The Penguins were in 2nd place in the Metro when we last checked in, but have since dropped to 4th place and are now looking over their shoulder as the current second Wild Card. The Penguins are 3-6-1 the last 10 games and have lost four in a row.
Last week started ominously for the Penguins at home against Carolina and never got any better. The Penguins never seemed to get going the entire 60 minutes and it showed on the scoreboard with a 4-0 loss to the Canes. The Penguins then hit the road to Florida and Jared McCann scored for the Penguins against the team that traded him a week ago but the Penguins would fall in overtime by a final of 3-2 in Sunrise. The Penguins were in Tampa two nights later and again came up short in an action packed 5-4 victory for Tampa Bay. Garrett Wilson would score his first with the Penguins in that game but the Penguins surrendered their NHL worst 12th shorthanded goal against.
The Penguins will have to rebound quickly as they play a red hot Flyers team in Philadelphia on Monday night. The Flyers are 9-0-1 in their last 10 and always bring their A-game against the Penguins. That game will also be building up hype for the Flyers/Pens outdoor game at Lincoln Financial Field on February 23rd. It will be another McDavid-Crosby matchup on Wednesday night in Pittsburgh when the Oilers are in town. The Penguins will wrap up next week against Calgary on Saturday afternoon at PPG Paints Arena.
The Islanders began last week with a tough match up in Boston on Tuesday night. As expected, it was a tightly contested match featuring two very good defensive teams. The game was tied at one going to the 3rd period before Peter Cehlarik gave the Bruins a 2-1 lead and Patrice Bergeron scored his second of the game into an empty net to secure a 3-1 victory for the Bruins. The Islanders were in New Jersey on Thursday and played another close, defensive minded game. This game would need a shootout after both teams each scored one goal in the 1st period. Josh Bailey scored the only goal of the shootout in the fourth round to win it for the Islanders. The Islanders went to overtime in their next game against Colorado at the Barclays Center on Saturday and Ryan Pulock would score two minutes into overtime to give the Islanders their second consecutive overtime win by a final of 4-3.
The Isles are back in action at Barclays again this afternoon when they host the Minnesota Wild. The Isles hit the road for a quick road trip against Buffalo on Tuesday before a big matchup in Columbus on Thursday. The Isles wrap up a busy week back at Barclays Center on Saturday when the Oilers will be waiting for the Islanders.
The Washington Capitals are alone again in 2nd place in the Metro this week with points in all three of their games. The Capitals are in the middle of a six game homestand and hosted Vancouver on Tuesday night. Alex Ovechkin passed Sergei Federov in that game for points by a Russian player with 1,180 with his assist on TJ Oshie’s 1st period goal. The two teams traded goals in the 3rd period and the Capitals came away with the 3-2 victory. The Avalanche were in DC on Thursday night and that game will be remembered by a high hit from Ian Cole to Evgeny Kuznetsov. Ian Cole was given a game misconduct and received many punches to his face courtesy of Tom Wilson for the hit, who knows a thing or two about questionable hits. The Avs would tie the game at three after that fracas to force overtime, but Kuznetsov would get his revenge in the final minute of overtime to defeat the Avalanche by a 4-3 final. The Capitals homestand continued on Saturday against the Panthers and the Capitals outscored the Panthers in the 3rd period to force overtime before Mike Hoffman scored his 25th of the season a minute and a half into overtime to seal the deal for the Cats by a final score of 5-4. Derick Brassard would score his first goal with the Panthers seven seconds into the 3rd period of that game to put Florida ahead 4-2.
The Capitals end their homestand tomorrow night against Los Angeles. They immediately begin a road trip the following night starting with an important match against Columbus. The Capitals will then head west to California before circling back and playing against Toronto and Buffalo later next week. The Capitals begin the Cali trip against San Jose on Thursday before playing the final four games next week.
