Ryan Miller and Corey Tropp caught fire this week, helping to propel the Sabres into the heart of the Eastern Conference playoff race. Miller allowed a mere five goals in four wins this week, good for a 1.26 goals against average and a .956 save percentage. The goaltender earned second star honors on Wednesday, for his shutout performance against the Canadiens, and on Friday, for allowing only one goal in a 4-1 triumph over the Rangers. Miller has not lost in regulation since March 5th. Tropp was also brilliant this week, netting one goal and two assists. The Buffalo right winger scored the game winning goal in a 7-3 win over the Lightning on Monday. Tropp gained possession of the puck on a 2 on 1 breakaway, deked, and wristed home a backhander in the third period for his third goal of the season. He also added assists on Wednesday and also on Saturday in a 3-1 victory over the Wild. Tropp’s helper on Saturday earned him second star honors in the game.
Jets’ center Jim Slater had an eventful week, as he scored his tenth goal of the season and got into a fight. Slater deflected the puck into the net on Tuesday in an 8-4 defeat at the hands of the Penguins. The veteran also got into a scrap with Capitals’ center Brooks Laich in a 4-3 overtime win over Washington on Friday. The two went at it after Winnipeg scored to make the game 3-1 in the second. The fight was about even, with Slater claiming a slight advantage.
The Spartan-Oiler trio of Shawn Horcoff, Jeff Petry, and Corey Potter had a good week, as the team went 3-0-1 this week. Petry tallied three assists, two coming on Tuesday in a 6-3 trouncing of Nashville. His third, his 21st helper of the season, came on Sunday in a 6-3 win over the Avalanche. Potter had seven hits on Thursday in a 3-2 shootout loss to the Lightning. Horcoff struggled with back spasms in the latter part of the week. He played sparingly on Friday and was held out on Sunday. He is considered to be day-to-day.
Duncan Keith had a very up and down week. The Chicago defenseman racked up four assists in a 5-1 rout of the Blue Jackets on Tuesday, giving him 36 for the year. He earned first star honors for the outstanding performance. On Wednesday in a game with the rival Canucks, Keith elbowed Daniel Sedin in the head, causing Sedin to suffer a concussion. Keith received a five game suspension for the offense. In regards to the punishment, he said: “I respect it. I’ll serve five games and I’ll be back and I’m looking forward to getting back.”
John-Michael Liles had a quiet week for the Maple Leafs. The highlight of the week for the defenseman was a two shot and two blocked shot performance in a 4-3 overtime win over the Devils on Friday.
The Red Wings ended a six game skid on Saturday with the help of Drew Miller. The left winger notched the game winning goal with eight minutes left in the 3rd in a 5-4 victory over the Hurricanes. Teammate Justin Abdelkader also contributed this week, as he was credited with his 14th assist of the season in a 5-3 loss to the Capitals on Monday.
Defenseman Mike Weaver and the Panthers had an average week, as Florida had a 1-1-2 record. Weaver had three hits and three blocked shots in the team’s lone win of the week, a 2-1 decision over the Flyers.
Canucks’ left winger David Booth did not have any points this week, but made his presence known on the ice. He did this best on Saturday with a one shot, four hit, and one blocked shot game in a 3-2 shootout triumph over Colorado.
Adam Hall of the Lightning did not play this week. He has an upper body injury and is considered to be day-to-day.
In other Spartan hockey news:
Michigan State defenseman Torey Krug signed an entry level contract with the Bruins on Sunday. Krug will forgo his senior season to play for Boston’s AHL affiliate, the Providence Bruins. He had 12 goals, 14 assists, and 36 points this past season. Krug was quoted by msuspartans.com after signing a contract with the Bruins: “This obviously came quickly after our season ended, but it was a really difficult decision to make,” said Krug. “I love everything about Michigan State, my teammates, and our hockey program, and it was an outstanding place for me to grow and develop both as a hockey player and a person. It is very hard for me to leave, but I am incredibly thankful for the support shown to me by Coach Anastos as I went through this process. I’m very proud to have worn a Michigan State jersey and serve as a captain.”