Game recaps involving Canadian NHL teams, plus the latest on Miikka Kiprusoff and Ryan Smyth.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: A late goal by Brian Gionta lifted the Montreal Canadiens to a 3-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning, snapping the Habs three-game losing skid. Canadiens coach Michel Therrien praised goaltender Carey Price for his solid performance in this game.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Price had become the scapegoat among Habs fans during two of the club’s three losses. The win lifted the Canadiens back into first in the Northeast Division and second overall in the Eastern Conference.
OTTAWA CITIZEN: Kyle Turris scored twice as the Ottawa Senators downed the Washington Capitals 3-1, snapping the latter’s eight-game winning streak.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The never-say-die Senators have moved to within a point of the fifth overall Toronto Maple Leafs.
WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Dustin Byfuglien scored in overtime as the Winnipeg Jets downed the Carolina Hurricanes 4-3, officially eliminating the latter from playoff contention.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The victory keeps the Jets tied with the NY Rangers, who also won last night, but the Blueshirts retain hold of eighth overall by the basis of a game in hand.
TORONTO STAR: John Tavares had three points (including two goals) to lift the NY Islanders to a 5-3 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: For the second straight game, the Leafs had an opportunity to clinch a playoff berth but came up short. That has some of their fans growing uneasy, but they shouldn’t interpret this as a sign of an imminent late-season collapse.
VANCOUVER PROVINCE: The Dallas Stars exploded for four goals in the third period to down the Vancouver Canucks 5-1.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canucks remain in first in the Northwest and four points up on the Minnesota Wild, who also lost last night.
CALGARY HERALD: Flames goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff continues to deflect questions about his future plans. Tonight could be his final game in the Saddledome as the Flames face off against the Anaheim Ducks.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Oilers veteran Ryan Smyth’s offensive numbers may be declining but he still believes he can help the clubs in other areas.