Rinne shuts out the Hurricanes

Michael Finewax
Rotoworld

The NHL was rocked this week with allegations that Calgary coach Bill Peters used racial slurs on Akim Aliu when Peters coached in the AHL with the Rockford IceHogs in the 2009-10 season.

The Flames immediately looked into the allegations and Peters did not coach again, as he was replaced Wednesday in Buffalo by Geoff Ward, a Flames associate coach.

Well today, Bill Peters resigned from the Calgary Flames, effective immediately and at the press conference held by Calgary GM Brad Treliving, the GM said that Peters was no longer with the organization.

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Geoff Ward will continue to coach the team behind the bench on an interim basis for now.

It’s a black mark against the NHL and hockey in general, but at least it was dealt with fairly quickly. It would be nice if Peters apologized to all who he harmed (former Hurricane Michal Jordan said that Peters kicked him and another unnamed player who is still with Carolina said that Peters physically abused him) but I’m not sure that Peters will do so.

Let’s hope no other NHL team gives him a chance because he does not deserve one.

It was a busy afternoon and night in the NHL with a total of 12 games, so let’s get to it.

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BOSTON 3 NEW YORK RANGERS 2 (Overtime)

David Krejci scored the winner in overtime to give the Bruins the overtime win.

The Rangers inability to score on the power play was their eventual downfall as they were 0-6 with the man-advantage and that included a two-man advantage for 61 seconds when they were up 2-0. That seemed to give the Bruins a second wind and they capitalized as Sean Kuraly scored with 1:32 left in the second and David Pastrnak, who set up the Krejci winner, evened the count at 2 in the third period.

Pavel Buchnevich scored the only goal of the first while Filip Chytil scored in the second to make it 2-0.

Jaroslav Halak made 26 saves and picked up his first assist of the season on the winning goal. He is 6-1-3 with a 2.35 GAA and a .930 save percentage.

Henrik Lundqvist took the overtime loss and made 24 saves as he is 7-5-2 with a 3.16 GAA and a .912 save percentage.

Brendan Smith and Charlie McAvoy went at it in the second period and each got five for fighting. Jake DeBrusk had two assists.

WINNIPEG 3 ANAHEIM 0

Connor Hellebuyck turned aside all 24 shots for his second shutout of the season as the Jets beat Anaheim 3-0. Hellebuyck is 13-7-1 with a 2.33 GAA and a .933 save percentage as he has been one of the top goalies in the NHL this season.

Neal Pionk, Nikolaj Ehlers and Kyle Connor scored for the Jets with Patrik Laine and Blake Wheeler each picking up a pair of assists.

John Gibson continued his slump as he gave up three goals on only 20 shots for the loss. He is 8-10-2 with a 2.85 GAA and a .911 save percentage. He picked up a shutout in his last start, over the Islanders but had given up nine goals on 58 shots in the previous two contests.

Dmitry Kulikov suffered an upper-body injury in the first period and did not return. There was no update after the game.

Erik Gudbranson picked up 29 penalty minutes as he fought with Anthony Bitetto in the first period and picked up a misconduct as the instigator and then drew another misconduct when he was penalized for hooking late in the game and argued too much.

SAN JOSE 4 LOS ANGELES 1

Patrick Marleau opened the scoring with his sixth of the season and 557th of his career to pass Johnny Bucyk for 27th place all-time to lead the Sharks to a 4-1 win over the Kings.

Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Noah Gregor with his first career NHL goal, and Logan Couture, also scored for San Jose while Kyle Clifford broke up Martin Jones shutout bid with only 1:49 left in the third to give the Kings their only goal.

Jones was terrific in net, stopping 33 shots to win his third in a row and go to 11-8-1 with a 3.08 GAA and a .896 save percentage.

Jonathan Quick stopped 18-of-22 shots for the loss to see his record drop to 7-10-1 with a 3.36 GAA and a .882 save percentage.

Erik Karlsson had two assists in the win.

Tomas Hertl played but sat out the last 11:18 of the third period to protect him as the game was well in hand and he is coming off a lower-body injury that caused him to miss the previous four games.

COLORADO 5 CHICAGO 2

Nathan MacKinnon had a goal and three assists to lead Colorado to a 5-2 win over Chicago.

J.T. Compher had a goal and two assists while Ryan Graves, Cale Makar on the power play and Valeri Nichushkin also scored for Colorado.

Zack Smith with his first and Patrick Kane replied for Chicago. With the goal, Kane increased his consecutive games streak to 14 games.

Pavel Francouz made 34 saves and is 5-2-0 this season with a 2.48 GAA and a .924 save percentage.

