Recaps of Saturday’s games featuring Canadian NHL teams, plus the latest on the Canucks, Oilers, Senators and Jets.
MONTREAL GAZETTE/TAMPA BAY TIMES: Brendan Gallagher scored the game winner as the Montreal Canadiens overcame a 3-1 deficit to down the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-3. The win was costly as Habs energy forward Brandon Prust was sidelined with an apparent left shoulder injury.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Losing Prust could be a serious blow, as he’s among the reasons for the Canadiens impressive performance this season.
PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW/TORONTO STAR: Sidney Crosby scored the winner in a shootout as the Pittsburgh Penguins edged the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-4. The Maple Leafs had overcome a 4-2 deficit in the third period to force overtime and the shootout. The win may have been costly for the Penguins, as Evgeni Malkin appeared to suffer an upper body injury from a hit by Leafs forward James van Riemsdyk.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Penguins dominated the Leafs in the first and second periods, but the Leafs rallied strong in the third and had the Penguins on their heels in overtime. Once it got to a shootout, however, it favored the Penguins, who have more skilled scorers than the Leafs.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If this game was any indication, the Flames have two chances to make the playoffs: slim and none. Sorry, Flames fans, but in my opinion this was a “must-win” game for your team, one which could have inspired confidence as well as help them gain ground in the standings. Instead, they were crushed by the defending Stanley Cup champions, and you could see the Flames sag as the game went on. I’m sure we’ll hear plenty of rhetoric from the Flames to the contrary, but this is a dispirited bunch.
VANCOUVER PROVINCE: Roberto Luongo won’t be starting against the Wild today in Minnesota, where his record isn’t exactly stellar.
EDMONTON SUN: Shawn Horcoff will return to the Oilers lineup in their game today against the Chicago Blackhawks.
OTTAWA CITIZEN: The Ottawa Senators recent win over the NY Rangers was a much-needed road win.
WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: The city of Winnipeg has been targeted to host a Heritage Classic game, possibly as early as 2016.