NEW YORK – Tuesday night’s slate of games had a few inter-conference matchups and the West did not fare nearly as well as they had early in the season. The Flyers took down Chicago in overtime and that was just the first of a few.
In San Jose, the Florida Panthers, behind Roberto Luongo’s huge night in net, beat the Sharks 3-2.
Luongo made 52 saves to help the Panthers snap the Sharks’ six-game winning streak.
“Some days you feel it more than others,” Luongo said. “Even this morning at practice I felt good, even though I was off yesterday. You just have that feeling sometimes when you know you’re going to play well. I’ve always enjoyed playing in this building. It was a fun game.”
Coming off a successful road trip, the Sharks were looking to build on that six-game run on home ice. Instead, they came out flat and never really recovered.
“Really disappointing,” Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. “We started average and didn’t get better and then fell asleep. There wasn’t a lot of emotion in the game, a lot of drive from our behalf and then fell asleep and tried to get desperate at the end. You can’t win. It doesn’t matter what you’re in, you can’t win like that. We’ve talked about this lesson a lot of times this year already with teams that are maybe not in the playoffs and we keep shooting ourselves in the foot. Until we fix that we’ll probably end up with the same results.”http://
Despite taking a franchise-record 29 shots on Luongo in the third period, the Sharks were hitting him the crest and failing to make a dent in the 3-1 lead the Panthers had built.
Martin Havlat scored late to cut the deficit to one but Luongo stayed on his game.
“Lu played well,” Sharks captain Joe Thornton said. “He made some good stops. That’s what he does. He’s a world-class goalie. I thought we could do a little bit better getting in his eyes but he played well.”
Staying in the west, the Washington Capitals went to Anaheim and edged the Ducks, 3-2, in regulation.
Alex Ovechkin scored a power play goal in the third to break a 2-2 tie and send the Caps to the win as they started a three-swing out west.
“Everybody understands what this game was and what this trip meant for us,” Ovechkin said. “We prepared. We were ready. It’s good … the power play is the key right now, probably for every team. If you get an opportunity, you have to use it. We watched at the video and saw what they’re going to do, and we make some changes and it’s good.”
While the Caps were scoring power play goals, the Ducks were going 0-for-6 with the man advantage.
“They were able to get very easy goals on their power play. That was the difference in the game,” Ducks defenseman Ben Lovejoy said.
Ovechkin’s game-winner came off a perfect pass from John Carlson.http://
“It’s what we needed,” Carlson said of the kill. “They got a few chances, but you’ve got to expect that. Jaro played great all game, but certainly battled hard in front of the net. Corey Perry’s great in front of the net. He scores probably 80 percent of his goals from there, and Jaro stood in.”
In Montreal, the Habs posted a 6-3 win over the visiting Colorado Avalanche.
Tomas Vanek posted a hat trick for his new team and seems to have finally awakened from the sleep walk that plagued him in Long Island and the Olympics.
They were Vanek’s first three scores since joining the Canadiens at the trade deadline. He was named the first star and got a chance to skate to the praise of the fans.
“I had the chills,” Vanek said, holding the three pucks he scored with in his right hand. “I tried to make it quick so I don’t fall and make a fool out of myself.”
The night started slowly for Vanek as he and his linemates had chances in the opening period but could not covert. That continued failure led to some frustration and venting on the bench; until he scored his first in the second period.
“I’ve been doing that since I’m 5 years old,” Vanek said of the frustration he showed in the first period. “It’s something that I’m trying to get better at. The last little bit here it’s been frustrating, not just for myself, because I feel we’re so close from putting together a good shift or two and scoring and getting momentum but there was always a little stick or something in the way or a great save.http://
“So it was nice to get that first one for myself, and even for David and [Pacioretty]. Now we can just kind of relax and continue to get better.”
New Jersey 2 Boston 4
NY Islanders 0 Minnesota 6
Pittsburgh 5 Dallas 1
Columbus 1 Carolina 3
Montreal 6 Colorado 3
Ottawa 4 NY Rangers 8
Detroit 3 Toronto 2
Philadelphia 3 Chicago 2 OT
Calgary 3 Buffalo 1
Edmonton 5 Nashville 1
Anaheim 2 Washington 3
San Jose 2 Florida 3