The Jackets came into last week in turmoil and losers of five straight games. Columbus quickly changed that misfortune while on the road last week. The Jackets were in Denver on Tuesday night and scored the only goals in the 3rd period to defeat the Avs by a final of 6-3. Columbus was in Arizona on Thursday night and Sergei Bobrovsky was strong in net after Josh Anderson put the Jackets ahead 3-2 midway through the 2nd period and the Jackets held on for a 4-2 win. Cam Atkinson would make it three straight for Columbus in Las Vegas on Saturday night with the game-tying and game-winning goals, both in the final five minutes of the 3rd period. The three game win streak has brought the Blue Jackets back to 3rd in the Metro.
The Blue Jackets return back to Columbus to host the second place Washington Capitals on Tuesday night. The Jackets follow that up on Thursday night when they host the first place New York Islanders in Columbus. The Jackets wrap up this week on the road in Chicago on Saturday night. Columbus could shake up the Metro if they were to come away with victories over the Capitals and Islanders this week, and will also be using those games to gauge what kind of team they will be down the final stretch of this season.
The Carolina Hurricanes keep on winning and are now hot on the tails of the Penguins for the Wild Card position. With their recent three game win streak, the Hurricanes now own a positive goal differential for the first time since Thanksgiving. The Canes began a five game road trip last week and won three games in four nights. They quieted PPG Paints Arena on Tuesday night with their 4-0 shutout over the Penguins. Carolina was in Buffalo on Thursday night and blew a 5-3 lead with five minutes remaining in the 3rd when former Hurricane player Jeff Skinner scored his second of the game and 33rd goal of the year to tie it with just under a minute left in regulation. Teuvo Teravainen would end the game just over three minutes into overtime with his 14th goal of the season to win it 6-5 for the the Canes. Carolina was in NYC the following night and Petr Mrazek made 27 saves to shut out the Rangers for the Hurricanes’ first win at MSG since 2010.
The Canes have swept their current road trip through three games and will look to make it four straight this afternoon in New Jersey. The trip crosses into Canada on Tuesday when it ends in Ottawa. Carolina will then return home for a back-to-back in Raleigh against Edmonton on Friday and Dallas on Saturday. If they can continue their hot streak, there’s a chance the Hurricanes could find themselves back in a playoff spot in the Metro.
The Flyers have been making some noise recently and haven’t lost a game in regulation since January 12th in New Jersey. Their 8 game win streak was ended last week, but the Flyers have now recorded points in 10 straight games. Carter Hart has been as advertised in net, and may finally be the answer the Flyers have been looking for in net for decades. Nothing is guaranteed, but Hart has looked very good for the Flyers in his first year in the NHL and is currently on a personal 8 game win streak. He’s 11-5-1 overall with a 2.45 GAA and .926 save percentage. His play goes hand-in-hand with the Flyers recent surge.
Philadelphia won their eighth straight at home against Vancouver last Monday night behind 41 saves from Hart in a 2-1 victory for the Flyers. Vancouver outshot Philadelphia 18-4 in the 3rd period but could not get one past Hart to tie the game. Hart was given a rest on Thursday when the Kings were in Philly, and the Flyers lost their first game since January 12th in a 3-2 shootout loss. Jake Voracek would tie the game at two with 17 seconds left in the 3rd before Tyler Toffoli ended the game in the 6th round of the shootout. Carter Hart was back in net on Saturday and the Flyers ripped through the Ducks in Philly in a 6-2 game in which the Flyers led 4-0 after the 1st period. Carter Hart tied Jocelyn Thibault’s record of 8 straight wins by a goalie before turning 21 with that victory.
The Flyers were at rock bottom a month ago and are now one of the hottest teams in the NHL. If they can keep it up, there may still be enough time for them to make a run at the playoffs. The Penguins are next for the Flyers on Monday and will wrap up a five game homestand for Philly. The Flyers will be in Minnesota the next night before a rare home-and-home with Detroit starting in Philadelphia on Saturday.
The Rangers have been at home ever since February began and continued their homestand this week. Los Angeles was in NYC on Monday night and the Kings tied the game at three with one minute remaining in the 3rd period before Tyler Toffoli scored 25 seconds into overtime to secure the win for LA. Mika Zibanejad assisted on the Rangers’ first goal and scored their second of the night to record a point on 10 straight Ranger goals - 6 goals and 4 assists. Rod Gilbert held the Rangers’ record with a point on 8 straight Ranger goals in 1967-68.
