The Penguins came out of the All Star break aggressively, trading their biggest trade chip in a deal with the Panthers to acquire forwards Nick Bjugstad and Jared McCann. The Penguins had already played two games coming out of break before that trade, and they couldn’t have been more opposite. The Penguins were blown out by one of the worst road teams in a 6-3 loss at PPG Paints to the Devils last Monday before jumping out to a quick 3-0 lead against the league’s best overall, and road team, on Wednesday against Tampa Bay. The Penguins would make it 4-0 before the Lightning managed two late goals to make it a 4-2 final in a game that was never that close.
General Manager Jim Rutherford would make the call to the league the following afternoon to announce the trade and both players arrived to the arena minutes before puck drop and were immediately thrust into action with the Penguins against Ottawa in Pittsburgh on Friday. Both players handled themselves perfectly and the Penguins came away with a 5-3 victory in that game behind two-goal nights for Jake Guentzel and Bryan Rust.
The Toronto Maple Leafs hosted the Penguins less than 24 hours later, and defeated the Penguins 3-2 in a game that could have gone either way, but Toronto managed to come out on top. The Penguins jumped out to a 2-0 lead in that game before the Leafs scored the games final three goals.
The Penguins will play one home game this week against Carolina on Tuesday night before heading to sunny Florida to face the two Florida teams and then head to Philadelphia next week, where it’s not always sunny.
The Islanders went into the All Star break as the best defensive team in the league and leaders in the Metro, and they picked up right where they left off. The Islanders hosted the league’s best offense on Friday night when the Tampa Bay Lightning came to Long Island. Thomas Greiss made 41 saves and shut out the Lightning for 65 minutes, but could not come away with a victory as Victor Hedman scored the only goal of the shootout, and game. The Islanders would be back in action the following night on The Island against the Kings, and this game would have many more goals. Ilya Kovalchuk would score 13 minutes into the 3rd period to put the Kings ahead by a 2-1 count before the Islanders would score 30 seconds later and add two more to defeat the Kings 4-2 and extend their point streak to 8 games (6-0-2.)
The Islanders will face another defensive power house when the Bruins will host the Islanders on Tuesday night at The Garden. The Devils will host the Islanders in Newark on Thursday and the Islanders will then return to Brooklyn for a back-to-back at Barclays against the Avalanche and Wild on Saturday and Sunday afternoon.
The Capitals returned from their All Star break and quickly ended their seven game losing streak. The Capitals were in danger of making it eight in a row when Elias Lindholm tied the game at three in the 3rd period for the Flames, but Evgeny Kuznetsov would score a power play goal with under a minute left in the game and the Capitals would win 4-3 on that goal. The Boston Bruins were in DC on Super Bowl Sunday and the Bruins gave a precursor to the Super Bowl in a very tight defensive and low scoring game in which a Boston area team came out on top. David Krejci would score the only goal midway through the game and Tuukka Rask would complete the shutout in a 1-0 victory for the Bruins.
The Capitals just began a very long homestand that will last until February 12th. The Canucks will be in town on Tuesday, the Avalanche will be in town on Thursday and the Florida Panthers wrap up this week for the Capitals on Saturday night.
Things are getting a little dicey in Columbus. The contract situations with Sergei Bobrovsky and Artemi Panarin have been playing out poorly for Jackets fans, and the team is in the middle of a six game losing streak. Panarin has reportedly ended negotiations with Columbus and has made it known he is testing free agency this summer. He hasn’t ruled out the Jackets, of course, but he also isn’t guaranteed to return, either. The Jackets will have some big decisions to make before the trade deadline.
The Jackets came out from break at home against the Sabres and tied the game at four late in the 2nd period before ex-Penguin Conor Sheary scored the only goal of the 3rd period in a 5-4 loss for Columbus. The Jackets were in Winnipeg on Thursday night and blew a 3-2 lead going into the 3rd period in that game. Another Connor would score the game-winning goal, this time Kyle Connor of the Jets with just over a minute left in the 3rd period to bring the Jackets losing streak to four. The St. Louis Blues would make that five losses in a row on Saturday in Columbus, jumping out to a 2-0 lead after the 1st period and holding on for a 4-2 win for the Blues.
The Jackets are on the road this week and will use the time away from Columbus to regroup and correct their issues. The Jackets are still very much in the thick of things, and are currently in the second Wild Card position. The Jackets will be in Colorado on Tuesday, Arizona on Thursday, and Las Vegas on Saturday before returning home to Columbus.
