It's S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y Night once again, and I hope you all enjoyed the football and hockey action today! There was plenty of excitement to go around today, and if you didn't get the chance to catch any of it then I've got you covered! Let's get to it!
It was an exciting day of football with some excellent Barclays Premier League action. Chelsea routed Newcastle 5-1 powered by Diego Costa and Pedro. Newcastle managed to save some face with a goal by Andros Townshend in the 90th minute but it's hardly any consolation. They played like chickens running around with their heads cut off and simply failed to challenge Chelsea at all. They remain squarely in the relegation zone as a result. Meanwhile, Man U was upset by Sunderland 2-1 behind David De Gea's header in the 82nd minute. Haha any day Man U loses is a good day. Louis Van Gaal's face was priceless.
Southampton beat Swansea City 1-0 as the Swans failed to muster any kind of attack. They only managed two shots on goal in a snoozer of a performance. The streaking Saints move up to 6th place on the table, trailing Man U by just 1 point. They haven't lost since January 9th.
Norwich City managed a draw against West Ham United, earning a much needed point to move from 18th to 17th on the table past Newcastle.
West Brom topped Everton 1-0, desite getting off only 1 shot one goal through 90 minutes. The Toffees won the possession game but failed to capitalize on their opportunities.
Additionally, Watford topped Crystal Palace 2-1 and Stoke City trumped Bournemouth 3-1.
The NHL brought the usual excitement, with another slate of high scoring grudge matches.
Off the ice, the Minnesota Wild fired coach Mike Yeo following a disappointing 4-2 loss to the Bruins. The Wild have lost eight straight, which was the reasoning the team used to sack the fifth year coach. Yeo went 173-132-44 behind the bench for Minnesota, and led the team to three straight postseason berths. Yeo engineered two incredible first round upsets the last two years, the first over the Patrick Roy's Avalanche and the second over the Blues. They lost to the eventual champion Blackhawks in the second round both times. Yeo will be replaced in the short term by John Torchetti, who was previously coaching the club's AHL affiliate. He has nine seasons of NHL coaching experience.
On the ice, seven games had five or more goals scored in a night of strong offense. The Hurricanes bounced back from last night's shootout loss to the Penguins by putting on an offensive clinic in Raleigh, dismantling the Islanders 6-3. The Canes had a big second period, with 5 goals in the middle period, including two by 1st star Victor Rask.
In the biggest blowout of the evening, the Predators annihilated the Panthers on the road 5-0, rebounding from yesterday's OT loss to Tampa Bay. This was a surprising result, considering this was only backup goalie Carter Hutton's ninth start of the year. The 22-year-old netminder was confident in the net behind the Preds powerful offensive onslaught, stopping all 22 of the Panthers' shots on goal. His counterpart Roberto Luongo didn't fare so well, letting up more goals than he has all season. The Panthers have been very boom-or-bust lately, as nine of their last ten games have been decided by three goals or more. They remain atop the Atlantic division but their lead has dwindled to four points.
The Stars have now beaten the top two teams in the league back to back with a 4-3 win over Washington at home. They are now tied with Chicago atop the Central division and the Western Conference. Alexander Ovechkin scored his 35th goal of the season in the loss. The Capitals nearly evened the game after letting up four goals in the second period with a three goal third period, but it wasn't enough to overcome the huge hole. Tyler Seguin scored two goals, reaching the 30 goal mark for the third straight year.
Anaheim beat the Blackhawks on the road in an OT thriller. Brent Seabrook scored his 9th and 10th goals of the season in the loss, but it wasn't enough. A power play in OT gave the Ducks the opportunity they needed to end it, and Ryan Getzlaf ended it indeed. The Ducks passed San Jose and are now second in the Pacific division.
The second OT game of the day featured the Devils and Flyers in a middling Metropolitan mixer. The Devils won on the strength of their power play units, with Adam Henrique playing the overtime hero. Cory Schneider stopped 31 of 32 shots in the win.
In other news, the Maple Leafs beat the Canucks 5-2, badgering Ryan Miller with 36 shots and adding two more against an empty net. Toronto is still undeniably trash though.
Columbus beat Ottawa 4-2 in a game that I was unaware of until just now. It's pretty much a given that both these team are going to miss the playoffs anyway.
In a late night thriller, the Winnipeg Jets beat the Edmonton Oilers 2-1 behind Andrew Ladd and Blake Wheeler's shootout heroics. Ondrej Pavelec denied rookie sensation Connor McDavid to seal the victory for the Jets. I still think Ladd kinda looks like Ryan Reynolds.At the time of writing the Sharks are beating the Coyotes 3-1 in the third period. If the Sharks hold on they will take back second place in the Pacific from the Ducks.
Dominic Thiem upset Rafael Nadal and Nicolas Almagro upset David Ferrer in a stunning turn of events. Defending champ Nadal had played Thiem just once before, but he was in much better form then. Thiem won 6-4 4-6 7-6 after Nadal failed to convert a match point up 5-4 in the final set. The loss means the former world number 1 will lose 140 more points, but he still remains ranked 5th ahead of fellow semifinal loser Ferrer. Their fellow countryman, Nicolas Almagro, is in the process of mounting an impressive return from injury. The former world number 9 has struggled lately due to numerous health issues, but that didn't stop him from recording his first win in 16 matches against the hardest working man in tennis. Thiem beat Almagro in straight sets last month in Melbourne, but the Spaniard has been very comfortable on the clay in Buenos Aires. Expect a good match from both of them.
That's all for today, folks! I hope you enjoyed your Saturday night as much as I did! Let me know in the comments if you want to be tagged in future cards! See ya!