Game recaps, plus updates on Dustin Byfuglien, Tyler Myers, Kris Russel, Jannik Hansen and Jean-Gabriel Pageau.
EDMONTON JOURNAL/TORONTO SUN: Four goals (two by Benoit Pouliot) in 11 minutes of the first period gave the Edmonton Oilers a 4-1 win over the floundering Toronto Maple Leafs, snapping the Oilers seven-game winless streak. Leafs center Nazem Kadri could face another suspension, this time from the league for an illegal hit to the head of Oilers forward Matt Fraser.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Both teams have no chance of making the playoffs, but there was a definite difference in the style of play. The Oilers, for all their woes, played like they gave a damn, while the Leafs look like a club with its heart ripped out simply counting the days to season’s end.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Tampa Bay Lightning continued their dominance this season over the Montreal Canadiens, beating the Habs 4-2 for the fourth straight time. Canadiens forward Brandon Prust could face supplemental discipline for running Lightning goalie Ben Bishop behind his net.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cheap hit by Prust, who made no effort to avoid Bishop. If there’s one club the Canadiens shouldn’t face in this year’s playoffs it’s the Lightning. Yes, I know, the playoffs are different than the regular season, but I’ve seen nothing in the four games between these teams this season to suggest the Canadiens can beat the Bolts in a playoff round.
WINNIPEG SUN: Injured Jets defensemen Dustin Byfuglien and Tyler Myers skated with their teammates yesterday in practice. Myers is expected to return for tonight’s game against San Jose, while Byfuglien said it’s still too early to tell when he’ll return to action.
CALGARY HERALD: Flames defenseman Kris Russell has stepped up his play since captain Mark Giordano was sidelined.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The underrated Russell has been a key part of the Flames’ improvement this season.
THE VANCOUVER SUN: Good health and playing with youngsters Bo Horvat and Ronalds Kenins has Canucks winger Jannik Hansen on pace for a career-best season.
OTTAWA SUN: Jean-Gabriel Pageau not only won’t be returning to the minors this season, but he’s earned a regular roster spot with the Senators as they battle for a playoff berth.