NHL Scores: Jimmy Howard struggles in return; Blackhawks shut out Kings

Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Jimmy Howard returned to the lineup for Detroit on Monday and struggled, while the Chicago Blackhawks shut out the Los Angeles Kings.

The Detroit Red Wings got their starting goaltender back on Monday night, but it wasn't enough to bust the team out of its recent slump, as they lost for the ninth time in their past 14 games, dropping a wild 6-4 game in Nashville. Colin Wilson scored a pair of goals for Nashville in the win, while Howard gave up five goals on the 25 shots he faced in his first action since Dec. 10.

Elsewhere, Joel Ward's fancy first period goal and the attempted soccer skills of Mikhail Grabovski weren't enough for the Washington Capitals as they lost in Ottawa, 3-1, while Alex Ovechkin was quite angry with the officials following the game for missing what he felt was a hit to the head from Senators forward Chris Neil. Neil was the one injured on the play.

Chicago blanked Los Angeles in a battle of Western Conference super powers, while the Canucks had their three-game winning streak snapped in a shootout against the Philadelphia Flyers.

All the NHL Scores

Senators 3, Capitals 1

Predators 6, Red Wings 4

Blackhawks 1, Kings 0

Flyers 4, Canucks 3

Five Questions

On Monday we asked you five burning questions about the days games. These are your cool, soothing answers.

1. How will Jimmy Howard perform?

It wasn't pretty, that's for sure. Howard allowed a goal on the first shot he faced and then gave up four more in the Red Wings' loss in Nashville. Rust no doubt played a role, but it continues what's been a disappointing season for Howard. And it came on the same day that reports surfaced that he is set to become the third goalie for team USA.

2. Will Wayne Simmonds score two goals against the Vancouver Canucks?

The streak comes to an end. After scoring two goals in each of the Flyers' past three games, Simmonds did not find the back of the net in Vancouver on Monday during their 4-3 shootout win.

3. Will the Los Angeles Kings end their two-game losing streak?

They did not. Martin Jones was great in net once again, stopping 29 of the 30 shots he faced in Chicago, but the Kings couldn't get him any offensive support in a 1-0 loss. The Kings have now lost three games in a row for the first time since they lost their first three games of the 2012-13 season.

4. How will Philipp Grubauer perform against the Ottawa Senators?

He was fine, stopping 35 of 37 shots, but it wasn't enough as the Capitals dropped a 3-1 decision in Ottawa. One of the goals Grubauer allowed was a brilliant effort from Kyle Turris and one of the finest goals across the league on Monday. Clarke MacArthur added an empty-net goal for the Senators to put the game away late in the third period.

5. Will the Vancouver Canucks extend their three-game winning streak?

No, but they did gain a point by losing in a shootout. The Canucks had a lead late in the third period but allowed Brayden Schenn to score with the extra attacker in the final minute to send the game to overtime. Even with the loss the Canucks have still won 11 of their past 14 games, with only one of the losses over that stretch coming in regulation.

Impact Moment

The one play or moment from Monday that is going to be making headlines over the next couple of days.

On the same day that he returned to the lineup, which was also the same day reports surfaced that he will be one of the three goalies heading to Sochi for team USA, Detroit Red Wings net minder Jimmy Howard played one of his worst games of the season in a 6-4 loss to the Nashville Predators. After his performance on Monday Howard's save percentage for the season is down to .906, which would be the worst full season mark of his career.

Stat of the Night

With his goal on Monday night Tom Sestito has now scored on eight of his 39 career shots. That's a shooting percentage better than 18 percent, which is pretty high for a guy that's known more for his fighting than anything else. There are 19 active NHL forwards to have appeared in at least 90 games, tallied more than 300 penalty minutes, and scored fewer than 20 goals (an admittedly rough and arbitrary estimation for a player to be considered a "fighter") and only two of them (Sestito and St. Louis Blues forward Ryan Reaves) have a career shooting percentage higher than 10 percent. Nobody on the list is higher than Sestito's. So he has that going for him.

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