Carolina has been playing some of their best hockey since the beginning of the season. Their offense has come alive again and they’ve been able to outscore opponents instead of waiting for their chance to capitalize. The Golden Knights were in Carolina last week and the Canes scored early and often in that game and put away the Knights by a final of 5-2 last Friday night. The high-powered Calgary Flames were in Carolina on Sunday afternoon and all the acquisitions from their blockbuster summer trade were involved in Calgary’s 4-3 victory. Derek Ryan, Elias Lindholm, and Noah Hanifin all scored goals for the Flames and Dougie Hamiltion scored a goal for Carolina while Michael Ferland recorded two assists. The Canes fans in attendance got their moneys worth in that one, even though the Flames came away with the victory.
Carolina will now hit the road for their next five games starting in Pittsburgh on Tuesday night. They will be in Buffalo on Thursday and NYC on Friday to take on the Rangers. Their road trip then goes to New Jersey before wrapping up in Ottawa next Tueday.
It seems every year the Flyers manage to put together a very long win streak and a very long losing streak. The Flyers already have an eight game losing streak this year, now they’re currently on a seven game win streak. Philadelphia has won seven in a row and 8 out of 9 games since ending that eight game skid on January 10th. Their last loss came on January 12th in New Jersey.
The Flyers returned from break on a three game win streak and hosted the Winnipeg Jets on Monday night. The Flyers held the Jets to only one goal and won 3-1 in that contest. The Flyers were in New York City the following night and Anthony Stolarz recorded his second career shutout in a 1-0 victory over the Rangers. Oskar Lindblom scored his sixth goal 100 seconds into that game and provided the only scoring of that contest.
The Flyers continued their long rivalry against the Bruins on Thursday night in a game that needed overtime to decide a winner. Travis Sanheim would score a power play goal with just over two minutes left in the OT period to bring the Flyers’ win streak to six. The Flyers again needed overtime in their next game, this time at home against Edmonton on Saturday. The Flyers gave up a short-handed goal early in the 3rd period to go down 4-2 before also scoring on that power play and adding another power play goal later in the 3rd period to bring it to overtime tied at four. Nolan Patrick would score his 10th goal of the season just over two minutes into OT to make it seven wins in a row for the Flyers.
The Flyers play the second game of a five game homestand tonight against Vancouver. The Kings are next on the schedule for Philly on Thursday and the Ducks will be in eastern PA on Saturday afternoon before the Flyers end the homestand against the Penguins next Monday night.
The Rangers were bumped down to 7th place in the Metro after the Flyers recent hot streak. The Rangers were a victim of the Flyers’ four game win streak on Monday when the Flyers came into MSG and shut out the Rangers in a classic 1-0 victory in regulation for the Flyers. The Devils then played host to the Rangers two nights later and Mika Zibanejad continued to impress this season with a hat trick, reaching twenty goals for the year. He also chipped in an assist in that game to complete a four point night. Zibanejad picked up right where he left off when the Rangers began a five game homestand on Saturday against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Zibanejad had assists on both Rangers goals - making it eight straight goals he’s scored or assisted on for the Rangers - but the Rangers fell in a hard fought 3-2 victory for the Lightning.
The Rangers continue their homestand this week starting with LA Kings on Monday followed by another Original-6 matchup against Boston on Wednesday night. The Rangers wrap this week up with a Metro clash against the Hurricanes at Madison Square Garden on Friday night.
The Devils returned from their break still missing last year’s Hart Trophy winner Taylor Hall, but you wouldn’t have known it in their 6-3 beating over the Penguins last Monday night. It was just the Devils’ sixth road win this season out of 26 games at that point. The Devils returned back home the following game against the Rangers for the first time since January 19th and were taken down by a Mika Zibanejad hat trick with his third goal being the game-winner with less than five minutes in the 3rd period.
The Devils would win their second in a row on the road in Montreal on Saturday night, defeating the Canadiens 3-2 two minutes into overtime on a Nico Hischier goal. He also tied the game at two in the 3rd period and now has 16 goals and 20 assists in 47 games this year. He is putting up better numbers this year in his second season in the NHL, despite playing on a much worse Devils team this season that has been missing Taylor Hall for a large stretch. That’s about the only good news for the Devils still this year.
New Jersey begins a four game homestand this week starting with the Kings on Tuesday night before Metro Division foe New York Islanders are in Newark on Thursday night. The Devils wrap this week up on Saturday afternoon against Minnesota before hosting the Hurricanes on Sunday for the second game of a back-to-back.
Thanks again for stopping by for another week for the Metropolitans. As always, don’t forget to vote for your Metro game of the week!
28-18-6; 62 pts; 183 Goals For (5th in the NHL; 6th last week); 160 Goals Against (18th; T-13th)
2-2 record last week
Sloppy Pittsburgh blown out by another last place team
Letang, Pittsburgh explode past feisty Lightning
Guentzel and Rust score two a piece, Pittsburgh beats Ottawa 5-3
Pittsburgh blows lead and falls in Toronto
Tuesday, February 5 - vs CAR, 7 p.m. ET
Thursday, February 7 - @ FLA, 7 p.m.
