NHL: 4 stories from Thursday night
Habs honour Koivu; Leafs' streak halted
It was an exciting Thursday night in the NHL that included a tribute to a former Montreal Canadiens captain, the end of Toronto's winning streak and another shutout for Marc Andre-Fleury.
Here are the big stories:
Habs fall to Ducks following emotional tribute
Following a moving ceremony for their former captain Saku Koivu, the Montreal Canadiens were unable to produce a victory. The Anaheim Ducks squeaked out a 2-1 win thanks to a third period wrister from forward Matt Beleskey.
It was not the result the Canadiens were looking for. They may have lost the game, but they put on a winning tribute to Koivu that included a video of his memorable career in Montreal.
Perhaps a bigger concern than the loss is the awkward hit into the boards suffered by the team's scoring leader Max Pacioretty. Clayton Stoner delivered a questionable hit to the Canadiens star forward in the third period.
Pacioretty went to the hospital as a precaution, the Canadiens said. There was no penalty called on the play, but Canadiens forward Brandon Prust dropped the gloves with Stoner in response.
How could that not be a penalty? <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Habs?src=hash">#Habs</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/pacioretty?src=hash">#pacioretty</a> <a href="https://t.co/ggsSOpXPQL">https://t.co/ggsSOpXPQL</a>—@25stanley
Leafs streak halted
The Toronto Maple Leafs could not extend their winning streak. Despite facing one of the worst records in the league in their match against the Carolina Hurricanes, the Leafs were unable to secure seven wins in a row.
A victory would have resulted in their longest winning streak in 10 years, but the Leafs underperformed against a weaker team.
Carolina outshot the Leafs 37-26 to earn a 4-1 victory. Being outshot seems to be a pattern for the Leafs recently, but this time the result was different.
Hurricanes defenceman Justin Faulk had a big night as he scored the game-winner on a shorthanded goal in the first period and added an assist on Andrej Sekera's third period power play goal.
Goalies shine, once again
Recently, goaltending has been the main story in many games. It was no different with the Pittsburgh Penguins shutting out the Colorado Avalanche with a 1-0 victory.
In an unusual twist it was the losing goalie that deserves a bit of recognition. Avalanche goalie Calvin Pickard faced a whopping 48 shots.
The 22-year-old Moncton native gave his team a fighting chance, steering away attempt after attempt. Pittsburgh forward Blake Comeau was the only one to solve Pickard, but it took an overtime goal to accomplish that feat.
For his part, Marc-André Fleury earned his league-leading sixth shutout of the season.
Oilers squander two leads
Two third period San Jose Sharks' goals only 34 seconds apart sunk the Edmonton Oilers for their sixth loss in a row. The Oilers led 1-0 going into the second period, and again 3-2 going into the third period.
The Sharks proved to be too much for the struggling Oilers team, who have just seven wins in 33 games this season. San Jose ultimately claimed a 4-3 victory.
On a slightly brighter note, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins reached a career milestone by scoring his 50th goal in the NHL. The goal put his team up 3-2 in the second period.
Nuuuuuuuge! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/EDMvsSJS?src=hash">#EDMvsSJS</a> <a href="https://t.co/MPJF01brYF">https://t.co/MPJF01brYF</a>—@EdmontonOilers