Wednesday night only confirmed it and served as a reminder to how fun these games can be.
The Red Wings picked up two huge points in the standings with a 5-4 shootout win in a wild back-and-forth game that saw them overcome an early 2-0 deficit to knock off their long-time rivals.
If you enjoyed it, you only get one more chance to see it this season when the two teams meet on March 16 in Chicago. We used to get it six times a year.
Elsewhere on Wednesday, the Penguins blew out the Canadiens, 5-1, and nearly started a goalie fight in the final minutes. Nathan Gerbe scored one of the goals of the year against the Flyers and Mike Milbury decided he was going to throw out his water on a national post-game show.
Overall, it was a pretty fun night.
All the NHL Scores
Hurricanes 3, Flyers 2
Penguins 5, Canadiens 1
Red Wings 5, Blackhawks 4
Flames 3, Coyotes 2
On Wednesday we asked you five burning questions about the days games. These are your cool, soothing answers.
1. Can the Red Wings beat the Blackhawks?
They can! And they did it thanks in part to this spectacular save by backup goaltender Jonas Gustavsson in the shootout. It's just the third time the Red Wings have won a shootout this season (they've lost seven) and it moved them into a tie for the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference with the Columbus Blue Jackets.
They held them to one goal, and that one needed to be reviewed to make sure it actually went in the net. On this night globetrotter hockey seemed to win out as the Penguins played one of their most complete games in quite a while, dismantling the Canadiens thanks to a pair of goals from Jussi Jokinen and a highlight-reel goal from Evgeni Malkin as he skated right around Andrei Markov.
3. How will the Hurricanes and Flyers handle their makeup date?
Carolina seemed to handle it much better than Philadelphia did as the 'Canes picked up a 3-2 win. Philadelphia managed to overcome a 2-0 deficit but Jiri Tlusty's goal with less than six minutes to play in the third period was the winner for Carolina.
4. Will Wayne Simmonds record a point for the Flyers?
He did, adding an assist on Scott Hartnell's third period goal that tied the game at two. Simmonds now has 23 points in his past 18 games for the Flyers.
5. Can the Coyotes gain some ground in the Western Conference wild card race?
They did not, and games like these can hurt when you're trying to stay in the playoff hunt. The Coyotes had a chance to pick up some ground in the Western Conference but just came out flat against Calgary. Since starting the season 14-4-3 the Coyotes are just 9-13-6 over their past 28 games.
The one play or moment from Wednesday that is going to be making headlines over the next couple of days.
Maybe Michael Del Zotto just needs a fresh start on a new team, and that's exactly what he's going to get following Wednesday's trade that sent him from the Rangers to the Predators in exchange for veteran Kevin Klein. Nashville general manager David Poile has now traded two players over the past two weeks that he signed to long-term contracts over the summer (last week he sent forward Matt Hendricks to the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for goalie Devan Dubnyk), and seems to be moving on quickly from potential mistakes. If Del Zotto can get it figured out in Nashville, and the team decides to re-sign him as a restricted free agent this summer, it could give them quite a nice defense with Shea Weber, Seth Jones and Roma Josi already in place.
Stat of the Night
After giving up three goals on 32 shots on Wednesday Steve Mason's save percentage since the start of December sits at .893. Regression to the mean is rough. Maybe the Flyers should have waited just a bit on that contract extension.
Post to Post
- Will Jimmy Howard's injury finally get Ben Bishop a spot on the United States Olympic team?
- A rebuttal to the open letter sent by Edmonton Oilers owner Darryl Katz to fans.
- Michael Del Zotto adds balance to the Nashville Predators defense.
- So, are the Detroit Red Wings just not that good anymore?
- Edmonton Oilers coach Dallas Eakins gets it.