Most teams, if they are not playing, do not practice on Sunday so there is not a lot of news coming from around the league.
Jeremy Lauzon was suspended for two games after the Boston defenseman gave Derek Stepan an illegal check to the head. Stepan returned to finish the game for Arizona Saturday but Lauzon missed Sunday’s game and will have to sit out Wednesday’s clash at home against Montreal.
The Oilers breathed a collective sigh of relief when it was determined the knee injury suffered by Connor McDavid Saturday was no more than a bruise. McDavid was able to finish the contest against Nashville and will be ready to go Tuesday when Edmonton takes on Chicago.
The Edmonton Oilers and Darnell Nurse agreed to a two-year extension Sunday evening. The deal will be worth $5.6 million per season and take him through to free agency.
The Columbus Blue Jackets are expected to recall Liam Foudy from the OHL Monday for one game. Foudy was selected 18th overall in 2018 and had 20 goals and 43 points this season for London in 32 games.
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DETROIT 3 BOSTON 1
When the team with the best record in the NHL meets the team with the worst record, it seems to be pretty easy to figure out who is going to win.
Except that did not happen on Sunday as the cellar dwelling Detroit Red Wings, who were 1-9-1 heading into their home game against the Bruins, upset Boston 3-1, ending the Bruins winning streak at six games.
Athanasiou has seven goals this season, a far cry from the 30 he potted last year. He came into the game with an NHL-worst minus-40 and now has an NHL-worst minus-39, two up on teammate Valtteri Filppula. The Red Wings are so bad this season, they have the top-five in minus ratings with Arizona’s Phil Kessel and Ottawa’s Thomas Chabot next at minus-24.
Jonathan Bernier was spectacular in the Detroit cage as he stopped 39 shots for the win. He is 12-14-2 (very good considering Detroit is 14-39-4 overall) with a 2.82 GAA and a .911 save percentage.
Tuukka Rask took the loss for Boston as he managed to give up two goals on 19 shots. Rask is 20-5-6 with a 2.14 GAA and a .929 save percentage. Unfortunately, Bernier was much the better goalkeeper Sunday.
Jaroslav Halak was supposed to get the start but he tweaked an upper-body injury Sunday morning and was unable to go for the 12:30 PM start.
Robby Fabbri suffered an upper-body injury in the second period and did not return.
ANAHEIM 3 BUFFALO 2
The Anaheim Ducks completed a successful road trip by upending the Buffalo Sabres 3-2 Sunday. The win gave the Ducks a 3-0-2 record on their five-game road trip.
The Ducks scored quickly in the first and before the Sabres knew what hit them, it was 3-0 Anaheim at the 12:00 mark of the first.
Rasmus Dahlin scored on the power play in the second to cut the Ducks lead to one but that was all the scoring as Ryan Miller made 31 saves in his annual return to Buffalo where he spent the first 10-plus seasons of his career. Miller is 7-5-3 with a 2.93 GAA and a .910 save percentage and has looked quite good of late.
Jonas Johansson picked up only his second start in his NHL career and stopped 25 shots but it wasn’t enough as he is 0-1-1 with a 2.78 GAA and a .889 save percentage.
NEW YORK RANGERS 4 LOS ANGELES 1
It was the Igor Shesterkin show tonight at Madison Square Garden as the rookie netminder kicked out 42-of-43 shots to lead the New York Rangers to a 4-1 win over Los Angeles.
Shesterkin picked up his fifth win in six starts for the Rangers who seem to have found their goaltender of the future. Shesterkin has given up only 14 goals in the six games, on 210 shots.
Gregg McKegg scored the lone goal of the first period and after a scoreless second, rookie Kaapo Kakko potted his eighth of the season. It was only Kakko’s second goal in 34 games as the second overall pick in the 2019 Draft has struggled of late.
Trevor Moore, playing in only his second game since his trade from Toronto on Wednesday, scored the lone goal for Los Angeles. It was his fourth of the season and was assisted by Blake Lizotte and Austin Wagner. Both Lizotte and Wagner had been in long scoring slumps before the goal.
Jonathan Quick turned aside 37-of-40 shots for the Kings. He is 11-22-3 this season.
Filip Chytil had two assists for New York.
Tyler Toffoli had seven shots on goal.
Phillip Di Giuseppe had six hits while Adam Fox had five blocked shots.
WINNIPEG 5 CHICAGO 2
The Chicago Blackhawks scored the first two goals of the game but Winnipeg roared back with the next five and defeated the Blackhawks 5-2.
Dominik Kubalik with his 22nd and Brandon Saad with his 16th, gave Chicago the 2-0 lead after one period. Kubalik halted a four-game goalless drought with the goal but has been on fire since the beginning of the New Year with 11 goals and 15 points in 14 games. If he is on the waiver wire in your league, pick him up quickly.
Kyle Connor had a big game for the Jets with a pair of goals and an assist. The talented winger has 28 goals and 59 points thus far this season as he is closing in quickly in career highs both in goals and points.
Blake Wheeler on the power play, Andrew Copp and Patrik Laine also scored for Winnipeg. It was Laine’s fourth goal of the weekend as he had a hat trick Saturday with all goals coming on the power play.
Mark Scheifele had a pair of assists.
Corey Crawford gave up three goals on 34 shots to take the loss.
Copp and Wheeler each had six shots on goal.
Dmitry Kulikov had seven hits.
COLORADO 3 MINNESOTA 2
Pavel Francouz made 34 saves as the Colorado Avalanche won their fourth straight, defeating Minnesota 3-2. It was Francouz’s 13th win of the season.
Devan Dubnyk made 30 saves in the Minnesota cage but was saddled with the loss. He is 10-14-2.
It was a special teams showing as the Wild scored both their goals on the power play while Colorado scored once on the power play, once shorthanded, as well as one at even strength.
All five goals were scored in the second period as Pierre-Edouard Bellemare got things started with a shorthanded goal.
Gabriel Landeskog scored the only even-strength goal and it turned out to be the winner. It was Landeskog’s 14th of the season.
Kevin Fiala completed the scoring with his 13th of the season. It was also on the power play and his third goal with the man-advantage of the week.
Nazem Kadri suffered an undisclosed injury late in the second period and played one shift in the third before calling it a night.
Fiala had six shots on goal.
Kyle Connor – 2
Filip Chytil – 2
Mark Scheifele - 2
Shots on Goal
Tyler Toffoli – 7
Ryan Strome – 6
Blake Wheeler - 6
Andrew Copp – 6
Torey Krug – 6
Dmitry Kulikov – 7
Phillip Di Giuseppe - 6
Alex Biega – 5
Nick Seeler – 7
Nathan Beaulieu – 5
Matt Calvert – 5
Luke Kunin - 5