A few thoughts while we prepare for 13 overtime games Thursday:
Ottawa goes Hollywood
-- The stars were out in full force Wednesday night at Scotiabank Place, and Ottawa Senators
forward Mike Fisher
gave one of them a thrill.
With girlfriend Carrie Underwood watching from a luxury suite, Fisher scored at 2:38 of overtime to send the Sens to a 3-2 win against the struggling Tampa Bay Lightning
Underwood, known for winning "American Idol," shared the suite with singer/actress Hilary Duff, who currently is dating Fisher's teammate, Mike Comrie
The ladies watched their boyfriends help the Sens win their fourth in a row. Ottawa finished its eight-game homestand 5-2-1.
"We've felt like we've upped our game and we're finding little ways to win and trying to be patient regardless of the circumstance in the game," Fisher said. "I think we've done a good job of not panicking and tonight we stuck it out and got a big win."
Fisher brought the ladies -- and everyone else in attendance -- to their feet when he fired home a rebound in the slot. Chris Phillips
took a shot from 30 feet out that Lightning goalie Karri Ramo
stopped, but Fisher was there to swat it home for his 11th goal of the season.
"I was just trying to crash the net and (Phillips) got a good shot on net and I was able to get the rebound," Fisher said. "It was nice to get that one in overtime. I don't think we played our best game and we have to be better in certain areas."
They certainly seem to be doing just fine in the significant-other department.
Ward steals a point
-- The Carolina Hurricanes
saw their four-game win streak come to end Wednesday night, but they did earn a valuable point in the standings.
And they have goaltender Cam Ward
to thank for it.
Ward faced 37 shots through regulation, then gave his team a chance win the shootout with a couple of sensational saves near the end of overtime in a 3-2 shootout loss to the Chicago Blackhawks
at the United Center.
While the win streak is over, the point the Hurricanes earned for making it to overtime kept the Hurricanes seventh in the Eastern Conference with 78 points, the same as sixth-place Pittsburgh.
"They're a tough team to play against," Ward said of the Blackhawks. "We hanged in there and battled right to the end to get that very important point for our team. It probably wasn't the best game by any means, but you've got to take the positives. It was a good, solid point tonight."
Ward turned away seven shots during two Blackhawks power plays in the opening period and robbed Patrick Kane
on a point-blank attempt -- a save that caught the attention of everyone in the building, including Carolina coach Paul Maurice
"A huge, huge save that gave us a chance to get a point," Maurice said. "That pad save coming across the crease was fantastic. He's been good for us all year."
Ward, who has 30 victories this season, was happy to play such a huge role in a game that allowed Carolina to earn another big point in the standings.
"That's why I play the game," Ward said. "That's my job … to give our team a chance to win. Fortunately, I'm seeing the puck very well and making some saves. But I'm just trying to do the best I can to help contribute to the team. We all know what's at stake here. These points are so valuable to our team. That was a big one."
Hiller ends drought
-- All it took for Anaheim Ducks
goalie Jonas Hiller
to end his personal three-game skid was to face one of the best goaltenders on the planet.
Hiller made 32 saves Wednesday night, helping Anaheim earn a 4-3 overtime victory against the Vancouver Canucks
at the Honda Center. Luongo made 37 saves, and had allowed three goals or fewer in each of his last 11 starts.
"It was a battle," Hiller said. "I'm happy with the win. It's been a while. We'll take the two points. We just have to keep on fighting. We definitely deserved to win."
Hiller, who hadn't won since Feb. 2, stopped all 12 shots he faced during Vancouver's first four power plays, and the first 22 overall by the Canucks before Alex Burrows and Kyle Wellwood
scored just 50 seconds apart to erase a 2-0 deficit.
"He played very well," said Ducks defenseman Scott Niedermayer
, who scored the game-winner at 3:37 of overtime in a three-on-three situation. "The two quick goals they got there in the second, he bounced back from those and continued to make big saves for us. He played very, very well."
While Anaheim remains on the outside of the playoff race is concerned, Hiller is confident the Ducks still have enough time to find their way into the postseason.
"I think we have a pretty good schedule now," Hiller said. "I think we're on the right track. We played pretty well tonight. We've got to keep it going and we'll fight to the last day."
Contact Brian Compton at email@example.com.
Material from wire services and broadcast media was used in this report.