The National Hockey League had 14 games on Saturday, and the playoff picture is starting to come into focus. And the fantasy picture is also coming into focus, as several teams are wrapping up their season and there are very few games remaining on the schedule. In fact, seven teams are now done for the regular season, and either headed for the golf course or getting ready for the postseason. And we had anther milestone, as the Vegas Golden Knights welcomed 7,567 fans, the most of any team post-COVID restrictions to date. We continue to inch towards normalcy, although we still have a long way to go. And lastly, congrats to Ryan Miller on an amazing career. He will skate off into the sunset after Saturday’s overtime loss, but he won’t soon be forgotten. Let’s get started!
New York Rangers 5, Boston Bruins 4
The first period went scoreless. The second period had just two total goals, as K’Andre Miller and Nick Ritchie scored for their respective teams, tying things up 1-1 after 40 minutes. Then, all hell broke loose.
David Pastrnak scored 21 seconds into the third period to give the B’s a 2-1 lead.
Mika Zibanejad tied it up 2-2, with helpers to Ryan Strome and Pavel Buchnevich, while Alexis Lafreniere scored his 12th of the season, also helped out by Buchnevich and Anthony Bitetto. Vitali Kravtsov notched his second, as Zachary Jones and Strome helped out to make it 4-2.
Brad Marchand registered the power play to make it 4-3, while Krejci chipped in to make it 4-3. Zibanejad and Buchnevich connected again, making it 5-3, while Patrice Bergeron went for the late goal with an extra attacker to close to within one, and that’s how it ended.
Even though he only played 42 games, Artemi Panarin, who was out for this one, of course, led the team with 58 points after scoring 17 goals with 41 assists. Zibanejad had 24 goals to lead the team, while Buchnevich and Chris Kreider also finished with 20 goals.
Pittsburgh Penguins 1, Buffalo Sabres 0
Michael Houser and Maxime Lagace made the start Sunday, and it looked like we might have a high-scoring affair with two goaltenders who started well down the depth chart. Instead, they put on a show.
Lagace stopped all 29 of the shots he faced for his first NHL shutout. Houser allowed just one goal on 23 shots in the losing effort.
Jeff Carter was the difference maker, beating Houser for the only goal of the game. It was his fifth goal in the past two games, and his first game-winning tally in the Steel City. Since coming over from the Los Angeles Kings he has managed nine goals and 11 points with a plus-9 rating across 14 games.
New York Islanders 5, New Jersey Devils 1
The Isles started the scoring with Jordan Eberle at 18:01 of the first period, as he beat Mackenzie Blackwood.
Andreas Johnsson made it 1-1, with helpers to Matt Tennyson and Michael McLeod. Then the Devils fell apart.
Brock Nelson scored on the power play to go ahead 2-1, and he added a second goal in the second period to make it 3-1. Former Devils winger Kyle Palmieri struck early in the third to make it 4-1, and Mathew Barzal capped off the scoring. For Nelson, it was his first game winner since April 20, and he now has two goals and four points during his current three-game points run.
That was more than enough offensive support for Ilya Sorokin, who allowed just one goal on 24 shots for the win.
Washington Capitals 2, Philadelphia Flyers 1 (OT)
Like above in the Sabres-Penguins game, a goaltending matchup of Alex Lyon and Craig Anderson didn’t exactly look like it would make for a low-scoring game. Both tendies stood on their heads.
Both goalies posted donuts in the first 40 minutes. Scott Laughton scored at 3:42 of the third period to break the ice, while Lars Eller struck with the extra attacker at 19:20 of the third period to force overtime.
Conor Sheary notched the winner at 4:00 in overtime, his first game-winning goal since the regular-season opener for the Buffalo Sabres on Oct. 3, 2019.
Tom Wilson left the game briefly after making knee-to-knee contact with Nicolas Aube-Kubel, but this appeared to be inadvertent. T.J. Oshie also left the game with an injury, and he was unable to return due to a lower-body ailment.
Florida Panthers 5, Tampa Bay Lightning 1
The Lightning and Panthers will meet in the first round of the playoffs. If Saturday was a glimpse into the future, the Panthers could be in good shape against the defending champs.
Alexander Wennberg stepped up with his second hat trick of the season, and he now has 16 goals and 28 points with a plsu-5 rating. He had managed just two goals and six points in 16 games since his first hat truck on April 3 against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Jonathan Huberdeau posted a goal and an assist, and he now has 20 goals and 61 points across 55 games. He is just the third played in franchise history to reach 60 points before his 60th game of the season. He also accomplished the feat in 45 games back in the 2019-20 season. Aleksander Barkov and Pavel Bure also accomplished the feat.
Sam Bennett posted a power-play goal and an assist, giving him six goals and 15 points across his 10 games since coming over from the Calgary Flames. It’s the most points in franchise history by a player in his first 10 games with the Florida Panthers.
Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed five goals on 35 shots to tall to 2-3-0 with a 3.23 goals-against average and .904 save percentage in five starts against the Panthers
Columbus Blue Jackets 5, Detroit Red Wings 4 (OT)
The Blue Jackets needed a win in regulation to avoid last place in the Central Division. It didn’t happen.
Jakub Vrana and Cam Atkinson exchanged goals in the first period, while Danny DeKeyser and Oliver Bjorkstrand traded goals in the second.
In the third, it was Eric Robinson and Sam Gagner exchanging goals to make it 3-3. The seesaw affair continued with Jack Roslovic and Valtteri Filppula traded markers late in the third. Of course this game would go to overtime, and that’s when Max Domi sent the home fans away happy.
Matiss Kivlenieks grabbed the victory in overtime, just win No. 2 in the NHL.
