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01-27-2019, 11:40 PM,
He brings a lot of intangibles
DENVER (AP) Colton Sissons and Filip Forsberg each scored twice , backup goaltender Juuse Saros stopped 33 shots and the Nashville Predators became the first NHL team to clinch a playoff spot this season by beating the Colorado Avalanche 4-2 on Friday night.The streaking Predators are 13-0-1 in their last 14 games and haven’t lost in regulation since Feb. 17 against Detroit.Nathan MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog had the goals for an Avalanche team that returned home after earning two straight road wins, including Thursday in St. Louis. The loss snapped Colorado’s string of nine straight games with a point. The squad still remains in the thick of the playoff chase.Semyon Varlamov turned back 24 shots as he started both games of a back-to-back for the first time this season.CAPITALS 6, ISLANDERS 3WASHINGTON (AP) – T.J. Oshie, Nicklas Backstrom and Matt Niskanen scored as Washington swept a home-and-home set against slumping New York.Alex Chiasson had a goal and two assists for the Capitals, who hammered the Islanders 7-3 in New York on Thursday. Jakub Vrana’s goal gave Washington a 5-1 lead with 9:04 remaining. Lars Eller added an empty-netter, and Braden Holtby made 22 saves.Washington broke a tie with idle Pittsburgh for sole possession of first place in the Metropolitan Division. The Capitals’ four-game winning streak is their longest since taking five in a row from Dec. 28 to Jan. 9.Evgeny Kuznetsov, Washington’s second-leading scorer, left in the second period and did not return after sustaining an upper-body injury.Holtby, the 2016 Vezina Trophy winner as the NHL’s top goaltender, had lost seven of eight and did not play in the previous four games.Mathew Barzal, Brock Nelson and John Tavares scored for the Islanders, who have lost 10 of 11.WILD 4, GOLDEN KNIGHTS 2LAS VEGAS (AP) – Jason Zucker, the only NHL player raised in Nevada, scored a goal and assisted on another to lead Minnesota over Vegas.The Wild Chicago Blackhawks T-Shirts Authentic , who had lost two in a row and four of seven, completed a 3-0 season sweep of the Pacific Division leaders. Charlie Coyle, Matt Dumba and Zach Parise also scored for the Wild, and Alex Stalock stopped 26 shots.Erik Haula and Ryan Carpenter scored for the Golden Knights, who dropped to 24-9-2 at home and have lost four straight in T Mobile Arena.Marc-Andre Fleury, who fell to 2-8-0 in 10 starts against the Wild, made 26 saves. It was the first time Fleury lost back-to-back games in regulation this season.DUCKS 4, RED WINGS 2ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) – Corey Perry scored a tiebreaking goal late in the second period, John Gibson made 28 saves and Anaheim defeated skidding Detroit.Nick Ritchie, Derek Grant and Ryan Kesler each had a goal for the Ducks, tied with Los Angeles for third place in the Pacific Division. Anaheim has 84 points – also the same amount as Colorado and Dallas, which hold the two wild-card spots in the Western Conference.Gustav Nyquist scored in his third straight game for the Red Wings, who lost their ninth in a row to match their longest slide since dropping nine straight in February 1986. Mike Green also had a goal and Jimmy Howard made 32 saves in Detroit’s eighth consecutive road loss.SHARKS 7, FLAMES 4CALGARY Chicago Blackhawks Hoodies Authentic , Alberta (AP) – Evander Kane scored four goals to lead San Jose past Calgary.Tomas Hertl had a goal and an assist for the Sharks, who have won three straight and four of five. Kevin Lebanc and Eric Fehr also scored, and Martin Jones made 30 saves.It was the first NHL hat trick for Kane, acquired from Buffalo just before the Feb. 26 trade deadline.Micheal Ferland had a goal and an assist for the Flames, who are four points out of a playoff spot. Troy Brouwer, Mark Jankowski and Johnny Gaudreau also scored for Calgary.Three nights after stopping all 28 shots he faced against the Oilers, Calgary goalie Mike Smith had a rough outing as he made just 14 saves before being replaced by David Rittich early in the third period.SENATORS 3, STARS 2, OTOTTAWA, Ontario (AP) – Mike Hoffman scored at 3:26 of overtime and Ottawa beat Dallas to win its third game in a row for just the second time this season.Marian Gaborik and Matt Duchene also scored for the Senators, and Craig Anderson made 23 saves. Ottawa won on home ice for the first time since Feb. 17.Tyler Seguin and Tyler Pitlick had the goals for the Stars. Ben Bishop, who stopped 22 shots, made his first start since missing five games with a knee injury sustained March 5 against the Senators. Bishop has a 9-0-4 career record against Ottawa.Dallas has lost four straight, its longest skid of the season.