NHL Canadian Corner – February 20, 2013.

Recaps of Tuesday’s games involving NHL Canadian teams, plus Flames defenseman Mark Giordano is fined for a slew foot.

LA PRESSE/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Goals by Max Pacioretty and Alex Galchenyuk lifted the Montreal Canadiens to a 3-1 win over the New York Rangers. Raphael Diaz scored into an empty net to clinch the win for the Habs, who vaulted into first overall in the Eastern Conference.  Former Ranger Brandon Prust set up Galchenyuk’s winning goal. Rangers head coach John Tortorella ripped his team post-game for its lackluster play. The Blueshirts also played without Rick Nash, sidelined with an undisclosed injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That win is the Canadiens fifth in a row since they were pummeled by the Toronto Maple Leafs nearly two weeks ago. Looks like that loss lit a fire under the Habs, who are atop the Conference for the first time in five years. 

Jannik Hansen's hit on Marian Hossa could be reviewed by the NHL.

Jannik Hansen’s hit on Marian Hossa could be reviewed by the NHL.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE/VANCOUVER PROVINCE: Andrew Shaw’s shootout goal gave the Chicago Blackhawks a 4-3 win over the Vancouver Canucks, tying the NHL record for the best season-opening record. The win was marred by an injury to Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa, who was struck in the back of the head by an elbow from Canucks forward Jannik Hansen. Hossa had scored twice prior to the injury, which knocked him out of the game. He’ll have further tests done today to determine if he suffered another concussion.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It appeared Hansen and Hossa were both trying to knock down the puck when the incident occurred. Hansen has no history of deliberately attempting to injure, so it’ll be interesting to see what the league’s ruling will be. Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said Hossa seemed okay after the game, so hopefully he won’t be sidelined for long.

OTTAWA SUN/NEWSDAY: Craig Anderson made 37 saves backstopping the Ottawa Senators to a 3-1 win over the slumping New York Islanders. Colin Greening, Andre Benoit and Dave Dziurzynski scored for the Senators, chalking up their second straight win. Travis Hamonic tallied for the Isles.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Senators playoff hopes now fully hang upon Craig Anderson. If he stays healthy, the injury-ravaged Sens still have a chance. If he struggles or gets hurt, they’ll be in bigger trouble than they already are.

WINNIPEG SUN/BUFFALO NEWS: Bryan Little and Andrew Ladd scored as the Winnipeg Jets held off a late rally by the Buffalo Sabres for a 2-1 win. Ondrej Pavelec made 29 saves for the win as the Jets snapped a three-game losing streak. It was the fourth loss in five games for the floundering Sabres, who were booed off the ice by their fans.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was a much-needed win for the Jets, who are starting to hear grumbles of discontent from fans and pundits back in Winnipeg. Despite the win, the Jets are in the same boat as the Sabres, struggling to find consistency and running the risk of sliding further out of playoff contention. If things don’t soon turn around for both clubs, changes could be coming to their respective rosters.

TAMPA TRIBUNE/TORONTO STAR: The Tampa Bay Lightning won their second straight game, downing the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-2. Vincent Lecavalier, Steven Stamkos and Matt Carle were among the Lightning’s goalscorers, while Mikhail Grabovski and James van Riemsdyk tallied for the Leafs, who pulled goalie Ben Scrivens after he gave up four goals on thirteen shots.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bit of a deflating loss for Scrivens, who was coming off back-to-back shutouts.

LOS ANGELES TIMES/EDMONTON JOURNAL: Late goals by Jeff Carter and Jarret Stoll lifted the LA Kings to a 3-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers. Sam Gagner scored the Oilers lone goal, while Nikolai Khabibulin made 35 saves in a losing cause.

CALGARY SUN: The NHL fined Flames defenseman Mark Giordano $10, 000 for a slew foot on Antoine Roussel of the Dallas Stars.


  1. While it’s probable that the Bruins will take it back with their 3 games in hand on us, I still have to say I’m pretty surprised by where the Habs are. Having a (mostly) healthy team is so key in todays NHL.

  2. As a Canuck fan, I was of the opinion last night that the Canucks had no business even being in the same rink as the Balckhawks. If it wasn’t for the stellar play of Cory Schneider the score could easily have been doubled rather than 3 to 1 with just a few minutes remaining. The Canucks gave up so many clean breakaways that Schneider must have wondered what he did to piss his teammates off. They also gave up more 3 on 2’s in that game than in any I’ve seen them play this year. I must give credit to Burrows for screening Emery on not only the 3 to 2 goal but also the 3 – 3 one as well. The Canucks being able to tie the score before the end of regulation was as close to a freakin’ miracle as most people will ever see.
    I had a feeling that the Hawks would win in the shoot out and they did, which they deserved.
    During the game as I watched the Hawks out skate, out shoot and basically out play the Canucks I realized that unless changes are made Vancouver, who I am sure will make the playoffs, are not a legitamite Stanley Cup contender. They need to add more pieces to their puzzle before I believe they can make an honest run at the cup.

    • @Captain Ahab you may be right about the Canucks not having their best game last night but i wouldn’t be so quick to throw them under the bus. Vancouver gave up a number of breakaways but Chicago forwards were cheating on their coverage all night looking for long passes and anyone who knows hockey knows that will catch up to you. i predict Chicago will end up facing a more disciplined team in the first round and no matter how gaudy their regular season stats are they won’t make it out of the first round (Quenville is a horrible coach, he’s always freaking out behind the bench over a missed call when he should be focusing on the play and that will end up costing them). regardless of how many chances Chicago had the most important stat isn’t shots on net it’s the ones that go in and at the end of the 3rd period Vancouver had just as many. the Canucks had better goaltending last night and if the forwards or defense had been at the same level the game would’ve had a different result. i don’t understand why Vigneault took Volpatti out of the lineup in favor of Booth particularly when they’re playing a hated rival like Chicago.