Johnathan Toews had a hat trick and The Blackhawks needed all of it as Chicago escaped with a wild 6-5 win over Ottawa. Marian Hossa looked sharp with a goal and two assists. Andrew Shaw scored twice in the win for the Hawks.
Ottawa had five different goal scorers with Milan Michalek and Kyle Turris leading the way with a goal and an assist each. Craig Anderson gave up an uncharacteristic six goals for the Senators and has allowed 11 in his last two starts. Yikes!
Hopefully it’s a bump in the road for him. If it’s not, Ottawa’s in trouble. Still roll with him unless you have an elite second option but don’t be afraid to bench him if he looks shaky again. The Sens take on the Isles next.
Chicago’s goaltending has me concerned lately. They’ve allowed five goals in three of their last four outings which is a stark cry from earlier this season when they’d allow one or two on most nights. Nikolai Khabibulin had to be yanked after Ottawa’s fourth goal and Corey Crawford came on in relief. In each of his last two starts, the Builn Wall has been horrible and Chicago has had to rally back to get a point. If Bulin gets the call, start all of your Blackhawks in that game.
Max Talbot turned aside 22 shots as the Rangers turned away their cross-town rivals 3-2. Talbot was called up when Martin Biron was released after posting a horrible stat line. Talbot is the backup for Henrik Lundqvist and looks to have good fantasy value in deeper leagues. Barring injury, he should stay up with the big club for the season. Derek Stepan had two assists and was the only player with multiple points in this one.
The Ducks got past the Flyers 3-2 as Kyle Palmieri scored twice in the third period in the win. Wayne Simmonds picked up a pair of assists in the win to double his point total for the season to four. Simmonds (1-3—4, -7 in 11 games) is a good example of how down it’s been in Philly. Changing the coach from Peter Laviolette to Craig Berube didn’t seem to help much yet.
Not even Mac and Dennis could make this season of hockey in Philadelphia sunny.
Jonas Hiller looked solid in goal (26-28) and gave Steve Mason another hard-luck loss. Mason is a guy to target right now if you need help between the pipes. Yes his 3-6 record is crappy but it’s hard to find a guy with a 2.25 GAA and a .928 save percentage that you could potentially plug and play. It’s not his fault the offense is in park, but he’s doing everything he can to hold down the fort.
Carey Price outdueled Kari Lehtonen in the Canadiens’ 2-1 win over Dallas. Michael Bournival and Rene Bourque carried the offense while Cody Eakin didn’t get any other help in carrying his team to victory. This was just one of those games where the goaltenders are the stars. Carrying on.
Adam Henrique and Jaromir Jagr scored second period goals to lead the Devils to a mild upset of Tampa Bay. Steven Stamkos lit the lamp on the power play for Tampa but it’s surprising they only put 17 shots on goal in this one. A meager offensive output like that was enough to make Martin Brodeur a winning goaltender. Brodeur has won his last two starts to move to 2-2-2 this season. Ben Bishop took the loss and falls to 7-2-0 this season.
It’s clear Bishop is the guy in Tampa this season and he should be rostered in your league. If not, go steal him away. Last season, Anders Lindback posted a goals against average right around 3.00; Bishop is a sparkling 2.41 right now in nine starts. He’s a big reason why Tampa Bay is starting off strong at 8-4-0.
St. Louis continues to roll along at 7-1-2 following a 3-2 win over Winnipeg. Alexander Steen notched his league-best 11th goal of the season as the game-winner with a minute left in regulation. You read that right, Steen leads the league in goals. I would never have thought I’d see that.
Alex Pieterangelo added a goal and an assist from the blue line in the win. Blake Wheeler (PP) and Bryan Little (SH) each scored special teams golas for the Jets. Andrew Ladd assisted on both of them. Jaroslav Halak continues to roll along with a 7-1-1 mark and a 2.15 GAA this season. He’s not quite Antti Niemi but he’s a strong candidate to be a top-five goalie if the keeps this up.
Phil Kessel was all the offense the Leafs needed in a 4-0 win over Edmonton. Kessel scored twice and assisted on the other two goals for Toronto. James Reimer made a 43-save shutout on the other end of the ice so this one didn’t come easy on the other end of the rink. Nazem Kadri had a three-point night with a goal and two assists.
Kessel is on a three-game goal streak and has seven points in his last three games. He’s got 18 points in 13 games and is looking more and more solid by the day. Toronto at 9-4-0 looks to be a contender again.
In the late game, Phoenix goaltender Mike Smith made 41 saves to help the Coyotes knock off Los Angeles 3-1. Kyle Chipchurra had a goal and an assist and seldom-used Andy Miele picked up a pair of helpers in the win. Ben Scrivens (30-33) took the loss for the Kings.
The Coyotes are overshadowed in their own division by San Jose, Anaheim and Vancouver but they need to be looked at as a source of fantasy value. They are 7-1-2 in their last 10 games which is the same as teams like Chicago and St. Louis. They’re third in goals per game at 3.3 per outing. It’s time to comb the desert and look at guys like Mike Ribiero (5-4—9) and Mikkel Boedker (2-7—9) for some value. Phoenix does it with balance and it’s worked out well so far.
Wednesday’s Games (all times ET)
Boston at Pittsburgh 8pm
Toronto at Calgary 8pm
Detroit at Vancouver 1030pm
San Jose at Los Angeles 1030pm