Kukla's Korner Hockey
A few Atlanta Thrashers sweaters were tossed on the ice tonight during the Winnipeg/Nashville game.
added 11:33pm, A longer YouTube video has been added below.
from Elias Sports Bureau at ESPN,
• The Jets overcame a 3-0 deficit to record a 4-3 overtime victory against the Capitals in Washington. It was the fifth time in Thrashers/Jets franchise history that they won a road game in which they trailed by three goals. The four previous instances came when the team was located in Atlanta, with the most recent of those comeback wins coming against the Flyers in Philadelphia on March 12, 2011.
• Drew Stafford scored two goals in the Sabres’ 4-1 win over the Rangers in New York. Stafford has only two multiple-goal games this season and they’ve both come at Madison Square Garden. He scored both Buffalo goals in the Sabres’ 3-2 loss at MSG on Feb. 25. Stafford is only the second player in Sabres history with two multi-goal games in one season at the “World’s Most Famous Arena.” Rick Martin had a pair of two-goal games at the Garden for Buffalo in 1974-75.
from Katie Carrera of the Washington Post,
The defeat wasn’t only shocking because it marked the first time this season that Washington had coughed up a three-goal lead and its first loss in 23 games in which it had entered the third period with a lead. It was stunning for its timing: With only seven games remaining in the regular season, the Capitals, who are clinging to the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference by virtue of tiebreakers, need points as much as Winnipeg.
“It cost us huge two points. We get one, but we needed two,” winger Alex Ovechkin said. “It’s stupid play by us. We just totally stopped playing after [the Jets] score [their] first goal.”
Washington (37-30-8) remained in eighth place in the Eastern Conference with 82 points, tied with Buffalo, which defeated the conference-leading New York Rangers, 4-1, on Friday. Winnipeg (35-31-8), in 10th place with 78 points and a game in hand on both the Capitals and Sabres, stayed in the hunt thanks to the pair of points it picked up in Chinatown.
Only two Western Conference teams play tonight (Edmonton and Columbus) so attention is on the Eastern Conference.
from Katie Carrera of Capitals Insider,
Of the Capitals’ remaining eight regular season games, two over the next five days will hold significant sway over how the future unfolds.
On Friday night Washington hosts Winnipeg, which sits five points behind in 10th place. A win over the Jets, who will have eight games remaining after the contest, would go a long way toward extinguishing the possibility of the Southeast Division foe catching the Capitals in the standings.
After the 2-1 overtime loss to the Flyers, Alex Ovechkin summed up the importance of the next contest succinctly. Friday “is certainly a big game for us,” he said. “Probably the biggest game of the year.”
One that could be even more crucial is a matchup with the Sabres next Tuesday. Buffalo is only one point behind the Capitals and sits in ninth place, still very much alive in the hunt for the postseason. The Sabres face the New York Rangers on Friday and then Minnesota on Saturday before visiting Verizon Center that day.
continued and below view the NHL schedule for tonight…
“If you didn’t have a chance we wouldn’t come here. You wouldn’t play the game. There’s always a way to win games. We are just as able to win this game as they are.
“We know the challenges. They’re at home, they’ve done very well lately. So bring it on.”
-Winnipeg Jest head coach Claude Noel before facing the Penguins tonight. More from Paul Friesen of the Winnipeg Sun.
The recepient of the hit, Andreas Nodl, lef the ice slowly and groggy.
NEW YORK (March 17, 2012)—Winnipeg Jets defenseman Mark Stuart has been fined $2,500, the maximum allowed under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, for his late hit on Washington Capitals forward Marcus Johansson during NHL Game #1061 in Winnipeg on Friday, March 16, the National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety announced today.
The incident occurred at 8:41 of the first period. No penalty was assessed on the play.
Watch the hit here if you missed it earler.
from Paul Waldie of the Globe and Mail,
“I thought that was a heck of a game,” Noel said afterward. “It would have been a sad game to lose, really.”
So what did he learn about his team on this night? “I learned that I like them as much as I liked them the last month and two months,” he said with a smile. “I continue to like them.”
He also learned something about the MTS Centre crowd, which was more boisterous than ever and generated a playoff-like atmosphere while making life as miserable as possible for the Capitals and Alex Ovechkin in particular. At one point the crowd repeatedly chanted “Crosby’s Better” just as the big forward hit the ice.
“That’s what you’ve got to like,” Noel said shaking his head and laughing. “It’s not the standard boo yea, boo yea. They come up with new things. They are just ruthless.”
Ovechkin took the taunts in stride, joking afterward that it’s all good for the game. “It’s always nice when they talk about you and give you attention,” he said. “I love it. It’s great for the league. It’s great for us. Everybody [debates] who’s better and who’s not. For me, it’s a nice atmosphere, and I love it.”
more on the game and below, watch and hear Winnipeg fans with the “Crosby’s Better” jeer….
from Tarik El-Bashir of Capitals Insider,
In addition to Alex Ovechkin saying he’s ready to play, the Caps also are expected to get top defenseman Mike Green back from a three-game suspension tonight against the Jets, who are approaching the contest as a “must-win.”
“These are games that define your team,” Winnipeg winger Evander Kane told reporters, “and we’re going to see what we’re made of.”
With 12 games remaining, the Jets are in 10th place in the Eastern Conference, four points behind the eighth-place Caps and a point behind the ninth-place Sabres. A week from today, the Caps will host the Jets at Verizon Center.
“I keep saying for the last three of four weeks it’s been playoff hockey,” Capitals Coach Dale Hunter said. “It’s exciting for the fans and the media. The players know what’s at stake here. Everybody wants to play in the big game. As a kid growing up you always scored the winning goal in the Stanley Cup final in the seventh game. So it’s like one of those games.”
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