The playoff race is tightening, which means that teams’ best players need to be their best players down the stretch. On Friday night, Martin Brodeur was exactly that for the Devils.
1) Martin Brodeur, New Jersey Devils – Brodeur had a pretty rough start to his season, but he’s been on fire lately. Marty stopped 36 shots for a 3-2 shootout victory over the Anaheim Ducks for his sixth win in seven games and he has given up two or less goals in five of them. Adam Henrique and Alexei Ponikarovsky scored in regulation for the Devils and Ilya Kovalchuk and Patrik Elias scored in the shootout.
2) Blake Wheeler, Winnipeg Jets – The Jets built off of their victory over the Minnesota Wild on Friday, downing the defending Stanley Cup champions 4-2 and, at the center of that win was Blake Wheeler, who tallied a goal and two assists. Alexander Burmistrov scored one and Bryan Little twice for the Jets and Ondrej Pavelec stopped 31 of 33 shots for the win.
3) Ryan O’Reilly, Colorado Avalanche – O’Reilly continued his breakout season for the Avs, assisting on all three Colorado goals to lead the Avs to a 3-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers. Erik Johnson, Mark Oliver and Gabriel Landeskog scored for Colorado and Semyon Varlamov stopped 26 of 27 shots for the win.
Play of the Night
There aren’t many players that can make losing an edge into a spectacular play, but Pavel Datsyuk is definitely one of them.
Save of the Night
Martin Brodeur has been spectacular lately and its saves like this that remind us why he’s going to be a first-ballot Hall of Famer.
Fight of the Night
Eric Boulton found out just what happens when you end up on the wrong side of a George Parros fist in this tilt.