Whole lot to talk about this morning as there were 12 games played in the NHL last night. Let's dive right in...
Right off the bat, we're going to give the stat line of the night to Ilya Kovalchuk. He had 1+2=3, plus-2, 2 PIM, and 5 shots. He's gotta be upset that March is ending because through 17 games, he went 9+11=20, 5 PPP, and 73 shots. The three point night also gave him 80 points on the season, a mark he hasn't reached in 5 years. That said, I watched this game and the guys in the booth were heralding him as a 2-way player this season. I'd love to know how that's possible when he's minus-10 on the season, and even in this scalding hot March, he was a minus-3. Homers are great.
From the same game, David Clarkson scored to give him 30 on the season (on 226 shots). I wonder what kind of odds you would have gotten before the season on him hitting 30 considering he had 12 goals in 82 games last season. When you factor in his 138 PIM, he's been a real godsend for many fantasy teams.
Martin Brodeur with the shutout last night, and he's now won 3 straight games as he rounds into playoff form.
David Krejci put forth his third consecutive two point effort as he scored twice. He was also plus-2 with 2 PIM and 3 shots.
The underrated Joe Pavelski scored two goals on five shots last night and he is now a member of the 30 goal club for the first time in his career. His 263 shots are good for 15th in the NHL.
Daniel Alfredsson stayed hot as he scored and added an assist. He's got a ridiculous 5+3=8, plus-7, and 12 shots over a three game point streak.
Danny Briere kept his point streak alive at four as he had two assists. He has 2+7=9 for the streak.
Also keeping his streak alive at four was Jason Spezza. He scored and added five shots. He's at 3+4=7 and 6 PIM for the streak.
No points for Andrew Ladd but I'm sure a lot of head to head playoff teams were happy to take his 17 PIM.
Ryan Malone followed up his hat trick with a two goal game. That put him at the 20-goal mark for the season.
Steven Stamkos scored the game winner just 45 seconds into OT last night. This extended his point streak to five games, where he's 6+2=8 with a sexy 24 shots.
Phil Kessel managed to score last night but he's pulling his usual late season disappearing act. Even with last night's goal, he has just 3 points and is minus-7 over his last seven games.
Tyler Ennis just continues to put up points. He had a goal and an assist last night and also added five shots. Over his last 11 games he's 7+10=17 and a ridiculous plus-13. That's pretty awesome when you consider he had just 7+8=15 in his other 34 games this season. What a turnaround.
Big game last night by Michal Neuvirth. With the Capitals' playoff hopes riding on his shoulders, he won his second in a row while making 39 saves and not allowing a goal during the shootout. I really don't think the Caps will resign Vokoun and I still say I like Neuvy over Braden Holtby. Call me crazy.
Dustin Brown with a nice line of 1+2=3 and three shots. That gives him a modest three game point scoring streak with 2+3=5.
Three assists for Ryan Suter as he set a career high for points with 46. This came at a nice time as he had no points over his previous six games.
R.J. Umberger scored another two goals last night and this guy really doesn't want the season to end. He has 8+2=10 over his last six games.
Even with Brian Elliott's three shutout streak still alive, the Cock went right back to Jaroslav Halak after he took the SOL on Thursday night. Halak didn't respond very well as he took the loss, allowing four goals to the lowly Blue Jackets. He's now 1-2-2 over his last five with 2.92 gaa and .908 sv%.
Jason Zucker made the jump from college to the Wild as a 20 year old a few days ago. Last night was his second NHL game and he put up two apples. All while playing on a line with dregs Nick Johnson and Erik Christensen. A lot of people are excited about what this kid might be able to bring to the table and this was a nice start.
Radim Vrbata had a goal and assist last night, which put him at the 60-point milestone through just 74 games. His previous season high was 56 five years ago.
Ray Whitney also put up a goal and an assist and he has points in 9 of his last 10 with 3+11=14. The assist put him at 1,000 points for his career and the soon to be 40 year old doesn't appear to be slowing down at all. Can he actually compile the numbers to be considered for the Hall of Fame?
Alexander Edler had been a bit cold with just one assist to show for his last seven games. His two assists, plus-2, 5 shots, and 4 blocks were a welcome sight for his owners. He's now tied for sixth in the league for defenseman scoring.
Moving on down: Marc-Antoine Pouliot