Michael Finewax

Hockey Daily Dose

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OEL gives Coyotes the Win

Monday, March 12, 2018


The Calgary Flames activated Mike Smith from the injured reserve list Sunday as he had missed the last 13 games with a groin injury. The Flames had a tough go of it while he was absent from the lineup going 5-6-2 and are two points out of the playoffs going into action Sunday.

 

The Coyotes recalled Dylan Strome from Tucson of the AHL but they sent him back down the same day as Derek Stepan is okay to play Sunday. He had been quite good in the minors with 49 points in 44 games but has struggled at the NHL level since he was drafted third overall in 2015, behind only Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel.

 

The Bruins start a week long road trip and don’t expect Patrice Bergeron back in the lineup this week as he remained at home.

 

Brad Marchand did not play against Chicago Sunday as he suffered an upper body injury when he collided with Anthony Duclair Saturday. Both are out of action and are day-to-day but the Bruins suffered the greater loss.

 

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CHICAGO 3 BOSTON 1

 

Jonathan Toews assisted on all three goals as the Chicago Blackhawks dumped the Boston Bruins 3-1 Sunday afternoon.

 

It was a big afternoon for Patrick Kane who scored the winner on the power play with 3:16 to go in the third as he also added an assist to give him 66 points this season. It’s a nice campaign but Kane was expected to be among the league leaders in points and he is not. Currently he sits 21st in the NHL in points after leading the league just two seasons ago with 106 points.

 

Artem Anisimov opened the scoring with the only goal of the first two periods as he scored his 20th. It came on the power play and it was his 11th power play goal of the season.

 

Brett Seabrook scored only his fourth of the season but it clinched the game for the Blackhawks.

 

Zdeno Charo’s seventh of the season was the only one to beat Anton Forsberg who made 31 saves. Forsberg is 9-14-3 with a 2.94 GAA and a .908 save percentage this season for the faltering Blackhawks.

 

Erik Gustafsson had a pair of assists on the power play for Chicago. Anton Khudobin made 36 saves but saw his record drop to 15-5-4 this season.

 

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NEW YORK ISLANDERS 5 CALGARY 2

 

The New York Islanders may have finally found themselves a goaltender and in the unlikeliest of spots. Their own minor league farm team.

 

His name is Christopher Gibson and he won his first of the season Sunday, stopping 50 shots as he stoned the Calgary Flames.

 

Gibson has played only three games this season and is 1-0-2 but has stopped 132 of 138 shots, all in the last eight games. The Islanders have not been getting the goaltending they need out of Jaroslav Halak or the injured Thomas Greiss and coach Doug Weight should see what Gibson is able to do the rest of the way or at least give him his shot.

 

It was a huge night for Johnny Boychuk who had a goal and a couple of assists and was on the ice for all five New York goals as he ended the evening a plus-five.

 

The Islanders got off to a quick start as they scored twice in 14 seconds as Nick Leddy scored at the 2:18 mark of the first and Boychuk scored right after that.

 

Johnny Gaudreau scored to cut the lead in half but Jordan Eberle’s 24th of the season restored the two-goal lead.

 

Anders Lee scored twice with Mark Giordano replying for Calgary. Gaudreau drew an assist on Giordano’s 13th and that gave him 79 points, a career high.

 

As mentioned earlier, Mike Smith returned to action after missing 13 games. He stopped 22-of-26 shots but there should be little blame placed upon his shoulders.

 

John Tavares and Casey Cizikas each had two assists.     

 

PITTSBURGH 3 DALLAS 1

 

Evgeni Malkin scored once and added an assist to lead the Penguins to a 3-1 win over Dallas. Malkin has 39 goals, one behind Alex Ovechkin and Patrik Laine for the NHL lead, and 87 points, one back of Nikita Kucherov for the Art Ross Trophy.

 

Patric Hornqvist opened the scoring on the power play with his 20th of the season and former Star Jamie Oleksiak got the eventual game winner with only four seconds left in the first to give the Pens a 2-0 lead.

 

Alexander Radulov made it 2-1 when he scored on the power play in the second period. Malkin’s clinching goal was an empty netter.

 

Casey DeSmith needed to make only 17 saves for the win while Kari Lehtonen stopped 27-of-29 shots in the loss.

 

Sidney Crosby had two assists for Pittsburgh and has 53 helpers on the season.

 

ARIZONA 1 VANCOUVER 0

 

Darcy Kuemper stopped all 27 shots as he showed the form he had earlier in the season with the Los Angeles Kings and led the Coyotes to a 1-0 win over Vancouver.

 

Kuemper was brilliant as a King as he went 10-1-3 with a 2.10 GAA and a .932 save percentage before he was dealt just before the trade deadline to Arizona. Kuemper is 12-3-4 and gives the Coyotes a solid 1-2 punch in net with Antti Raanta.

 

Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored the lone goal of the game on the power play as he potted his 10th of the season. Derek Stepan and Clayton Keller each picked up their 31st assist of the season on the game winner.

 

Jacob Markstrom was strong in the Vancouver net with only Ekman-Larsson’s blast beating him. He stopped 23 shots in the loss.

 

Alexander Edler had seven blocked shots for Vancouver.



Michael Finewax is entering his 13th season as the Senior Hockey Writer and Editor for Rotoworld. You can follow him on Twitter @mfinewaxhockey.
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