Kari Lehtonen got his third shutout of the season and the Dallas Stars brought themselves one step away from another historic low point as they frustrated the playoff hopes of the Carolina Hurricanes last night in Raleigh.
Jason Spezza scored the game-winner in the second period during a game that was much closer than the two empty-netters in the last two minutes made it look. Head Coach Lindy Ruff talked with Mike Heika about playing for pride:
"We talked about playing the right way," [Ruff] said. "There's no point in playing sloppy hockey. We knew how hungry they were. The only thing we can do is be spoilers and take some pride in how we play.
"[Lehtonen] had some good saves. We've given up a lot of goals, which starts with the guys in front of him. But when the guys in front of him limit the opportunities, Kari is the type of goaltender who can feed off of it."
Read more at Mike’s place. [SportsDayDFW]
Meanwhile, last night’s victory gives the Stars 29 road points on the season, which is tied for their all-time low. [SportsDayDFW]
They have one more chance to rise above that unfortunate record with tonight’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Don’t forget the early start of 5 p.m. Central time.
The Victory Green Gang ended another record point streak last night, which is kind of what they do now.
PHI 10-game win streak ✅— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) April 2, 2017
WSH 15-game home win streak ✅
CAR 13-game point streak ✅https://t.co/9mtTVSaAms
The goaltending has come online in a big way in the past couple of weeks, which could help as the Stars try to finish strong.
Dating back to March 20th the @DallasStars have allowed just 10 goals in their last 7 games. They lead the NHL with a 1.43 team GAA.— Josh Bogorad (@JoshBogorad) April 2, 2017
MuckBro got mucked up in Boston on Thursday night, but the good news is that Curtis McKenzie is expected to make a full recovery.
Thanks to everyone for all the support the last couple days. Everything seems to be good with my eye. I am an incredibly lucky guy! pic.twitter.com/LiSaZWw6Kl— Curtis McKenzie (@muckbro16) April 1, 2017
Last night, in the Central:
- Pekka Rinne and the Nashville Predators blanked the Minnesota Wild 3-0 and can clinch a playoff spot with a point today over the St. Louis Blues, or a loss by the Los Angeles Kings. [On the Forecheck]
- Meanwhile, the Winnipeg Jets knocked the Ottawa Senators down to a tie for second in the Atlantic Division, 4-2 – and Mark Scheifele scored the GWG on Mark Scheifele Bobblehead Night. [Arctic Ice Hockey]
The Sens have taken yet another injury hit to their blueline, as Cody Ceci left the game with a lower-body injury. [Sportsnet]
Stephanie @MyRegularFace Vail posted a series of GIFs that began with this one. You can see the rest by clicking on it.
The dénouement: AHL call-up Anthony Stolarz, who traveled on such short notice that he reached the Flyers’ bench 20 seconds after puck drop, stopped all 26 shots he faced in a 3-0 victory over the New Jersey Devils. [Broad Street Hockey]
Neuvirth spent the night in the hospital and got credit for the W, stopping six shots before his collapse. [The Sporting News]
The NHL keeps tweaking its playoffs format. What works and what doesn’t? Luke Fox takes a look. [Sportsnet]
Longtime Devils fan Greg Wyshynski reflects on Patrik Elias, who is the kind of player it’s easy to take for granted, until you can’t.
And speaking of underappreciated, Jordie Benn has finally come into his own with the Montreal Canadiens. (Fun fact: The brothers Benn posed for this photo at the urging of fellow former teammate Patrick Eaves. Even now, The Major is winning things for us.)
With his 38th goal of the season, Auston Matthews is now tied with Neal Broten for first on the American rookies’ all-time list (and, amazingly, has had more goals this season than Phil Kessel had in any of his seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs. [FanRag Sports]
No US-born rookie's had 40 (or even 39) in a season, but Auston Matthews is positioned to do just that- as he now ties for 1st on this list pic.twitter.com/oKLouvv4DR— StatsCentre (@StatsCentre) April 2, 2017
After a tense lead-up and a near-boycott, the U.S. Women’s National Team showed why it’s a world power with a 2-0 shutout of Team Canada in the World Championships opener. [CBC]
The tiny (pop. 815) Maritimes town of O’Leary, Prince Edward Island – home of the Canadian Potato Museum – has won the title of Kraft Hockeyville for 2017.
Denis Gurianov helped the Texas Stars set a new franchise record for short-handed goals in a season as they rallied to beat the Milwaukee Admirals 5-2.
Speaking of the Steelheads, it seems shutouts were going around last night.
Frustrated by a junior team that trades you without warning, billets you in substandard housing and generally makes promises it can’t keep? Well, now there’s an app that lets players rate their experiences, thanks to ex-junior goalie Stormer Santana. [The Hockey News]
Finally: Oh, this is a cheeky one. An Albany Devils fan sneaked this past his mom and dad, probably, maybe. Enjoy.