Some notes around the NHL on a Wednesday evening.
Auston Matthews did not practice on Wednesday and is very doubtful for Thursday’s contest.
Taylor Hall is day-to-day with a knee contusion and will not play on Thursday.
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OTTAWA 3 NEW YORK RANGERS 2
Zack Smith scored his second of the season eight seconds into the third period for the eventual game winner as the Senators won a rare game of late in defeating the Rangers 3-2. The Senators had not won in five previous games and was 1-10-2 in their last 13 contests.
It was some redemption for Smith who had 25 goals just two seasons ago but had struggled mightily this season as he doubled his goal count in the third period.
Michael Grabner scored his 15th of the season as he is a definite Cy Young candidate as far as hockey is concerned. He has only two assists this season.
Grabner has scored 42 goals for the Rangers in 107 games. He has yet to score on the power play in the one-plus season and has only one shorthanded goal which gives him 41 even strength goals.
Pavel Buchnevich scored his 11th of the season to pull the Rangers to within one in the third but they could get no closer.
Craig Anderson stopped 27 shots for the win. He is 8-10-3 with a 3.05 GAA and a .897 save percentage, well below last season’s outstanding campaign when he was 25-11-4 with a 2.28 GAA and a .926 save percentage under trying circumstances.
Henrik Lundqvist also stopped 27 shots but saw one more get past him and took the loss. He is 14-8-2 with a 2.70 GAA and a .916 save percentage. The bright light for Lundqvist was that he became the 15th NHL goaltender in history to make 20,000 saves.
Ceci had a big game. As well as scoring, he was a plus-three, had five shots on goal and had six hits.
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DALLAS 5 NEW YORK ISLANDERS 2
It was not a great night for the New York teams as the Islanders fell to the Dallas Stars 5-2 in Brooklyn.
Tyler Pitlick was the offensive star of the Stars as he potted a couple of goals to give him five this season.
Remi Elie, Jamie Benn and Alexander Radulov also scored for the Stars but it was a bittersweet night for Radulov who suffered a lower-body injury in the third period and did not return. Consider him day-to-day for now with an update likely on Thursday.
The Stars scored the first five goals of the game, with four coming against Jaroslav Halak who was chased at the 9:21 mark of the second after giving up Benn’s goal on his 20th shot of the night. He was replaced by Thomas Greiss who gave up one on seven shots.
It was a big night for Kari Lehtonen who made 32 saves in the Stars cage. He set a record for the most career games ever played by a Finnish goaltender with 624, passing Miikka Kiprusoff, as well as picking up his 300th win of his career.
Benn chipped in with a pair of assists in addition to his goal. He was a plus-three as was Pitlick and Radek Faksa who did not pick up a point.
John Klingberg had a pair of assists as well as going plus-three on the night.
Every Islander forward was a minus-one. Only Adam Pelech was not a minus on the Islanders as he was even on the night.
BOSTON 3 DETROIT 2 (Overtime)
Brad Marchand set up David Pastrnak for the tying goal with 1:26 left in the third and then put a backhander past Jimmy Howard 35 seconds into the overtime to lead the Bruins to a 3-2 win over the lowly Detroit Red Wings.
Detroit is not having a fun time of things this season, especially of late as they are 1-5-5 in their last 11 games. They are tied for 13th overall in the Eastern Conference and are six points out of a playoff spot and only seven points out of last place.
Tomas Tatar opened the scoring for Detroit in the second period with his ninth of the season and fifth on the power play as he scored for the first time in five games.
Noel Acciari scored his second of the season 3:02 into the third period to tie the game at 1 for the Bruins but Dylan Larkin gave the Red Wings their one goal lead back at the 11:34 mark with a shorthanded goal.
Pastrnak’s 15th of the season tied it up and sent the game into overtime.
Tuukka Rask made 31 saves and picked up his fifth straight win to even his record at 8-8-2 as he has a 2.41 GAA and a .914 save percentage.
Jimmy Howard stopped 29 shots in taking the overtime loss. He is 9-9-6 this season with a 2.91 GAA and a .906 save percentage which is nothing to write home about.
Torey Krug had a pair of assists.
Henrik Zetterberg had an assist but was on the ice for all three Boston goals. He has five goals and 18 points in 31 games but is a minus-seven.
NASHVILLE 7 VANCOUVER 1
P.K. Subban scored two of the strangest goals you will ever see as he led the Nashville Predators to a 7-1 win over the Canucks in Vancouver.
After Viktor Arvidsson made it 2-0, Subban shot the puck in from center and it eluded Nilsson once again and the Predators were off to the races.
Craig Smith had a goal and two assists while Kevin Fiala and Filip Forsberg had one of each. Calle Jarnkrok also scored for Nashville while Alexander Burmistrov with his second of the season replied for the Canucks.
The Predators outshot Vancouver 48-26.
Pekka Rinne stopped 25 for the win as he is 17-4-3 this season.
Nilsson made 41 saves but gave up all seven goals.
Ryan Johansen returned to action after missing three games with an upper body injury. He had a pair of assists.
Pouliot was minus-five while Nikolay Goldobin was a minus-four.