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Keeping up with the Metropolitans: Week 15

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The NHL season has reached its halfway point. Check out how the Penguins’ rivals in the Metropolitan division have fared over the last week.

Columbus Blue Jackets v Washington Capitals Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images
nhl.com

The Penguins hot streak cooled down somewhat last week, but the Penguins remain in second place in the Metro.

The Blackhawks were in Pittsburgh to begin last week and ended the Penguins’ eight game win-streak by a final of 5-3 with two 3rd period goals. Matt Murray would win his eighth game in a row and the Penguins would score two short-handed goals in a 5-1 victory over the Panthers two nights later that wrapped up a three game home-stand. Murray would win his ninth game in a row on Friday night behind the strength of a Jake Guentzel hat trick over Anaheim and the Penguins would win 7-4. Guentzel would score two more goals the following night, including his first career short-handed goal, but the Penguins would fall to the Kings in Los Angeles 5-2 to end last week for the Penguins.

The Penguins continue their long trip through California on Tuesday night in San Jose before traveling to the desert. The Coyotes will host the Penguins in Glendale on Friday night and old friend Marc-Andre Fleury reunites with his old gang on Saturday night in Las Vegas. I’d expect many of the players will remain in Vegas after that game, as the Penguins will begin their bye week and All Star break following that game. The Penguins will be off until January 28th when the Devils are in Pittsburgh.

The Capitals erased a three game losing streak two weeks ago by winning three in a row last week before losing in overtime last night. They began last week in Detroit and scored two goals in the 3rd period to win 3-2 in regulation over the Red Wings. The Caps then returned home and beat the Flyers 5-3 before shipping up to Boston and winning that game 4-2. The Blue Jackets then took the Caps to overtime in DC on Saturday night before Artemi Panarin scored the winner in overtime. The Capitals have a three point cushion in the Metro over the Penguins with one game-in-hand over Pittsburgh.

The Capitals will play a back-to-back starting with the Blues in DC on Monday before facing the Predators in Nashville on Tuesday. The Capitals have a two day break before hosting the Islanders on Friday night. The Capitals have three games the following week before hitting the All Star break and having their bye week afterwards.

Columbus had a very interesting week. They won two out of their three games, but made headlines for other reasons. Sergei Bobrovsky was pulled in their 4-0 loss to Tampa Bay on Tuesday night, and appeared to have crossed a line with management severe enough that he was suspended by the team for their next game against Nashville. In that game, the Blue Jackets scored two goals in 11 seconds to take a 3-1 lead in the 3rd period. Nashville would then score two goals in 38 seconds only a minute and a half later to take the game to overtime. Artemi Panarin would score the game winner on the power play just over a minute into the extra period. The Jackets were in DC the following night and Panarin would go on to repeat that same result with a game winning goal on the power play in overtime to defeat the Capitals 2-1 in overtime.

The Blue Jackets will be back in Columbus this evening for the second of a back-to-back against the Rangers and the start of a three game home-stand. The Devils will be next on the schedule for Columbus on Tuesday night. The Canadiens will wrap up the home-stand for Columbus on Friday night. The Jackets then fly out Minnesota for a game against the Wild on Saturday before starting their bye week and All Star break. They return to action on January 29th against Buffalo.

The Islanders had a quiet week compared to the rest of the Metro and only played three games. The Hurricanes were at Nassau Coliseum and played an entertaining game that saw four combined 3rd period goals in a 4-3 victory for the Hurricanes. The Islanders and Rangers then played another installment of the battle of New York with a home-and-home starting at MSG on Thursday. The Islanders only had one shot on goal in the 3rd period of that game, and that shot beat Henrik Lundqvist for a 4-3 win for the Islanders. The Rangers would win a tight 2-1 game at Barclays Center on Saturday to hand the Islanders a losing week last week.

The Islanders are just beginning a four game home-stand with the Lightning in town this evening at Barclays Center. The Blues will be next, also at Barclays Center, on Tuesday night. The Devils will wrap up the home-stand on Thursday night at Nassau Coliseum before the Islanders are in DC to face the Capitals on Friday night. The Islanders have two games before the All Star break and will begin their bye week after the All Star Weekend.

Carolina has been one of the hottest teams in the NHL in 2019 and had another good week. They were in Ottawa last Sunday and scored the only goal of the 3rd period to win 5-4 via a power play goal from Justin Williams. Carolina would win its fifth in a row at the Nassau Coliseum two nights later and held off the Islanders by a final score of 2-1 with all the goals coming in the 1st period. Carolina played worthy of winning against the league’s best team when the Canes traveled to Tampa to face the Lightning on Thursday. Carolina held a 1-0 lead into the 3rd period before Tampa Bay scored two power play goals and added an empty net goal to drop the Canes by a 3-1 score. Carolina didn’t have much time to reflect on that loss as they flew back to Raleigh to host the Sabres the next night. Jeff Skinner scored his 30th goal in is return to Carolina, but the Hurricanes would hold off the Sabres in the 3rd period and win 4-3.

