There were seven games on Sunday and we saw seven one-goal games so Hockey Day in America was full of close contests including Mike Richards of the Kings nearly took down the Hawks by himself.
The only downside about Richards’ rally is that it came too late in Chicago’s 3-2 win over the Kings and the Hawks now have a point in 15 straight games to open the season. Richards scored a pair of power play goals in the third period but Chicago was already up 3-0 by that point. Johnathan Toews and Patrick Sharp scored for Chicago and Duncan Keith had a pair of assists.
SPIN: Ray Emery was able to make the saves when he needed them in the third period to give the Hawks the win. Keith had an all-around solid game with the two assists, a couple of shots and a couple of blocked shots. Johnathan Quick looked better in net as the game went on and made 34 saves but fell short. Richards looks like he’s starting to get it going again with his first multiple-goal game of the season but the Kings’ offense is still generally unappealing at best in fantasy right now.
Brad Marchand’s third period power-play goal broke a 2-2 tie and gave Boston a 3-2 win over Winnipeg. Tyler Seguin also scored for Boston while Evander Kane tallied his fourth goal of the season in the loss.
SPIN: Boston continues to steam right along behind Tuukka Rask and his 22 saves. Milan Lucic didn’t play for Boston as he flew back to Boston for personal reasons and we assume him to be healthy. The Jets continue to falter as they’ve dropped three in a row and four straight on home ice. I’m beginning to wonder where the Winnipeg offense is since they haven’t scored more than three goals in any of their last nine games. Their penalty kill is frighteningly bad. It’s one thing to be last in the league but to be killing just 65.9% of penalties is awful. That alone is why I would keep goaltender Ondrej Pavelec on the bench for a while.
Minnesota slid past Detroit 3-2 with a three-goal second period. The three goals by Dany Heatley, Jason Zucker and Torrey Mitchell came in a span of 4:10 of the period and erased a 2-0 Red Wing lead. Damien Brunner and Pavel Datsyuk scored the goals for Detroit while Henrik Zetterberg had two assists.
SPIN: This was a battle of rookie goaltenders as Detroit’s Petr Mrazek took on Darcy Kuemper for the Wild. Nicklas Backstrom was supposed to be the starter but was sick and Kuemper got the call right before the faceoff. Kuemper turned aside 29 shots in the win and hopefully Backstrom is back to being healthy again soon. Detroit has lost three in a row but it’s just part of the ups and downs of the season so it’s not a major concern.
Pittsburgh knocked off Buffalo 4-3 behind Sidney Crosby’s goal and an assist and a pair of goals from Pascal Dupuis. Ryan Miller gave four goals again for Buffalo and Thomas Vanek picked up his 12th goal of the season on the power play in the losing effort.
SPIN: We’ll have to see if Miller’s play was just an aberration or is the start of another trend of giving up four in a game. Pittsburgh blitzed Buffalo right out of the gate and had two goals on the board in under 90 seconds to open the game. Vanek scored for the first time in four games but it feels like a four or five point game is right around the corner for him. The Pens have are hot as they are on a three-game winning streak and have won 8 of their last 10 overall. Roll with the Pens as long as they are hot and I can’t see Philly or Florida slowing them down in their next two games.
Calgary edged Dallas 4-3. Dallas scored three times in the second period to build a 3-1 lead while Calgary lit the lamp three times of its own in the third to get the win.
SPIN: All of the goal scorers in this game have four or fewer goals for the season so both teams have that blah offense. Dallas goaltender Kari Lehtonen was put on injured reserve retroactive to Friday and will be on IR for at least the one -week minimum. Dallas and Calgary are two teams who are not really lighting the lamp a lot so there’s not much to discuss about either team’s offensive output in this game.
The Rangers took down Washington 2-1. Carl Hagelin and Derek Stepfan scored for the Rangers while John Carlson scored for Washington.
SPIN: The Rangers are suddenly on the rise as they are 5-1-1 in their past seven. Hagelin continues to impress as he now has goals in three straight games. Washington’s offense continues to flounder. Alex Ovechkin has five goals this season and center Nicklas Backstrom has just one in 14 games. The Caps need a jump start in the next few games to try and save the season.
St. Louis took out Vancouver 4-3 in a shootout. Ryan Kesler scored his first goal of the season for Vancouver after missing time due to injuries. The Sedin Twins had a goal and two assists between them. Patrick Berglund picked up his eighth goal of the season for St. Louis.
SPIN: The Blues have won three in a row and could easily make it five straight with games against reeling San Jose and lowly Colorado up next so roll the Blues with confidence. Kesler has been worth waiting for and should start piling up the points quickly so keep him in the lineup.
Multiple Goal Scorers
Stat of the Night
The Stars’ loss to Calgary was the first time they lost in regulation in 80 games when holding a lead after two periods (71-0-8).
Three Stars of the Night
1. Dupuis Two goals in the win
2. Richards A pair of power play goals in a loss
3. Hagelin Continues to score and is heating up for the Rangers.
Monday’s Schedule (all times ET)
Ottawa at New Jersey 1pm
Philadelphia at NY Islanders 1pm
Nashville at Colorado 3pm
Carolina at Montreal 730pm
Toronto at Florida 730pm
Calgary at Phoenix 9pm
Columbus at Anaheim 10pm