Yeah perhaps combining names isn't always a good idea. Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin moved into the top 20 and top 10 in scoring last night as Washington beat Carolina 5-3. Backstrom had 4 assists on the night, was a +3, had 2 PIMs, 2 blocked shots and won 9 faceoffs. While Ovechkin scored 2 goals and had 1 assist, was a +2, had 2 PIMs, took 6 shots, and threw 3 hits. Washington is now 6-3-1 in their last 10 and with Winnipeg, New Jersey and the New York Rangers dropping are within striking distance of a playoff spot. More importantly they have 2 games in hand on Winnipeg and are only 2 points behind for first place in the division. It will be interesting to see what this team and this pair can do next season with a full training camp under their belts.
All By Himself
Jiri Tlusty scored all 3 of Carolina's goals last night in their loss to Washington. He was a -1 on the night, took 3 shots and threw 3 hits. In fact he scored the first 2 goals of the game and after the Capitals tied the game he scored the go ahead goal before Washington scored 3 unanswered goals. There isn't much more he could have done to keep his team in this game or in the playoff race. They still manage to be 2 points behind Washington with 1 game in hand and 4 points behind Winnipeg with 3 games in hand. The problem is they are 1-8-1 in their last 10 and it is tough to imagine them winning the games needed to keep even much less the games in hand unless something drastic happens.
That's A Lot Of Shots
Four goalies faced 40+ shots last night and three of them won their games. Jason LaBarbera made 39 saves on 40 shots for a .975 SV% as Phoenix beat Los Angeles 3-1. Jacob Markstrom stopped 39 of 41 shots for a .951 SV% during Florida's 3-2 shootout win over Tampa Bay. Finally Robin Lehner stopped 47 of 50 shots in Ottawa's 2-3 loss to the Boston Bruins. At the other end of the ice Anton Khudobin also stopped 45 of 47 shots in a game that saw nearly 100 shots. Lehner ended the game with a .940 SV% and Khudobin finished with a .957 SV%.
Tyler Seguin took 12 shots and scored a goal on 1 of them during Boston's 3-2 win against Ottawa. That represented nearly 1/4 of the shots his team took last night.
Pekka Rinne made 25 of 26 saves as Nashville beat Colorado 3-1. They are tied for 8th in their conference, unfortunately most of the teams around them have games in hand.
Ryan Miller stopped 19 of 20 shots en route to Buffalo's 4-1 win over Pittsburgh last night. Buffalo is only 5 points out of the playoffs, but sitting in 12th there are just too many teams in the mix to see them going anywhere this season.
Tomas Vokoun allowed 4 goals on 13 shots for a .692 SV% and was pulled less than 25 minutes into the Penguins loss to Buffalo. After a rough start to the season Vokoun had settled down during the last month and things were looking up for him.
The Backup's Backup Was Backed Up By The Backup
I don't think anyone is real sure what is going on with the goaltending situation in Carolina, but one thing is certain and that is that Dan Ellis had a rough start last night. Ellis was pulled less than 25 minutes into the game after giving up 3 goals on 7 shots with a .571 SV%. Ellis has been pretty spotty lately giving up 3 or more goals in all but 1 of his last 6 games.
Every Single Goal
Alec Martinez managed to be on the ice for all 3 of the goals that Los Angeles gave up to Phoenix last night. Martinez was a -3 in less than 15 minutes of icetime in what was a rough outing for the 25 year old.
Odds & Ends
Looks like the Penguins' winning streak ends at 15 games.
Well today is the trade deadline and given some of the moves already looks like it should be an interesting day.