It was a rare busy Friday night of action as there were 10 games on the schedule. Here are some quick hits on the contests.
Well the Toronto Maple Leafs hit a new low last night losing 3-1 to the Buffalo Sabres. With the Nazem Kadri suspension and the lengthy absences of David Bolland and Tyler Bozak due to injuries, the Leafs are really starting to feel it down the middle.
Toronto recalled Trevor Smith from the Marlies to take Kadri’s spot and he scored the lone goal on Friday. I guess Mike Krushelnyski wasn’t available.
Buffalo picked up a victory, thanks in part to a nice night by Steve Ott that saw him pick up a goal and an assist.
Tyler Myers added a helper and it was his first point in four games.
Marcus Foligno also found the score sheet picking up a goal after going seven games without a point. Foligno also added five hits and played just 12:53, his lowest ice-time of the season. Perhaps that effort earns him some increased minutes.
The Kings beat the Devils 2-0 and Ben Scrivens was solid picking up the shutout. That’s his second straight nice effort since Jonathan Quick went down and he might be a decent short-term pickup if you had Quick.
Dwight King had a goal and he now has four points in his last four outings.
Anze Kopitar has picked it up after somewhat of a slow start to the campaign. He had an empty-netter and now has eight points in his last seven games.
The Preds dropped a 4-1 decision to the Penguins and rookie Seth Jones is going through a rough stretch. He hasn’t recorded a point in his last five contests and has gone minus-7 over that span.
On the brigthtside, Patric Hornqvist was noticeable again when it came to shots on goal. He fired four at the Pittsburgh net and now has a whopping 19 shots in his last four games.
Good news if you are a Kris Letang owner, as the blueliner notched a goal and five shots, but if you are a Matt Niskanen owner you weren’t as lucky. Letang’s return to the lineup has seemed to slow Niskanen’s production and he played barely 16 minutes against Nashville.
Brandon Sutter snapped himself out of a slump picking up a goal and an assist, while finishing plus-2. He ended a run of four games without a point.
Carolina beat Anaheim 3-2 and Justin Peters has started to string some good games together recently between the pipes. He has now had five straight good starts that saw him collect four wins, including a shutout.
Drayson Bowman scored for the Canes and led the team without six shots.
Eric Staal also tallied and it was his first goal in almost a month. Does this get him back on track?
Viktor Fasth made his first start in over a month and made 21-of-23 stops. Frederik Andersen, who had been playing great for the Ducks, was sent back to the AHL on Thursday.
The Canadiens topped the Blue Jackets 3-2 in a shootout thanks to Alex Galchenyuk and Lars Eller. Each scored for Montreal and they both have four points in their last three games.
Max Pacioretty wasn’t as lucky. Despite putting up eight shots, he was again held pointless and has just a single assist in his past seven games.
Curtis McElhinney gave Sergei Bobrovsky the night off and was impressive stopping 38 shots.
Artem Anisimov scored his first goal in seven contests, although using the term ‘goal’ might be giving him too much credit.
Columbus also received some bad news Friday as it looks as though Marian Gaborik will miss 4-6 weeks with a knee injury.
The Senators got the better of the Bruins 4-2 after a third period rally that saw Bobby Ryan score a beautiful clinching goal. Ryan now has points in seven of eight, but he also left the game late in the third after being hit awkwardly into the boards. Something to monitor, but it didn’t seem overly serious.
Jason Spezza got back on track after going three games without a point, picking up a goal and an assist against Boston. Spezza still isn’t seeing a ton of time with Ryan, which must be frustrating to his owners.
Loui Eriksson had a goal and an assist in a losing cause. He now has points in five straight outings and has played well since returning from a concussion recently.
Matt Bartkowski is a defenseman to keep an eye on. He got over 18 minutes against Ottawa and picked up a couple of assists. Bartkowski now has three points in three games.
Detroit fell to Washington in a shootout, despite getting some decent offensive production from their blueline. Danny DeKeyser had a goal and an assist, while Jakub Kindl chipped in with two helpers.
Tomas Tatar also added an assist to end a five-game pointless run.
Johan Franzen seems to be back on track after missing some time with an illness. He had two goals and an assist on Friday and now has four points in two outings since returning.
Brooks Laich had a goal for the Caps and now has points in two straight. He played over 20 minutes in both of those games.
Florida lost to the Minnesota Wild on Friday, but Nick Bjugstad seems to be showing signs of getting it going. He picked up an assist and has four points in his last five games.
Jonathan Huberdeau also scored for the Panthers, and it was his first tally in a month.
A couple of Minnesota forwards are playing some steady puck right now. Mikko Koivu had two assists against the Panthers and he has seven points in four games.
Charlie Coyle scored for the Wild and he is on a stretch of four points in five games.
The Jets defeated the Flyers 3-2 in a shootout and Claude Giroux is starting to show some signs of life. He picked up an assist and now has four points in the games. Maybe he will end up rewarding owners who hung on to him after all.
Scott Hartnell is also finding the scoring touch as he grabbed a goal and an assist, giving him four points in his last four.
Sean Couturier is going in the other direction, however. He failed to find the score sheet and has just a single point in his last nine games. He still got nearly 21 minutes of ice though, but how long is that going to last if he continues on this pace.
Steve Mason had another excellent effort, his fourth straight, making 36 stops. He’s been one of the few bright spots this year in Philly.
Dustin Byfuglien scored goals number two and three on the year. He played a massive 31 minutes for the Jets.
Olli Jokinen had two assists for Winnipeg and is heating up. He’s notched six points in his past five games.
The Sharks beat the Oilers to no one’s surprise and don’t look now, but rookie Tomas Hertl is picking it up again. He cooled after that first couple weeks where it looked as though he would have a permanent stay on the highlight reel, but scored against Edmonton on Friday and is enjoying a run of seven points in six games.
Other than Nail Yakupov scoring again, the majority of Oilers news came off the ice on Friday.
Ilya Bryzgalov played his first game in Oklahoma City last night and gave up five goals on 24 shots. Although, apparently the majority weren’t his fault. I guess the Oilers AHL affiliate has modeled its defensive game after the big club.
The Oilers also sent Mark Arcobello down to the AHL and recalled defenseman Oscar Klefbom. Arcobello had some good opportunities early in the season where he saw some minutes with the top line, but he didn’t do enough to take advantage of them. Klefbom is someone to watch because he is tremendously talented, but the Oilers are a mess right now and he’s being thrown into a situation that is far from ideal.
The Rangers plan to make Michael Del Zotto a healthy scratch on Saturday when they take on the Montreal Canadiens, according to Katie Strang of ESPN. Del Zotto has only managed four points on the season thus far and that’s not going to go over well when you’re billed as an offensive defenseman. Perhaps most shocking is the stat that Del Zotto has played 43:09 on the man advantage this season and managed just a single assist.
Patrick Eaves has cleared waivers and has been sent down to Grand Rapids of the American Hockey League. Eaves played in just three games with the Red Wings this season and failed to register a point.
St. Louis waived forward Chris Porter on Friday. Porter’s claim to fame occurred last spring in the post-season when he played on a checking line with Ryan Reaves and Adam Cracknell that gave the Los Angeles Kings some headaches.