Good evening, hockey fans and fellow Vinglers! Happy Monday to all! There were several games tonight and lots to talk about so lets get to it!
First, the scores: Blue Jackets 6-4 Bruins ; Capitals 3-2 Coyotes ; Predators 2-1 Canadiens ; Sharks 6-3 Blues
Columbus topped Boston on the road in a high scoring affair, with former Blackhawk Brandon Saad scoring the game winner. Boone Jenner scored twice as the Blue Jackets earned a much needed win. They avenged last week's OT loss at home to the Bruins. Loui Eriksson and Matt Beleskey each scored twice in the loss.
In another thriller of a game, the Capitals topped the Coyotes at home, securing their 44th win of the year. Washington has the most wins through 58 games in NHL history. Sniper Alexander Ovechkin scored his league leading 39th goal of the year and his 514th career goal to pass Yotes legend Jeremy Roenick on the all-time scoring list. The only active players with more goals are Jarome Iginla and Jaromir Jagr, and the Russian star is 8 years younger than the former and 14 than the latter. Ovi also assisted on Evgeny Kuznetsov's power play goal in the second that evened the score at 1 apiece. Former Kings center and two-time all star Mike Richards scored his first goal in more than a year in what turned out to be the game winner. The goal was challenged by Coyotes coach Connor Murphy but was upheld. Richards was released by the Kings last year after he was arrested in June at the North Dakota-Canadian border for possession of a controlled substance. He joined the Capitals in January. He could prove to be a valuable asset to Washington if they plan on making a deep run in the postseason due to his experience as a major part of LA's recent Stanley Cup success. Braden Holtby stopped 25 shots to pick up his league leading 38th win of the year. The Capitals have a commanding 17 point lead in the Eastern Conference over the Florida Panthers and an 11 point lead over the Western Conference leading Blackhawks. Barring a sudden collapse, they look destined for the President's Trophy.
The Preds were evenly matched with the Habs and won in a shootout. Viktor Arvidson and Brendan Gallagher scored the only goals of the game, both in the first period. Pekka Rinne turned aside 28 shots and his counterpart Mike Condon stopped 29 as the goalies battled to a standstill. Craig Smith broke the tie in the shootout to give the Preds the win. Nashville seized control of the first wild card spot in the west with the win.
San Jose ran past the injury-riddled Blues after a series of events derailed the home team's chances of winning. Ryan Reaves was ejected after a dirty hit on the Sharks' Matt Tennyson sent the blueliner to the locker room. Tennyson's head bounced off the ice but the defenseman managed to walk off under his own power. The resulting five minute major penalty led to two Sharks goals, as the visiting team jumped to a 3-1 lead in the first. During the long power play, Blues netminder Brian Elliot was forced out with an injury. This led to the insertion of Jake Allen between the pipes. Allen, who just returned from an upper body injury, saw his first action since January. Logan Couture, Tomas Hertl, and Joe Thornton each scored twice in the win. San Jose improved to 21-9-2 on the road this year, matching their road win total fro last season. David Backes, Vladimir Tarasenko, and Jay Bouwmeester scored for St. Louis. The Sharks foiled the Blues' attempt to tie their Central division rival Blackhawks atop the Western Conference. San Jose trails Anaheim by a point and LA by three in the Pacific division race.
That's all for tonight, folks! Leave a comment if you want to be tagged in future VSNA Hockey or other VSNA cards. See ya tomorrow!