Game recaps, updates on Joffrey Lupul, Matt Stajan and more.
OTTAWA CITIZEN/MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Ottawa Senators overcame a two-goal deficit to thump the slumping Montreal Canadiens 5-2. Erik Karlsson scored twice while goalie Andrew Hammond (8-0-1) remains unbeaten in regulation, while the Senators have won 11 of their last 15 games.
THE VANCOUVER SUN: The Vancouver Canucks lost their third straight game this season to the Los Angeles Kings, who rolled to a 4-0 victory. Tyler Toffoli, Justin Williams, Anze Kopitar and Marian Gaborik tallied for the Kings.
WINNIPEG SUN: The Jets struggles continued as they fell 4-2 to the Florida Panthers.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Senators failed to gain ground on the Boston Bruins for the final wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference and remain six points back.
The Canadiens have now won only once in their last six games. Either this is merely a slump brought about by laziness resulting from their lofty spot near the top of the Eastern Conference standings, or an indication their lack of offense, poor puck-possession numbers, sloppy defense and over-reliance on goalie Carey Price is finally catching up with them. I’m betting it’s the latter. Whatever the reason, the Habs don’t look like Stanley Cup contenders and I cannot take them seriously as such.
The Canucks now hold a one-point lead over the Kings and Calgary Flames for second in the Pacific division and are only two points from being knocked out of the playoff standings. The Jets have dropped out of a playoff position as their recent slump suggests they’re poised for another late-season swoon.
Latest on the Leafs and Flames.
TORONTO STAR: The recent benchings of Nazem Kadri and Joffrey Lupul illustrate the Leafs frustration this season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs are a whipped cur of a club going through the motions as they count down the end of this horrible season.
CALGARY HERALD: The Flames are rallying around veteran center Matt Stajan, who is re-energized by the recent birth of his son Elliot. A year ago, Stajan and his wife lost their infant son Emerson following childbirth.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Good to see Stajan rallying back after what’s been an emotional year for he and his family.