The Hurricanes host the Predators this afternoon and will then travel to New York City to play the Rangers on Tuesday night. They wrap this week up back at home when they host the Senators on Friday night. The Hurricanes are one of the few Metro teams not having a bye after this week and will be in western Canada the following week before the All Star break.

The Rangers began last week on a road trip in the desert and played one of their worst games of the year against Arizona. The Coyotes were up 5-0 after two periods and were outshooting the Rangers 33-14 before coasting in the 3rd period to finish the Rangers off by that same score. King Hank was pulled from that game which was his first game after getting pulled against Pittsburgh on January 2nd. He has given up 4+ goals in his last three starts and has lost all three. The Rangers finished the road trip against the Knights in Las Vegas on Tuesday and Marc-Andre Fleury and the Knights held onto a 3-0 lead after two periods in a 4-2 win over the Rangers.

The Rangers returned home for another battle of New York in a home-and-home with the Islanders. The Islanders blew a one goal lead in the 3rd period and were outshot 17-1 in the 3rd, but somehow managed to score on that lone shot with less than a minute and a half left in the game to win 4-3. The Rangers returned the favor by a final of 2-1 in Barclays Center two nights later for the Rangers’ first win ever under that roof in their eighth attempt.

The Rangers have another four game slate this week. The Blue Jackets will host the Rangers this evening before the Rangers return home to MSG. The Hurricanes will be in NYC on Tuesday and the Blackhawks will be the next opponent on Thursday night. The Rangers end this week in Boston on Saturday night and will begin their bye week and All Star break. They return to action on January 29th against Philadelhpia.

New Jersey had a busy week last week and did not fare well in those contests. Last week began in Las Vegas on Sunday and the Devils lost 3-2 which was their 17th loss on the road already. They would go on to lose their 18th road game in Buffalo on Tuesday by a 5-2 score to mercifully end another losing road trip and bring their road record to 5-15-3 for the year. The Devils returned home two nights later, but continued their misery by giving up three 1st period goals in a 4-2 loss against Toronto. Fortunately for New Jersey, the Flyers came to town and Mackenzie Blackwood returned from injury and the Devils won 3-2 behind another strong effort from Blackwood.

Taylor Hall, last seasons Hart Trophy winner, has been out since December 23rd and there is still no timetable for his return. The Devils are clearly struggling in his absence, and this season has been a big disappointment for their fans after their surprise playoff appearance last season. If the Devils can figure out how to win on the road, and Mackenzie Blackwood continues to be a spark in net, this season could end on a positive note for the Devils, but the playoffs seem like they are out of reach already as of now.

The Devils begin next week at home against Chicago on Monday before taking on the Blue Jackets in Columbus 24 hours later. The Devils will then take on the Islanders at Nassau Coliseum on Thursday in their third game in four days. The Ducks will be in New Jersey on Saturday afternoon before the Devils get their bye week and All Star break. The Devils and Penguins will both return to action after their extended breaks on January 28th in Pittsburgh.

The Flyers managed to secure a win for their fans in Philadelphia on Thursday against Dallas, but it was another forgettable week for the Flyers. They lost their seventh and eighth game in a row on Monday and Tuesday before ending that streak against Dallas at home. They began last week with a 3-0 shutout loss at home against St. Louis before traveling to DC the following night and dropping that game 5-3. The win over Dallas was the Flyer’s first victory since before Christmas. They then fell in New Jersey 3-2 on Saturday afternoon in what continues to be a very bad year for them. It’s been a season of change in Philadelphia, and it looks like they’re headed to a lottery pick in the NHL Draft this spring.

Mike McKenna started last weeks game against the Capitals and is the seventh goalie the Flyers have used already this year, which ties an NHL record in only their 43rd game this year. Those seven goalies have a combined .888 save percentage this season and a 3.37 goals against average. There is a bright spot in net with the Flyers, however. Carter Hart is their 20 year-old 2nd round drift pick from 2016 and has impressed in the 9 games he’s started this year. His record isn’t very impressive at 3-5-1 but he owns a .916 save percentage and 2.54 goals against average, which are good for any goalie, even more so for a 20 year-old on that team right now. Goaltending has been an issue for the Flyers for as long as I can recall, so keep an eye out for him this year.

The Flyers resume play on Monday at home against Minnesota and also at home against Boston on Wednesday night. The Flyers wrap this week up on the road in Montreal on Saturday before beginning their bye week and All Star break. Their next game is January 28th against Winnipeg.


