NHL Scores: Giroux ends goal drought, Islanders lose Vanek

Elsa

You had to look in surprising places for excitement on Saturday.

Occasionally, it's easy to figure out which games around the NHL will be the most exciting on a certain night. You might've thought Saturday was one of those nights.

You were probably wrong. The Bruins and Maple Leafs were supposed to have a knock-down, drag-out battle in Boston. Instead, we got some physicality without the drama. Which is alright, but a bit of a letdown from their last meeting. Similarly, the matchup in Los Angeles could've been a classic battle between old playoff foes if the Canucks hadn't forgotten how to play in their own end.

No, the most exciting games were fought and won by smaller-market teams. The Lightning eked out an impressive overtime win in Detroit. Minnesota outlasted the plucky Hurricanes despite a shaky night from Josh Harding. And the Phoenix Coyotes staged a thrilling comeback to stay undefeated in their own barn.

All the NHL Scores

Flyers 4, Oilers 2

Senators 3, Panthers 2

Bruins 3, Maple Leafs 1

Lightning 3, Red Wings 2 (OT)

Wild 3, Hurricanes 2 (SO)

Blue Jackets 5, Islanders 2

Blues 2, Penguins 1

Blackhawks 5, Stars 2

Coyotes 4, Capitals 3 (SO)

Kings 5, Canucks 1

Five Questions

On Saturday, we asked you five burning questions about the day's games. These are your cool, soothing answers.

1. Who steps up for the Panthers?

That would be Nick Bjugstad. Bjugstad netted one goal and put five shots on net, the most for the Panthers. Tim Thomas didn't look bad either, stopping 29 of 32 shots on net. As a whole, Florida looked quicker and more engaged than they've been all season. They've still lost their last eight games, but there is hope yet for the young Panthers.

2. Something's gotta give in Philly tonight, right?

Just ask Claude Giroux! The embattled Philadelphia Flyers captain finally scored his first goal of the season, ending a 21-game drought. Scott Hartnell even scored in the Flyers' 4-2 win over Edmonton. Apparently the Oilers are the cure for any ailing offense.

3. Can Toronto cleanse their demons?

If by "cleanse their demons" you mean "don't blow a three-goal lead with minutes remaining", then they definitely cleansed their demons. Sort of. They never had a chance, as the Bruins eked out a 3-1 win with physicality and grit.

4. Can the Penguins stop Alexander Steen?

They kept him from scoring, but they didn't keep him off the scoresheet. The NHL's leading point-getter notched an assist on Ryan Reaves' second period goal.

5. Will the Capitals snap the Coyotes' home streak?

The Coyotes are still unbeaten in the desert this season after a 4-3 shootout win over Washington. Phoenix had to work for a win on Saturday, completing a two-goal rally with less than two minutes left in the third period.

Impact Moment

The one play or moment from Saturday's games that will be making headlines over the next couple of days.

When the Islanders acquired Thomas Vanek from Buffalo a few weeks ago, they did so hoping he'd be around for a playoff run. That seems to be in jeopardy, depending on how much of a lingering issue the injury he suffered on Saturday is. The Islanders haven't released any official update, but Vanek won't play on Sunday. We'll probably know more about the extent of his injury later today.

Stat of the Night

Believe it or not, but Saturday was only the third time the Tampa Bay Lightning have ever earned a single point in Detroit.

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