NEW YORK – A number of surprises happened in the NHL Tuesday night and none were bigger than the Florida Panthers getting a win, over the Anaheim Ducks in Sunrise. The much-maligned Panthers got a 3-2 win and ended their nine-game schneid.
“This is not about me,” Panthers’ head coach Peter Horachek said. “This is about the team. The team’s got to learn to win and be winners and learn how it feels. They feel pretty good in there right now. They know that they worked hard and they got back into the situation, won a big game and needed to win a game after where this team has been.”
The Ducks were sloppy all night and despite a 2-0 lead their head coach was not pleased with the effort after twenty minutes.
“I came in after the first period and told them I didn’t like the way we were playing at all and if we don’t get back to the way we can play, we’re going to be in trouble,” Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said. “I hate being a prophet, believe me. You could see it happening. At 2-0, they were still close enough that if they got one … when a team is down, they start to feel it, they can be a tough team to beat, whether it’s fluky goals or whatever. We dug our own hole today.”
In Detroit, the Red Wings lost for the sixth straight time on home ice (0-1-5) this time to the suddenly hot Winnipeg Jets, 3-2, in a shootout.
“(Ondrej) Pavelec really put his best foot forward in the game to help us win the game,” Winnipeg coach Claude Noel said.
The Wings have not been having good luck but throughout the current skid at home they have not been giving it 60 minutes. Tuesday night their head coach was a bit more upbeat following the loss.
“We didn’t win, but I thought we played good. I liked our game today, start to finish. We made some mistakes,” Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said.
“But I liked our penalty kill, I liked our power play, I liked our game. I feel real good. I know we’d like to get the second point, but I liked the way we played. To me it’s going in the right direction. It’s real positive game for us.”
The other surprise of the night was the Sabres taking down the Kings, 3-2, in a shootout. The western dominance over the east took a major hit Tuesday.
“I actually shoot on (Ben) Scrivens a lot in the summer,” the Sabres’ Tyler Ennis said of his SO goal. “Normally, I go fake shot, backhand [to] forehand, but I think he knows that pretty well, so I just tried to fool him and shoot it quick. It was nice to go out on a good feeling.”
The Kings were the second west coast team to overlook their opponents but at least came away with a point.
“We’re probably going to look at it and say we should’ve had two points,” Kings coach Darryl Sutter said.
Buffalo 3, Los Angeles 2 (SO)
NY Islanders 3, Nashville 1
New Jersey 3, NY Rangers 2
Washington 4, Columbus 3 (OT)
Carolina 2, Colorado 1
Tampa Bay 2, Montreal 1 (SO)
Philadelphia 5, Ottawa 0
Winnipeg 3, Detroit 2 (SO)
Florida 3, Anaheim 2
Phoenix 3, St. Louis 2 (OT)
San Jose 3, Calgary 2 (OT)
SMITH, EKMAN-LARSSON POWER COYOTES
Mike Smith made 37 saves and Oliver Ekman-Larsson posted 1-1—2, including the game-winning goal 56 seconds into overtime, to help the Coyotes improve to 13-4-2 (28 points), the second-best start in franchise history (1998-99: 14-3-2, 30 points).
Smith has won six of his last seven starts and is 10-1-2 in his past 13 decisions dating to Oct. 10. He is tied for second in the NHL with 11 victories this season and leads all goaltenders in saves (509), minutes (981:36) and games played (17).
Ekman-Larsson scored the first overtime goal of his four-season NHL career. He has recorded four goals this season, the last three of which have been game-winners. The 22-year-old Swede ranks third among NHL blueliners with 15 points in 19 games.
Despite the loss, Blues forward Alexander Steen collected an assist to extend his career-long point streak to 11 games (10-4—14). The last Blues player with a point streak of 11 or more games was Keith Tkachuk, who recorded a point in 12 consecutive contests during the 2002-03 season. The franchise’s longest individual point streak belongs to Brett Hull, who posted at least one point in 25 straight games during the 1991-92 campaign.
BISHOP HELPS LIGHTNING STAY STRONG
Ben Bishop posted 28 saves, plus another three in the shootout, and Valtteri Filppula scored the lone goal in the tiebreaker to lead the Lightning to their fifth win in their past six games. Tampa Bay earned its sixth road victory of the season (9 GP), matching its total from 2012-13 (6-16-12).
Bishop (12-2-0) leads the NHL with 12 wins in 14 games and ranks in the top 10 in the League in goals-against average (2.02), save percentage (.930) and shutouts (1). He has allowed two or fewer goals in 12 of his 14 appearances, including seven straight.
The Lightning announced that forward Steven Stamkos underwent successful surgery Tuesday to stabilize a fracture in his right tibia. No timetable has been set for his return. Stamkos was tied for the League lead with 14 goals and 23 points in 17 games before suffering the injury and had played in 344 consecutive contests prior to missing Tuesday’s game.