(2)Pittsburgh Penguins

25-14-6; 56 pts; 161 Goals For (4th in the NHL; T-5th last week); 132 Goals Against (T-14th; T-9th)
2-2 record last week

1/6/19
CHI: 5
PIT: 3
Pittsburgh blows lead and loses game, winning streak

1/8/19
FLA: 1
PIT: 5
Penguins trounce Panthers 5-1 off coattails of two short-handed goals, brilliance by Murray

1/11/19
PIT: 7
ANA: 4
Pittsburgh completes California comeback, wins 7-4

1/12/19
PIT: 2
LAK: 5
Jesters to the Kings; Penguins Lose 5-2

Week Ahead:

Tuesday, January 15 - @ SJS, 10 p.m.

Friday, January 18 - @ ARI, 9 p.m.

Saturday, January 19 - @ VGK, 10 p.m.

Injuries:

  • 10/13/18, D Justin Schultz - IR; fractured leg
  • 1/8/19, LW Zach Aston-Reese - IR; Upper-body injury
  • 1/9/19, RW Patric Hornqvist - Day-to-day; Concussion


(1)Washington Capitals

27-12-5, 59 pts; 154 GF (6th; 7th); 128 GA (T-11th; 12th)
3-0-1 record last week

1/6/19
WSH: 3
DET: 2
Kempny’s Late Strike Ends Skid, Caps Win 3-2

1/8/19
PHI: 3
WSH: 5
V for Vranamatopoeia as Czech Winger Tops Philly 5-3

1/10/19
WSH: 4
BOS: 2
Capitals continue to haunt Bruins with 4-2 win

1/12/19
CBJ: 2 OT
WSH: 1
Columbus Grabs 2-1 OT Victory

Week Ahead:

Monday, January 14 - vs STL, 7 p.m.

Tuesday, January 15 - @ NSH, 8 p.m.

Friday, January 18 - vs NYI, 7:30 p.m.

Injuries:

  • 12/11/18, D Christian Djoos - IR; Thigh surgery
  • 1/11/19, G Braden Holtby - Day-to-day; Eye


(3)Columbus Blue Jackets

26-15-3, 55 pts; 141 GF (12th; 8th); 134 GA (T-16th; 17th)
2-1 record last week

1/8/19
CBJ: 0
TBL: 4
Not There Yet

1/10/19
NSH: 3
CBJ: 4 OT
Torts gets his 600th Win as Blue Jackets Down Predators in Overtime Behind Two Panarin PP Goals

1/12/19
CBJ: 2 OT
WSH: 1
Panarin Does it Again; Jackets Skate Past Caps 2-1 in OT

Week Ahead:

Sunday, January 13 - vs NYR, 6 p.m.

Tuesday, January 15 - vs NJD, 7 p.m.

Friday, January 18 - vs MTL, 7 p.m.

Saturday, January 19 - @ MIN, 9 p.m.

Injuries:

  • 1/7/19, LW Markus Hannikained - IR; Upper-body injury
  • 1/7/19, C Brandon Dubinsky - IR; Lower-body injury
  • 1/10/19, D Ryan Murray - Day-to-day; Illness


(4)New York Islanders

24-15-4 52 pts; 129 GF (20th; 19th); 116 GA (T-1st; 1st)
1-2 record last week

1/8/19
CAR: 4
NYR: 3
*Nassau Coliseum
Win streak ends at six

1/10/19
NYI: 4
NYR: 3
A Third Period They Don’t Deserve

1/12/19
NYR: 2
NYI: 1
*Barclays Center
This time, the Blueshirts steal it

Week ahead:

Sunday, January 13 - vs TBL; Barclays Center, 7 p.m.

Tuesday, January 15 - vs STL; Barclays Center, 7 p.m.

Thursday, January 17 - vs NJD; Nassau Coliseum, 7 p.m.

Friday, January 18 - @ WSH, 7:30 p.m.

Injuries:

  • 10/2/18, LW Matt Lorito - IR; Undisclosed
  • 11/13/18, LW Andrew Ladd - IR; Right leg
  • 12/16/18, D Thomas Hickey - IR; Upper-body injury


(5)Carolina Hurricanes

21-18-5, 47 pts; 117 GF (28th; T-29th); 127 GA (T-9th; T-6th)
3-1 record last week

1/6/19
CAR: 5
OTT: 4
Canes escape Ottawa with fourth straight win

1/8/19
CAR: 4
NYI: 3
*Nassau Coliseum
Five in a row after 4-3 Canes win

1/10/19
CAR: 1
TBL: 3
Canes Streak Snapped In 3-1 Loss

1/12/19
BUF: 3
CAR: 4
Canes bounce back with 4-3 win

Week Ahead:

Sunday, January 13 - vs NSH, 12:30 p.m.

