Game recaps, updates on Dennis Wideman and Anton Lander, plus the latest on the Senators and Maple Leafs.
THE PROVINCE/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Radim Vrbata scored twice, including the game winner, as the Vancouver Canucks overcame a 2-0 deficit to down the Winnipeg Jets 5-2, snapping the Jets five-game winning streak. Vrbata now has 29 goals on the season.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Nashville Predators’ Pekka Rinne won the battle of the NHL’s top goalies over Montreal’s Carey Price, as Filip Forsberg’s overtime power-play goal lifted the Preds to a 3-2 win over the Canadiens. The Habs picked up a point, making them the first team this season to reach the 100-point mark.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens sit atop the Eastern Conference one point ahead of Tampa Bay and the NY Rangers. The Canucks opened a four-point lead over the idle Calgary Flames for second in the Pacific Division, while the Jets retain their hold on the final wild-card berth in the Western Conference.
OTTAWA CITIZEN: Having battled back into the Eastern Conference playoff picture, the Senators cannot afford to become complacent. They hold a narrow one-point lead over the Boston Bruins for the final wild-card spot and are five ahead of the Florida Panthers.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Every game remains a must-win for the Senators over the rest of this season.
CALGARY HERALD: Flames defenseman Dennis Wideman is about to play his 700th career NHL game, proving one of his critics wrong.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wideman’s also playing the best hockey of his career. He’s tied his career-best goals total (13) and is only three away from tying his high in points (50). He’s really thrived this season with the Flames.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: After several seasons of struggle, Anton Lander has salvaged his NHL career with the Oilers.
NATIONAL POST: Scott Stinson wonders if the Toronto Maple Leafs have quit on this season, or if they’re just not very good.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ll pick “all of the above.” They certainly seem to have quit, but then they weren’t a very good team to begin with.