If you needed evidence that things are really tightening up as we hit the stretch drive... there were six games last night and Buffalo was the only team to score more than three (they had four). The 11 other teams scored one, two or three goals each
Antti Niemi stopped 23 of 24 to beat the Flames (who doesn't?) and run his winning streak to seven games. He's held the opposition to two goals or less in each of his last six and the Sharks are clamping down defensively as they're only giving up an average of 26.7 shots/gm during the streak.
With all the exits in Dallas, I was thinking that Eakin & Fraser would be the guys to step up but it was Alex Chiasson & Lane MacDermid last night. Chiasson scored his first NHL goal in his second game and MacDermid scored in his second game in a row after coming over from Boston but had to leave in the 2nd period with a UBI. MacDermid is more of a scrapper though, so don't be counting on this to continue.
Gustav Nyquist with some nifty mitts last night as he tucked one behind Giggy for his second of the year and ran his point streak to three games (1+2=3).
It was Artem Anisimov teaming up with Gaborik & Prospal for a goal last night. So maybe, for the short-term, it's Anisimov & Prospal that will benefit due to Gaborik's presence and not Dubinsky, as I had hoped. Anisimov now has 4+4=8 over his last eight games.
Jake Allen is back up due to Halak's injury and he seems to have righted his ship by stopping 26 of 27 to beat the CBJs last night.
Haven't heard much about David Perron lately... just 0+2=2 & 14 shots in his last 10 games, guess that explains it.
Nice debut for Jussi Jokinen as a Penguin as he had their only goal in regulation, won 13 of 15 draws and then scored the only goal for either team in the shootout. That's what I call a difference maker!
Cory Conacher played 13:56 on a line with fellow rookies Mika Zibanejad & Jakob Silfverberg in his Sens debut last night. That's not a terrible line as Zibanejad had 2A (0+8=8 in his last seven) and Silfverberg had an assist & seven shots.
I think this has the potential to be an underrated signing... the Caps inked college FA dman Nate Schmidt out of the UofMinn. He'll likely finish up the season in the AHL but he's worth keeping an eye on as he had 12+61=73 in 83 games over his last two seasons combined.
Outhouse: Nicklas Jensen.