Saturday, February 9 - @ TBL, 7 p.m.
- 10/13/18, D Justin Schultz - IR; fractured leg
- 1/8/19, LW Zach Aston-Reese - IR; Upper-body injury
- 1/31/19, C Evgeni Malkin - Day-to-day; Upper-body injury
30-15-6, 66 pts; 151 GF (T-18th; T-16th); 125 GA (1st)
1-0-1 record last week
TBL: 1 SO
High-powered scoreless draw
Dal Colle’s winner keys late-game blitz
Tuesday, February 5 - @ BOS, 7 p.m.
Thursday, February 7 - @ NJD, 7 p.m.
Saturday, February 10 - vs COL, 1 p.m.
- 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
28-17-6, 62 pts; 175 GF (7th; 5th); 166 GA (21st; T-21st)
0-2-1 record last week
Caps Snap Losing Streak, Extinguish Flames 4-3
Superbly Bowled Over by Boston
Tuesday, February 5 - vs VAN, 7 p.m.
Thursday, February 7 - vs COL, 7 p.m.
Saturday, February 9 - vs FLA, 7 p.m.
28-20-3, 59 pts; 163 GF (11th; T-13th); 159 GA (17th; T-13th)
0-3 record last week
Jets Rally to Clip Blue Jackets, 4-3
Blue Jackets Flounder at Home, Lose Fifth Straight
Tuesday, February 5 - @ COL, 9 p.m.
Thursday, February 7 - @ ARI, 9 p.m.
Saturday, February 9 - @ VGK, 10 p.m.
- 1/28/19, C Boone Jenner - Day-to-day; Infected ankle laceration
- 2/1/19, C Brandon Dubinsky - Day-to-day; Hamstring
- 2/1/19, D Ryan Murray - Day-to-day; Undisclosed injury
25-21-6, 56 pts; 148 GF (T-23rd); 155 GA (T-14th; T-15th)
1-1 record last week
Old friends burn Canes in 4-3 loss
Tuesday, February 5 - @ PIT, 7 p.m.
Thursday, February 7 - @ BUF, 7 p.m.
Friday, February 8 - @ NYR, 8 p.m.
- 12/22/18, C Jordan Staal - IR; Upper-body injury
23-23-6, 52 pts; 151 GF (T-18th; T-25th); 176 GA (29th)
4-0 record last week
Flyers return from bye week with fourth straight victory vs. Jets
Anthony Stolarz, welcome to the resistance
PHI: 3 OT
Sanheim sinks Bruins in OT, Flyers extend winning streak to six games
PHI: 5 OT
Patrick scores overtime winner as Flyers win seventh straight
Monday, February 4 - vs VAN, 7 p.m.
Thursday, February 7 - vs LAK, 7 p.m.
Saturday, February 9 - vs ANA, 1 p.m.
- 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
- 1/3/19, G Michal Neuvirth - IR; Lower-body injury
22-22-7, 51 pts; 145 GF (26th; T-25th); 171 GA (24th; T-24th)
1-2 record last week
Rangers Come Out of Break Strong, But Fall to Flyers 1-0
Mika Zibanejad’s Hat Trick Fuels 4-3 Win Over New Jersey
Rangers’ Rally Falls Short Against Lightning
Monday, February 4 - vs LAK, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, February 6 - vs BOS, 8 p.m.
Friday, February 8 - vs CAR, 8 p.m.
- 1/11/19, D Fredrik Claesson - IR; Shoulder
- 1/29/19, C Brett Howden - Day-to-day; Sprained MCL
20-24-7, 47 pts; 152 GF (T-16th; T-22nd); 173 GA (26th; T-24th)
2-1 record last week
Devils Bring Fire to Penguins out of the Break, Win 6-3
The Morning After the New Jersey Devils Choked Against Our Hated Rivals
Tuesday, February 5 - vs LAK, 5 p.m.
Thursday, February 7 - vs NYI, 7 p.m.
Saturday, February 8 - vs MIN, 1 p.m.
- 11/22/18, RW Joey Anderson - IR; Fractured ankle
- 12/26/18, LW Taylor Hall - IR; Lower-body injury
- 1/13/19, RW Stefan Noesen - IR; Lower-body injury
- 1/16/19, D Ben Lovejoy - IR; Upper-body injury
- 1/28/19, D Sami Vatanen - IR; Concussion
- 1/31/19, C Travis Zajac - Day-to-day; Lower-body injury
Which Metropolitan game is the most intriguing?
This poll is closed
2.5.19 - CAR @ PIT, 7 p.m. ET
2.5.19 - NYI @ BOS, 7 p.m.
2.6.19 - BOS @ NYR, 8 p.m.
2.7.19 - NYI @ NJD, 7 p.m.
2.8.19 - CAR @ NYR, 8 p.m.
2.9.19 - PIT @ TBL, 7 p.m.