Well that was a wild one. Saturday was filled to the brim with twelve games on the NHL schedule, and they all certainly delivered some intense hockey. Let's not waste any more time and get right to recapping the night's action.
(I'm sorry, but something about that photo is just hilarious.)
With twelve games on the schedule today, we're going to go ahead and call last night's action the appetizer. And what an entertaining appetizer it was. Think spinach and artichoke dip, but where the spinaches and artichokes hated each other and kept fighting and verbally abusing one another.
All The NHL Scores
Leafs 6, Canadiens 0
Sabres, 3, Islanders 2
Ducks 6, Blues 5 (SO)
Wild 2, Predators 1 (OT)
Prior to Saturday's games, we presented five questions regarding the night's action. Don't worry, you can relax now: We've got the answers right here.
1. Can the Devils slow down the red-hot Penguins?
Yes, although the Penguins really made it easy for them. It was an ugly game for both teams with 50 total penalty minutes overall. The Devils received ten power play opportunities and connected on two of them. So while Pittsburgh might've done well in killing off penalties for the most part, they ended up getting bogged down by chasing and covering up their mistakes. The Devils now lead the division after the win.
2. Will the St. Louis Blues get back on track?
It was another forgettable night for the Blues defensively. St. Louis has now allowed five or more goals in four straight games, something that hasn't happened since 2005. Brian Elliott's job has to be in question now, and Ken Hitchcockessentially admitted as much after the game:
"A goalie's no different than a defenseman or a forward," Hitchcock said. "Guys come in and out of the lineup based on their performance. You can't stay in the lineup if you don't play well. I don't care who you are. He's got to play better."
3. Will the struggling Capitals finally start to right the ship?
Washington righted their ship in a big way on Saturday, blanking the Panthers 5-0. As soon as the team started scoring it looked like a whole new team. The players looked in sync with one another offensively, played tighter and cut down on penalties throughout the game. One good performance doesn't indicate a huge turnaround is in stores, but the successful night was clearly a refreshing change for the group.
4. Are the Nashville Predators for real?
This is a question hard to answer after just one game, but we can say for sure that they didn't bring the same offensive firepower to Minnesota. Other than a Paul Gaustad goal in the first period, Nashville didn't really threaten to add to the scoresheet the rest of the game. That might have more to do with Niklas Backstrom's goaltending more than anything though. If this is indeed an indication that the Preds are falling back to Earth offensively, they should be comfortable knowing they have Pekka Rinne and Chris Mason (30 saves on Saturday) manning the pipes.
5. Will Lubomir Visnovksy have a positive impact for the New York Islanders?
Visnovsky played 20 minutes, registered three shots on goal and was a +2 on the night, although he did get called for kneeing Cody Hodgson in the first period. Overall, a solid debut for Visnovsky, but the Islanders will need to see him registering some points before too long.
What moment from Saturday night's games will be making headlines in the coming days?
The single play that had most of the hockey world buzzing last night was the Mikhail Grabovski bite/non-bite incident.
The game was well out of hand by the time video caught Grabovski apparently biting the wrist of Max Pacioretty during a dustup behind the net. To be fair, both video and photographic evidence have been rather inconclusive so far, but ultimately we'll have to wait for Brenden Shanahan's decision (if he makes any at all) to find out if the bite actually happened or not.
Stat of the Night
Buffalo was outshot 43-15 and still defeated the Islanders.
- If you missed Braden Holtby's assist to Troy Brouwer last night, do yourself a favor and go watch it.
- Event organizers in Omaha realized the pitfalls of attempting an outdoor hockey game last night.
- Patrick Kaleta wants his stick back.