Flames feeling the heat
Some excellent goaltending by Karri Ramo and strong penalty-killing got the Calgary Flames (33-24-4) back on track in their 3-1 victory Wednesday over the New Jersey Devils. The Flames continue a seven-game road trip Friday where they'll face one of the beasts of the east, the New York Islanders (40-20-2).
Ramo stopped 54 shots in his last two games for the Flames, but only his latest effort, that 26-save outing against the Devils, resulted in a win.
Ramo turned in an even better performance, albeit in a losing cause in a 1-0 setback to the Rangers on Tuesday when he robbed T.J. Miller.
That loss to the Rangers was Calgary's third in a row. They're tied for third in the Pacific Division with the L.A. Kings and sit a point behind Minnesota in the wild card race.
The Flames are crossing their fingers on leading scorer Mark Giordano who may miss some time with an undisclosed injury.
The Isles' leading scorer John Tavares has gone three games in a row without a goal and could be due to break out since he's notched eight points in his last four games against the Flames.
Lack of finish blunting Bruins
The Bruins (29-22-9) are getting plenty of chances, but they aren't winding up in the net. They've lost seven of their last eight starts and go up against goaltender Cory Schneider and the Devils (25-27-9) in New Jersey.
The Bruins lost 2-1 Tuesday to Vancouver when they faced the good Eddie Lack in the Canucks' goal. The bad Eddie Lack, got caught wandering out of his net often in Buffalo Thursday night as the Canucks dropped a 6-3 decision.
That Brad Marchand (17 goals) is tied for the Bruins' goal-scoring lead says a lot. Patrice Bergeron, the team's points leader with 42, also has 17 goals, but the Bruins have Florida and Philadelphia close behind.
The Devils are eight points back of the Bruins and dealt away Jaromir Jagr Thursday for a pair of draft picks. They insist they haven't given up on the season yet.
Cory Schneider, with 22 wins on the season, has been pretty solid in goal for the Devils.
New Blackhawk fills the breach
Now this is the way a guy called up from the minors is supposed to respond. Teuvo Teravainen got the call when Patrick Kane went down with a broken clavicle and on his first shift, opened the scoring Thursday in Chicago's 3-0 victory over the Florida Panthers.
It was a home-and-home sweep of the Panthers for the Blackhawks (37-20-5) who continue their Florida swing Friday in St, Petersburg against the Lightning (37-19-6).
Look for a flurry of goals in this one with the Lightning averaging 3.24 goals per game, highest in the NHL, paced by superstar Steven Stamkos who has nine goals in his last four games in Florida against the Blackhawks.