Game recaps, updates on Evgeni Malkin and Steven Stamkos, and remembering J.P Parise.
THE TENNESSEAN: Shea Weber’s overtime goal lifted the Nashville Predators to a 3-2 victory over the Dallas Stars, vaulting into top spot in the overall NHL standings.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Predators show little sign of cooling off from their strong first-half performance and are starting to garner talk of Stanley Cup contention, though GM David Poile is downplaying such chatter.
CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: A 42-save performance by Corey Crawford and two goals by Bryan Bickell allowed the Chicago Blackhawks to double up the Minnesota Wild 4-2. The Blackhawks were outplayed through the first two periods, and defenseman Brent Seabrook had to leave the game for a spell to receive repairs after being struck in the face by an opponent’s skate.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blackhawks have run into some consistency issues of late. Given their depth in talent, however, it’s an issue which probably won’t last for long. Seabrook was fortunate to escape serious injury and returned to the game.
STLTODAY.COM: The St. Louis Blues enjoyed their second 7-2 victory in three games, this time thumping the San Jose Sharks. Alexander Steen, Jay Bouwmeester, Paul Stastny, Jori Lehtera, Oshie, Patrik Berglund and David Backes were the goal scorers for the Blues.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blues are a different team since Brian Elliott returned from injury. They play with more confidence with Elliott between the pipes.
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: In a rematch of last year’s Stanley Cup Final, the New York Rangers garnered a little payback by downing the defending champion Los Angeles Kings by a score of 4-3. It was the Rangers fourth straight win and their 12th in 13 games. Defenseman Dan Boyle led the way with a goal and an assist.
THE BOSTON GLOBE: Milan Lucic scored twice and backup Niklas Svedberg made 14 saves for his first career NHL shutout as the Boston Bruins blanked the New Jersey Devils 3-0.
PHILLY.COM: Jakub Voracek tallied in overtime as the Philadelphia Flyers edged the Washington Capitals 3-2.
NEWSOBSERVER.COM: Second period goals by Jeff Skinner, Jiri Tlusty, Eric Staal and Victor Rask lifted the Carolina Hurricanes to a 5-2 win over the fading Buffalo Sabres.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Games involving Canadian NHL teams are recapped in “Canadian Corner”.
TRIBLIVE.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins must find a skilled winger for Evgeni Malkin, who is becoming a more complete player this season, leading the Penguins in takeaways.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: GM Jim Rutherford will likely go shopping for such a winger near the March 2 trade deadline.
THE TAMPA TRIBUNE: While Lightning captain Steven Stamkos leads his club in goals, he’s not as prolific as in previous years.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’m guessing its the combination of his first full season back from his broken leg and his first full season as captain could be contributing to Stamkos’ scoring issues. Given time, he should be able to round back into form.
NBC SPORTS: J.P. Parise, father of NHL star Zach Parise, succumbed to lung cancer on Wednesday. He was 73. Parise played 14 NHL seasons, tallying 238 goals and 594 points in 890 games, along with 58 points in 86 playoff games. Over half his career was spent with the Minnesota North Stars, which included two 70-plus point performances. He was a two-time NHL all star, a member of Team Canada ’72 and in retirement became a North Stars scout and headed the hockey program at Shattuck-Saint. Mary’s, whose alumni include his son Zach, Sidney Crosby, Jonathan Toews and Jack Johnson.