The week began with two match ups: Coyotes travelled to Calgary to face off against the Flames meanwhile Rangers were at the Blue Jackets. Thus far the Coyotes season has been nothing short of disappointing but this time out they certainly found themselves on top. A 5-0 victory thanks to 2 goals from Christian Dvorak as well as goals from Hanzal, Martinook and White meant that the Calgary Flames slumped to a disappointing loss. The Flames currently find themselves just in the second wild card position for the Western Conference meaning that from here on every game is incredibly important and they’ll be hoping they don’t have too many more games like this. In the other game despite the Blue Jackets having a marginally better season then the Rangers they just missed out on a win as the Rangers came out on top with a narrow 3-2 victory.
The main face of on Tuesday night was between the New York Islanders and the Toronto Maple Leafs. The two sides find themselves only a few points apart but given how the game went down you wouldn’t believe it. Both the Maple Leafs and the Islanders are currently just outside of the Eastern Conference’s wild card positions making every game a must win if they are to make the play offs. Despite all of this the Maple Leafs absolutely annihilated the Islanders 7-1. It was during the 3rd period of play the the Islanders fell apart, conceding 4 goals as the Leafs secured a very convincing home win. Another notable mention from Tuesday’s games came in the face off between the Winnipeg Jets and the Dallas Stars in which the Jets came out on top by 5 goals to 2. However it was the performance of Stars’ Patrik Laine which stole the show has he helped himself to a hat trick of goals.
Wednesday’s key highlights came when the Florida Panthers travelled to the San Jose Sharks. With both sides having very respectable seasons the game had the potential to be quite the spectacle and it certainly didn’t disappoint. The first period alone provided 5 goals but come of the end of the 3rd period of play the game was tied at 5-5. However after such an exciting and close game it was Panther’s Huberdeau who broke the deadlock after 1:38 of overtime to take the points back to Florida.
Thursday saw the return of the battle of New York between the Rangers and Islanders. In recent years both teams have been performing to a high level and so it’s no surprise that they’re both flirting with the play off positions. Thursday’s game began with the Rangers taking the lead in the first period through Holden but needless to say the Islanders fought back in the second and third period. The game ended with the Islanders coming out on top by 4 goals to 2. The other notable games from Thursday night were the very high scoring games between the Flyers and Oilers which ended 6-3 to the Edmonton. The other high scoring game was the Coyotes 5-3 victory over the LA Kings.
On Friday there was a battle between two of this season’s heavyweights in the Pittsburgh Penguins and Columbus Blue Jackets. Second and third in the Metropolitan division the two sides had an incredibly close encounter thanks to fantastic work from each teams defensive lines. The Pens and Blue Jackets could only be separated when it came down to overtime when Dubinsky finished after 1:04 f overtime.
Saturday featured a packed schedule of games but perhaps the most interesting was that between the Washington Capitals and Detroit Red Wings. The Caps are having an absolute storm of a season and find themselves at the top of the NHL. On the other hand the Red Wings are 27th in the league and rock bottom in the Eastern Conference with little left to fight for this season. Therefore in theory most people would expect a comfortable win for the Caps but no. At the end of the 3 periods as well as overtime the score was tied at 2-2 and so a shootout was needed to separate the two teams. Despite Braden Holtby having debatably the best season of his career this wasn’t enough as the Capitals eventually fell to a victorious Detroit team.