Staal's hat trick, five points fuel Carolina's rout of Ottawa
No jokes for this one. Just a sad, sad story. Wednesday was bad enough for the Senators, who delayed their trip to Carolina to attend the funeral of assistant coach Luke Richardson's daughter, who committed suicide on Friday. Tragic.
Then they had to go play a hockey game, and there would be no good vibes.
Whether it was the small downtime between arrival and gametime - Ottawa didn't arrive in Raleigh until the afternoon - or the emotional distress, the Senators fell behind early and often as Eric Staal scored a hat trick and added two assists in Carolina's 7-1 victory.
Ottawa won the first game since the tragedy but have lost its last two games by a combined 12-1 score.
Chad LaRose had two goals and two assists and Cam Ward made 23 saves for Carolina.
Blue Jackets get best of Kings in LA
Los Angeles had allowed only one team to score more than one goal at home all season in posting an 8-0 record. Rick Nash alone scored twice.
Nash broke a 3-3 tie with 3:12 remaining in the third period then added an empty net goal to seal a surprising 5-3 Columbus victory in Los Angeles. The teams exchanged goals throughout the contest until the Blue Jackets scored three times in the third period, including Jared Boll's second of the season that made the score 3-3.
Andrew Murray had a goal and assist and Steve Mason stopped 33 shots for Columbus. Jonathan Quick, who had been performing so well this season, made only 21 saves.
At least these guys are special
In case you haven't heard me rant before, Pittsburgh's power play sucks donkey balls. The penalty killing is awfully good though.
The Penguins killed off all five Vancouver power plays and their fourth-ranked penalty killing unit scored the first shorthanded goal of the season against the league's No. 2 ranked power play en route to a 3-1 victory over the Canucks. Vancouver's was the power play that has more road man-advantage goals than the Penguins do total.
Max Talbot had the shortie that made it 2-0 and also assisted on Sidney Crosby's game-opening score. Arron Asham made it 3-0 after a madcat scramble in the goal crease. Marc-Andre Fleury had his best game of the season, stopping 29 shots. Dan Hamhuis scored for Vancouver.
--Mittens scored with 1:24 remaining in overtime to lift Minnesota over Anaheim, 2-1. Niklas Backstrom was good, with 27 saves, allowing only Teemu Selanne's power play goal. Martin Havlat made an appearance by scoring his second of the year.
--Just after I said I was glad I didn't start Peter Budaj, Colorado scored twice in the third period to force overtime, where Kevin Porter scored to give the Avalanche a nifty 4-3 comeback win over San Jose. Budaj finished with 40 saves. Chris Stewart had a goal and assist in the final frame for Colorado.
Vince Lombardi says: What the hell's going on out here?
Seriously, what's up with the Blues now? Wow. After being so unbeatable, St. Louis suddenly looks like an AHL team. Detroit scored four times in a span of 3:14 late in the third period to rout the Blues, 7-3. Jaroslav Halak gave up all seven goals on 31 shots. Dan Cleary scored twice and Brian Rafalski posted three assists. Jimmy Howard made 33 saves.
The Blues have lost five straight and been out-scored - get this - by a whopping 29-12 margin (really, 28-12 but one loss was a shootout loss.)
--Tim Thomas made 34 saves and Boston edged the Rangers, 3-2.
--Martin St. Louis had a goal and two helpers and Dan Ellis made 34 saves to lead Tampa Bay over the Islanders, 4-2. Steven Stamkos had a goal and an assist.
--Washington opened up a 3-0 lead and held on to beat Buffalo, 4-2. Michal Neuvirth had 31 saves and Matt Bradley and Alexander Semin each had a goal and assist.
--Tomas Vokoun's 38 saves led Florida over Atlanta, 2-1.
--Ilya Bryzgalov fended off 39 Calgary shots for Phoenix in a 3-1 victory.
--Jonathan Toews scored a natural hat trick and Marty Turco stopped all of 18 shots for Chicago in a 5-0 whitewash of Edmonton.
No thoughts tonight. I'm tired.