Dusk til Dawn: Craig Anderson slowly regaining form with Senators

Washington Capitals v Ottawa Senators

Craig Anderson is slowly turning things around and Hawks captain Jonathan Toews gets leveled. Check it out in our morning recap.

Essential Water Cooler:

Let’s face it, we have not seen the best of Senators goaltender Craig Anderson through the first half of the season. The Park Ridge, Ill., native has a 12-9-4 record with a .904 save percentage and 3.17 goals-against average. Compare that to his previous three seasons, where he averaged a .931 SP and 2.19 GAA, and he knows things could be better. But Anderson hasn’t received much help in front of him and that could be attributed to a young team failing to exceed the unrealistic expectations they met last season. The reality is, however, the Senators hopes of a playoff spot live and die with their goaltending. If Anderson’s last three games are any indication, he seems to be turning things around. The 6-foot-4, 184-pound goaltender has won his past three starts, including a 34-save performance in the Senators 3-1 victory over the Capitals last night. Sens nation surely hopes this will continue.

Primetime Play:

Kyle Turris could have been dragged down by a hook, instead he decided to finish. In a play that started all the way in the Senators end, the third overall pick in the 2007 draft pulled off a fantastic deke on Philipp Grubauer. Nasty goal.

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Dusk til Dawn: Jaden Schwartz’s coming out party

Chicago Blackhawks v St. Louis Blues

Justin Bieber and Corey Tropp. Read on and discover why both made last night’s recap.

Essential Water Cooler:
Regardless of where your allegiance lies, Jaden Schwartz is one player everybody can root for. The Melfort, Saskatchewan native, who was the 14th pick of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft by the St. Louis Blues, has had an outstanding season thus far with Central division second-place St. Louis and he has deserved every bit of his success. The former captain of Team Canada’s 2012 World Junior Championship team lost his sister Mandy in April of 2011 after a bout of leukemia. Through perseverance, strength and guidance from his late sister, Jaden has not only realized his dream of making the National Hockey League, he is contributing in a big way. The speedy left winger has collected 13 goals through 36 games and is on pace for 62 points by season’s end. Schwartz scored the game’s first goal in his team’s 3-2 victory over Dallas last night. Here’s to Jaden. The hockey world salutes you.

Primetime Play:
There are three things in life that are constants. Death, taxes and Columbus winger Corey Tropp scoring the goal of the year. Wait. What? Take a look at this silky dangle Tropp pulls on Pens rearguard Olli Matta that makes the rookie defenseman wish he was hiding under a rock in his native Jyvaskyla, Finland.

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Dusk til Dawn: Patrick Sharp nets birthday hat trick; John Scott scores a goal

Casey Ippolito
sharpdressedman

After a three-day hiatus that felt like an eternity, 20 teams returned to the ice Friday. Some players probably gained some gravy weight over the holidays (looking your direction, Dustin Byfuglien and Phil Kessel), but we’re quite sure Patrick Sharp and John Scott kept the calories in check. Here’s a rundown of last night’s action.  Read more

Dusk til Dawn: Gustavsson makes save of the year?; Jagr overtakes Messier in NHL record books

Bryan Mcwilliam
NHL: Devils v Capitals

Goals aplenty, another milestone, an impressive rookie and uncustomary behaviour top the list of our Dusk til Dawn morning recap. Grab a cup of java and enjoy.

Essential Water Cooler
One night after Alex Ovechkin notched his 400th goal, another primetime player hit a milestone.

New Jersey Devils forward Jaromir Jagr moved into a tie for seventh place on the all-time goals list with Mark Messier.

The 41-year old Jagr scored goal No. 694 of his career in the third period against Ovechkin’s Capitals, helping the Devils defeat Washington 5-4.

Jagr currently sits behind Wayne Gretzky (894), Gordie Howe (801), Brett Hull (741), Marcel Dionne (731), Phil Esposito (717) and Mike Gartner (708) in career goals.

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Dusk til Dawn: Ovechkin’s 400th NHL goal an early Christmas gift

Bryan Mcwilliam
Washington Capitals v Carolina Hurricanes

Take a gander of our morning preview as Christmas crawls closer and you prepare your breadbaskets for a smorgasbord of delectable holiday cuisine.

Essential Water Cooler

Alex Ovechkin is one of the most dominant players in professional hockey and last night marked another momentous occasion for the Washington Capitals’ captain. ‘Ovie’ netted his 400th career goal on an empty net shot with 24 seconds remaining to give the Caps a 4-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes. Although number 400 wasn’t as much of a highlight reel type goal as Ovechkin has been known to create, the milestone is impressive, especially considering he hit the mark in 634 games. Is Ovechkin the greatest goal scorer of this generation?

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Dusk til Dawn: The ‘Dutch’ master

Ryan Kennedy
MattDuchene

Check out our morning recap while rationalizing to yourself that only the sugar inside your Christmas cookies counts, not the sugar on top (those aren’t calories; they’re decorations).

Essential Water Cooler

Carey Price got straight-up victimized last night by the Blues, who of course were led by Alex Steen’s two goals in a 5-1 romp. Most of the St. Louis scores went high on Price, who, while being one of the strongest goalies in the NHL, looked pretty vulnerable in the butterfly. The dominant style of netminding, the butterfly clearly has its pros and cons, but with guys like Steen, Claude Giroux and Patrick Kane on the hunt, is it time to reconsider the drop-to-your-knees-ask-questions-later approach?

Primetime Play

Even the Kings’ grinders make beautiful plays. Check out Dwight King as he eludes Marc-Edouard Vlasic’s stick to feed Jeff Carter in a 4-1 L.A. win over San Jose.

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Dusk til Dawn: Sutter grinds out a shootout win for Pens

Ryan Kennedy
BSutter

Read our morning recap as you ponder what your middle-aged self is doing while Jaromir Jagr is taking on punks half his age and racking up game-winning goals in the NHL.

Essential Water Cooler

Brandon Sutter had a big night for the Pittsburgh Penguins, scoring a sweet goal in regulation, then adding another in the shootout as the injury-ravaged Pens got past the Rangers 4-3. With rookie Brian Dumoulin already contributing and prospect Derrick Pouliot basically a lock for Canada’s world junior team, the Jordan Staal trade is looking pretty sweet for Steeltown. Carolina now has two star Staals with Jordan and captain Eric, but much less on-ice success. Did the Canes get killed here, or is it unfair to compare the clubs?

Primetime Play

The Sens thought Damien Brunner should have been given a slashing penalty here on Jared Cowen, but you can’t deny the moves that followed in New Jersey’s 5-2 wipeout of Ottawa.

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