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Hockey Daily Dose

Dose: Outlive the Kings

by James O'Brien
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Light night on Wednesday, with Boston - Washington clearly being the game with the largest amount of marbles (so to speak) on the line. Washington already has a playoff spot clinched, so they aim to spite a Boston Bruins team that can gain serious buffer comfort by winning that upcoming battle. Senators fans are huge Capitals fans tonight, in other words.

Other than that, the Ducks are merely battling to get the West's top spot locked up.

Don't get bored just yet, gumshoes, as last night's action was frantic.

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-- Edmonton was really in the perfect position to spoil here, as they're locked into the third-to-last spot and can have fun at the expense of contending teams here. And boy did they ever deliver a crushing blow to the Kings' playoff hopes with this one. Sports Club Stats gauges a 40.3 percent drop in playoff chances for Los Angeles because of this defeat, meaning they have a 21.6 percent chance now. Winnipeg's at 93 (+25) and Calgary's at 85.4 (+13.1) after taking care of their respective bits of business (more on them soon).

-- It would have been funnier if former Kings and Oilers forward Colin Fraser delivered the death blows here instead of Matt Fraser, who scored two goals for Edmonton on Tuesday.

-- The Kings decided to start Martin Jones instead of Jonathan Quick in this one, something that will unquestionably inspire an onslaught of hindsight-aided insults.

-- Thursday's game against the Flames is obviously huge, as Calgary seems like the team Los Angeles has the easiest chance of dislodging, considering that head-to-head matchup and Winnipeg having 96 points to Calgary's 95 (Los Angeles has 93).

-- I'd say it's fair to tab this as the second-best individual season for Drew Doughty, and I could at least hear arguments that he's been better than 2009-10 (when he scored 16 goals, 59 points and enjoyed a +20 rating in a big-time breakthrough). Don't be too heartbroken for Doughty considering all he's accomplished at just 25.

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-- I imagine a lot of people thought that the Senators' season was cooked sometime between when Sidney Crosby made it 1-0 10 seconds in or when the first period ended 3-0 in favor of Pittsburgh. Instead, Ottawa took advantage of two Mark Stone goals (including the OTGWG) and a Mike Hoffman tally to storm back and win this one.

Pittsburgh, Boston and even Detroit still hold significant advantages over Ottawa - the Penguins getting a single point still stings - but kudos to Ottawa for keeping hope alive.

-- The Penguins have to wonder if things may have been different if they didn't sit back on their heels. With a 3-1 lead heading into the third period, Pittsburgh gave up an 18-3 shot advantage in the final frame and 21-3 through OT. It seems like "prevent defense" fails time and time again, so why go to that well?

-- Andrew Hammond update: 18-1-2 with a .937 save percentage and 1.91 GAA. Wow. I'm stunned.

-- David Perron's fallen off the map since mid-March. He went eight straight games without a point before grabbing an assist on April 5, but he went without a point (or a SOG) on Tuesday, too.


-- Winnipeg was in a tough situation here in that they faced a rested Blues team after a tough 2-0 win against Minnesota on Monday.

That said, the Jets had far more on the line, and I get the impression that makes a difference in games like these. It's sort of like being in a race where someone else had a running start while you began flat-footed.

-- Speaking of which, not all that many non-wild card teams are heading into the postseason with much momentum. The Ducks, Rangers and Capitals are the only divisional playoff teams with at least 7 wins in their last 10 games right now. Just some food for thought.

-- Two huge shutouts for Ondrej Pavelec in as many nights, as he's stopped 62 shots in that span. He's also on a three-game winning streak overall, as his 2014-15 save percentage is now at .919. The only other time he's been anywhere close to as effective save percentage-wise was in 2010-11 when he had a .914 mark (and a 21-23-9 record).

-- Kevin Shattenkirk got the random PIM infusion last night, as he generated an unexpected 10 penalty minutes for owners thanks to a misconduct.

-- Jake Allen gave up one goal on 31 shots during another strong outing, even if he lost. Since March 15, Allen has allowed two goals or less in every appearance, going 4-1-1 with one game that didn't give him a decision. Allen only has four losses (two in regulation, two beyond) since 2015 began.


-- If I were an NHL forward, I'd be envious of the fun Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan and Jiri Hudler are having together in a way that TV auteurs must be jealous of Louis C.K. for his remarkable freedom in putting together episodes of Louie.

-- Holy smokes is Dennis Wideman ever coming along for the ride, too. He collected two assists last night, giving him five points in two games and seven in the past four.

-- Kris Russell is another Calgary defenseman enjoying the best season of his career. He has one goal and three assists in his past five games, improving on last season's career-high of 29 points for 34. Not bad.

