The 1st game of the day was going to be a goodie. Two Original 6 teams the New York Rangers and the Boston Bruins were meeting up. Let's just say these 2 teams have a long history and don't like each other. After a scoreless 1st period the 2nd period was much more exciting. New York's Ryan Callahan scored 1:31 into the 2nd period. Boston's Andrew Ference tied up the game 2 minutes later. Nothing further until Marian Gaborik scored for New York with just over 5 minutes left in the period. Finally Adam McQuaid scored for Boston with 49 seconds left in the 2nd. Rich Peverley and Andrew Ference assisted that goal. No scoring in the 3rd and the game was heading into OT. With almost 2 minutes gone in OT Andrew Ference made a questionable hit on New York's Ryan McDonaugh. Ference received a 5 minute major penalty and a game misconduct. With the dying seconds of OT ticking away, New York's Marian Gaborik scored the winner with 3.6 seconds left in OT! New York wins 3-2. Let's point out that in a game like hockey, a player like Andrew Ference scored the 1st goal for Boston and assisted the 2nd but eventually made an illegal hit and was given a 5 minute major and game misconducted leading to a New York man advantage and Boston lost. One minute you are helping your team win the next you lose it for your team. New York continues to lead the east with 64 points, Boston is 2nd with 62 points.
The 2nd game was between the Philadelphia Flyers and the New Jersey Devils. In a 4-1 victory for Philly it was an injury filled game for the team. Jaromir Jagr left after 4 shifts with a lower body injury. Danny Briere, #48 for Philly took a what looked like a little bump to the head. Briere finished the game but afterwards it was announced he had a concussion. No scoring in the 1st period, Matt Read and Scott Hartnell scored for Philly in the 2nd and Scott Hartnell again and Wayne Simmonds unassisted scored in the 3rd for Philly. The only goal scored for New Jersey was scored by their newest Devil Alexei Ponikarovsky, who was traded from Carolina the night before.
The 3rd game of the day was in Vancouver, Canucks vs San Jose Sharks. Games between these 2 teams became much more interesting this year after Vancouver beat San Jose in round 3 game 5 of the Western Conference Finals last year. This was the 4th and final meeting between these 2 teams this season, unless they meet up in the playoffs. Vancouver won 4-3. Vancouver's Lucky #7 David Booth scored 66 seconds into the game to get Vancouver on the scoreboard. At the end of the 1st Shark Logan Couture scored and the 1st period ended in a 1-1 tie. 55 seconds into the 2nd period and Logan Couture struck again and it was San Jose in the lead 2-1. Then All Star selected Vancouver Rookie Cody Hodgson scored his 12th of the season to end the 2nd in a 2-2 tie. Into the 3rd period it was. Vancouver's Ryan Kesler scored with 5:49 gone in the 3rd, only to have Dan Boyle tie it up 36 seconds later. Then again Cute Rookie Cody Hodgson scored the game winning goal 56 seconds later. Roberto Luongo ends this game with 212 wins as a Canuck, beating former leader Kirk McLean and his record of 211 wins.
The 4th game was between the 9th place Ottawa Senators and 28th placed Anaheim Ducks. The Ducks are on a 4 game win streak, and it didn't end yesterday in a 2-1 win over Ottawa. It was Team Canada's Corey Perry scoring in the 2nd assisted by Cherry Hill, New Jersey native Bobby Ryan and another Team Canada player and Anaheim Captain Ryan Getzlaf that made the 1-0 lead. Then at the end of the 2nd it was the Europeans Lubomir Visnovsky of Slovakia scoring assisted by Niklas Hagman and Saku Koivu both of Finland. Anaheim ended the 2nd in a 2-0 lead. Then in the 3rd Ottawa's Chris Neal assisted by Nick Foligno and Erik Karlsson scored but it wasn't enough, Anaheim won 2-1.
The 5th game of the day was between the Winnipeg Jets and Florida Panthers. Florida had a 2-0 lead at the end of the 1st. Winnipeg made it a 2-1 game at the end of the 2nd with a goal by Nik Antropov. Then in a back and forth 3rd it was Antropov again, then Florida, and Winnipeg again to end the game 3-3 and send it into OT. With no scoring in OT, a shootout was looming. The shootout went into the 7th round and it got exciting until Florida's and former Canuck Mikael Samuelsson scored and won the game for Florida. Florida now sits 13th in standings with 54 points and Winnipeg is 21st with 50 points.
The 6th game was again between two Original 6 teams with a long history and they also don't like each other. The Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens squared off yesterday in a great game to watch. The crowd always gets so involved you can't help but watch. The 1st period ended in a 1-1 tie. No scoring in the 2nd. In the 3rd Montreal scored two goals to end the game 3-1. Carey Price made 32 saves and Jonas Gustavsson of Toronto made 20 saves.
The 7th game of the day was won by the New York Islanders in OT. Carolina scored in the 1st, goal by Jeff Skinner and NYIs scored in the 2nd by John Tavares. A scoreless 3rd and OT is was. With 3:58 gone on the clock in OT John Tavares found the back of the net and it was Islanders 2- Hurricane 1. The Islanders are 24th in the league and Hurricane 27th.
The 8th game was a surprising one. It was between 30th place and last in the league, the Columbus Blue Jackets and 1st in the league, the Detroit Red Wings. Columbus's Ryan Russell actually opened up the scoring in the 1st. A few minutes later Detroit's Niklas Kronwall tied it up 1-1. The 2nd saw Columbus take the lead again when Nikita Nikitin scored but Detroit Captain Nicklas Lidstrom tied it up again 2-2 end of the 2nd. No scoring in the 3rd or in OT and it wasn't until Detroit's Valtteri Filppula scored in the 4th round of the shootout before it ended. This is also how hockey works. The worst team in the league had the best team in the league playing catch up the entire regulation portion of the game. Detroit has 65 points and Columbus 32.
