The big news of the day was the Anaheim Ducks finally firing coach Randy Carlyle and replacing him for the remainder of the season by the person who gave him his walking papers, GM Bob Murray.
The Ducks should have fired Carlyle a while ago as he had lost seven games in a row, and 19-of-21 as they were 2-15-4 in that span.
The NHL is a fickle sport. Just before the lengthy losing streak, the Ducks were at the top of their game. They had reeled off nine wins in 10 games, were second in the Pacific standings and were 19-11-5. Carlyle was being feted as a coach of the year candidate and deservedly so.
But 21 games later (and again it should have been sooner) and Carlyle is out of a job. The Ducks are in last place in the West and fourth last in the NHL. They have a great shot at garnering the first overall pick (and Jack Hughes) as their downward spiral looks to continue.
All is not bad in Anaheim as they do have young talent down the pipe and they should recover in a couple of seasons, especially if they are lucky enough to get a top-two pick. You have to wonder if Randy Carlyle has coached his last game in the NHL. He has had a successful career and it’s too bad that he had to endure this lengthy losing streak in what may be his swan song.
At least Brandi Carlile won some Grammys on Sunday.
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ST. LOUIS 5 NASHVILLE 4 (Overtime)
Vladimir Tarasenko had the hat trick including the overtime winner to give the Blues their sixth straight win as they upended the Nashville Predators for the second day in a row, this time by a 5-4 score.
The Blues and Predators met on Saturday with St. Louis prevailing 3-2.
After a scoreless first period, the Blues outscored Nashville 3-1 in the second as Alex Pietrangelo, Tarasenko and Tyler Bozak scored with Viktor Arvidsson replying for the Predators.
It was the reversal in the third as Nashville scored thrice with the Blues finding the back of the net once. It was Tarasenko with his second, for the Blues while Roman Josi, Arvidsson with his second of the game and 24th of the season, and Filip Forsberg with his 20th, scoring for the Preds.
It set up Tarasenko’s 22nd of the season only 16 seconds into the overtime. Tarasenko has 10 goals in his last 11 games, along with six assists. He has 41 points this season but has been red-hot of late.
Jay Bouwmeester and Ryan O’Reilly each had a pair of assists for St. Louis while Ryan Ellis had the same for Nashville.
Tarasenko led with eight shots on net. Forsberg had seven.
Jake Allen made 40 saves for St. Louis and is now 16-15-4 with a 3.07 GAA and a .898 save percentage after the win.
Juuse Saros stopped 24 in taking the OT loss. He is 14-6-2 with a 2.59 GAA and a .913 save percentage.
CHICAGO 5 DETROIT 2
Cam Ward was great in stopping 43-of-45 shots as he backstopped the Chicago Blackhawks to a 5-2 win over Detroit. It was the Blackhawks seventh straight win and they are doing it without the services of their regular goaltender Corey Crawford who is out with a concussion.
Ward won his fourth straight and has given up only nine goals on 151 shots during the winning streak. He has been mediocre this season as his record of 11-8-4 is okay but his 3.67 GAA and .895 save percentage is certainly killing his fantasy value.
Dominik Kahun had two goals and an assist while Dylan Strome had one goal and two helpers. Strome has taken his game to a new level (or two) since his trade from Arizona where he struggled to prove that he should have been selected third overall in 2015 over others like Mitch Marner, Mathew Barzal, Zach Werenski, Mikko Rantanen and Timo Meier to name a few.
But since the trade, Strome has 11 goals and 30 points in 32 games after scoring just seven times with nine assists in 48 games in three partial seasons with Arizona.
Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane each had a goal and an assist for Chicago. Kane has a 14 game points streak.
Alex DeBrincat had three assists and has 15 points in his eight-game points streak.
Christoffer Ehn with his second and Gustav Nyquist scored for Detroit.
Jonathan Bernier made 31 saves in taking the loss.
BOSTON 2 COLORADO 1 (Overtime)
Brad Marchand scored the overtime winner and handed the Colorado Avalanche their seventh loss in a row in a 2-1 defeat.
Nathan MacKinnon opened the scoring for Colorado with just 33 seconds left in the first period as Gabriel Landeskog and J.T. Compher drew the assists.
Defenseman John Moore with his third of the season, tied it at 1 in the second and both goalies played flawlessly the rest of the way through regulation time.
Jaroslav Halak made 35 saves to raise his record to 14-9-4. He has a 2.44 GAA and a .921 save percentage and has provided the Bruins with excellent backup goaltending as well as playing well when starter Tuukka Rask was injured.
Semyon Varlamov took the loss, turning aside 33 shots. He is 13-13-8 with a 2.91 GAA and a .906 save percentage.
Landeskog had 10 shots on goal.
WINNIPEG 3 BUFFALO 1
Blake Wheeler scored the winner with less than four minutes left in the third period and led the Winnipeg Jets to a 3-1 win over the reeling Buffalo Sabres.
Andrew Copp opened the scoring in the second period as he scored shorthanded just 3:01 into the frame.
Jack Eichel tied the game at one at 12:01 of the middle period with his 18th goal of the season. Rasmus Dahlin picked up an assist and it was his 31st point of the season, moving him into a tie for third place in points by a defenseman before their 19th birthday. He is even with Jim Benning and Doug Bodger and is behind the great Bobby Orr who had 38 and his head coach Phil Housley who had 57. Dahlin turns 19 on April 13 and has a great chance to surpass Orr and move into second place.