Boston was next in NYC on Wednesday night and that game also needed overtime to decide the winner. The Rangers scored two 3rd period goals to tie it at three and Alexandar Georgiev stopped six of seven Bruins shooters to win the shootout for the Rangers. The Hurricanes were next for the Rangers and the Canes made sure there was no doubt about that game as they shutout the Rangers 3-0 with all three of the goals coming in the 3rd period. That marked the first win for Carolina at MSG since October 29, 2010, losing 16 straight (0-13-3) until Friday night.
Toronto will be the last team during the Rangers’ current homestand when they face-off tonight at MSG. The Rangers will start a four game road trip starting in Winnipeg on Tuesday night before returning to New York to play in Buffalo on Friday.
Last week was a tough week for Devils fans. The Devils began a four game homestand and dropped their first three games and only scored four goals in those three games. As if that wasn’t bad enough, Brian Boyle was also traded away to the Nashville Predators on Wednesday. His days were numbered in New Jersey, but it’s still never good to see a well liked player get traded.
The L.A. Kings were first in line on Tuesday night and Ilya Kovalchuk got the last laugh against his former team, scoring the Kings’ fourth goal of the 3rd period and final goal of the game in a 5-1 victory for the Kings. He was booed every time he touched the puck, but the boos should probably be more directed at their team after the way things went for New Jersey last week.
The Islanders were next in New Jersey on Thursday night and Cory Schneider returned for the Devils and got a very similar result whenever he plays. He played as good a game as he’s played in over a year, but still ended up losing his 19th straight decision. Schneider made 27 saves and stopped three out of four shooters in the shootout, but still came out on the wrong end of a 2-1 shootout. His last win came on December 27, 2017 and is now 0-16-3 since then. Like I said, not a good week for Devils fans.
To make things ever worse, former team captain Zach Parise returned once again and scored his second career goal against New Jersey in a 4-2 win for Minnesota, extending Schneider’s losing streak to 20 straight games.
New Jersey will try to stop the bleeding this afternoon when Carolina wraps up the four game homestand in New Jersey. The Devils will then swing through the Central Division starting with St. Louis on Tuesday before a back-to-back in Chicago on Thursday and a rematch in Minnesota on Friday night.
That does it for another week in the Metropolitan Division. Thanks for reading and make sure you vote for your game of the week!
28-20-7; 63 pts; 189 Goals For (6th in the NHL; 5th last week); 172 Goals Against (18th)
0-2-1 record last week
Pittsburgh loses a 4-0 snoozer
FLA: 3 OT
Florida takes a 3-2 overtime win
Comeback effort falls short again
Monday, February 11 - @ PHI, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, February 13 - vs EDM, 8 p.m.
Saturday, February 16 - vs CGY, 1 p.m.
- 10/13/18, D Justin Schultz - IR; fractured leg
- 1/8/19, LW Zach Aston-Reese - IR; Fractured hand
- 1/31/19, C Evgeni Malkin - IR; Upper-body injury
32-16-6, 70 pts; 158 GF (22nd; T-18th); 132 GA (1st)
2-1 record last week
Just not enough tonight
NYI: 2 SO
Come on, take the two points and run
NYI: 4 OT
Two Pulock bombs and two points
Sunday, February 10 - vs MIN, 3 p.m.; Barclays Center
Tuesday, February 12 - @ BUF, 7 p.m.
Thursday, February 14 - @ CBJ, 7 p.m.
Saturday, February 16 - vs EDM, 7 p.m.; Barclays Center
- 11/13/18, LW Andrew Ladd - IR; Right leg
- 12/16/18, D Thomas Hickey - IR; Upper-body injury
- 1/17/19, LW Tom Kuhnhackl - Day-to-day; Illness
30-18-7, 67 pts; 186 GF (7th); 176 GA (21st)
2-0-1 record last week
Ovechkin the Greatest Bests Vancouver 3-2
WSH: 4 OT
Kuzy Scores Twozy, Washington Wins 4-3 in OT
FLA: 5 OT
Caps Force OT But Panthers Grab 5-4 Victory
Monday, February 11 - vs LAK, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, February 12 - @ CBJ, 7 p.m.
