He finally came through on Wednesday in the Canucks' 3-2 shootout win over the Winnipeg Jets by scoring a pair of goals, his first two of the season, to help Vancouver earn two important points in the Western Conference playoff race. Following their win they remain four points out of the final Wild Card spot but are still facing quite an uphill climb since the team the the Canucks are chasing, Phoenix, still has three games in hand.
Elsewhere on Wednesday, the Colorado Avalanche improved their season record against Chicago to 4-0-1 with a 3-2 win over the Blackhawks, jumping ahead of them in the Central Division standings for the time being. Not even Patrick Kane's highlight reel goal was enough to bail out the Blackhawks.
All the NHL Scores
Bruins 4, Canadiens 1
Canucks 3, Jets 2
Avalanche 3, Blackhawks 2
Flames 7, Ducks 2
On Wednesday we asked you five burning questions about the days games. These are your cool, soothing answers.
1. Will the Colorado Avalanche move ahead of the Chicago Blackhawks in the standings?
Yes. Admit it, if somebody told you at the start of the season that in mid-March the Colorado Avalanche would have more points than the Chicago Blackhawks you would have laughed in their face and asked for some of whatever it was they were drinking. Well, here we are in mid-March and the Avalanche have a one-point lead in the Blackhawks for the second spot in the Central Division.
2. How will the Canucks respond after giving up seven goals in 20 minutes last time out?
With a win! And a big win. Alex Burrows was the star of the game for Vancouver, scoring his first two goals of the season, finally finding the back of the net after going 35 games and 79 shots without doing so. It's a huge win for the Canucks and their playoff chances, with the only downside being that they lost center Ryan Kesler to a leg injury.
3. Can the Jets keep their playoff hopes alive?
Well, by losing in a shootout they did gain a point, but the problem is they allowed Vancouver to pick up two points. So, they did not really do themselves any favors on Wednesday night.
4. Will the Canadiens give up fewer than three goals?
Peter Budaj allowed four goals in the Canadiens' 4-1 loss to the Bruins. Some of them were on him, while others, like the give-and-go goal between Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand, were not. He could have played better but it doesn't really matter who the goalie is if your team only scores one goal. Montreal had a great first period but could not beat Tuukka Rask, and even failed to score on three separate breakaways. Boston took the game over in the second and third periods to earn the win.
5. Will Brian McGrattan extend his goal-scoring streak to ... three?
While pretty much everybody else on the Flames roster was scoring against Anaheim, Brian McGrattan was not among them. His goal-scoring streak comes to an end at two as he failed to record even a shot on goal against the Ducks. However, he did play nearly 10 minutes and get into a fight.
The one play or moment from Wednesday that is going to be making headlines over the next couple of days.
The Canucks losing Ryan Kesler for at least the next three games seems like it is going to be a pretty big deal. After not trading him at the deadline and trying to keep pushing for one of the final playoff spots in the Western Conference, losing him would be a pretty significant blow to their chances. He was injured in the second period on a knee-on-knee collision with Jim Slater of the Jets. He skated off to the locker room and did not return to the game. He went back to Vancouver after the game.
Stat of the Night
Sometimes you just can't predict hockey. Entering play on Wednesday there were only 58 players in the NHL this season who had played at least 35 games and had failed to score more than one goal. Two of those players, Alex Burrows and Ladislav Smid, were in action on Wednesday. They combined to score three goals, the aforementioned two for Burrows and one for Smid, in Calgary's blowout win over Anaheim.
Post to Post
- The inevitable resurgence of Drew Stafford.
- Hockey and the mythology of tough.
- How do you define a rivalry?
- Here is a hockey fight that ended with a high-five and a hug. Aww.