Dusk Til Dawn: Close Games in Abundance

Miss any of last night’s action? No need to fret, we’ve got you covered from puck drop until the final buzzer.

Essential Water Cooler

The Maple Leafs gave up yet another lead, this time falling to the Washington Capitals by allowing two consecutive third period goals. The recent talk has been about coach Randy Carlyle and how long his tenure can last in Toronto. But the bigger question should be, what on earth happened to these players, who once led the Eastern Conference this season, but now sit outside the playoff picture? For all involved, the team needs to make the playoffs to avoid the annual questioning of Maple Leafs management – despite the organization’s overhaul the last few years.

Primetime Play

In what has been a mediocre year for the New York Rangers thus far, Rick Nash has not been much better. Going into last night’s game, he didn’t even rank in the top 200 in the NHL in points – and this is the same Nash that won the Maurice Richard Trophy in 2004. But he finally came up big for the Rangers, potting the game-winning goal with just under two minutes remaining in regulation – and in dramatic fashion, too.

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Men of the Night

1. In just his second game back from injury, Columbus goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky made 36 saves and shut out the Carolina Hurricanes – proving to the Russian Federation that his selection to the Olympic team was justified.

2. With another multi-point night, Alex Ovechkin continues to lead the league in goals, and is slowly creeping up on Sidney Crosby for the league’s point lead.

3. Kevin Poulin backstopped the Islanders to a 2-1 overtime victory against the Avalanche, stopping 30 of 31 shots for the win.

4. Helping to end the team’s slump, Edmoton’s Ryan Nugent-Hopkins potted two goals and an assist, including the game-winning goal in overtime to  defeat the Penguins.

Better Luck Next Time

What does every young player learn when they’re playing on the penalty kill? “Get the puck up in the air!” or “Chip it off the boards!” Penguins forward Craig Adams failed to get that one right, and it led to the Oilers scoring the game-winning goal in overtime, completing their comeback against the mighty Penguins.