Canucks, Ryan Miller in unbeatable form
While they may have been in a bit of a goal-scoring funk, until scoring four times Thursday in Philadelphia, the Vancouver Canucks certainly don't have a problem in the net with Ryan Miller posting a shutout on back to back nights, this time 3-0 over the Carolina Hurricanes.
It's the second time that Miller has achieved shutouts on consecutive nights. He did it three years ago as a member of the Buffalo Sabres. It was the first time in Canucks' team history that they have put up back-to-back shutouts on the road on consecutive nights.
The Canucks scored three times in the second period as Derek Doresett, Shawn Matthias and Alexandre Burrows all connected to drive Cam Ward for the Hurricanes' net. Miller made 27 saves for his fifth shutout of the season and 34th of his NHL career.
He even had a little help from the post on an early chance by Carolina's Patrick Dwyer.
Jets playoff push trending upward
The Winnipeg Jets went after their third win in a row, facing a Chicago team they've had plenty of recent success against. The Jets had won twice already at the United Center and thanks to a pair of third period goals 28 seconds apart, made it a hat trick of wins in the 2014-15 season, bouncing the Blackhawks 4-2.
Winnipeg was coming off a 2-1 win over Dallas on Thursday and in the midst of a busy schedule, while the Blackhawks hadn't played since Monday. A feisty first-period saw a Chicago goal in the first minute and a couple of fights. Late in the second period with the scored tied at 1-1, the Blackhawks' Daniel Carcillo crosschecked the Jets' Mathieu Perreault to the ice. Perreault, who scored four goals Tuesday against Florida, would not return but the Jets broke the tie on goals by Bryan Little and Chris Thorburn to build a two-goal advantage.
Chicago's Teuvo Teravainen scored his first NHL goal to cut the lead to 3-2 before Andrew Ladd hit the empty net with the Blackhawks' goaltender Corey Crawford pulled for an extra attacker.
Predators ruins Trotz homecoming
Washington Capitals coach Barry Trotz was in a familiar rink on Friday, but behind an unfamiliar bench. Trotz coached the Predators for 15 seasons and returned for the first time as the coach of the opposing Capitals.
Trotz enjoyed plenty of success in Nashville — he was a finalist for the Jack Adams Award twice (2010, 2011) and his 557 wins placed him 13th in all-time coaching wins. He received a standing ovation as a video tribute played in the Bridgestone Arena.
Trotz and the Capitals seemed on track for a memorable return after Alex Ovechkin scored twice and Marcus Johanssen scored a power play goal to erase an 2-0 deficit and put Washington on top in the third period. But Nashville tied it on a Mattias Ekholm power play goal and won it when James Neal scored his second of the night on a Matt Nishkanen give-away for a 4-3 win.
It was Nashville's fifth win in a row and stopped a three-game Washington win streak.
Hat trick plus 1 for Okposo
The match-up between the New York Islanders and Pittsburgh Penguins for first place in the Eastern Conference was pretty even except for one factor. The Kyle Okposo factor.
The Penguins were 8-2-1 in the past 11 games against the Islanders, including four victories in the past five games at Nassau Coliseum, but the Isles swept a home-and-home set earlier this season.
The Penguins fired in the first two goals of the game before John Tavares unleashed the Okposo Factor with a brilliant set-up of the Islanders' first goal.- On mobile and can't view the video? Watch it here
In the third period with the Pens holding a 3-2 lead Okposo went to work. He scored a natural hat trick --three consecutive goals to give him a four-goal game and the Islanders moved three points ahead of the Penguins in the division with a 6-3 victory.