Good evening fellow Vinglers! As I previously stated, I will now be dividing the sports onto separate cards. This is intended so fans of specific sports won't have to read about sports they are not interested in. That being said, a lot happened in the world of hockey today so let's get started!
First off, as displayed in the picture at the top of the card, the Blackhawks visited the White House today and were congratulated by President Obama. Ever the jokester, Obama jested that the Hawks success meant that he had brought them good luck. He also joked that the Hawks scouting chief would help him find a candidate to nominate for the Supreme Court. Obama also shined the spotlight on veteran defense man Kimmo Timonen, who retired after finally hoisting the cup last year, and goalie Scott Darling, who recently went viral on social media after it was discovered that he put a homeless man up in a hotel for awhile out of generosity. Obama, who considers Chicago his hometown, ended his statement by calling out the other major Chicago sports franchises and imploring them to bring championships back to the city (even the Cubs, of whom Obama is not a fan). Three championships in six years definitely makes the Blackhawks a dynasty!
There were a ton of games tonight, so I'll list the results first and then discuss their implications.
Capitals 3-2 Islanders ; Penguins 6-3 Red Wings ; Rangers 4-2 Maple Leafs ; Senators 4-2 Hurricanes ; Lightning 6-5 Jets ; Sharks 2-1 Panthers ; Blues 2-1 Kings ; Predators 2-0 Bruins ; Wild 5-2 Oilers ; Coyotes 6-3 Stars ; Ducks 5-2 Canucks
Alex Ovechkin scored twice and Justin Williams delivered the killing blow in overtime as the Capitals got win number 42 against the Islanders. Washington has a dominant 16 point lead in the Metropolitan division and looks like a surefire President's Trophy winner this year. Ovechkin is leading the race for the Rocket Richard Trophy by three goals, with 37 to Patrick Kane's 34. Braden Holtby captured his league leading 36th win of the year.
Phil Kessel scored two goals as the Penguins blew out the Red Wings at home. Sidney Crosby added a goal and an assist as the Penguins drew within a point of the Islanders, who are currently third in the Metropolitan division race.
Derick Brassard scored his 21st and 22nd goals of the season as the Rangers widened the gap between them and the Islanders. They still trail the Capitals by 16 points.
The Senators beat the Hurricanes on the strength of veteran Craig Anderson, who stopped 30 shots for his 23rd win of the year.
The Lightning pulled within a point of the Red Wings with a shootout win against the Jets, ending their skid at home. After opening a 4-1 lead, Tampa Bay almost collapsed by allowing 4 straight Jets goals in the third period. Nikita Kucherov sent the game into OT and Steven Stamkos beat Ondrej Pavelec in the shootout to win it. Jets captain Andrew Ladd was a huge part of the Jets comeback bid, with two goals in the third, including a shorthanded one, and he also scored a goal in the shootout.
Logan Couture and Joe Pavelski powered San Jose past the Panthers in a shootout. Legend Jaromir Jagr scored the Panthers lone goal in the loss.
The Blues continued their streak of success against top teams, beating the Kings in OT. The win means San Jose now only trails LA by 3 for the Pacific division crown and St. Louis is now only down four points from the Central division crown. Jaden Schwartz's OT winner has the Blues on a four game win streak. Brian Elliot stopped 34 shots to earn the win, and currently leads the league in save percentage.
The Predators topped the Bruins as Pekka Rinne brushed off his recent struggles to get the shutout. Craig Smith and Filip Forsberg scored for Nashville, who own a tenuous two point lead in the wild card race.
Minnesota won 5-2 in Edmonton, with goals from five different players. The Wild have won three in a row and trail by two points in the wild card race.
Arizona ran past the top scoring Stars 6-3 and have now scored six goals in back-to-back games. Red hot rookie Max Domi stopped two goals and an assist and line mate Anthony Duclair notched three assists in the win. Netminder Louis Domingue held up well against the relentless Stars attack, with 36 saves. Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn scored their 31st and 30th goals of the season respectively. The Yotes are looking strong as they enter the final leg of the season chasing a playoff berth that seemed impossible a year ago.
Anaheim stayed hot in Vancouver, sealing a 5-2 win with Kevin Bieksa's empty netter. The Ducks trail LA by only two points in the division race now. They've won the Pacific division title the last three years, so they have experience getting it done down the stretch.
That's it for hockey tonight! Let me know in the comments if you want to be tagged in future VSNA cards, and specify which of the six featured sports you are interested in. Thank you and good night!