The 9th game of the day went to the Buffalo Sabres and St. Louis Blues. St. Louis sits 3rd in the league on a 4 game win streak, Buffalo on the other hand is 26th on a 5 game losing streak. Buffalo scored 1st, but then St. Louis scored 2 and by the end of the 2rd period it was 2-1 Blues. The Sabres, with 1 minute left in the 3rd made it 3-2 with a goal by Tyler Myers but then 25 seconds later St. Louis took back their 2 goal lead with David Backes scoring into an empty net.
The 10th game of the day went between 2 great teams in the Central Division the Nashville Predators and Chicago Blackhawks. The Preds took this one 5-2. The Preds over the past years have really proven they are a contender. Don't underestimate the team from the Music Capital of the USA. Chicago is always good and feared everywhere. Chicago scored 1st in this game with Marian Hossa netting his 19th goal of the year. Then Nashville answered back with 4 consecutive goals by Craig Smith, Kevin Klein, Colin Wilson, and Sergei Kostitsyn to end the 2nd period 4-1. 48 seconds into the 3rd period and Hossa netted his 20th goal of the season but Nashville's Patric Hornqvist scored 2 and 1/2 minutes later and the final score was 5-2. Chicago is 4th in standings with 64 points and Nashville is 8th with 60 points.
The 11th game was between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Phoenix Coyotes. It went like this: Tampa scored 3, Phoenix 1, Tampa 1 and Phoenix 2. The leagues 2nd leading points scorer Steven Stamkos opened the scoring. After this game Phoenix is still beating Tampa in the team standings with 50 points while Tampa has 44.
The 12th game went to Minnesota in a 5-2 win over the Dallas Stars. Dallas scored the 1st and only goal in the 1st period by Eric Nystrom. Then Minnesota socred in the 2nd but 2 minutes later so did Dallas to take the one goal lead again. Then fashionisto Cal Clutterbuck tied it for Minnesota only to have teammates Chad Rau and Kyle Brodziak end the 2nd in a 4-2 . Minnesota's Dany Heatley scored the 5th goal and that was that. Minnesota is 16th in standings with 53 points while Dallas is 20th with 51.
Lucky #13 game was between Alberta rivals the Calgary Flames and the Edmonton Oilers. It was Taylor Hall's 1st game back since 30 stitches after a freak accident and skate blade to the head. Calgary took this one 6-2. After a breakout 1st period it ended 3-0 Calgary, with the 3rd goal being scored by Lee Stempniak. The 2nd saw only one goal, again scored by Stempniak. The 3rd period was more back and forth with Edmonton, Calgary, Edmonton, and finally Stempniak scoring the last goal for Calgary and collecting a hat trick! As far as Alberta's teams are in the standings, Calgary is 18th with 52 points and Edmonton is 29th with 38 points.
The 14th and final game of the night went to the Colorado Avalanche with a win over the Los Angeles Kings. The Kings actually opened up the scoring with a goal by Anze Kopitar in the 2nd after a scoreless 1st period. After that is was all Colorado. Cody McLeod and Peter Mueller scoring for Colorado in the 2nd period. Then in the 3rd Gabriel Landeskog scored to make it a 3-1 final. In the 15 games since Darryl Sutter has taken over as head coach for the Kings this was only their 2nd loss in regualation. The Kings have shot up the standings chart and are now 12th with 56 points while the Avalanche is 15th with 54 points.
After that huge recap of a typical Hockey Night in Canada let's do a quick recap of who is leading the points race in the NHL. It gets interesting this time of year.
Evgeni Malkin who had last night off with his Pittsburgh Penguins is 1st with 55 points. Keep this in mind, Malkin has played 40 games, scored 25 goals and registered 30 assists.
There are 4 players with 52 points. Steven Stamkos, Marian Hossa, Claude Giroux, and Henrik Sedin.
Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning has played 47 games, netted 32 goals and helped in 20 others.
Hossa of the Chicago Blackhawks has played 48 games, netted 20 goals and helped on 32 others.
Giroux of the Philadelphia Flyers has played 42 games, netted 18 goals ad helped on 34 others.
H.Sedin of the Vancouver Canucks has played 48 games, netted 11 goals and helped in 41 others.
There are 2 players with 51 points Joffrey Lupul and Pavel Datsyuk.
Lupul of the Toronto Maple Leafs has played 47 games, netted 20 goals and helped on 31 others.
Datsyuk of the Detroit Red Wings has played 47 games, netted 13 goals and helped on 38 others.
There are also 4 players who have 50 points. Jonathan Toews, Phil Kessel, Jason Spezza and Daniel Sedin.
Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks has played 49 games, netted 27 goals and helped on 23 others.
Kessel of the Toronto Maple Leafs has played 47 games, netted 25 goals and helped on 25 others.
Spezza of the Ottawa Senators has played 50 games, netted 20 goals and helped on 30 others.
D.Sedin of the Vancouver Canucks has played 47 games, netted 20 goals and helped on 30 others.
Isn't it interesting to see Malkin has played the least amount of games and is leading the race?! Keep an eye on these players. They make games fun and entertaining!
Watch out for Episode 7 of Hockey Talk with Courtney airing later this week!