Good evening, fellow Vinglers! Here is your daily dose of VSNA Hockey! Let's get to it!
Scores: Rangers 3-2 Capitals ; Blue Jackets 6-3 Oilers ; Stars 4-2 Devils
Missing Henrik Lundqvist because of neck spasms sustained in a meltdown loss at Pittsburgh, the New York Rangers knew they had to rally around backup Antti Raanta against the NHL-leading Washington Capitals. Raanta was strong and his teammates provided timely scoring and stingy defense in a 3-2 victory. Check out the first GIF above to see one of Raanta's incredible saves that sealed the win for New York. Jesper Fast and Keith Yandle, and Derek Stepan scored for the Rangers, who haven't lost consecutive games since Dec. 17 and 20. Their 10 wins in a row following a regulation loss is the longest in franchise history within a single season. There wasn't much for the Capitals to complain about, either, despite just their sixth regulation loss at Verizon Center. Goals by Beagle and T.J. Oshie got them back into the game after another rough start, and Holtby made 20 saves. Slow starts continue to plague the Capitals, who gave up the first goal for the ninth time in their past 11 games. Turnovers are a problem too, with a giveaway by Dmitry Orlov leading to Stepan's goal early in the third period. But Washington has shown a tendency to come back, and it was the Rangers' ability to shut things down in the third period that earned them a much-needed victory.
Defenseman David Savard had two goals, and Columbus scored on its first two shots on its way to a 6-3 victory. Scott Hartnell and Boone Jenner each had a goal and an assist as last-place Columbus won for the third time in four games. Cam Atkinson and Fedor Tyutin also scored, and Joonas Korpisalo had 25 saves. Connor McDavid had a goal and an assist for Edmonton, which had won three in a row. McDavid, the No. 1 overall pick in last year's draft, has eight goals and 14 assists in 17 games since returning from a broken left collarbone. Taylor Hall and Leon Draisaitl also scored, but it was a rough night for 22-year-old Edmonton goaltender Laurent Brossoit, playing just his second game this season and the third of his career.
Veteran Vernon Fiddler had a short-handed goal into an empty net with 20 seconds left, and the Dallas Stars stopped a four-game slide with a 4-2 victory over the New Jersey Devils. Valeri Nichushkin had a goal and an assist for Dallas on his 21st birthday. Jason Spezza and Colton Sceviour also scored, and Kari Lehtonen made 18 saves. The 35-year-old Fiddler has scored in three straight games. He has 10 goals and 10 assists this season. With 16 games left in the season, Dallas, Chicago and St. Louis are locked up in a tough race for the Central Division title. The Stars (39-20-7) and Blackhawks (40-21-5) each have 85 points, followed by the Blues (37-20-9) with 83. New Jersey has lost seven of nine. Adam Henrique and Devante Smith-Pelly scored for the Devils, and Cory Schneider had 15 saves before leaving at 2:05 of the third due to an injury. Keith Kinkaid made six saves. New Jersey remained tied for ninth place in the Eastern Conference, five points away from the second wild card.
That's all for tonight, folks! Let me know in the comments if you wish to be tagged in future VSNA cards! Smell ya later!