Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 03/04/14 at 11:43 AM ET
(Home Team in Caps)
Columbus 2, TORONTO 1
DALLAS 3, Buffalo 2
MINNESOTA 3, Calgary 2
LOS ANGELES 2, Montreal 1
DIAMOND IN THE RUFF
Stars Lindy Ruff earned his 600th win as an NHL coach with a 3-2 victory over the Sabres, a team he coached for 15 seasons. Ruff improved his record to 600-454-172 in 1,226 regular-season games; 571 of those victories came behind the Buffalo bench.
* According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Ruff is the fourth in League history to play in at least 650 regular-season games and win 600 regular-season games as a coach.
600+ COACHING WINS AND 650+ GAMES PLAYED
Jacques Lemaire: 853 games played, 617 coaching wins
Joel Quenneville: 803 games played, 696 coaching wins (active)
Lindy Ruff: 691 games played, 600 coaching wins (active)
Ron Wilson: 832 games played, 648 coaching wins
“I’ve coached a lot of good players. I had some real good teams. Those wins for the most part belong to the guys on the ice who go out and get them for you. Guys went out and got one for me tonight.” – Lindy Ruff
GOALIES LEAD THE WAY
* Goaltender Darcy Kuemper made 21 saves in backstopping the Wild to a 3-2 win in his 15th consecutive start. Kuemper’s victory was his fifth straight and 11th of the season, matching Josh Harding’s team record for wins by a rookie goaltender established in 2007-08. Since Jan. 7, Kuemper holds a record of 11-2-2 with a 1.70 goals-against average, a .939 save percentage and two shutouts.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Kuemper is only the second rookie goaltender to win five consecutive team games in one season over the last three seasons (Martin Jones won five consecutive games played for Los Angeles Dec. 3-14 this season).
* Sergei Bobrovsky made 28 saves, improving to 14-4-1 in his past 19 starts, as the Blue Jackets swept their season series (3-0-0) versus Toronto with a 2-1 win at the Air Canada Centre. The victory snapped a three-game skid for Columbus, who pulled within one point of the final Eastern Conference wild card position, and ended Toronto’s seven-game home winning streak.
* Jonathan Quick stopped 17 of the 18 shots he faced en route to his fourth consecutive victory as the Kings picked up their fifth straight win with a 2-1 decision over the visiting Canadiens. Quick has posted a 0.75 goals-against average, a .968 save percentage, and one shutout over his past four games, allowing one goal or less in each of those contests. The Kings allowed two goals or fewer for the 41st time this season.
WILD CONTINUE TO XCEL
Minnesota improved to 6-2-1 in its past nine games versus Calgary and moved its record to 14-4-2 in its past 20 contests overall. The Wild has won six straight games at Xcel Energy Center, its longest streak of non-shootout wins since an equal stretch during the 2007-08 season.
Sabres goaltender Jhonas Enroth stopped all 16 shots he faced in the first period en route to his second consecutive 36-save game. . . Matt Moulson recorded a pair of assists, matching his career-high with a six-game point streak (2-6--8). . . Wild captain Mikko Koivu returned following a 17-game absence due to injury. . . Flames rookie Markus Granlund notched his first NHL point while his brother, Mikael, assisted on both third period goals for Minnesota in their first NHL meeting. . . Los Angeles forward Jeff Carter scored his 250th career goal… Kings forward Jarret Stoll played in his 700th NHL game while Montreal’s Max Pacioretty played in his 300th contest. . . Los Angeles defeated Montreal at home for the first time since Mar. 8, 2003. . . Toronto (2068 hits) and Columbus (1857 hits) rank first and third in hits and combined for 77 in the game (Maple Leafs, 42; Blue Jackets, 35)… the Department of Player Safety announced yesterday that Washington Capitals defenseman Dmitry Orlov has been suspended for two games for boarding Philadelphia Flyers forward Brayden Schenn.
A SNEAK PEEK AT TUESDAY’S ACTION
All Times Eastern
Florida @ Boston, 7:00 p.m., FS-F, NESN
Detroit @ New Jersey, 7:00 p.m., FS-D, MSG
Dallas @ Columbus, 7:00 p.m., FS-SW, FS-O
Colorado @ Chicago, 8:00 p.m., RDS, ALT, CSN-CH
Tampa Bay @ St. Louis, 8:00 p.m., TSN2, NBCSN
Pittsburgh @ Nashville, 8:00 p.m., ROOT, FS-TN
NY Islanders @ Winnipeg, 8:00 p.m., MSG PLUS, TSN-JETS
Vancouver @ Phoenix, 9:00 p.m., SNET-P, FS-A PLUS
Ottawa @ Edmonton, 9:30 p.m., SNET-E, TVA, SNET-W
Carolina @ San Jose, 10:30 p.m., FS-CR, CSN-CA
KEY CENTRAL DIVISION MATCHUP
Chicago will host Colorado, winners of two in a row and seven of their last 10 games, in the fourth of five games this season – Colorado has won two of the first three matchups. The Avalanche (83 points) are three points behind the Blackhawks (86) and St. Louis Blues (86) for the Central Division lead. The Blackhawks snapped a two-game skid Saturday night at Soldier Field with a 5-1 victory against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the final game of the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series.
RINNE RETURNS TO THE NET
Predators goalie Pekka Rinne is expected to make his first start for the Nashville Predators since Oct. 22 after a lengthy injury. Rinne stopped 33 of 35 shots over two starts in a conditioning stint in the American Hockey League and will face a tough test in the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Metropolitan Division leaders with 84 points.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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