Bruins 9, Flames 0
The Boston Bruins welcomed the Calgary Flames to town and quickly extinguished the visitors with three goals in the first period en route to a dominating win, 9-0. The Bruins had 12 players record at least one point, seven different goal scorers and two players that netted a pair, Patrice Bergeron and Nathan Horton. Boston improved to 26-10-1 (53 points) with the win, leaving the Bruins a point behind the Eastern Conference leading New York Rangers, who beat the Florida Panthers in overtime Thursday night, 3-2.
Tuukka Rask stopped all 25 shots he faced and although the netminding was once again excellent -- it was Rask's fourth shutout in his past five games -- the real key for the Bruins was their consistency, writes Biz Jacobs at SB Nation Boston:
But you do have to keep in mind the offense. Once again, all four lines scored a goal tonight, and that's something that has been key to the Bruins success not only this year, but last season as well.
"Yeah I think it's confidence honestly," Bergeron said. "I think the depth we've been talking about all year has been helping us a lot, but four lines feeling confident, feeling good about themselves obviously helps a lot. And every line wants to contribute and go out there and find ways to score."
The team is 22-0-0 when they score three or more goals in a game.
Blues 4, Oilers 3
Then the third period happened and, whoa, did the Blues take charge. The Blues scored three goals (two on the power play) and came away with two important points. Brad and Gallagher-who can't write this because HE'S at his Clark Kent job-both said how important it is for the Blues to beat the teams the Blues are supposed to beat. Edmonton is one of those teams so, no matter how the Blues got there, a win sure is nice.
Senators 4, Lightning 1
The Otta Senators took a 2-0 lead into the third period and never looked back, skating past the Tampa Bay Lightning, 4-1. Despite the final score though, our Senators blog, Silver Seven, writes that Ottawa was generally outplayed Thursday night, but was rescued by "clutch goaltending by Craig Anderson" ... and a bit of luck:
A bit of luck factored in, too. Mid-way through the first, Dwayne Roloson fumbled a rebound and Jason Spezza used his looooong reach to give it the ol' reach-around and tap in the rebound and give Ottawa a first-period lead. Late in the second, Kyle Turris scored his first goal as a Senator when he cut to the front of the net quite adeptly to tip-in a swell pass from Daniel Alfredsson and put Ottawa up by two. Steven Stamkos cut the lead in half, but Zack Smith and Alfredsson scored in the third to lock it down for the Sens.
Sharks 2, Blue Jackets 1
San Jose would rebound from an early first period goal and control the majority of the game against the Columbus Blue Jackets, eventually prevailing 2-1 in front of a sellout crowd at HP Pavilion.
Joe Thornton and Ryane Clowe would score goals for the Sharks as Jason Demers potted assists on both goals. Curtis Sanford earned well deserved second star honors for his 37 save performance, with Thomas Greiss holding the fort in a frantic final two minutes to earn a win in his first start since December 3rd.
Kings 1, Coyotes 0 (OT)
Drew Doughty scored 38 seconds into overtime, giving the Los Angeles Kings a 1-0 win over the Phoenix Coyotes on Thursday night at Staples Center. The Kings have a point in nine straight games (6-0-3), and are 5-0-3 under new head coach Darryl Sutter.
Doughty's goal was his third tally of the season, assisted by Jarret Stoll and Jack Johnson. It made a winner of Jonathan Quick, who saved all 22 shots for the win. Quick recorded his NHL-leading sixth shutout.