Phil Kessel posted a hat trick and erased a two-goal deficit as the Toronto Maple Leafs doubled up the Anaheim Ducks 4-2 last night. James van Riemsdyk came back to the lineup and had a pair of assists for the Leafs. Jonas Hiller (19-23) lost out to Johnathan Bernier (23-25) in the goaltending matchup.
Kessel has eight points in his last nine games. If the Leafs can find the right set of linemates for him, he has that 40-45 goal potential written all over him. Over at Dobber Sports, Kessel has worked with Tyler Bozak on the left side and either Mason Raymond or van Riemsdyk on the right side, according to their line information over the last three games. Consistency will be the key for Kessel and hopefully JVR can stay healthy and cement that number one spot on the right side with Kessel.
Vancouver knocked off the Islanders 5-4 in overtime on Brad Richardson’s goal 2:16 into the extra session. Each of the Sedin Twins scored in the win while Ryan Kesler added a goal and an assist.
Matt Moulson scored a pair of power play goals for the Islanders in the loss. Frans Nielsen had a goal and two assists. He’s getting time with the top players on the Islanders and is part of the four-forward power play unit as well. Nielsen is definitely worth a grab on the waiver wire if he’s there.
Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 24 of 25 shots as Columbus dumped New Jersey 4-1. Brandon Dubinsky had a power play goal and an assist with a +3 rating while James Wisnewski had a goal and two assists and a +2.
I’m not too high on the Blue Jackets for the next few days as they host Toronto and Anaheim before a home-and-home with Pittsburgh. The potential is there for Columbus to perhaps drop 3 of 4 and fall to 5-8-0 on the season.
Edmonton bumped off Montreal 4-3. The Habs scored the first two but the Oilers got the next four to post the win. Tomas Plekanec scored on the power play and has three goals in his last three games for Montreal. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Mark Arcobello and Jordan Eberle each had a pair of assists in the win.
It’s an impressive win because of the nice team effort involved for Edmonton. They’re going to need more of that since Taylor Hall is down for the next four weeks with a knee injury. Devan Dubnyk posted his second straight win in goal for the Oilers but still has horrible stats so he’s best left on the waiver wire.
Chicago needed the shootout to take care of Florida 3-2. Johnathan Toews and Brian Bickell scored for Chicago. Tomas Flesichmann and Dmitry Kukilov scored less than three minutes apart in the third period to force overtime.
Jacob Markstrom took the overtime loss. He had to come on in relief of Tim Thomas with 2:41 left in the game. Thomas went to the bench and didn’t come back with some sort of lower-body injury. He missed time with a groin issue before and it might be flaring up again. Stick Thomas on the bench, healthy or not, until he can get it done.
What’s more surprising is that Chicago gave up a pair in the third period to the Panthers. Chicago is 6-1-2 but I wonder how strong of a team it is after not being able to polish off the Panthers quickly.
Minnesota got a shutout from Josh Harding as he made 16 saves in a 2-0 win. Justin Fontaine and Jason Pominvile potted the goals. Pekka Rinne stopped 27-of-29 in the loss. Rinne is still not getting offensive support and that problem continues this season too. Nashville is 5-4-1 and has scored two goals or fewer in 7 of the 10 games this season. If only Rinne had some offense…
Washington downed Winnipeg 5-4 and needed the shootout to get the win. Alex Ovechkin scored twice and leads the league with nine goals this season. Marcus Johansson picked up two assists for the Caps in the win. Bryan Little tallied twice for the Jets while Andrew Ladd chipped in three assists. Braden Holtby made 43 saves in the win.
Mike Ribieiro scored twice to lead the Phoenix Coyotes to a 4-2 win over Calgary. Radim Vrbata and Rob Klinkhammer also scored for the Coyotes while Joe Colborne and Lee Stempniak lit the lamp in the loss. Don’t look now but Phoenix is 5-0-2 in its last seven games and 6-2-2 overall. Whether they can sustain it over the season is another story.
Wednesday’s Games (all times ET)
Ottawa at Detroit 730pm Bostong at Buffalo 8pm