Morning everyone, this is your Monday - Friday Dose host James O’Brien filling in for usual Saturday maestro Michael Finewax. I don’t have a lot to pontificate about, so let’s just jump right into the latest set of recaps.
LIGHTNING 3, RED WINGS 1
-- Tampa Bay has won all three games against Detroit so far (the two teams close off their season series on March 28), with the Red Wings only managing a point from a shootout loss in the first trio of contests.
We may, in fact, be citing those matchup numbers in mid-April, as the two squads would face off in a first-round series if the playoffs began today.
-- Ondrej Palat returned to action after missing three contests with a lower-body injury. He produced immediate returns, assisting on two goals. It looks like the Lightning are wisely putting him back with Tyler Johnson and Nikita Kucherov, which is a reason for fantasy owners to rejoice.
-- Alex Killorn notched the game-winner, his 15th goal and 37th point of the 2014-15 campaign. he also bears an odd resemblance to an odd high school friend of mine, so now I'll probably think of that fellow any time Killorn does something well.
-- Ben Bishop (31 out of 32 saves, the win) and Jimmy Howard (29 out of 31 saves, the loss) both had strong games in this one. Victor Hedman looked great as well, collecting two assists and a +3 rating.
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DUCKS 3, AVALANCHE 2 (OT)
-- Jiri Sekac scored a goal and an assist in this one. He now has five points in 11 games with the Ducks after generating 16 in 50 contests with Montreal. The rookie isn't getting huge TOI so it's hard to tell what he's truly capable of, but that's not an awful clip for Sekac so far in Cali.
-- You don't normally see the Ducks be the dominant puck possession team by such a wide margin as they were on Friday, but then again, they were facing the Avalanche. The Ducks generated a 40-24 shot advantage in this one, including a 15-5 edge between the third period and overtime.
-- Sami Vatanen returned to action on Friday, generating an assist and three SOG. He received 22:21 TOI, including 3:03 on the PP.
-- Jarome Iginla extended his point streak to four with a goal in this one (three goals and one assist in those four games). As I've mentioned before, the Avs can complain about a lot of things while ignoring their own self-destructive tendencies, but Iggy has worked out really well in season one of his Colorado career.
-- Ryan O'Reilly looks good in his own right, only adding to the intrigue about whether his Colorado career will continue after 2014-15.
-- Injuries have really soiled Corey Perry's season, limiting him to 58 games played. Remarkably, he's managed a goal every other game, giving him 29 in a shortened span.
DEVILS 3, SABRES 1
-- For all the fuss made about Anders Lindback shooting holes in the Sabres' tank, he's only won one game and earned them two other points (1-4-2) in eight games with Buffalo. I don't think they have to worry THAT much about him spoiling their plans to lose.
-- Brian Gionta now has an assist in three straight games, giving him 22 points in 58 contests in 2014-15.
I'm not sure how much of a tangible difference Gionta really makes as a "leader," but good for him to at least string a few decent games together.
-- Here are Keith Kinkaid's last four appearances.
Last night: 28 out of 29 saves, win.
March 10: stopped seven out of eight shots in 18:30 TOI.
March 8: 25 out of 27 saves, win.
Feb. 21: 17-save shutout.
While it's plausible that the delusion levels are high in New Jersey, I wonder why Lou Lamoriello wouldn't want to see how far along Kinkaid is by giving him more reps at the NHL level? The Devils should know what they have in Cory Schneider at this point (a really, really good starting goalies), so why not figure out if they could have a quality backup as an option in 2015-16?
-- Can you imagine what kind of comments would be lobbed at Steve Bernier if he was European? It would just be a typhoon of soft/no work ethic criticisms. Instead he gets to quietly be mediocre in New Jersey. Hey, at least he scored two goals last night, though.
-- Adam Henrique only has one more assist (24) than Scott Gomez (23), even as Gomez has only played in 47 games versus Henrique's 64. Henrique does have 10 more goals, but a pretty remarkable revitalization for Gomez's career.
(I know you might get tired of hearing about Gomez, but he's one of maybe three interesting things about the post-Jaromir Jagr Devils.)