Alex Ovechkin scored the winning goal at 1:34 of overtime to help the Capitals pick up their fifth victory in their last seven games (5-1-1). Ovechkin has 14 goals this season, tied for the League lead with St. Louis’ Alexander Steen and Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos. The 28-year-old Moscow native now has 13 career regular-season overtime goals, the most of any player since he entered the NHL in 2005-06 and tied for sixth all-time.
REGULAR-SEASON OVERTIME GOALS, NHL CAREER
1. Jaromir Jagr (1,409 games): 17
T-2. Patrik Elias (1,100), Sergei Fedorov (1,248), Mats Sundin (1,346): 15
5. Ilya Kovalchuk (816): 14
T-6. Olli Jokinen (1,107), Scott Niedermayer (1,263), Alex Ovechkin (618): 13
MILLER OUTDUELS QUICK
In a battle of top contenders for the U.S. Olympic team, Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller made 43 saves, plus another two in the shootout, to defeat Jonathan Quick and the Kings.
Miller improved to 5-1-1 in eight career appearances versus the Kings, including a 2.30 goals-against average, .935 save percentage and one shutout. He also earned his 46th career shootout victory, one more than Rangers netminder Henrik Lundqvist for the most all-time.
Quick recorded 15 saves before leaving the game with an injury in overtime and ultimately earning a no-decision.
Hall-of-Fame Sabres broadcaster Rick Jeanneret (below) called the game from between the benches (Image courtesy of NHL).
BRODEUR, DEVILS WIN STADIUM SERIES PREVIEW
Ryan Carter recorded his first multi-goal game since April 11, 2010, and Martin Brodeur made 33 saves to lead the Devils to a 3-2 victory over the Rangers. Brodeur allowed 17 goals in posting a 1-2-2 record, 3.32 goals-against average and .871 save percentage in his first five games of the season, but has given up only four goals while going 4-1-0 with a 0.80 goals-against average, .964 save percentage and two shutouts in five appearances since then.
HURRICANES STYMIE THE AVALANCHE
Justin Peters made 33 saves and Patrick Dwyer scored his first game-winning goal since Dec. 28, 2010, as the Hurricanes handed the Avalanche their first road loss of the season (6-1-0). Peters improved to 3-0-1 in his last four games, including a 0.98 goals-against average, .965 save percentage and one shutout.
Despite the loss, the Avalanche’s 14-3-0 record (28 points) is the franchise’s best start to a season through 17 games (previously, 1994-95 Nordiques: 13-3-1, 27 points).
PANTHERS RALLY FOR HORACHEK’S FIRST WIN
Trailing 2-0 after 20 minutes of play, the Panthers scored three unanswered goals – by Shawn Matthias, Scottie Upshall and Brad Boyes – to help Peter Horachek record his first NHL victory. Horachek, who had been coaching the team’s AHL affiliate in San Antonio, was named Florida’s interim head coach on Friday following the dismissal of Kevin Dineen.
The Sabres improved to 11-1-1 in their last 13 home games versus the Kings, including five consecutive victories . . . The Capitals improved to 11-3-2 all-time against the Blue Jackets, including five straight wins . . . Jets captain Andrew Ladd (5-for-5) scored his League-leading fifth shootout goal and third game-decider . . . Defenseman Brad Stuart recorded his fifth career regular-season overtime goal to help the Sharks snap a five-game losing streak (0-1-4) . . . Steve Mason made 24 saves for his 20th career shutout and first as a Flyer . . . Red Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk scored twice to move into a tie for 10th on the franchise’s all-time goals list with Nicklas Lidstrom (264) . . . Capitals forward Mikhail Grabovski recorded his 100th NHL goal . . . NY Rangers defenseman Marc Staal scored a goal for his 100th NHL point . . . The Islanders improved to 7-1-2 when posting at least three goals this season (0-8-1 when failing to do so) . . . The Blackhawks signed forward Andrew Shaw to a two-year contract extension through the 2015-16 season . . . The Blues signed defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo to a one-year deal, pending a physical.
SNEAK PEEK AT WEDNESDAY’S ACTION
All Times Eastern
Toronto @ Minnesota, 7:30 p.m., TSN, FS-N, FS-WI
Philadelphia @ Pittsburgh, 8:00 p.m., NBCSN, TSN2, RDS
Dallas @ Edmonton, 10:00 p.m., TSN, FS-SW
BATTLE OF PENNSYLVANIA
Pennsylvania foes meet for the second time this season when the Flyers visit the Penguins on NBCSN’s “Wednesday Night Rivalry” telecast. Pittsburgh has won the teams’ last three matchups, including their first this season Oct. 17, and five of the last six in the regular season dating to April 7, 2012. Philadelphia, however, won the clubs’ most recent playoff series, earning a 4-2 victory in the 2012 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.
HORCOFF RETURNS TO EDMONTON
Shawn Horcoff visits Edmonton for the first time since an offseason trade sent the 35-year-old forward to Dallas. Horcoff played the first 12 seasons of his NHL career for the Oilers, compiling 162-285—447 in 796 regular-season games and 10-13—23 in 35 postseason contests. He was named the 13th captain in franchise history on Oct. 6, 2010.