Corey Crawford gave up five goals on only 23 shots and is 5-6-2 with a 2.94 GAA and a .913 save percentage.

Andrew Shaw and Graves fought and each picked up a major with Shaw ending the game with nine minutes.

Nikita Zadorov and Sheldon Dries each had seven hits.

Brandon Saad had six shots on net.

MINNESOTA 7 OTTAWA 2

Jared Spurgeon scored once and added a pair of assists while Eric Staal had a goal and an assist to lead Minnesota to a 7-2 win over Ottawa.

The Senators actually had a 2-1 lead just past the midway point of the second period before the Wild scored twice more in the second and then four times in the third to win going away.

The Wild are climbing the NHL standings as they are 5-0-3 in their last eight games.

Ryan Donato, Zach Parise, Luke Kunin, Ryan Hartman and Jason Zucker also scored for Minnesota.

Nick Paul opened the scoring for Ottawa with his first goal in 14 games, and Brady Tkachuk with his ninth of the season also scored.

Alex Stalock turned aside 33 shots to go to 6-3-2.

It was not a great night for Anders Nilsson who gave up all seven goals on 35 shots to see his record drop to 7-6-1 with a 2.92 GAA and a .917 save percentage.

Ryan Suter had two assists and along with Spurgeon was a plus-five on the night.

BUFFALO 6 TORONTO 4

Jack Eichel scored twice and added an assist to lead the Sabres to a 6-4 win over Toronto in front of a decidedly Maple Leaf crowd in nearby Buffalo.

Jimmy Vesey had a goal and an assist while Casey Mittelstadt, Jeff Skinner and Victor Olofsson also scored for the Sabres.

John Tavares led the way for Toronto with a pair of goals to give the Maple Leafs a 2-0 lead before the Sabres struck for four goals to end the second period.

Kasperi Kapanen and Dmytro Timashov scored in the third to make it close but Eichel’s second of the night into the empty net, clinched the game for Buffalo.

Linus Ullmark stopped 25 shots for the win as he is 6-5-2 with a 3.00 GAA and a. 911 save percentage.

Michael Hutchinson gave up five goals on 35 shots as Toronto yet again, failed to get a win out of their backup goaltender.

Eichel had eight shots on goal.

Marco Scandella had two assists.

Auston Matthews was held off the scoresheet and was a minus-three.

PHILADELPHIA 6 DETROIT 1

Scott Laughton and Sean Couturier each had a goal and an assist to lead the Flyers to a 6-2 win over the bottom-dwelling Detroit Red Wings.

James van Riemsdyk scored the final goal of the game to snap a 10-game goalless drought. JVR has five goals and 11 points in 26 games this season.

Kevin Hayes and Oskar Lindblom also scored as did Shayne Gostisbehere, who returned to action after being a healthy scratch the last three games. It was on the power play and only his second goal of the season.

Carter Hart turned aside 32 shots to go to 8-5-3 with a 2.43 GAA and a .906 save percentage.

Calvin Pickard made his seasonal debut for Detroit and gave up six goals on 35 shots in taking the loss.

Robby Fabbri scored the lone Red Wings goal.

Matt Niskanen had a pair of assists and was plus-four. He took a shot to the face in the first period and wore a full cage in the last two periods after being stitched up.

WASHINGTON 4 TAMPA BAY 3 (Overtime)

Dmitry Orlov snapped home the overtime winner as front-running Washington beat last season’s Presidents Cup champion Tampa Bay 4-3.

Alex Ovechkin with his 17th of the season scored to send the game to overtime. It was a power play effort.

The Lightning led 1-0 on Brayden Point’s ninth of the season and Mikhail Sergachev made it 2-0 in the second. Evgeny Kuznetsov on the power play, cut the lead in half but Alex Killorn with his sixth, restored the two-goal margin to end the second stanza.

Jakub Vrana with his 12th of the season scored for the Capitals to open the third.

Nikita Kucherov and T.J. Oshie each had three assists.

Braden Holtby made 27 saves for the win. He is 13-2-4 with a 2.86 GAA and a .909 save percentage.

Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 31-of-35 shots in taking the OT loss. He is 9-7-1 with a 2.96 GAA and a .906 save percentage, a far cry from last season’s great year of 39-10-4 with a 2.40 GAA and a .925 save percentage. No wonder the Lightning are still on the outside looking in, at the playoffs.

Tom Wilson had nine hits while Nic Dowd had seven and Alex Ovechkin six.

