Much has been made of the league's lack of balance this season. The Western Conference has dominated their Eastern brothers, even moreso than in recent years.
Not on Saturday, when all six conference versus conference matchups ended with an Eastern victory. For one night, East beat West.
All the NHL Scores
Blue Jackets 6, Jets 3
Red Wings 3, Kings 1
Bruins 1, Sharks 0
Penguins 2, Flames 1
On Saturday we asked you five burning questions about the day's games. These are your cool, soothing answers.
1. Will Nathan MacKinnon keep skating circles around everyone?
The star rookie's point streak came to an end on Saturday, as most good things eventually do. But Colorado wasn't lacking for firepower. Ryan O'Reilly scored twice in his return from injury and Gabriel Landeskog finished off a tic-tac-toe play that showed off Colorado's deep pool of offensive talent.
2. Can the Penguins just slow down for once?
Rob Scuderi has to be more pleased with his team's level of focus on Saturday. Pittsburgh limited their mistakes and played a much tighter game defensively, holding the Flames off and limiting their shot totals as the game wore on. Nothing flashy, but they got the win they needed.
Perhaps the surprise of the night was the way Boston and Detroit went about their business on the West Coast. Boston absolutely ground down the speedy Sharks, handing them a rare shutout at home. Elsewhere, the Red Wings turned a 1-1 tie in the second intermission into a 3-1 win thanks to timely goals from Tomas Tatar and Danny Cleary.
4. Dustin Byfuglien returns to the wing on Saturday. Is it a good move?
Well, he had an assist. That's about all you can say about Buff's evening on the wing. Even coach Claude Noel said he was just "okay." But Byfuglien was also a big part of the Jets' sluggish zone entries, which Noel complained about after the game (even though he was the one that put Byfuglien on the wing in the first place).
5. Can the Blackhawks end their Montreal slump?
Boy, they tried. It was the goaltending duel of the season, as Carey Price and Corey Crawford traded big save after big save. Ultimately, the Canadiens had more firepower and prevailed in overtime, leaving the Blackhawks winless in Montreal since 2001.
The one play or moment from Friday that is going to be making headlines over the next couple of days.
Red Wings forward Tomas Tatar's father passed away on Friday. Losing a parent is a tough thing for anyone to go through, and it's hard to imagine what was going through Tatar's head as he played on Saturday night in Los Angeles. When he scored the game-winning goal in the third period, his emotional reaction was one of the best moments of the entire season. (GIF via @BonksMullet)
Stat of the Night
Note to NHL teams: Let the Ducks score first.
#Ducks now 15-5-1 when opposition scores first. Only NHL team over. 500 for that statistic.— Dennis Bernstein (@DennisTFP) January 12, 2014
Post to Post
- Save of the year? Save of the year. Maybe even the save of forever.
- Ryan Getzlaf is day-to-day with a lower-body injury, and Canada is day-to-day with all-out panic.
- You're welcome, Mike Smith.
- Finally, the Sabres have strange birthday traditions.