The NHL All-Star break has officially begun after the final few games were played out on Wednesday night, meaning that the season is more than halfway through.
This Wednesday there was high intensity, as six teams looked to close out before the break with a win. Here is a review of a fun night in the NHL.
The Ottawa Senators and Detroit Red Wings went to battle on Wednesday night, kicking off the schedule. These are two Atlantic Division rivals who have played three times this season, with Ottawa owning two wins.
The Red Wings kicked off the game with a first-period tally from forward Daniel Sprong firing up their home crowd of Little Caesars Arena as they took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission.
Then in the second period, it was all Ottawa. The Senators won the second period 2-0, taking a 2-1 lead into the third period.
It was a low-scoring third with one goal, but all that mattered was that Red Wings’ captain Dylan Larkin tied the game over halfway through.
It was then off to overtime. Lots of skill hit the ice for this overtime frame, but the period lasted just two minutes.
That is because Senators’ forward Shane Pinto popped in the game winner to seal a 3-2 overtime victory for Ottawa.
The Red Wings really need wins if they want to make a playoff appearance in a tight Atlantic Division, so it is one point they will regret not earning.
The pesky Senators can still win on any given night despite their overall disappointment of a season.
The second game of the night was between the Los Angeles Kings and Nashville Predators.
These Western Conference opponents had battled just once before this game, in a Predators 2-1 regulation win on the road.
On the road themselves in this game, the Kings wanted to return the favour and they did just that.
The first period started off pretty quietly until Carl Grundstrum gave LA the 1-0 lead. This lead would remain into the second, before a second Kings goal, scored by Alex Turcotte, gave them a 2-0 lead to take into the final frame.
The third period was quite exciting. It began with a Filip Forsberg goal that cut the Kings’ lead to one with 15 minutes left.
The Predators exerted tons of pressure, but to no avail. With less than seven minutes to play, three more total goals were traded back and forth, with two of them being from Los Angeles. It was a 4-2 final for the Kings on the road.
The game was tilted heavily in favour of the home team Nashville, which was proven by a 41-shot effort, compared to a 23-shot performance by Los Angeles.
However, the Kings took advantage of the chances they were given, finishing strongly before the All-Star break.
The Kings were recently pegged as a top team in the Western Conference, but have quickly fallen out of favour due to horrendous results.
This is a major win for them, one they will look to ride after the break and get back to consistently winning and being a threat.
The Anaheim Ducks and San Jose Sharks met for the final game of the night, in a matchup between two Pacific Division opponents.
These two are unsurprisingly near the bottom of the division, which led to a very close battle on this occasion.
This game gave us a very fun start. Just over two minutes in, the home team Anaheim gave their fans a 1-0 lead off the back of Isac Lundestrom. However just over four minutes later, Anthony Duclair would tie things up for the Sharks. It was 1-1 after the first period.
In a quiet second period, only one goal was scored by Sharks’ defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic with over two minutes left to play in the period.
There would then not be another goal until the 1:01 mark in the third, a tying goal from Anaheim forward Troy Terry.
It was a very tight game and so was the overtime period.
It took over four of the five overtime minutes to have our winner, which was scored by Anaheim forward Frank Vatrano, assisted by Troy Terry for his second point of the night. The Ducks defended home ice in a 3-2 overtime win.
As two rebuilding teams, they are not expected to do anything down the final stretch of the season, but this game proved that they are both willing to fight and earn some respect from other teams in the league.