VEGAS 2 ARIZONA 1 (Shootout)

Alex Tuch scored the winner in a shootout as the Vegas Golden Knights won their second in a row without Marc-Andre Fleury who is back home in Montreal attending to a family illness.

Malcolm Subban was great as he made 35 saves to win his second in a row after starting the season at 0-4-2.

Tuch was the only goal scorer for Vegas as he potted his second of the season. It was on the power play. Tuch has three points in 11 games as he missed the first four weeks of the season with an upper-body injury.

Jakob Chychrun tied the game later in the second with his sixth of the season.

Darcy Kuemper was his usual outstanding self as he turned aside 37 shots in regulation and overtime but could not stop Jonathan Marchessault and Tuch in the shootout. Kuemper is having an outstanding season with a 10-6-2 record to go with eye-popping stats of a 1.97 GAA and a .935 save percentage.

Brayden McNabb had seven hits.

The Golden Knights sent backup goaltender Garret Sparks back to the AHL after the contest.

COLUMBUS 5 PITTSBURGH 2

Gustav Nyquist had the hat trick and Nick Foligno scored twice to lead the Blue Jackets to a 5-2 win over Metropolitan Division rival Pittsburgh.

Nyquist opened the scoring as Oliver Bjorkstrand’s shot went in off his bum and past Tristan Jarry in the Pittsburgh net.

Jake Guentzel evened the score at 1 with 2:03 left in the first period.

The Blue Jackets scored all three goals in the second as Foligno sandwiched a couple of goals around a Nyquist goal to give the Jackets a 4-1 lead heading into the third.

Kris Letang scored to cut the lead to 4-2 but Nyquist outraced Letang in the final minute of action and scored an empty netter to seal the win.

Joonas Korpisalo stopped 29 shots to improve his record to 11-8-1 with a 2.83 GAA and a .902 save percentage.

Jarry made 25 saves in the Pittsburgh cage and saw his four-game win streak snapped. He is 5-4-0 this season.

David Savard had seven hits.

Nyquist had seven shots on goal as did Guentzel.

Evgeni Malkin assisted on both Penguin goals.

Bjorkstrand has a six-game points streak and has nine points on two goals and seven assists.

NASHVILLE 3 CAROLINA 0

Pekka Rinne stopped all 31 shots to lead the Predators to a 3-0 win over Carolina. Rinne is 9-4-2 this season with a 2.84 GAA and a .898 save percentage. It was the third shutout of the season for the 37-year-old netminder.

Rocco Grimaldi with his second, scored the game winner while Calle Jarnkrok and Austin Watson also replied for Nashville.

Petr Mrazek made 25 saves in the Carolina net and is 11-6-1.

Watson had five hits while Dan Hamhuis and Yannick Weber were each a plus-two.

ST. LOUIS 3 DALLAS 1

Ryan O'Reilly and Ivan Barbashev each had a goal and an assist to lead the Blues to a 3-1 win over Dallas in Central Division action.

Barbashev has three goals and 12 points but has been especially hot in his last two games as he had three assists against Tampa Bay Wednesday.

Colton Parayko also scored for the Blues.

Jake Allen made 30 saves for his fourth win of the season. He is 4-1-2 with a 2.67 GAA and a .913 save percentage.

David Perron had a pair of assists for the winners.

Roope Hintz scored his 11th of the season and his second in four games since returning after missing three weeks with a lower-body injury.

Ben Bishop made 37-of-39 saves to take the loss. He is 9-6-1 with a 2.22 GAA and a .928 save percentage. Those are outstanding stats.

NIGHTLY LEADERS

Goals

Gustav Nyquist – 3        

Jack Eichel – 2

John Tavares – 2

Nick Foligno - 2

Assists

Nathan MacKinnon – 3

Jakub Voracek – 3

Nikita Kucherov – 3

T.J. Oshie - 3

Matt Niskanen – 2

David Perron - 2

Blake Wheeler - 2

Patrik Laine – 2

Erik Karlsson – 2

J.T. Compher – 2

Jared Spurgeon – 2

Jonas Brodin – 2

Evgeni Malkin - 2

Marco Scandella – 2

Shots on Goal

Jakub Vrana – 9

Jack Eichel – 8

Alex Ovechkin - 7

Gustav Nyquist – 7

Nikita Kucherov - 6

Hits

Tom Wilson - 9

Sheldon Dries – 7

Nikita Zadorov – 7

Nic Dowd - 7

David Savard - 7

Brayden McNabb - 7

Penalty Minutes

Erik Gudbranson – 29

Andrew Shaw - 9

Anthony Bitetto – 7

Brendan Smith - 7

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