NHL Recaps: Bolts zap Bruins, Ducks dump Avs, Caps edge Pens, and more
NHL Recaps: January 26, 2023
As we inch closer to the NHL All-Star Break the schedule highlighted 9 games for fans to enjoy.
In Washington, the Capitals needed a shootout to edge the Pittsburgh Penguins much to the chagrin of everyone in the East trying to capture a wild card. Both the Caps and Pens hold those spots with the Buffalo Sabres trying to close the gap with their win over the Winnipeg Jets.
Meanwhile, the Colorado Avalanche were stunned by Frank Vatrano and the Anaheim Ducks keeping them tied for the last wild card spot in the West, thanks to a Calgary Flames loss to the Chicago Blackhawks.
We begin our recaps with a huge Atlantic Division battle and potential playoff preview as the Tampa Bay Lightning and Boston Bruins went toe-to-toe.
NHL Recaps: Bolts zap Bruins
Lightning 3 vs Bruins 2
Nikita Kucherov had a goal and two assists, including one on Victor Hedman’s game-winning tally, as the Tampa Bay Lightning won for the 11th straight time at home, edging Boston 3-2 and breaking the Bruins’ seven-game road winning streak on Thursday night.
In a 2-2 game in the third, Hedman potted the go-ahead goal at 13:19 after Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo knocked down Boston goaltender Linus Ullmark (32 saves). Brad Marchand and Pavel Zacha tallied for the Bruins, who lost for the first time in seven games and slid to 10-2-0 in January.
The Lightning withstood a strong push by the Bruins with an extra skater at the end and held on for goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy, who made 37 saves in his 400th game, moving to 22-12-1, as his club registered its second-longest home winning streak in franchise history.
Brandon Hagel scored on a power play, and Brayden Point had two assists.
“These last two games have been tied well into the third period and we’ve been able to pull these out and close them out in the end,” Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said. “That’s a good sign for us. We’re digging deep when the game is on the line and it’s getting late.”NHL.com
Blackhawks 5 vs Flames 1
Boris Katchouk, Jason Dickinson and Sam Lafferty scored in the second period as visiting Chicago collected four unanswered goals and beat Calgary.
Taylor Raddysh and Connor Murphy also scored for the Blackhawks, who went into the game at the bottom of the league standings and snapped a two-game losing streak despite being without captain Jonathan Toews (illness). Jaxson Stauber made 34 saves, 18 in the third period, in his second NHL start.
Jonathan Huberdeau scored for the Flames, who were defeated by the Blackhawks for the second time this month. Jacob Markstrom stopped 24 shots.
Ducks 5 vs Avalanche 3
Frank Vatrano collected his third career hat trick, Adam Henrique and Mason McTavish scored 24 seconds apart in the third period and Anaheim rallied to beat host Colorado.
John Gibson made 41 saves and Cam Fowler had two assists for the Ducks, who won for the third time in four games.
Mikko Rantanen scored twice, Sam Girard had a goal and an assist and Pavel Francouz turned away 27 shots for the Avalanche, who had their six-game winning streak snapped.
Coyotes 5 vs Blues 0
Nick Schmaltz scored his first career hat trick and added an assist to lead Arizona over St. Louis in Tempe, Ariz.
Karel Vejmelka made 33 saves for his third shutout of the season and the fourth of his career. Travis Boyd and Barrett Hayton also scored for the Coyotes, who won for just the third time in 15 games.
The Blues lost their third straight game as Thomas Greiss allowed the five goals on 25 shots. St. Louis’ Robert Thomas was knocked out of the game midway through the second period when he absorbed a slap shot in his midsection.
NHL Recaps: Caps edge Pens
Capitals 3 vs Penguins 2 (SO)
Darcy Kuemper made 35 saves and stopped two of three shots in the shootout, and Alex Ovechkin posted his 32nd goal of the season as Washington outlasted visiting Pittsburgh.
“It was a huge two points for us. That’s not really a secret. We knew how big this game was coming into it,” Kuemper said via NHL.com. “These games feel really good when you get the job done. We played super hard, and we earned it tonight.”
Kuemper was stout most of the night while dueling Pittsburgh’s Casey DeSmith, who made a season-high 43 saves. After allowing Rickard Rakell to score on the Penguins’ first shootout attempt, Kuemper stopped superstars Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin in back-to-back rounds.
Meanwhile, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Nicklas Backstrom, who each had an assist in regulation, converted in the shootout round to help the Capitals avoid a third straight loss.
The victory was just the fourth in the last 10 games for Washington which, like Pittsburgh, is trying to remain in playoff position in the Eastern Conference.
Wild 3 vs Flyers 2 (OT)
Mats Zuccarello scored at 2:08 of overtime to lift Minnesota past Philadelphia in Saint Paul, Minn.
Matt Boldy had two goals and one assist and Zuccarello added an assist for the Wild, who snapped a three-game losing streak. Marc-Andre Fleury made 28 saves.
Noah Cates and Tony DeAngelo each scored one goal for the Flyers, who dropped their third game in a row (0-1-2). Carter Hart made 20 saves as Philadelphia fell to 1-8 in overtime this season.
Sabres 3 vs Jets 2
Tage Thompson had a goal and an assist to help Buffalo to its fifth straight win, at Winnipeg.
Rasmus Dahlin and Jeff Skinner each had two assists for the Sabres, while Eric Comrie made 19 saves in his return to Winnipeg — just his second game since returning from a lower-body injury on Jan. 10.
Nate Schmidt and Pierre-Luc Dubois scored for the Jets, who got 33 saves from goaltender Connor Hellebuyck. Winnipeg is 2-4-0 in its last six.
Red Wings 4 vs Canadiens 3 (OT)
Robby Fabbri scored at 2:36 of overtime to give visiting Detroit a win over Montreal.
Michael Rasmussen supplied a goal and assisted on Fabbri’s game-winner. Jonatan Berggren and Oskar Sundqvist also scored for Detroit, and Moritz Seider contributed three assists. Ville Husso made 20 saves.
Rafael Harvey-Pinard had two goals and assisted on the other end in his ninth career game for the Canadiens. Michael Pezzetta had a goal and an assist, while Jake Allen stopped 38 shots.
Predators 6 vs Devils 4
Matt Duchene and Filip Forsberg scored off turnovers in the third period for host Nashville, which overcame a trio of one-goal deficits to beat New Jersey.
Cody Glass and Cole Smith scored in the first and Mikael Granlund scored in the second for the Predators, who have won five of six. Juuse Saros made 35 saves.
Jesper Bratt and Sharangovich scored in the first before Jack Hughes scored his 31st of the season for the Devils, who had their eight-game point streak (7-0-1) snapped. Blackwood recorded 35 saves.
–Field Level Media
–The Daily Goal Horn contributed to this article