The Toronto Maple Leafs did something on Monday that they hadn't done since the 2006-07 season -- extend a winning streak to five games.
Thanks to a 39-save effort from Jonathan Bernier, who continues to strengthen his grip on their No. 1 goaltending job, the Maple Leafs picked up a 4-2 win in Phoenix to continue their longest winning streak since they were coached by Paul Maurice.
Jake Gardiner, Phil Kessel, Carl Gunnarsson and Nazem Kadri provided the offense as the team raced out to a 3-0 lead early in the second period and then turned the game over to their goaltender as he did his part to shut down the Coyotes' comeback attempt.
With the win Toronto remains in the first wild card spot in the Eastern Conference and gained a couple of points on the Detroit Red Wings as they dropped a 4-1 game against the St. Louis Blues.
The biggest story out of that game for Detroit was the injury suffered by starting goaltender Jimmy Howard. He had to leave the game after playing 30 minutes with what the team is calling a "lower body injury." Wings coach Mike Babcock said he thought Howard reinjured the same knee. For the time being it's not considered to be serious and he is currently listed as being day-to-day.
All the NHL Scores
Bruins 3, Kings 2
Panther 5, Penguins 1
Blues 4, Red Wings 1
Maple Leafs 4, Coyotes 2
Sharks 3, Flames 2
On Monday we asked you five burning questions about the days games. These are your cool, soothing answers.
1. Will Philadelphia and New York combine for 10 goals?
No, the two teams played to a 3-3 tie through regulation and overtime, and then the Islanders gained the extra point in the shootout thanks to goals from Frans Nielsen, John Tavares and Kyle Okposo. The Islanders have now won nine of their past 12 games.
2. Will the Pittsburgh Penguins win their 21st game at home this season?
They not only failed to win their 21st home game of the season, their 5-1 loss to the Florida Panthers also snapped what had been a 13-game home winning streak. It was a particularly poor performance by the Penguins, one that defenseman Matt Niskanen refereed to as "piss poor."
3. Will the Boston Bruins and Los Angeles Kings go to overtime?
Brad Marchand continued his recent hot streak by scoring a pair of goals, including the game-winner late in the third period. He now has six goals in his past four games, including an impressive shorthanded goal in the first period on Monday to open the scoring.
4. Can the Blues defeat the Detroit Red Wings?
They did, and the Red Wings didn't put up much of a fight. The Blues rolled to a 4-1 win and owned a commanding 39-23 edge in the shot department, while the Red Wings lost starting goaltender Jimmy Howard to a lower body injury in the second period.
5. While the San Jose Sharks extend their winning streak to four games?
They did, but it wasn't easy as the Flames gave the Sharks everything they could handle. Joe Pavelski scored a pair of goals, giving him 27 on the season to lead San Jose to the win. Joe Thornton added his league-leading 47th assist of the season, giving him four more than any other player in the league. If he hadn't scored a single goal this season he would still be 17th in the NHL in scoring due to that assist total.
The one play or moment from Monday that is going to be making headlines over the next couple of days.
Let's face it, when one coach gets suspended for 15 days (six games) without pay and another one gets fined $25,000 that's a pretty big deal. That's what happened to Vancouver's John Tortorella and Calgary's Bob Hartley on Monday as a result of their actions on Saturday night. Semi-related, the Kevin Westgarth-Brian McGratten line that Hartley started on Saturday that led to all of the madness scored a goal on Monday. That's two goals in three games for that group. Sometimes you just can't predict hockey.
Stat of the Night
Speaking of not being able to predict hockey sometimes...
During the Florida Panthers' 5-1 win in Pittsburgh, forward Drew Shore scored two goals on his two shots on goal. That's a big night for any player. It's also absolutely shocking coming from Shore. Prior to Monday, Shore had scored just four goals in his NHL career on 104 shots (that's a 3.8 shooting percentage … one of the worst marks in the NHL over that time), and this season had played 28 games in the American Hockey League and scored zero goals. In his pro career before Monday (AHL and NHL combined), he had scored on just 15 of his 274 shots on goal (five percent). Sometimes it's just your night.
Post to Post
- NHL teams are going to be paying a lot of money to injured players this season.
- The Calgary Flames signed veteran center Matt Stajan to a four-year contract extension on Monday.
- The reaction to that signing from Matchsticks and Gasoline.
- Is Minnesota Wild defenseman Jonas Brodin starting to emerge from his sophomore slump?