Maybe the Buffalo Sabres should have started breaking their team up a long time ago.
On the same day they traded goalie Ryan Miller and forward Steve Ott to the St. Louis Blues, the Sabres won their third game in a row since coming back from the Olympic break with a 4-2 win over the San Jose Sharks. It is their first three-game winning streak of the season.
Even more impressive than the fact they've won three in a row is that two of those games have been against Boston and San Jose, two of the best teams in the league.
Meanwhile, the Anaheim Ducks' 1-0 win over the St. Louis Blues was the 300th win in the coaching career of Bruce Boudreau, making him the fastest coach in NHL history to reach that mark.
In Colorado, Nathan MacKinnon added a pair of assists in the Avalanche's 4-2 win over the Phoenix Coyotes.
All the NHL Scores
Sabres 4, Sharks 2
Avalanche 4, Coyotes 2
Ducks 1, Blues 0
Wild 2, Canucks 1
On Friday we asked you five burning questions about the days games. These are your cool, soothing answers.
1. Can the Sabres extend their current winning streak to three games?
Oh yeah, thanks to 36 saves from Jhonas Enroth and a three-point night from Tyler Myers. The Sabres are playing their best hockey of the season at a time when they're going to start losing all of their best players and are already well out of the playoff race.
2. What will Joe Pavelski do for an encore?
After recording his second hat trick of the season on Thursday night Pavelski had one of his worst games of the season on Friday, failing to record a point, registering just one shot on goal in nearly 20 minutes of ice time, and winning just 47 percent of his face-offs.
3. Will Nathan MacKinnon score for the Avalanche?
He didn't score a goal, but he did assist on two of Colorado's goals in its 4-2 win over Phoenix, extending his current point streak to 10 games.
4. Will the Ducks get back to their winning ways at home?
They sure did, and all they needed was a goal from Andrew Cogliano just 3:39 into the game. From there, Jonas Hiller stopped all 18 shots he faced in an extremely tight defensive game that featured just 37 shots on goal between the two teams.
5. Can the Canucks gain some ground on the Wild?
They picked up a point in the standings by taking the game to a shootout but were not able to get the win, so it really doesn't help the Canucks all that much in the playoff race. Ryan Kesler, the subject of trade rumors this week, scored a shorthanded goal in the first period to open the scoring but that was the only offense they would generate on the night.
The one play or moment from Friday that is going to be making headlines over the next couple of days
One of the biggest trades of the deadline happened nearly a week before the deadline itself. But how much better is the Blues' acquisition of Ryan Miller going to make them this season? They're certainly one of the favorites, but they were already that before making this trade. And as much as we like to think we can predict them, goalies can drive any sane and rational person into madness.
Stat of the Night
After all of their trades, the Buffalo Sabres currently have 11 first-and second-round picks of the next two drafts, and with Matt Moulson, Christian Ehrhoff, Jaroslav Halak and Chris Stewart possibly on the move, they have chance to add to that total. And that total comes after they had eight first-and second-round picks over the past two drafts. That's a lot of high draft picks in a shot period of time. That's one way to increase your chances of finding a couple of good players in the draft: Collect all of the picks.
Post to Post
- The Buffalo reaction to the big trade.
- Speaking of Buffalo, the trade left them in an interesting position for a backup on Friday against the Sharks.
- And the St. Louis reaction to the big trade.
- One player that will not be changing teams this season: New York Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi after signing a new six-year contract extension with the team on Friday.