NHL Scores: Jordan Staal plays 1000th game; Avalanche scary good; and more
Jordan Staal celebrated his 1000th NHL game last night by picking up an assist. “It was tough to hold back the emotions,” he said about the ceremony before the game. “I don’t love the center of attention – I tried to enjoy the best I could. What an amazing show.”
Hurricanes fall in Jordan Staal’s 1000th game; Blackhawks close playoff gap
Unfortunately for Staal, the Detroit Red Wings spoiled the fun by scoring three in the third and walking out of Carolina with a 3-1 win. Jonathan Bernier made 37 saves for the Wings and was surprisingly not traded at the deadline. For the Canes it was a missed opportunity to break the first place tie with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Meanwhile the Blackhawks defeated the Blue Jackets in OT by a 4-3 score to claw two points back of the Predators for the last Central playoff spot. Patrik Laine notched two goals including the game-tying tally in the third but Brandon Hagel got the winner just 1:25 in OT.
Maple Leafs lose to Canadiens; Jets fall to Sens
Auston Matthews scored his 32nd goal of the year but it wasn’t enough to take out Montreal’s offense. Tomas Tatar scored twice while Josh Anderson added his 15th goal of the season for the Canadiens. They ended Jack Campbell’s winning streak at 11 games.
“We really wanted to come out tonight and set the pace and start off the period the right way,” Anderson said. “And I thought we did that for the most part. Obviously they made a good push in the second, but I thought we did a lot of good things tonight.”NHL.com
The win keeps Montreal firmly in the last playoff spot by 8 points and two games in hand over the Flames. Meanwhile the Leafs did not lose any ground to the Jets who fell 4-2 to the Senators.
Avalanche are scary good
The Colorado Avalanche picked up their league leading 29th win to go along with their league leading 62 points. Mikko Rantanen scored goals 24 and 25 on the season in the Avs 4-2 win over the Coyotes. Colorado is a staggering 16-1-2 in their last 19 games and have the entire NHL on notice as the playoffs are a month away.
In Los Angeles, the Golden Knights kept pace with the Avs and remain 4 points out of first in the West. They defeated the Kings 4-2 with Max Pacioretty’s team leading 20th goal of the season. The Knights added Mattias Janmark yesterday at the deadline to beef up their scoring depth. Will it be enough to get past Colorado?
Finally the Sharks failed to close the gap on the Blues by losing to the Ducks 4-0. Anthony Stolarz set an Anaheim record with 46 saves in the shutout. The Ducks record for most saves in a shutout was previously held by Jonas Hiller.