All good things come to an end. For the Anaheim Ducks, that end came in a shark tank.
It seems like the Anaheim's ten-game winning streak began ages ago. Some of the best talent in the NHL failed to slow them down. Chicago brought skill. St. Louis brought relentless forechecking. Washington brought the league's best power play.
In the end, it took a combination of all three (along with great goaltending from Antti Niemi) to bring down the beast. The San Jose Sharks finally stopped the Ducks' train on Sunday night with a 3-1 win. Logan Couture, Bracken Kearns and Brent Burns all found the back of the net while Niemi kept the Ducks out of theirs. It was a good run while it lasted, Anaheim.
The only question now is whether anyone can beat them at home. But that's for another time.
All the NHL Scores
Penguins 5, Blue Jackets 3
Blues 3, Stars 2 (OT)
Maple Leafs 5, Hurricanes 2
Islanders 5, Wild 4
On Sunday we asked you five burning questions about the day's games. These are your cool, soothing answers.
Will Henrik Lundqvist get back on track?
Lundqvist had one of *those* games, the kind where he makes several miraculous saves in a row (multiple times) to keep the Rangers within striking distance of a win. He stopped 35 of 37 shots, including an impressive third period stretch where the Rangers were outshot 16-6. It was a great performance against one of the league's hottest offenses.
Will the Blue Jackets finally beat the Penguins at home?
Nope, mainly because James Neal is just having his way with opposing goalies right now. The Penguins winger registered a hat trick on Sunday, ending any hopes the Blue Jackets had of ending their losing streak against the Pens. But hey, at least we got more Evgeni Malkin photobombs!
Can the Hurricanes make the most of their visit to Toronto?
What on earth happened to Cam Ward? His disastrous 2013-14 campaign continued on Sunday, giving up four goals on just 26 shots to the Maple Leafs. The Hurricanes are headed nowhere fast this year, and Ward's struggles have a lot to do with that.
Can the Tavares-less Islanders get it done in Minnesota?
For awhile it didn't look like they would. New York fell behind early but scored five times in the final two periods to take down the reeling Wild. Kyle Okposo chipped in with three points and John Tavares had a crucial goal late.
Will the Stars snap out of their home power play funk?
You could make the argument that their funk was the reason they lost on Sunday. Dallas had five chances to convert on the man advantage and only scored once. They were doomed when they failed to score on a two-minute 4-on-3 power play late in overtime, setting up Kevin Shattenkirk's game-winner in the dying seconds.
The one play or moment from Sunday that will be making headlines over the next couple of days.
USA Hockey won't announce its official roster for the 2014 Winter Olympics until Wednesday, but Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press reported Sunday that the goalies will be Ryan Miller of the Buffalo Sabres, Jonathan Quick of the Los Angeles Kings and Jimmy Howard of the Detroit Red Wings. The first two aren't really much of a surprise, since both Quick and Miller have the track record to earn a spot.
But Howard is in the middle of a down season, posting a 6-8-7 record with a 2.65 goals against average while battling injuries recently. Should New Jersey Devils goalie Cory Schneider (2.13 GAA, .914 SV%) have gotten the nod instead?
Stat of the Night
Speaking of, if the USA's decision on a starter in net comes down to who can come up big while under fire, Ryan Miller is your guy.
With a career-high 49 saves today, Ryan Miller is now 3-0-0 in games in which he faced 50 or more shots (11/5/13 at SJS and 1/8/10 vs. TOR).— Sabres PR (@SabresPR) December 30, 2013
Post to Post
- Brian McGrattan might get suspended for elbowing Andrew Alberts.
- Individual mistakes killed the Stars.
- The good folks at Fear The Fin look at why the Sharks struggle against top teams.
- Finally, Team USA is rolling through the World Junior Championship.