Article Written By: Adam Wible
Having a 4 game losing streak in the Western Conference can bury a teams hopes.
That’s not the case in San Jose. With the SoCal teams on a roll, the Sharks knew they had to get things going early against Minnesota. Mean Joe Pavelski did exactly that, scoring on a Power Play 5:54 into the game. That was all the Sharks needed. Adding another Power Play tally from Tomas Hertl with a little over 5 minutes left in the opening frame.
Pavelski continued his quick scoring, adding another Power Play goal to his stat line 3:42 into the second period. Sharks goalie, Antti Niemi, gave up 1 goal on 30 attempts to the Wild. Niemi righted the ship, to avoid a 5 game losing streak. Losing the game 3-1, the Wild are now 1-8 in their last 9 trips to San Jose. They look to get back in the W column Saturday in Colorado.
Overtime on the Gulf Coast.
Detorit had a one game lead going into Tampa Thursday night. The goaltending last night was world class. Ben Bishop and Jonas Gustavsson gave up 1 goal in this low scoring affair. You had a sense from the beginning that this game was going to be low scoring, and possibly overtime/shootout worthy.
Detroit got on the board first, with 5 minutes to go in the first peroid. Kyle Quincey got his first goal of the season for Detroit, beating Bishop with a wrist shot. With 44 seconds left in the second period, the Bolts Nikita Kucherov tied the game beating Gustavsson with a wrister of his own.
This 1-1 tie would go the distance, through overtime, and to a shootout. Both Bishop and Gustavvson went 5 tense rounds before, Martin St. Louis beat Gustavvson, for the eventual game winner. Red Wings coach Mike Babcock was not pleased with his teams perform.
“We’ve got to find a way to score a goal for our goalie,” Babcock said. “Our goalie can’t shut them all out. Guys that have scored fairly easily before, their attempts look like they’re tight, too. We’ve got to change that, too.”
This wasn’t the only overtime game last night.
Over the border in Winnipeg, the Colorado Avalanche held on in thrilling fashion to beat the Jets. If only the Jets had an answer for Matt Duchene. Duchene single handily carried the Avalanche last night, accounting for 3 of the 4 teams goals. Jets winger Blake Wheeler tried his best to keep pace but his 2 goals were not enough to best the Avalanche.
Wheeler didn’t get a chance in the shootout, as Duchene and Parenteau scored on the Avalanches opening tries. In the end that sums up the night for Duchene, First Star. After the game Duchene said, “It makes it that much sweeter” (Speaking of the comeback). He continued, “They came out flying. It shows what a resilient and mature group we have to stick with it.”
Three games on deck tonight: NJD @ PIT, WASH @ FL, and EDM @ VAN.
My picks on the evening.
Penguins 4-2, Capitals 3-1, and the Canucks 3-2