It was a busy afternoon as far as news from the NHL General Managers meetings were concerned.
The league decided that the bye week will be done differently next season. The conferences will each get a week off with 15 teams getting the first week off and 16 teams (don't forget about Vegas) getting the following week as a break.
In addition, the first two games back for each team will be a conference battle so there is no advantage for a team that has been playing to go against a rusty squad.
In a bit of a surprise, it looks like teams will not reveal their keepers before the Vegas expansion Draft. It doesn't make a lot of sense as I'm sure the protected lists will get out anyway.
Commissioner Gary Bettman did state that the NHL is not giving up on the Coyotes in the greater Phoenix area and in a letter to the Arizona State Legislature said that the city of Glendale broke the arena deal and not the Coyotes.
The Coyotes need to be downtown as that is where their fan base is and not near Glendale.
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BOSTON 6 DETROIT 1
Dave Krejci scored twice in a four goal first period as the Boston Bruins cruised to an easy 6-1 win over the lowly Detroit Red Wings (it was interesting to write lowly when talking about Detroit after 25 years of making the playoffs, but that is what they are right now).
Brad Marchand and Drew Stafford also scored in the first and Marchand's 31st of the season made it 5-0 in the second period before Niklas Kronwall scored to break up the shutout bid of Tuukka Rask. It was Kronwall's first goal of the season and that's hard to believe from the veteran who had eight and nine goals just three and two years ago and has scored 15 one season in the NHL.
David Pastrnak scored the lone goal of the third period, his 27th of the season.
Jared Coreau got the start in goal for Detroit but was pulled after Stafford made it 3-0 at the 13:32 mark of the first. He made only five saves while allowing three goals. Petr Mrazek finished things up, making 18 saves on 21 shots. The netminding situation should be interesting from here on in as Jimmy Howard has completed his conditioning stint and will finally get some action in the Red Wings crease, something that has not occurred since December 20. Howard has been far and away the best goalie for Detroit this season.
Rask made 26 saves for his 31st victory of the season. He had lost his last two starts so the win has to make Boston fans quite happy. His peripherals are 2.25 and a .914 save percentage.
Krejci also had an assist in addition to his two goals. He was a plus-four on the night.
Zdeno Chara had a pair of assists.
OTTAWA 5 DALLAS 2
Craig Anderson made 35 saves as once again he led the Ottawa Senators to a 5-2 win over Dallas.
It was Anderson's 146th win as a member of the Senators and he tied Patrick Lalime for the all-time franchise record in victories.
Anderson won his 20th of the season and has given the Senators great goaltending during his stints with the team. The Sens have to be very hopeful heading into the playoffs with Anderson between the pipes.
It was the lesser guns who did the damage for Ottawa as Fredrik Claesson (his first), Viktor Stalberg (his 11th but second in three games for Ottawa) and Cody Ceci with his second, each had a goal and an assist.
As has been the case all too often this season, Dallas got mediocre goaltending, and this time it was Kari Lehtonen who got the start and gave up three goals on 21 shots before he was replaced by Antti Niemi who gave up a pair on only five shots.
Spezza led both teams with seven shots on goal. Pageau had five blocked shots.
PITTSBURGH 7 WINNIPEG 4
Nick Bonino had the hat trick and Evgeni Malkin had a Gordie Howe hat trick as the Penguins scored four times in the second period (boy, there were two four goal periods in only three games on Wednesday) to easily fly by the Winnipeg Jets 7-4.
It was a wild first period with fights, goals and a five minute major for hitting from behind, everything you needed for the fans of Winnipeg to be on the edge of their seats.
Tempers flared early as there was a holdover from the last two times these teams met on February 16 as Malkin nailed Blake Wheeler with his shoulder to the side of the Winnipeg forward's head. There was no disciplinary action taken by the NHL so Wheeler went after Malkin just 3:33 into the game. Both got five for fighting and it was only two seconds later that Tom Sestito and Chris Thorburn went at it.
Sestito was not done in the minutes category as he hit Toby Enstrom from behind later in the first, getting five and a game for his effort. He had 20 penalty minutes and was a plus-one on the night.
Justin Schultz and Jake Guentzel also scored for the Penguins while Shawn Matthias , Nikolaj Ehlers and Dustin Byfuglien all scored in first period for Winnipeg who got a late goal from Marko Dano to finish the scoring.
Matt Murray made 31 saves and is 25-8-3 with a 2.39 GAA and a .923 save percentage.
Connor Hellebuyck got the start in goal for Winnipeg and gave up five goals on only 15 shots for the loss. Michael Hutchinson stopped 15 of 17 in relief of Hellebuyck. It was strange that all three games on Wednesday had goaltenders taken out at some point and replaced by the backup.
Chad Rudwedel had three assists Wednesday and that jumps his point total to 10 in 21 games.
Patrik Laine had a tough night as he was pointless as well as a minus-four.