The Montreal Canadiens and the Toronto Maple Leafs carried streaks into road tests on Wednesday. The Canadiens had five consecutive away wins, while the Leafs had six straight victories over the Anaheim Ducks. Those tales and Washington’s iron-man goaltender are featured in 3 stories from Wednesday night.
The Canadiens have piled up some impressive streaks en route to one of the best records in the NHL this season but have seemingly faltered just when it seems they’re on a roll. Wednesday in Columbus they trailed 2-0 in the third period before a Max Pacioretty power play goal bounced into the net off a Blue Jackets’ stick. That was the spark they needed to mount a comeback in a 3-2 triumph.
In a span of 3:53 the Canadiens struck for three power play goals with P.K. Subban notching the game-tying marker, while Pacorietty tallied his second of the game and 20th of the season tipping in Tomas Plekanec’s pass for the game-winner.
Most teams don’t relish the California road trip. Facing the Los Angeles Kings, Anaheim Ducks and San Jose Sharks can be hazardous to your health and your team’s points total. The Maple Leafs dropped their second game in California 4-0 to the Ducks two nights after losing 2-0 to the Kings. Tomorrow it’s the Sharks and the Leafs need to find some goals in a hurry.
A 5-on-3 manpower disadvantage for Toronto didn’t help when Anaheim’s Kyle Palmieri scored with the Leafs just seconds away from killing off a pair of minor penalties. The Ducks actually twice put the puck into the net behind Jonathan Bernier as play continued after Palmieri’s shot rebounded out of the net. Hampus Lindholm then fired one in before video replay confirmed Palmieri’s goal.
Then it became the Corey Perry show. The 29-year-old, who got off to a fast start reaching double figures in goals before missing 15 games, found the range big time against the Leafs. His second of two second-period goals came off a long backhand pass by Ryan Getzlaf that hopped over Cody Franson’s skate and sent Perry in alone. He didn’t miss.
Ducks’ goalie Frederik Andersen who earned his second career shutout, picked up an assist on Perry’s third goal, a length of the rink shot into an empty net. It was Perry’s 8th career hat trick and 18th goal of the season.
Braden Holtby made his 20th consecutive start for the Capitals and turned aside 21 Flyers shots for his 4th shutout of the season leading Washington to a 1-0 victory at the Verizon Center. Holtby faced seven shots in each period and while not overworked, made his share of key saves in the close contest.