Game recaps plus the latest on Kris Letang, Mikko Koivu, Valtteri Filppula, She Weber and more.
ARIZONA REPUBLIC: Mike Smith made 29 saves while Keith Yandle and Radim Vrbata scored the game’s only goals as the Phoenix Coyotes blanked the Chicago Blackhawks 2-0.
MERCURYNEWS.COM: Patrick Marleau scored his 23rd goal of the season and Tommy Wingels scored his second game-winning goal in as many games as the San Jose Sharks edged the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-2. The game also marked Todd McLellan’s 435th game as Sharks head coach, which was a franchise record.
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Brad Richards scored the winning goal in a shootout as the New York Rangers downed the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3.
NEWSOBSERVER.COM: Anton Khudobin made 34 saves as the Carolina Hurricanes thumped the Florida Panthers 5-1.
NOTE: Games involving Canadian-based teams are recapped in “Canadian Corner”.
NHL.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang will miss at least six weeks after suffering a stroke. The condition is being treated with blood thinners and isn’t expected to be career-threatening. Letang has had a tiny hole in the wall of his heart since birth, which may have led to the stroke.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Letang in his recovery.
TWINCITIES.COM: Minnesota Wild captain Mikko Koivu (broken ankle) was forced to withdraw from participating in the Sochi Olympics.
TBO.COM: Tampa Bay Lightning center Valtteri Filppula (fractured ankle) was also forced to withdraw from the Sochi Games.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Koivu and Filppula were to play for Finland in the men’s hockey tournament. Losing two of their top forwards is a serious blow to their medal hopes.
FOX SPORTS TENNESSEE: John Manasso makes the case for Nashville Predators captain Shea Weber to win the Hart Trophy.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: He won’t win (that honor will probably go to Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby) but Weber has been invaluable in keeping the Predators in the playoff chase.
DETROIT NEWS: The healing Red Wings have won six of their last ten games.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ve said for weeks if the Wings can get healthier they’ll be a playoff team. If they can stay healthy down the stretch I expect they’ll clinch a playoff berth.
BUFFALO NEWS: The Sabres yesterday placed winger Linus Omark on waivers.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This move could mean the end of Omark’s NHL career. He failed (twice) to stick with the Oilers and now is a washout with the Sabres.