— BOSTON — Rick Middleton’s name is all over the Boston Bruins‘ record books.It hasn’t been enough to send the man they call ‘Nifty’ into the Hall of Fame — but it is enough to get his No. 16 raised to the TD Garden rafters prior to Thursday night’s game against the New York Islanders.Acquired from the New York Rangers in exchange for Ken Hodge — the latter reunited with Phil Esposito in New York, Middleton is third in goals (402) Chicago Blackhawks Hats Authentic , even strength goals (275), and shooting percentage (20.0), fourth in points (898) goals created (357.2), and goals for on ice (1,319), fifth in power play goals (102), sixth in assists (496) and game winning goals (52), tied for sixth in hat tricks), seventh in shots (2,007), eighth in games played (881) and goals per game (0.46) and 10th in plus-minus (plus-220).Article continues below ...Oh, and he’s the team’s all-time leader with 25 short-handed goals.“Loved ‘Nifty,’ even though I was a defenseman,” said current Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy. “Crafty. One-on-one. Played in traffic. I liked watching him and Barry Pederson feed off each other.”Cassidy’s banged-up team (13-7-4) comes home for a two-game homestand after a split of a Montreal/Toronto trip — and still looking for more production.The Bruins, top heavy with the Patrice Bergeron line doing much of the scoring Custom Chicago Blackhawks Jerseys , is now without Bergeron, who suffered an upper body injury that will cost him a month. General manager Don Sweeney admitted Monday he is searching for a possible trade for offense — and the Bruins recalled Ryan Donato from Providence, where he had nine points in 10 games since his demotion.The defense, missing as many as six regulars at one point, has lost Kevan Miller again, this time for at least five weeks with larynx damage suffered when he took a puck to the throat in Toronto.“He plays his heart out. That’s two blocked shots that have put him out,” said Cassidy. “We’ll miss him.”Brandon Carlo, who has been out since Nov. 10 with a shoulder/collarbone injury, returned to practice Wednesday and expects to play either Thursday or Saturday against the Detroit Red Wings. Meanwhile, Charlie McAvoy (concussion) has been skating but took a day off Wednesday — a move not considered a setback.The Islanders (12-9-2) will “re-open” their old home, the Nassau Coliseum, Saturday night. First, they have the Bruins and are coming off a 4-1 loss to the Washington Capitals in Brooklyn Monday night.The Bruins swept three games from the Isles last season.“We’re headed in the right direction,” coach Barry Trotz. “We’re trending in the right direction from a total hockey standpoint, from the people running it , such as Lou (GM Lamoriello), and the infrastructure behind that.”Hard-working forward Casey Cizikas, who has missed the last six games with a lower body injury, was removed from IR and will be back for Thursday night’s game.“He brings a lot of intangibles,” said Trotz, whose new team lost to his old team — the defending Stanley Cup champions — Monday night, in a game played after Trotz received his championship ring.The Bruins have alternated Jaroslav Halak and Tuukka Rask since Rask returned from a three-day personal absence, leaving Rask in line for Thursday. He is an impressive 12-5-0 with a 2.22 goals-against average and .930 save percentages lifetime against the Islanders.Halak, who spent his last four seasons playing for the Islanders, was 7-1-1 with a 1.53 GAA and .950 save percentage against New York before going there.Thomas Greiss has played three straight and seven of the last eight games in goal for New York. He is 8-4-1 on the season and is 2-3-0 with a 1.63 GAA and .950 save percentage lifetime against the Bruins.Robin Lehner, who has struggled this season with his new team (4-5-1), is just 4-11-3 with a 2.71 GAA and .922 save percentage all-time against Boston.
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