1. Boston Bruins (31-15-3) 3-2 Win over LA
2. Tampa Bay Lightning (30-16-5) 4-3 Shootout Win over Ottawa
The last time the Lightning won at home: December 21, 2013, beating Carolina 3-2
The Lightning are 12-7-5 in one-goal games this season, following a season that saw them post an NHL-worst record of 5-12-4 under those circumstances.
St. Louis extended his personal points-scored streak to nine games. St. Louis now has 963 career points and trails Maurice "Rocket" Richard by two for 85th place on the NHL all-time list.
I watched part of this game last night. My main thought: thank god Canada's not taking him to the Olympics
3. Montreal Canadiens (27-18-5) They just suck
A little break from tradition here. Instead of a recap, here's a mid-losing-streak meltdown.
However after the Canadiens dropped a 4-3 decision against the Minnesota Wild on November 1st, a game in which they thoroughly dominated but were undone by a series of coaching mistakes (namely continuing to ice George Parros, who was on for 3 goals against in 4:48), Michel Therrien made the decision to change the Habs' system from a speed oriented transition game with a strong two-man forecheck and a preference for carrying the puck over the blueline, to a dump and chase, grind it out game, playing far more conservatively in the neutral zone.
Since that decision was made, the Montreal Canadiens have been outplayed at even strength 19 times in 33 games. Last season Montreal was outplayed at even strength just 17 times in 53 games, including the first month of this season, 22 times in 67 games. The statistical crash since November is absolutely shocking.
I urge you to read more because holy moly it is a delight. Entire paragraphs about Douglas Murray! A treat for you on a Friday.
4. Toronto Maple Leafs (27-21-5) 7-1 loss to Dallas
The Leafs have lost by 5 or more goals in three of their last eleven games. Coming off a stretch of six wins, the Leafs must've lost their confidence on the plane to Dallas or something - after all, confidence breeds wins, and I've been assured that the front office isn't even willing to consider criticism of their defense-first coach.
PPP doesn't even bother writing recaps for ugly losses like their 7-1 drubbing at the hands of Seguin's Stars in Texas.
5. Detroit Red Wings (22-18-10) 4-1 Loss to St. Louis
The Red Wings, buzzing off their thrilling win* over the Kings on Saturday, are fighting to keep their head above water in this season wrecked by injuries of key players. St. Louis is the top team in goal differential in the NHL with a +59 rating. When I looked up Detroit's goal differential all it said was "day-to-day." (not really, but probably)
6. Ottawa Senators (22-19-10) 4-1 loss to New York
Bobby Ryan drew the hook from Derek Stepan and Ottawa was off to the power play. It wouldn't last long, with Clarke MacArthur sent to the box for his own hooking infraction only 25 seconds in to the Stepan penalty. Shortly after that Rick Nash would take an Erik Condra stick to the face, and after a drawn out play with Cam Talbot on the bench for the extra attacker, the Rangers would go to a 4 on 3 power play.
7. Florida Panthers (20-23-7) 4-3 Win over Buffalo
The Sabres ended up 2 for 7 on the power play, denting the Cats' PK for the first time in 2014. Florida had not surrendered a power-play goal since December 28th, against the Red Wings. The unit came up huge when it counted, killing off Boyes' double-minor for high-sticking Henrik Tallinder with the game on the line in the third.After scoring 5 goals on 28 shots against the Penguins, the Cats were efficient again, beating Ryan Miller 4 times on just 22 shots.
8. Buffalo Sabres (13-29-7) 4-3 loss to Florida
Ryan Miller was clearly frustrated with the proceedings, becoming visibly upset after allowing the third Florida goal on a long shot, deflected by his own defensemen. "I was not in good spots on the first two, and the third one you just throw your hands up," said Miller. "[Jovanovski] was going completely for the other side of the net."
Don't worry, Ryan. The Olympics are almost here and we're not even bringing Jack Johnson.