Thursday, February 14 - @ SJS, 10:30 p.m.
31-20-3, 65 pts; 177 GF (T-9th; 11th); 167 GA (16th; 17th)
3-0 record last week
Torts Has Two Centers? Dubois, Wennberg Help Jackets End Slide
Blue Jackets Pick Up Another Western Win Over Coyotes, 4-2
Blue Jackets Sweep Road Trip, Season Series From Golden Knights
Tuesday, February 12 - vs WSH, 7 p.m.
Thursday, February 14 - vs NYI, 7 p.m.
Saturday, February 16 - @ CHI, 8:30 p.m.
- 2/1/19, C Brandon Dubinsky - Day-to-day; Hamstring
28-21-6, 62 pts; 161 GF (T-17th; T-23rd); 160 GA (T-10th; T-14th)
3-0 record last week
McElhinney, Canes shut out Penguins 4-0
CAR: 6 OT
Canes Take 6-5 OT Thriller
Canes win at MSG for first time since 2010
Sunday, February 10 - @ NJD, 3 p.m.
Tuesday, February 12 - @ OTT, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, February 15 - vs EDM, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, February 16 - vs DAL, 8 p.m.
- 12/22/18, C Jordan Staal - IR; Upper-body injury
25-23-7, 57 pts; 161 GF (T-17th); 182 GA (T-25th; 29th)
2-0-1 record last week
Might mess around and make the playoffs lol
LAK: 3 SO
Love to hit the posts
Hart makes history as Flyers extend point streak in win over Ducks
Monday, February 11 - vs PIT, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, February 12 - @ MIN, 8 p.m.
Saturday, February 16 - vs DET, 1 p.m.
- 9/27/18, C Pascal Laberge - IR; Hip
- 10/1/18, D Samuel Morin - IR; Knee
- 11/15/18, G Brian Elliott - IR; Lower-body injury
- 1/3/19, G Michal Neuvirth - IR; Lower-body injury
23-23-8, 54 pts; 152 GF (26th); 181 GA (T-22nd; 24th)
1-1-1 record last week
LAK: 4 OT
Rangers Give Up Late Goal and Fall to Kings in Overtime
NYR: 4 SO
Rangers Rally in Third Period and Top Bruins in the Shootout
Rangers Shutout By Hurricanes on 1994 Anniversary Night
Sunday, February 10 - vs TOR, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, February 12 - @ WPG, 8 p.m.
Friday, February 15 - @ BUF, 7 p.m.
- 1/11/19, D Fredrik Claesson - IR; Shoulder
- 1/29/19, C Brett Howden - Day-to-day; Sprained MCL
20-26-8, 48 pts; 156 GF (23rd; T-16th); 184GA (T-27th; 26th)
0-2-1 record last week
Sunday, Feburay 10 - vs CAR, 3 p.m.
Tuesday, February 12 - @ STL, 8 p.m.
Thursday, February 14 - @ CHI, 8:30 p.m.
Friday, February 15 - @ MIN, 8:30 p.m.
- 12/26/18, LW Taylor Hall - IR; Lower-body injury
- 1/13/19, RW Stefan Noesen - IR; Lower-body injury
- 1/28/19, D Sami Vatanen - IR; Concussion
- 2/7/19, LW Miles Wood - Day-to-day; Arm
Which Metropolitan game is the most intriguing?
This poll is closed
2.10.19 - CAR @ NJD, 3 p.m. ET
2.11.19 - PIT @ PHI, 7 p.m.
2.12.19 - WSH @ CBJ, 7 p.m.
2.13.19 - EDM @ PIT, 8 p.m.
2.14.19 - NYI @ CBJ - 7 p.m.