-- Jonas Hiller now has four wins in his last five games. It makes for a solid overall season: 25-19-4 with a .917 save percentage.


-- What a season for Predators defensemen. Ryan Ellis scored his ninth goal in just his 56th game, leaving him one tally away from being the third Nashville blueliner in double digits (both Shea Weber and Roman Josi have 15 goals this season). Nashville also has two more guys with seven tallies: Seth Jones and Mattias Ekholm.

-- Calle Jarnkrok is easy to forget about, even with that hair. He scored his seventh goal and 18th point of the season in this one.

-- You have to possess a cold heart not to be a little delighted by Jarome Iginla's productive season. He has a shot at yet another 30-goal campaign, as he hit the 27 mark last night. He should score his 600th by next season if he sticks around - I don't see why not - as he's only 13 shy of that milestone at the moment with 587. Scoring 1,224 points in 1,390 games is pretty much undeniable HHOF material considering the fact that he did it entirely in the "Go ahead, mug the puckcarrier or really anyone trying to score a goal" and the "OK, don't mug him but you can obstruct him unless I feel like using my whistle this one time" eras.

-- A considerable hot streak wasn't enough to make this season much more than routine for Ryan O'Reilly, as he now has 17 goals and 55 points after the dust settled. He's a fine player, don't get me wrong, but I wonder if he'll really reach his potential if he stays in Colorado long term.


-- Remember when Darcy Kuemper seemed like a reasonable option for the Wild in net? Devan Dubnyk stumbled a bit - by his standards - before last night's win, but he still has some fantastic numbers. Overall, he's 36-13-4 with a .930 save percentage and six shutouts following his 32-for-33 save performance against Chicago.

-- Brad Richards is done for the regular season, though maybe not for the playoffs. Adjust your lineups to grab someone who cans score/lock up some categories.

-- Chris Stewart went three games without a point before grabbing an assist last night. He now has a decent 10 points in 18 games with Minnesota, with the helpful benefit of 23 PIM. Five SOG in as many games (including two contests without a single shot on net) just seems disappointing for a power forward who always seems like he could be a little better.


-- Jimmy Howard seems to be piecing things together ... maybe. He's now on a two-game winning streak and has allowed five goals in the past three games. Could be quite crucial for him to regain some confidence, as Detroit is very close to locking up a playoff spot.

-- Pavel Datsyuk scored a goal and an assist, giving him five points in his past four games. He's now just over a point-per-contest with 63 points in 62 games this season.

-- I'm often in favor of retaining core pieces - they don't come easily in the NHL, after all - but I'm not so sure why Carolina would think that they boast a whole lot of difference-makers. I'd probably hold onto Jeff Skinner since his trade value has likely never been lower (or rarely been lower) but moving one or more Staal brother makes a ton of sense to me, especially since both of them probably get a little more league-wide love than they maybe deserve.


-- This game is a heartbreaker for the Islanders, but not as much as it may seem if you look at the fact that Brayden Schenn scored the game-winner for Philly with three seconds left and ignore the overall context. Johnny Boychuk brought the Isles to within one goal with less than two minutes remaining. Anders Lee tied it with less than 30 seconds left. Perhaps the Isles were lucky to almost get a point?

-- It's pretty remarkable that Anders Lee and Claude Giroux both had two-goal games to hit the 25-goal mark.

-- With a goal and two assists, John Tavares moved into a tie for the points lead alongside Sidney Crosby with 83. Magnificent stuff from JT91.

-- Wow, what a burst from Mark Streit. He collected three assists last night, giving him five helpers in two games and six over four. With that, he hit the 50+ point mark for the third time in his career and the first time since 2008-09.



-- There was no mistake about this one, really, as the Rangers generated a 40-21 shot advantage. Things were most lopsided through the first 40 minutes, as the Rangers  fired 33 shots on goal to just 10 for New Jersey.

-- Very nice rookie season for Kevin Hayes.  He produced three points (one goal, two assists) on Tuesday, giving him four points in two games. Not awful total numbers, either: 16 goals, 43 points and a +15 rating in 77 games.

-- In his first appearance since March 29, Cam Talbot stopped 19 of 21 to improve his record to a sparkling 21-9-4. He deserves a ton of credit for the Rangers clinching the Presidents Trophy.

-- Every Scott Gomez point still surprises me. With an assist last night, that's now 32 surprises in 56 games.

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James O'Brien
James O'Brien is the Hockey Daily Dose's author and has been a contributor to NBC's Pro Hockey Talk for more than four years. Follow him on Twitter.