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Toronto Maple Leafs 3, Montreal Canadiens 2
The Leafs spotted the Habs a 2-0 lead, as Brett Kulak and Nick Suzuki beat Jack Campbell. The lead didn’t hold up.
Pierre Engvall, William Nylander and Mitch Marner scored goals to make it 3-2, getting Campbell off the hook. He improved to 17-2-2 on the season, and several Leafs reached season milestones. Jason Spezza picked up his 20th assist, while Marner’s goal was his 20th of the season, his third such campaign in five NHL seasons.
Frederik Andersen made the start for the Toronto Marlies of the AHL, and he made 34 saves in a shootout loss against the Manitoba Moose. It will be interesting to see how Sheldon Keefe handles the goaltender situation once the playoffs start, as Andersen was the starter, but Campbell has been amazing.
Ottawa Senators 4, Winnipeg Jets 2
The Senators doubled up the Jets, and it was all about two guys.
Connor Brown posted a goal with three points and a plus-2 rating, while Tim Stutzle posted his first-career hat trick to beat Connor Hellebuyck. Brown has goals in three straight games, and he has six points with a plus-7 rating during the stretch.
Stutzle ended up with a plus-3 rating, five shots on goal and a blocked shot with two hits. He became the youngest player in franchise history at 19 years, 113 days to post a hat trick, pushing Martin Havlat to second place.
Filip Gustavsson allowed two goals on 29 shots to move to 4-1-2 with a 1.89 GAA and .942 SV% in six starts and seven appearances, as he is looking like the goaltender of the future in Canada’s capital city.
Nashville Predators 3, Carolina Hurricanes 1
Like the Panthers and Lightning, the Preds and Canes are expected to meet in the first round of the playoffs. And the No. 1 seed fell in regulation for the first time in seven meetings against Nashville.
Alex Nedeljkovic allowed just two goals on 29 shots, as he was edged out by Juuse Saros. The Nashville tendy allowed just one goal on 22 shots for the win. Luke Kunin scored both goals against Nedeljkovic, including the game-winning tally, and former Hurricane Erik Haula posted an empty-net goal with 63 seconds left for the insurance marker.
Minnesota Wild 4, Anaheim Ducks 3 (OT)
It was the final game in the illustrious career of Ryan Miller, and it almost had a storybook ending.
The season wasn’t great for Miller or the Ducks, but Anaheim scored two goals late in the third period to force overtime and nearly sent him off with a win. He was down 3-1 before Trevor Zegras and Max Comtois forced overtime. Victor Rask spoiled things, beating Miller in overtime so the veteran had to settle for 391 NHL wins. It’s still the most-ever by an American-born goaltender, and he ended up second in shutouts with 44, while posting a 2.64 GAA and .914 SV% in his 771 starts for the Buffalo Sabres, St. Louis Blues, Vancouver Canucks and the Ducks.
Edmonton Oilers 4, Vancouver Canucks 3
Connor McDavid. He is pretty good.
McDavid opened the scoring just 45 seconds into the game with this 32nd goal. He added primary assist on Jesse Puljujarvi’s goal to make it 2-0, and he added a primary helper on Leon Draisaitl’s power-play goal to make it 3-2 in the second period. McDavid also added the primary apple on Draisaitl’s 30th goal, also on the man advantage, to give him 100 points on the season.
Mike Smith allowed three goals on 25 shots to improve to 20-6-2 with a 2.28 GAA and .924 SV% in 29 starts and 31 games. He has 19 or more wins in each of the past five seasons.
Vegas Golden Knights 4, St. Louis Blues 1
Ville Husso couldn’t hand against the Golden Knights. Reilly Smith and Chandler Stephens fired out to a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes, and Stephenson’s goal was of the shorthanded variety.
Colton Parayko scored unassisted to make it 2-1 after 40 minutes, but that’s as close as the visitors would come.
Smith scored his second on the power play, and he added the hat trick with an unassisted empty-net goal. It was Smith’s first-career hat trick in 628 NHL games. It also helped Marc-Andre Fleury to his eighth straight victory.
Peyton Krebs left in the second period due to a facial injury after being hit by a Shea Theodore slap shot.
Colorado Avalanche 3, Los Angeles Kings 2
Devon Toews and Cale Makar scored in the first 10:31 to make it 2-0, and that enough support for Jonas Johansson.
Sean Walker did cut the lead to 2-1, but Toews was back midway through the second for what turned out to the game-winning goal. Makar had the helper for his second point of the night.
Rasmus Kupari netted his first NHL goal at 5:21 of the third, helped out by Walker and Lias Andersson, but that’s as close as the home side would get.
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Arizona Coyotes 5, San Jose Sharks 4 (OT)
We had another seesaw game between two teams going nowhere, and it was great hockey to watch.
Christian Dvorak scored his 16th and 17th goals of the season in the first period, including a power-play goal. Rudolfs Balcers and Kevin Labanc answered, as we had four total goals on the board after 20.
Things were tied up again after the second, as Timo Meier and Jan Jenik exchanged markers. In the third, Conor Garland and Alexander Barabanov also lit the lamp, and it was 4-4 heading to the extra session.
Phil Kessel scored his 20th of the season, winning it for the Coyotes. He ended up with the goal and three points, playing in his 900th consecutive game. He is the fifth player to play in 900 or more consecutive games, joining iron men Doug Jarvis (964 games played), Keith Yandle (921 games played), Garry Unger (914 games played) and Patrick Marleau (909 games played).
Published: 2021-05-09 09:18:07
Tags: #Ryan #Miller #Wraps #Illustrious #Career