Mark Scheifele scored into the empty net with just seven ticks remaining on the clock to clinch the win as he had a two-point night.
Connor Hellebuyck made 35 saves to improve his record to 25-15-2. He has a 2.86 GAA and a .912 save percentage.
Carter Hutton made 26 in absorbing the loss. He is 15-16-3 with a 2.84 GAA and a .910 save percentage.
NEW JERSEY 3 CAROLINA 2
Marcus Johansson scored twice including the winner and Nico Hischier assisted on all three goals to lead the Devils to a 3-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes.
Pavel Zacha with his 10th of the season, also scored for New Jersey. The sixth overall pick in 2015, Zacha is starting to flashes of offense. Do not forget about him next season as he could have a breakout year. Sunday’s goal was on the power play.
Teuvo Teravainen and Dougie Hamilton replied for Carolina who had Nino Niederreiter assist on both goals.
Keith Kinkaid made 33 saves for the win.
Petr Mrazek made 18 saves in taking the loss.
Kurtis Gabriel and Micheal Ferland wasted little time as the two fought only 1:05 into the first period and each picked up a fighting major.
NEW YORK ISLANDERS 2 MINNESOTA 1
Tomas Greiss made 26 saves to lead the Islanders to a 2-1 win over the Minnesota Wild Sunday. The win pushed Greiss’s record to 16-8-2 with a 2.28 GAA and a .927 save percentage, much, much better than last season when he was 13-8-2 with a 3.82 GAA and a .892 save percentage. Barry Trotz has done wonders behind the Islanders bench and Greiss has been one of the biggest beneficiaries.
Anthony Beauvillier with his 13th of the season, and first in 12 games, opened the scoring with the lone goal of the first period.
Mikael Granlund tied the game 38 seconds into the second period but Devon Toews won it on the power play at the 2:01 mark of the middle stanza.
There was no more scoring in the contest and Halak and Devan Dubnyk shut the door.
Dubnyk is 21-19-4 this season with a 2.57 GAA and a .913 save percentage.
Beauvillier had seven shots on goal.
TAMPA BAY 5 FLORIDA 2
Nikita Kucherov scored twice and added an assist as the Tampa Bay Lightning picked up a road win knocking off their cross-state rivals, the Florida Panthers 5-2. He halted a 10-game goalless drought in the process.
Steven Stamkos scored his 29th of the season and added his 35th assist while Brayden Point also had a goal and an assist.
Ryan Callahan also scored for Tampa Bay while Anton Stralman and J.T. Miller each had a pair of assists.
Frank Vatrano and Denis Malgin replied for Florida.
James Reimer picked up the start for Florida and gave up three goals on 12 shots over two periods before he was pulled and replaced by Roberto Luongo. Luongo gave up a pair of goals on 11 shots.
Louis Domingue made 25 saves and has an outstanding 18-4-0 record with a 2.90 GAA and a .907 save percentage.
Ryan Callahan had seven hits. Troy Brouwer had six.
NEW YORK RANGERS 4 TORONTO 1
It was Alexandar Georgiev night at Madison Square Garden as he saved everything, save for the kitchen sink, as he made 55 saves in leading the Rangers to a 4-1 win over another Original Six team, the Toronto Maple Leafs. He is 8-9-0 with a 3.11 GAA and a .905 save percentage.
Mika Zibanejad scored his 23rd goal of the season to lead things off but Kasperi Kapanen was the only Leaf to beat him and tied the game at 1.
Jimmy Vesey with his 12th of the season, scored the winner, and the Rangers took a 2-1 lead heading into the dressing room.
There was no scoring in the second and Adam McQuaid clinched it with 8:01 left in the third. Kevin Hayes with his 13th, scored into the empty net.
Garret Sparks made 26 saves and is 7-4-1 with a 2.86 GAA and a .908 save percentage.
Nazem Kadri had 12 shots on goal. That type of performance is usually reserved for Alex Ovechkin but it was Kadri on this night. John Tavares had eight shots on goal as the Maple Leafs threw everything at Georgiev but only one shot got past him.
Tavares and Mitch Marner were each a minus-three.
Zach Hyman and Neal Pionk each picked up majors for fighting.
Viktor Arvidsson -2
Dominik Kahun – 2
Marcus Johansson – 2
Nikita Kucherov - 2
Nico Hischier - 3
Alex DeBrincat - 3
Ryan O'Reilly – 2
Jay Bouwmeester – 2
Ryan Ellis - 2
Dylan Strome – 2
Nino Niederreiter – 2
J.T. Miller – 2
Anton Stralman – 2
Chris Kreider – 2
Mats Zuccarello - 2
Shots on Goal
Nazem Kadri - 12
Gabriel Landeskog – 10
John Tavares - 8
Tarasenko - 8
Filip Forsberg – 7
Anthony Beauvillier – 7
Ryan Callahan – 7
Troy Brouwer - 6
Luke Glendening – 5
Nikita Zadorov – 5
Mika Zibanejad - 5
Kurtis Gabriel - 9
Micheal Ferland – 5
Zach Hyman – 5
Neal Pionk - 5