There were quite a few injuries (and/or injury updates) on Wednesday, and a lot of the news was pretty bad. With that in mind, I’m plopping this blurb up high in today’s Dose instead of its typical - though not as frequent lately - spot at the very end.
DUCKS 3, CANADIENS 1
-- It seems like Anaheim is spreading the minutes pretty evenly among Cam Fowler (one goal, almost 23 minutes last night), Francois Beauchemin (one goal, 22:07), Simon Despres (21:01) and Hampus Lindholm (one assist, 19:37). Beauchemin has eight goals on the season after that, tying a career-high set in 2011-12. With a 10 shooting percentage, the bounces are obviously going his way, but that's a nice perk for anyone grabbing him in daily formats or very deep leagues.
-- The Ducks seem to be profiting from a goalie battle once more. John Gibson is on a three-game winning streak, and his two most recent wins have been especially brilliant. The 21-year-old stopped 37 out of 38 last night after turning aside 39 out of 40 on March 1. Pretty good problem to have in Anaheim, especially since Gibson and Frederik Andersen aren't even making big money.
-- Alex Galchenyuk's offense has been a little spottier lately. He scored his 19th goal of the season, yet he has been blanked in nine of 13 games. Doesn't change anything about how promising his future is, though.
AVALANCHE 3, PENGUINS 1
-- Usually I assume the West team will beat the East team, but Colorado is one of the few exceptions who are at least somewhat in a playoff picture. The Avs didn't throttle the Penguins in every way (Pittsburgh generated a 29-22 shot advantage), yet this was still a mild surprise.
-- Jarome Iginla scored his 20th goal of the season, giving him 20+ in 16 campaigns. He probably would have a consecutive season streak with at least 20 each year stretching back to 1998-99 (!) if it weren't for the 2012-13 compromised season (nine goals in 31 games).
-- Gabriel Landeskog is one of the better options out there at the mid-level if you're in a hits league, as he can bring points as well as grit stats in heavy numbers.
-- Semyon Varlamov made 28 saves to improve to 20-17-7 on the season with a nice .918 save percentage. Colorado basically requires him to be a Vezina finalist to really make waves, however.
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RED WINGS 2, RANGERS 1 (OT)
-- Marek Zidlicky did not get a ton of ice time (17:44 overall, 2:28 on the PP), but he scored the OT GWG and provides Detroit with a needed right-handed shot from the blueline. I'd probably plop him on a watch list, if nothing else.
-- Henrik Zetterberg returned to the Red Wings lineup and celebrated that fact by generating two assists.
-- Quiet Detroit debut for Erik Cole: +1, one SOG in 14:24 TOI. I haven't always been the biggest fan of his game - it seems like he's mainly a passenger, which is no crime but isn't exactly impressive, either - yet I wouldn't give up on this situation after one contest. Still, his 18.2 shooting percentage argues that his best days in 2014-15 may have already passed.
-- Keith Yandle did not do much for the Rangers, but ice time numbers make me picture better days ahead. A whopping 4:57 of his 17:45 TOI came on the power play. No one else on the Rangers even hit 3:15 (Dan Boyle almost did at 3:14).
-- This was Jimmy Howard's best game since returning from injury, as he made 39 out of 40 saves. He's now won two in a row and hasn't lost in regulation since Feb. 16.
SENATORS 3, JETS 1
-- Look, I'm not so sure Andrew Hammond isn't one of those names that won't make us say "Oh yeah, that guy" in 5-7 years, but it's clear that he's on fire right now. He stopped 35 out of 36 pucks to improve to 6-0-1, and he did so after a tough loss (which included another great performance) just the night before. No clear reason why you shouldn't give him a dress rehearsal, even if you keep one eye on the waiver wire in case this dies out soon.
Regardless, impressive stuff so far by Hammond.
-- Mostly keeping injury updates to the blurb in the beginning of this column, but do note that Dustin Byfuglien might be injured. We could see more on that soon.
-- Lee Stempniak got an assist in this one, so there's that.
-- Tyler Myers continues to play well in Winnipeg: seven points in nine games after generating 13 in 47 with Buffalo. With a 10 shooting percentage, it's likely the skyscraping defenseman will cool off to some degree, but it's not inane to wonder if he's benefiting from the change of scenery in a way that can last for a bit.
-- Sports Club Stats gives Ottawa a 28.7 percent chance to make the playoffs, up 6.9 after Wednesday's events. Those are (by far) the best chances for any East team outside of the top eight right now.