Tuesday, January 15 - @ NYR, 7 p.m.

Friday, January 18 - vs OTT, 7:30 p.m.

Injuries:

  • 12/22/18, C Jordan Staal - IR; Upper-body injury
  • 1/3/19, C Clark Bishop - Day-to-day; Lower-body injury


(6)New York Rangers

18-19-7, 43 pts; 121 GF (T-25th); 150 GA (26th; 25th)
1-3 record last week

1/6/19
NYR: 0
ARI: 5
Rangers Continue to Fall with 5-0 Loss to Arizona

1/8/19
NYR: 2
VGK: 4

1/10/19
NYI: 4
NYR: 3
Rangers Fall to Islanders with Late Goal Against

1/12/19
NYR: 2
NYI: 1
*Barclays Center
Rangers Finally Break the Losing Streak at Barclays Center

Week Ahead:

Sunday, January 13 - @ CBJ, 6 p.m.

Tuesday, January 15 - vs CAR, 7 p.m.

Thursday, January 17 - vs CHI, 7 p.m.

Saturday, January 19 - @ BOS, 7 p.m.

Injuries:

  • 1/3/19, C Kevin Hayes - Day-to-day; Upper-body injury
  • 1/11/19, D Neal Pionk - Day-to-day; Lower-body injury
  • 1/11/19, D Fredrick Claesson - Day-to-day; Arm


(7)New Jersey Devils

17-20-7, 41 pts; 128 GF (21st; T-20th); 148 GA (25th; 23rd)
1-3 record last week

1/6/19
NJD: 2
VGK: 3
Knighted: New Jersey Devils Defeated by Vegas Golden Knights 2-3

1/8/19
NJD: 1
BUF: 5

1/10/19
TOR: 4
NJD: 2
History Repeats Itself: Part III

1/12/19
PHI: 2
NJD: 3
Mack is Back! New Jersey Devils down Philadelphia Flyers 3-2

Week Ahead:

Monday, January 14 - vs CHI, 7 p.m.

Tuesday, January 15 - @ CBJ, 7 p.m.

Thursday, January 17 - @ NYI; Nassau Coliseum, 7 p.m.

Saturday, January 19 - vs ANA, 1 p.m.

Injuries:

  • 11/22/18, RW Joey Anderson - IR; Fractured ankle
  • 12/16/18, G Cory Schneider - IR; Abdominal strain
  • 12/26/18, LW Taylor Hall; IR; Lower-body injury


(8)Philadelphia Flyers

16-23-6, 38 pts; 123 GF (24th; 23rd); 160 GA (T-28th)
1-3 record last week

1/7/19
STL: 3
PHI: 0
Blues, goalie making first NHL start, blank Flyers, 3-0

1/8/19
PHI: 3
WSH: 5
This has all been one big fever dream

1/10/19
DAL: 1
PHI: 2
Hart, van Riemsdyk lead Flyers over Stars to end the losing streak

1/12/19
PHI: 2
NJD: 3
Flyers lose, we can’t have nice things

Week Ahead:

Monday, January 14 - vs MIN, 7 p.m.

Wednesday, January 16 - vs BOS, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, January 19 - @ MTL, 7 p.m.

Injuries:

  • 9/27/18, C Pascal Laberge - IR; Hip
  • 10/1/18, D Samuel Morin - IR; Knee
  • 10/26/18, C Corban Knight - IR; Dislocated collarbone
  • 11/15/18, G Brian Elliott - IR; Lower-body injury
  • 12/14/18, G Anthony Stolarz - IR; Lower-body injury
  • 1/2/19, D Andrew MacDonald - IR; Lower-body injury
  • 1/3/19, G Michal Neuvirth - IR; Lower-body injury


  • Standings via NHL.com as of 1/13/19
  • Injuries via TSN as of 1/13/19

Poll

Which Metropolitan game is the most intriguing?

This poll is closed

  • 1%
    1.13.19 - NYR @ CBJ, 6 p.m. ET
    (1 vote)
  • 3%
    1.15.19 - NJD @ CBJ, 7 p.m.
    (2 votes)
  • 1%
    1.15.19 - CAR @ NYR, 7 p.m.
    (1 vote)
  • 19%
    1.15.19 - PIT @ SJS, 10 p.m.
    (10 votes)
  • 0%
    1.16.19 - BOS @ PHI, 7:30 p.m.
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    1.17.19 - NJD @ NYI; Nassau Coliseum, 7 p.m.
    (0 votes)
  • 33%
    1.18.19 - NYI @ WSH, 7:30 p.m.
    (17 votes)
  • 39%
    1.19.19 - PIT @ VGK, 10 p.m.
    (20 votes)
  • 0%
    Other
    (0 votes)
51 votes total Vote Now