NHL Roundup: Rangers rally by Blues, Maple Leafs “terrible” in loss to Sabres, and more
Today’s NHL Roundup for March 2, 2022 recaps all four games on the docket.
Fans in Ontario were finally back in the building in full force and were complete let down by the home team. The Toronto Maple Leafs put up an “abysmal” performance as their head coach put it against division rival, Buffalo Sabres.
It was rally night in the other three games in the NHL. The Seattle Kraken, and Dallas Stars each picked up come from behind victories on Wednesday. But we start our recaps in New York with the Rangers hosting the St. Louis Blues in a matchup of two of the league’s top teams.
Rangers 5, Blues 3
Chris Kreider scored the tiebreaking power-play goal with 8:20 remaining as New York prevailed after blowing a two-goal lead against visiting St. Louis.
New York’s recovery occurred after St. Louis took the lead on three straight shots by Ryan O’Reilly, Ivan Barbashev and David Perron in a span of 2:14 late in the second period.
The Rangers had jumped on top 2-0 thanks to goals by Alexis Lafreniere and Ryan Strome. Patrik Nemeth, Kreider and Artemi Panarin (empty net) scored in the third period for New York. Rangers goalie Igor Shesterkin stopped 29 shots, while St. Louis’ Ville Husso made 24 saves.
“There are going to be certain nights when you don’t have it, but to be able to dig in and do whatever it takes to win hockey games, that’s certainly easier when you have the best goalie in the world,” Kreider said. “But at the same time, being able to find our game, being able to forget about a bad shift or a bad period, not letting it stack, not letting the frustration overcome, and not just going out there working to work, but starting to work hard and for each other and communicate, those are very important things and things we can build on.”
Kraken 4, Predators 3
Colin Blackwell and Calle Jarnkrok scored against their former team as the Seattle Kraken snapped a seven-game losing streak with a 4-3 victory against the visiting Nashville Predators on Wednesday.
“That one felt good against a team you used to play for,” Blackwell said. “You feel like maybe they may have given up on you, along those lines. Big goal, shorthanded, and that one definitely sticks out in this year.
Alex Wennberg and Yanni Gourde also scored for Seattle, which rallied from a two-goal deficit, and Chris Driedger made 19 saves. Blackwell and Gourde added one assist apiece.
Matt Duchene scored twice for Nashville and Roman Josi had two assists. Philip Tomasino also tallied, and Juuse Saros stopped 27 of 31 shots as the Predators lost for the sixth time in eight games.
With the score tied early in the third and the Predators on the power play, Blackwell sent a clearing pass down the ice and followed the play as Gourde outmuscled Filip Forsberg for the puck behind the Nashville net. Gourde fed Blackwell, and he succeeded on his third attempt to get the puck past Saros for the winning, short-handed tally.
Sabres 5, Maple Leafs 1
Victor Olofsson scored the go-ahead goal midway through the second period and Buffalo defeated host Toronto to end a six-game losing streak.
Jeff Skinner had a goal and an assist for Buffalo. Jacob Bryson, Tage Thompson and Kyle Okposo also scored in the win, while Dylan Cozens added two assists. Craig Anderson made 29 saves for Buffalo.
Rasmus Sandin scored for the Maple Leafs, whose three-game winning streak ended. Petr Mrazek, making two consecutive starts for the first time this season, stopped 26 shots for Toronto.
“Terrible from start to finish,” Toronto coach Sheldon Keefe said. “Our team has been playing well. We had every reason to believe our team was ready to play today. Our fans were back, we should have confidence in the way we’ve played here of late. Just not good from the start. I liked how we defended in the first period, I thought we did a good job of that, but offensively, how we played with the puck, we were really careless. Offensively, we were abysmal tonight, all four lines.”NHL.com
Stars 4, Kings 3
Ryan Suter had a goal and an assist to highlight a four-goal second period for host Dallas, which rallied to end Los Angeles’ road winning streak.
Alexander Radulov, playing in his 500th NHL game, scored the game-winner and Jason Robertson and Luke Glendening also scored for Dallas, which moved into a tie with Edmonton for the second wild card spot in Western Conference with 63 points.
“Even though we were down 3-1, we were really confident in the way we were playing,” Stars coach Rick Bowness said. “We were controlling play and getting tons of chances. We just had to stay with the program. Play the right way, keep doing those things, and we got rewarded today.”
Arthur Kaliyev had two goals and Phillip Danault also scored for Los Angeles, which had its six-game road winning streak snapped. Cal Petersen finished with 39 saves.
–Field Level Media contributed to this report