hemsky-EDM
Stat of the Night
Tampa Bay leads all teams with 26 third period goals this season.
Three Stars of the Night
1. Tavares Hat trick and a helper for the Islanders
2. Stamkos Pair of goals for the Lightning
3. Fasth The Ducks goalie has won eight in a row. Wow.
Sunday’s Schedule (all times ET)
Pittsburgh at Buffalo 1230pm Will Ryan Miller also limit the Penguins to two goals?
Los Angeles at Chicago 330pm One of these won the Cup last season and the other could win it this season. And they’ll look like total opposites on the ice.
Boston at Winnipeg 6pm Can the Jets get back in the win column?
Calgary at Dallas 6pm Keep an eye out to see who will be the starting goaltender for the Stars.
Washington at NY Rangers 6pm Washington has three straight wins and a chance to crawl out of the Eastern basement.
Detroit at Minnesota 6pm Both teams have lost two in a row–who gets the win?
St. Louis at Vancouver 9pm The Blues visit the Northwest Division leaders.