If the Minnesota Wild haven't hit rock bottom yet, they're certainly getting close.
With their 2-1 loss in St. Louis on Tuesday night, the Wild extended their current losing streak to six games and have won just five times in their past 18 games. Teams are starting to jump over them in the wild card race; and with as good and tight as the Western Conference is this season, if they don't find a way to climb out of this hole soon it could be yet another disastrous second half collapse in Minnesota.
Elsewhere on Tuesday night, the 2013 portion of the 2013-14 season came to a close with a couple of incredible comebacks, including a four-straight goals by the Islanders to shock the Boston Bruins (thanks in part to Brad Marchand's buzzer-beating own goal in the second period) while the Hurricanes overcame a 3-0 third period deficit and a couple of bad penalties by Eric Staal to beat the Canadiens in overtime.
In Phoenix, the Coyotes received a late third-period goal from Mikkel Boedker to force overtime, during which they would win on a Keith Yandle goal. At one point in the second period the Coyotes trailed, 3-1.
All the NHL Scores
Devils 2, Penguins 1
Rangers 2, Panthers 1
Blues 2, Wild 1
Islanders 5, Bruins 3
Hurricanes 5, Canadiens 4
Stars 3, Kings 2
Ducks 6, Sharks 3
Coyotes 4, Oilers 3
On Tuesday we asked you five burning questions about the days games. These are your cool, soothing answers.
1. Will the Anaheim Ducks enter 2014 with the most points in the NHL?
Thanks to their 6-3 win over the San Jose Sharks the Ducks will enter the new calendar year tied with Chicago for the NHL's lead with 63 points. The Ducks also have three more non-shootout wins (27 to 24) than the defending champs and are rolling right along in the Western Conference.
2. Will the Minnesota Wild end the year on a high note?
Not at all. Their recent free fall continued with a 2-1 loss to St. Louis that nearly resulted in a shutout until Ryan Suter finally put Minnesota on the board with eight seconds to play in regulation. Things are getting ugly for the Wild, as they've won just five of their past 18 games. Only three of those wins have been in regulation.
3. How will Marc Staal perform in his return?
After missing 10 games he stepped right back into the lineup and logged 23 minutes of ice-time in the Rangers' 2-1 shootout win over the Florida Panthers. He didn't do much in the way of generating offense, but he played a great game defensively to help the Rangers win for the fourth time in their past five games.
4. Will Claude Giroux extend his scoring streak?
He did not. Giroux's nine-game point streak came to an end on Tuesday night, but it didn't slow down the Flyers, who easily knocked off the Flames, 4-1. Philadelphia continued its recent resurgence with the win and is now just one point behind the Washington Capitals for second place in the Metropolitan Division. Hard to believe given the way they started the season.
5. Will the Dallas Stars extend their six-game point streak?
Yes, and in the process extended the Los Angeles Kings' losing streak to four games. Dallas knocked off the Kings, 3-2, thanks to a pair of goals from Erik Cole and Tyler Seguin's 20th goal of the season.
The one play or moment from Tuesday that is going to be making headlines over the next couple of days.
Carey Price will probably take a lot of heat for Montreal's loss on Tuesday, but he's done everything he can to give the Canadiens a chance this season, and that was the case in their come-from-ahead loss to Carolina. Even though Montreal had a 3-0 lead entering the third period, the Canadiens couldn't stay out of the penalty box and were getting badly outshot, forcing Price to pretty much stand on his head and carry the load. It's been happening a lot this season, and if they don't get play going in the right direction soon, they're going to waste what could be a Vezina Trophy season from their goaltender.
Stat of the Night
The Penguins lost in New Jersey on Tuesday afternoon, something that's become a rather common theme over the years. Since Dan Bylsma has been the coach of the team, Pittsburgh has a 35-8-3 record on the road against teams in the Metropolitan Division that are not New Jersey. In New Jersey, the Penguins' record over that stretch is just 2-10-1.
Post to Post
- The Toronto Maple Leafs signed their captain, defenseman Dion Phaneuf, to a seven-year contract extension.
- Speaking of the Toronto defense, do the Maple Leafs' defenseman give up the blue line too easily?
- St. Louis Blues forward Chris Stewart had to leave the game on Tuesday against the Minnesota Wild after he was hit in the face by the puck.
- Some suggested 2014 New Year's resolutions for the New Jersey Devils.