A Day in the NHL: Friday February 11


Preparing for a busy weekend in the NHL, three teams went to overtime last night, one to a shootout, and three of the games ended in a 2-1 score. They were also all one-goal games.

The Night that Was:

Jacques Lemaire has brought the New Jersey Devils back to their disciplined, defensive ways, and who would have thought it would help out Ilya Kovalchuk too? Kovalchuk’s 18th of the season was the game-winner in this one, a 2-1 Devils win in OT, extending his point streak to six games. It was actually win 600 for Lemaire’s career, as Johan Hedberg made 31 saves for the cause. Toronto’s lone goal came from Nikolai Kulemin, his 21st of the season as Joffrey Lupul had three shots and was a minus-one in his Leafs debut.

Missing a ton of scoring, the Pittsburgh Penguins were still able to pull out a win over the Los Angeles Kings, but surely they would’ve like a bit more of a cushion. Brett Sterling’s first as a Penguin opened things up in the first period while Jarret Stoll tied things up with just three minutes to go in the opening frame. Things stayed that way until a Jack Johnson turnover in OT led the Pens the other way and Jordan Staal buried his fourth to give the Pens a 2-1 OT win. Marc-Andre Fleury was a busy little goalie, making 32 saves, while it was shot number 26 that eluded Jonthan Quick. The Kings have earned a point in seven-straight games and the Penguins have won four of six February games.

2-1 seemed to be the score of the night last but, but this one didn’t go to overtime, but it may have appeared that way for a bit. Carolina and Philadelphia were scoreless heading into the third period before two Flyer power play goals from Jeff Carter and Danny Briere put them up 2-0 (Ps. Jeff Carter has to have the quietest 26 goals in the NHL doesn’t he?). Tuomo Ruutu scored the only Hurricanes goal of the evening as Brian Boucher allowed just one goal in his third-straight appearance and has won six of his last eight starts.

It was a weird one in Florida between the Sabres and Panthers last night. With Buffalo up 1-0, Tyler Myers thought he had scored the goal to put Buffalo up 2-0 but had actually hit the crossbar. Florida turned it back up ice where Steve Bernier tied things up. Thomas Vanek and Marty Reasoner traded goals in the third, and Myers got his revenge in overtime. Already with an assist on the evening, Myers fired his seventh past Tomas Vokoun to give the Sabres the win, 3-2. And if you’re wondering, yes Ryan Miller started this game, meaning he hasn’t missed a game since November 24th.

Quick Hits:

-Montreal and the New York Islanders were the only game to go to a shootout last night as Michael Grabner scored two goals in Mikko Koskinen’s first NHL win, 4-3 over Montreal.

What’s on Tonight?

Original Six Alert! Detroit visits Boston! Then it’s San Jose taking on the streaking Devils, two shorthanded teams in the Penguins and Islanders, Colorado heads to Columbus, while New York’s other team (the Rangers) heads to Atlanta. Minnesota will try to pull one over on St. Louis while Marty Turco and the Chicago Blackhawks head to Dallas and Anaheim stops in on Calgary.

The Injury Bug:

-Just an update, Evgeni Malkin underwent his knee surgery and it’s being reported as successful. He’ll be back for training camp.

-The Montreal Canadiens are a little bumped up thanks to the brawl in Boston, and they called up Ryan White to help out with toughness and to give them the extra body. The worse for wear is Tom Pyatt, who’s got a black eye and a cut.

Sidney Crosby dispelled the myth that he’ll miss the rest of the season as best as he can, saying that he wants to play again this season. Crosby, of course, is still awaiting medical clearance.

Rumours and News Around the League:

-Ottawa began the cleaning-house process yesterday when they shipped Mike Fisher to Nashville. The Preds gave up a first round pick in 2011 and a conditional second in 2012. While Fisher never asked or demanded a trade, Nashville and Los Angeles were his preferred destinations.

-The two teams to make moves lately are of course ones to watch approaching the deadline (Toronto and Ottawa) with plenty of potential for moves surrounding both rosters.

The Overlooked Fantasy Line of the Night:

Tyler Myers scored twice (okay…he didn’t…it was once) and added an assist for a two-point night. His goal was the winner in OT, while Panthers defenseman Dennis Wideman also had two assists, one coming on the power play.

You can e-mail Bryan at bryanthiel74@hotmail.com, as well as follow him on Twitter at BryanThiel_88.