SIX PACKS ON ICE: NHL recap from Saturday Feb. 23, 2013
New Jersey Devils vs. Washington Capitals
Alex Ovechkin earned his first hat trick since January 2011 and led his team to a 5-1 victory over the Devils. Ovechkin’s production has been down so far this season but with the goals Saturday it looks like he’s back in mid-season form. The Caps put up four third period goals, two from Ovechkin and one each from Eric Fehr and Troy Brouwer, to propel them to the win. The legendary Martin Brodeur was given a day off against the Caps so Johan Hedberg got the start in net. Hedberg made 21 saves in the effort but let in 5 goals that his team just wasn’t able to get back. The teams split the back-to-back games with New Jersey getting the win on Thursday and Washington now the victor on Saturday
Winnipeg Jets vs. Philadelphia Flyers
The Flyers put in three unanswered power play goals between the second and third periods to come from behind and get the win over the Jets. Brayden Schenn of the Flyers had a big day with two goals and an assist in the win. Winnipeg held a 3-1 lead over the Flyers halfway through the second period but were unable to maintain the lead giving up the go ahead goal to Wayne Simmonds nine minutes into the third. Simmonds notched his second Gordie Howe hat trick in the last three games and now has 13 points on this season. The Jets, who had put together a mini two game winning streak before Saturday’s game, will have to bounce back quick with the second game of a back-to-back taking place Sunday.
Phoenix Coyotes vs. Edmonton Oilers
The Oilers came back from being down 2-0 to the Coyotes to produce goals in the second and third period to force an eventual shootout. In the shootout the Oilers got two beautiful goals from Sam Gagner and Jordan Eberle to give them the 3-2 victory. Phoenix had a first period goal from Kyle Chipchura and another from Matthew Lombardi in the second before the Oilers made their push. Eberle cut the lead in half near the end of the second period and then Teemu Hartikainen tied it up eight minutes into the third adding his first goal of the year. Despite the loss Mike Smith was outstanding in goal making 41 saves, including some key stops to keep his team in the game. Missing from the action Saturday was Edmonton’s Taylor Hall who started serving his 2 game suspension for the hit he put on Minnesota’s Cal Clutterbuck.
Colorado Avalanche vs. Los Angeles Kings
The Kings produced two goals in the first and two more in the second to give them the 4-1 win over the Avalanche on Saturday. The Av’s captain Gabriel Landeskog made his return to the lineup and had an assist on Colorado’s only goal of the game. The Kings started off getting a goal from Dustin Brown just 58 seconds into the game, then Jeff Carter scored his 9th of the year (leading the team) and put them up 2-0. In the second period the defending champs tallied a shorthanded goal from Trevor Lewis and Anze Kopitar ripped a shot past Semyon Varlamov getting the final goal of the day. Jonathan Quick made some huge saves on the day including one that robbed Paul Stastny from just in front of the net. Los Angeles seemed to have a small Stanley Cup hangover to start the season off but have turned it around as of late winning their last three games and five of the last six.
New York Islanders vs. Buffalo Sabres
The Buffalo Sabres continued their skid with a 4-0 loss to the NY Islanders on Saturday. Evgeni Nabokov earned his 53rd career shutout stopping all 35 shots he faced. It wasn’t until the second period when the scoring got started for the Islanders with Mark Streit and Michael Grabner each tallying goals. They continued the scoring in the third when John Tavares put in his 12th of the year and Colin McDonald added his third. Things progressively got worst for the Sabres when the boos started in the second period and continued periodically throughout the game. The only cheer that the Buffalo received was when the announcement that there was one minute remaining in the game was made. This makes it now four losses in a row for the Sabres.
New York Rangers vs. Montreal Canadiens
Montreal’s second period was their only productive period but turned out that’s all they would need. The line of Erik Cole, Alex Galchenyuk and Lars Eller all tallied a goal in that second period to give the Habs a 3-0 victory. With his effort, Carey Price posted his second shutout of the season making 17 saves. The Canadiens rookie Galchenyuk earned himself #1 star of the game netting his third goal of the year and later adding an assist. The Rangers continue the skid they’re on having lost their last three games and four of the last five. New York did announce earlier in the day Saturday that they were placing Rick Nash on the IR with an undisclosed injury and that was just the start of the injury issues they would face Saturday. Already without Nash, Aaron Asham, Darroll Powe and Michael Del Zotto, during the game Ryan McDonagh left after being boarded by Max Pacioretty and did not return as well as Dan Girardi going down and having to be helped off the ice after blocking a PK Subban shot.
Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Ottawa Senators
Despite having injury after injury in the past couple weeks the Senators have strung together four straight wins with the latest coming against the Maple Leafs on Saturday. With 24 seconds remaining in the third period Colin Greening, the second year forward, batted the puck out of the air and past Toronto’s Ben Scrivens for the go ahead goal. A little background behind Greening and Scrivens, they both went to Cornell University. Both played hockey there and not only that were roommates as well. Someone (Greening) certainly has the bragging rights for this season. The Leafs have been up and down lately going 3-3 in their last 6 games but still remain in third place in the Northeast Division.
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Carolina Hurricanes
There was an explosion of goals during the third period between the Lightning and Hurricanes Saturday resulting in Tampa Bay putting in four goals to get the 5-2 victory. Scoring got started in the first period when Marc-Andre Bergeron put in his first of the season. The crazy third period saw goals from Beniot Pouliot, Richard Panik, Tom Pyatt and Steven Stamkos for the Lightning. With the win Tampa Bay improved their record to 8-0-0 when leading after the first period. Carolina is still in second place in the Southeast Division despite having lost their last three games.
Nashville Predators vs. Detroit Red Wings
The Red Wings netted a goal in each period and two in the second to earn the 4-0 win of the Predators. Drew Miller got the Wings on the board first, then Tomas Tatar and Niklas Kronwall each had one in the second, and then Dan Cleary finished off the scoring with a power play goal in the third. Jimmy Howard had one of his best performances of the season making 33 saves and earning his first shutout of the year. The victory was much needed for Detroit who had lost the previous five games prior to the win Saturday. Nashville however hasn’t had as bad a time in the record department and is currently 6-4-2 in the month of February.
Columbus Blue Jackets vs. St Louis Blues
St Louis snapped a five game home losing streak with the third period game winning goal from David Perron to give them the 2-1 win over the Blue Jacket’s. Blues goaltender Jaroslav Halak earned the #1 star of the game with 19 saves making some key stops throughout the game. Chris Stewart put the Blues on the board in the first period but in the final minutes of the second Columbus’ Matt Calvert scored a shorthanded goal to tie it up. Then halfway through the final frame Perron got that game winning goal to take the win. Despite losing seven of eleven games this month the Blues still hold the second spot in the Central Division just behind the unstoppable Chicago Blackhawks.
San Jose Sharks vs. Dallas Stars
The Dallas Stars Michael Ryder scored the eventual game winning goal just 30 seconds into the third period. Cris Nilstorp was given the start in net on Saturday for the Stars and made 31 saves earning his first career NHL win. The lone goal for the Sharks came from Patrick Marleau in the third period tallying his 12th goal of the year and is now tied for the league lead with four other players. In a rare fight Jame Benn dropped the gloves with Joe Thornton, who made it his second fight in just over a week after taking on Jonathan Toews recently. The fight went in Benn’s favor not only sparking his team, who scored their first goal shortly after that, but later with a goal and an assist earning the Gordie Howe hat trick.
Minnesota Wild vs. Calgary Flames
Matt Stajan of the Flames put in the go ahead goal then added an insurance goal when he scored twice in the third period to give the Flames a 3-1 win over the Wild. The lone highlight for Minnesota was when rookie, and recent call-up, Charlie Coyle scored his first career NHL goal. Joey MacDonald made his third start for the Flames since being claimed off waivers from the Red Wings a couple of weeks ago. MacDonald made 30 saves to earn his second win of the year as well as #2 star of the game. This was the first game that Minnesota was without top forward Cal Clutterbuck who is out with a thigh injury suffered in their last game against the Edmonton Oilers.
There was only one shootout game on the night Saturday and it produced a couple of dazzling goals including this one from Sam Gagner. Check it out!
(Photo Credit: Washington Capitals via Facebook)
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