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Saturday, February 23, 2013
Need to know: Saturday night edition

By Paul Grant


• Alex Ovechkin scored three goals as the Capitals hammered the Devils. Didn't see that coming, did you?

• Jimmy Howard stonewalled the Predators. Boy, do the Predators ever miss Alexander Radulov. (I kid, I kid.)

• Gordie Howe and Wayne Simmonds were mentioned in the same breath not once but twice this week, after Simmonds had a goal, an assist and a fight again for the Flyers, this time in their win against the Jets. But let's see him pull that at 40.

• The hits keep on coming on Broadway. But only in a forced-wordplay kind of way. Already playing without Rick Nash and Michael Del Zotto, the Rangers' curse of '13 continued when defenseman Dan Girardi stopped a slapper with the side of his ankle and Ryan McDonagh was face-smashed into the glass against the Canadiens. The season is going down the tubes fast for the preseason Eastern Conference favorite.

• Speaking of injuries, you knew the compressed season was going to bring the pain, but this is more than just groin pulls to fourth-line energy guys who were skating with their pals during the lockout: Evgeni Malkin, Craig Anderson, Rick Nash, Jeff Skinner, Marian Hossa, Gabriel Landeskog, Kari Lehtonen, Johan Franzen, Jason Spezza, Matt Read, Scott Hartnell, Vladimir Tarasenko, James Reimer.

• Key stats from the night: Carey Price, second shutout in past four games; Jeff Carter, ninth goal; Patrick Marleau, 12th goal; John Tavares, 12th goal; Steven Stamkos, 12th goal; Troy Brouwer, eighth goal; Alex Ovechkin, sixth, seventh and eighth goals; Mike Smith, 41 saves in loss.