Good evening, fellow vinglers! Welcome to your daily dose of VSNA hosted by the one and only K-Boss! Tonight, even though the NBA is on hiatus for the all star break, the sports action was still as fine as one of Don Cherry's suits. It was another night filed with hockey and you know it was exciting.
The Sabres beat the Habs 6-4 in a rare display of dominance at home to finally reach fifty points on the season. Montreal could be in trouble playoff-wise, as they have failed to gain any momentum recently and these are the types of games they really need to win. In Florida, the visiting Blues beat the Atlantic-leading Panthers as Jaden Schwartz returned after missing 49 games with a fractured ankle. Schwartz scored his first goal of the season and he certainly ignited the previously slumping Blues offense. St Louis had scored just 10 goals in their previous seven games. They are currently third in the Central division behind Chicago and Dallas. The Coyotes gave the Flames a warm welcome to Phoenix by destroying them 4-1. The Yotes have 56 points through 54 games, which is the same amount they won through all 82 games last season. They have shown marked improvement and are tied with Vancouver for fourth place in the Pacific. Additionally, captain Shane Doan, who had two goals and an assist in the win, now has the most points in franchise history with 931. There was plenty of overtime action tonight, with two games settled in OT and two settled by shootout. Semyon Varlamov stepped up on the road against Detroit, posting 43 saves for the Avalanche in the 3-2 victory. In Raleigh, Marc-Andre Fleury won the goalie duel against Cam Ward to lift the Penguins past the Hurricanes in a shootout win 2-1. Pittsburgh now takes sole possession of the second wild card slot in the East, with a two point lead on New Jersey and a five point lead on the Hurricanes. In OT, the Lightning edged the Preds 4-3. Steven Stamkos and Tyler Johnson played the heroes, after Stamkos tied the game with 27 seconds left and Johnson scored the game winner 1:04 into overtime. Finally, the LA Kings finished their two day stop in New York by beating the Rangers 5-4 in OT. In a game that has heavy implications for my fantasy team Henrik Lundqvist uncharacteristically let me down. But that's ok because Anze Kopitar had a hat trick for the Kings in the win and that makes up for it. The Kings tightened their grip on the Pacific crown, while the Rangers remain second in the Metropolitan behind the Capitals.
Meanwhile, in Buenos Aires, defending champion Rafael Nadal reached the semifinals of the Argentina Open with a 7-6 (3), 6-2 victory over Paolo Lorenzi of Italy. He will face the 22 year old Austrian Dominic Thiem on Saturday. Meanwhile, fellow Spaniard Nicolas Almagro upset Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to reach the semis against David Ferrer (note: Ferrer is still playing at time of writing but I'm assuming he'll win). Tsonga looked off against Almagro, and he certainly wasn't in form to beat either of the other remaining Spaniards.