A Day in the NHL: Tuesday February 22

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Hopefully the Holiday Monday was good to everyone in both the United States and Canada. Not a lot of NHL action, but hopefully you were able to catch some throughout the day.

The Night that Was:

Rookie Marcus Johansson now has points in four of his last five games, as Johansson assisted on the only goal of last night’s game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals. The 24th of the season for Alexander Ovechkin came on the power play, as he was the only member of the Caps with more than two shots‑eleven Caps took one or fewer shots on net last night, forcing Marc-Andre Fleury to make just 23 saves. On the other side of things, Michal Neuvirth was busy all night as, despite missing their two best players, Pittsburgh still managed 39 shots. The 1-0 win moved Washington within three points of Pittsburgh in the Eastern Conference standings.

Michael Santorelli continued his strong first-season in Florida (and first full NHL season), but overall it wasn’t a strong game for the Panthers. Although Santorelli scored, Matt Moulson scored the first two goals of the game and then added the hat-trick goal late in the third as Al Montoya made his second-straight strong start. Montoya made 20 saves Monday after making 35 saves for the shutout on Saturday, as New York as won 5-1, their second-straight and they are now 7-3 in their last ten.

After trailing 2-0 after one period of play, the Chicago Blackhawks scored four unanswered goals in the second period, pacing their way to a 5-3 win over St. Louis. Victor Stalberg, David Bolland, Patrick Kane, and Jonathan Toews all scored for Chicago in that second period, while Marian Hossa added one in the third to off-set Alex Pietrangelo’s third period goal that tried to draw things closer. Pietrangelo, Patrik Berglund, and TJ Oshie all had two points for St. Louis, while five Blackhawks had multiple points. Chicago is now part of that five-way tie for seventh in the West.

What’s on Tonight?

The New York Islanders will look to continue their success against Toronto, while Phoenix visits Philadelphia and the Rangers head to Carolina. Nasvhille and Columbus tangle, San Jose looks for a win in Detroit, and Edmonton looks for some more rookie magic against Minnesota. The very new-look Avalanche head to St. Louis, red-hot New Jersey takes a stab at Dallas, Boston goes West to Calgary (this one’s indoor game), and Montreal looks for a win against Vancouver.

The Injury Bug:

Jaroslav Spacek could be out for the year with a knee injury. A huge blow for an already depleted defense.

-The Minnesota Wild will be missing Mikko Koivu to a broken finger suffered Friday. Koivu is expected to return in late March, just before the playoffs.

Dan Hamhuis should be returning to the Vancouver lineup tonight from his concussion.

Rumours and News Around the League:

-The Calgary Flames Nik Hagman is expected to clear waivers later today. No word on the next step for him.

-The Toronto Maple Leafs are expected to be in the market for a defenseman. John-Michael Liles name came up, but the price is too high.

-Pittsburgh acquired young winger James Neal and Matt Niskanen for Alex Goligoski. Neal is the third-leading goal-scorer among Dallas, while Goligoski is on pace for 42 points.

The Overlooked Fantasy Line of the Night:

It’s been back-to-back strong starts for Al Montoya and he earns the honours today. 20 saves against the Panthers means that Montoya has allowed just one goal in his two starts with the Islanders, and just four goals in four appearances with his new team.

You can e-mail Bryan at bryanthiel74@hotmail.com. You can also follow Bryan on Twitter at BryanThiel_88.