Tomas Kopecky had a hat trick and an assist as the Florida Panthers scored four power goals in a wild 6-4 win over Pittsburgh.
The Panthers scored their first four goals on the power play and three of them came in a five-minute span of the second period. Pittsburgh rallied back to tie the game at 4-4 with three goals of their own in the latter half of the period. James Neal and Chris Kunitz each scored for the Penguins while Sidney Crosby had two assists in the losing effort.
SPIN: This was an odd night for goaltenders as Tomas Vokoun got yanked after going down 4-1 and Jose Theodore of the Panthers got pulled after allowing three goals to tie the game. Scott Clemmensen came on in relief and got the win for Florida. Brian Campbell continues his strong play on the blue line with a goal and two assists (all of them on the power play) in this game.
Florida continues to give any owners of Panthers fits. They either score zero or one goals in a game and they’ll turn around and put five or six the next time out. The inconsistency is maddening. And there’s nothing we can do about it.
Washington blanked Carolina behind a 33-save shutout from Braden Holtby. Nicklas Backstrom had a goal and an assist for the Capitals.
SPIN: Stop the presses! Backstrom scored a goal! It was just the second one of the season but it’s still news when he gets one. Holtby has won two straight starts and Washington stands at 7-10-1 after now winning five of its last seven. Cam Ward made 37 saves for Carolina but yet again didn’t get any offensive support and Carolina was shutout for the second time in a week. He’s still a .500 goaltender at 6-6-1 but has the potential to be so much better.
Dallas escaped Columbus 5-4 in overtime on Loui Erickson’s sixth goal of the season.
SPIN: Dallas has quietly scored at least three goals in each of its last 11 games. The only downside is that practically nobody on that team has more than six goals in 20 games this season so no one is really standing out as that stud to own on the Stars. Columbus is starting a run of 10 of its next 12 games at home so this is their chance to make some noise and be relevant in fantasy. The game featured four ties so neither team got on one of the runs we’re used to seeing this season and there were none of the quick consecutive goals either. While four players each picked up two assists, this was really a game between two teams that give a ton of goals so this was moderately expected.
Boston dropped the Islanders 4-1 as Tuukka Rask stopped 36 of 37 shots for the Bruins. Brad Marchand picked up his 10th goal of the season for Boston in the win.
SPIN: Boston continues to be one the better teams in the league that no one is talking about despite a 12-2-2 record. The Islanders hit a bump in the road in this game but should be okay going forward. The Bruins are balanced from top to bottom which doesn’t help many of us out in fantasy.
Buffalo tripped up Tampa 2-1 behind 30 saves from Ryan Miller. Thomas Vanek had two assists for Buffalo while Steven Stamkos scored the lone goal for Tampa.
SPIN: Buffalo picked up its seventh win of the season and Miller was able to have a solid performance against a top-tier team. The star players got about what was expected of them. Stamkos scored for a sixth straight game and is as hot as ever. Hopefully Buffalo builds off of this hard-fought win quickly otherwise they’ll be left in the dust by the rest of their conference as they sit on the bottom of the standings.
San Jose beat Colorado 3-2 in the shootout. Logan Couture picked up his seventh goal of the season for the Sharks and Semyon Varlamov made 39 saves for Colorado in the loss.
SPIN: The Avalanche defense continues to put Varlamov in the crosshairs which is great if your league rewards save percentage or total saves. The Sharks are 2-of-46 on the power play in their last 10 games which is a massive reason why they had been on a long winless streak. I’m still not crazy about the Sharks nor the Avalanche and would consider them matchup plays at best.
Minnesota bumped off Calgary 2-1 in overtime on Zach Parise’s goal. Jason Zucker had the other goal for Minnesota and Alex Tanguay tallied on the power play for the Flames.
SPIN: The Flames’ power play needs a spark after not getting a shot off during a five-minute major power play in the second period and a double-minor power play in the third. Ryan Suter had both assists and is looking better with each game. I still find it hard to trust any of the Flames at this point after this game.
Winnipeg got two goals from Olli Jokinen and two from Evander Kane as they got past the Rangers 4-3.
SPIN: It’s been a while since we’ve heard much from Jokinen in fantasy could be a while before he hear from him again. Kane is starting to become a little more reliable in fantasy. Winnipeg finished a road trip 4-1 so perhaps the value of goaltender Ondrej Pavelec is on the rise as well. The Rangers are horribly beaten up and have been without Rick Nash for the last six games which is partly why they are 1-3-2 in that span. It’s time to pull back on the Rangers until they get healthy and get their heads back squarely on their shoulders in fantasy.
Phoenix doubled up Vancouver 4-2 behind a pair of Kyle Chipchurra goals. Daniel Sedin picked up a goal in the losing effort.
SPIN: Phoenix picked up its first regulation win on the road this season so maybe the Coyotes have figured out how to get the job done away from home. Paul Bissonnette had an assist to make it three games in a row with a point. It’s the first time in his five-year career he’s had a point streak that long so he’s not worth picking up on the waiver wire. He’s worth a good follow on Twitter, though (@BizNasty2point0).
Multiple Goal Scorers
Chipchurra-PHX; Jokinen-WPG; Kane-WPG; Kopecky-FLA HAT TRICK
Stat of the Night
The Panthers were 1-of-24 on the power play including 0-for-17 at home before last night’s four-goal eruption.
Three Stars of the Night
1. Kopecky Four-point night (3G,A)
2. Holtby 33-save shutout
3. Miller 30-save effort; held Tampa to one goal
Wednesday’s Games (all times ET)
Montreal at Toronto 730pm
Washington at Philadelphia 730pm
Nashville at Anaheim 1000pm
Detroit at Los Angeles 1000pm