Four of the teams in the NHL’s Central Division saw action yesterday. The big match saw the Nashville Predators take down their rivals, the Detroit Red Wings, to maintain the current divisional pecking order. Meanwhile the Chicago Blackhawks tied the NHL record for most consecutive games with a point to start a season.
Around The Central Division: February 20, 2013
Nashville Predators 4, Detroit Red Wings 3 (OT)
The Nashville Predators opened the season series with their biggest rival in front of yet another sellout crowd. More importantly, they gave the crowd what they wanted with a thrilling overtime win. Craig Smith and Roman Josi both picked up their first goals of the season. And Shea Weber was named one of the league’s three stars for the night for his OT winner, which marked his third straight game with a goal and fourth straight with a point. Colin Wilson also added two assists to bring his point streak to a career-high five games.
Pekka Rinne picked up the win. Jonas Gustavsson took the loss in relief of the Jimmy Howard, who left with blurry vision after giving up two goals in the first period. Here’s the view from Music City. Octopus Thrower laments what was not.
San Jose Sharks 2, St. Louis Blues 1
Just like everybody else has been doing in February, the Blues jumped out in front of the Sharks in the first period thanks to a Patrik Berglund goal. Then the Sharks did something they appeared to have forgotten how to do: they came back for the win. A second-period goal from Joe Thornton and another in the third from Tim Kennedy ended the Blues’ brief winning streak.
Chicago Blackhawks 4, Vancouver Canucks 3 (SO)
The Blackhawks’ winning ways continued with their second shootout victory in five tries this season, this time at home over the visiting Canucks. They actually had a chance to put it away in regulation, leading by two with 2:42 left in the game, but gave up two goals in less than two minutes to send the game to overtime. Patrick Kane and Andrew Shaw scored for Chicago in the shootout.
Hawks fans will be glad to get the two points but they’re holding their collective breath waiting to see if Marian Hossa is all right. Hossa left the game in the third period after Vancouver’s Jannik Hansen hit him while making a play for a mid-air puck. Hansen will face a disciplinary hearing the league over the incident.
It’s been a few days since the last Central Division report. Here’s a rundown of all the transactions since then.
Detroit Red Wings placed F Johan Franzen on injured reserve, assigned G Jonas Gustavsson to Grand Rapids (AHL) for conditioning, recalled Gustavsson from Grand Rapids, and assigned G Petr Mrazek to Grand Rapids.
Nashville Predators acquired D Scott Ford from St. Louis Blues for F Jani Lajunen and assigned Ford to Milwaukee (AHL).
Points: Patrick Kane (CHI) – 20
Goals: Patrick Kane (CHI), Patrik Berglund (STL) – 9
Assists: Henrik Zetterberg (DET) – 16
PIM: Jared Boll (CBJ) – 65
Wins: Corey Crawford (CHI), Pekka Rinne (NSH) – 7
GAA: Corey Crawford (CHI) – 1.65
SV%: Corey Crawford (CHI), Pekka Rinne (NSH) – .935
Shutouts: Pekka Rinne (NSH) – 3**
** – denotes tie for league lead
St. Louis Blues (9-6-1) at Colorado Avalanche (6-7-1)
9:00 p.m. CST
NBC Sports Network
After the tough loss at home to San Jose last night, the Blues take their act on the road to Colorado. Maybe they’ll get a fair shake from the referees there since another Central Division team got the shaft. Bleedin’ Blue has a preview.