Snider Gets His Way: Red Wings Here to Help Celebrate Mark Howe's Number Retirement

Snider Gets His Way: Red Wings Here to Help Celebrate Mark Howe's Number Retirement

Often, when a team or a school has a special event planned around a
sporting event, they'll try to schedule a cupcake or at least non-elite
matchup, so as to maximize the potential for an all-around good
experience for everyone on the home side. You don't schedule the best
team in the league for homecoming weekend, if possible. However, after
deciding to retire Mark Howe's number 2 fixated immediately on March 6,
2012, the evening the Flyers would be playing the team Howe played for
after his days in Philly. The Red Wings are of course more than just a
stop on Howe's career journey. They're the club for whom is father was a
legend of the game, as well as Mark's current employer.

And, they're a perennial Cup contender, currently just one point
behind Vancouver for the top spot in the Western Conference. But Ed
Snider wanted this to be the matchup when Howe's number went up, and as
is often the case, he got what he wanted despite initially being told
no. By the NHL…

Bill Roose of TheWheelDeal blog on Detroit's NHL.com page relays the story as told by Howe:

But next Tuesday’s ceremony was nearly nixed by the league, which
apparently prohibits pre-game events on the ice once the calendar flips
to March.

“Ed told me that the league told him ‘no’, but they
really wanted to do this with the Red Wings in town,” said Howe, the
Wings’ director of pro scouting.

As a courtesy, the Flyers put in a call to the Wings’ front office
just to double-check if they were OK with honoring the former player,
which they both share in common.

Of course, the Wings didn’t have
any objection to seeing history when Gordie and Mark Howe becomes just
the second father-son tandem in any professional sport to both have
their numbers retired. Bobby and Brett Hull were the first father and
son to have their jersey numbers retired.

Damn nice of all sides to get the event scheduled for the ideal matchup.

Now, the matchup itself…

Detroit
boasts the fourth most goals scored per game, but also the fourth best
goals against mark. Their power play and penalty kill each come in at
15th in the league. Pretty consistent, huh?

However, they're currently struggling a bit despite winning two of
their last three. Pulling back further, they've actually lost four of
six, including three in a row from February 21-25. Of course, if those
are your "struggles," your season is going fairly well. The losses came
to Chicago, who is hot as a pistol, Vancouver, and Colorado. And, the
minor skid comes off the heels of a six-game winning streak that
includes the Flyers' visit to Detroit in mid-February.

Injuries are currently an issue though, with goalie Jimmy Howard out
somewhat indefinitely while Pavel Datsyuk, Niklas Lidstrom, Jonathan
Ericsson, and Jakub Kindl all missing time lately. Datsyuk is the team's
leading scorer, Lidstrom its captain and best defenseman, and Ericsson
and Kindl are both defensemen as well. We don't currently have an update
on the latter two, but Datsyuk and Lidstrom are said to be out, per the
team's official twitter account.

That's a considerable break for the Flyers to catch, but there's
still 60 minutes to be played tonight, and the remaining Red Wings are
plenty capable of taking advantage of a team that comes out of the
tunnel thinking they're damaged.

The Flyers have had some well-documented trouble getting out of the
starting gate lately, an embarrassing streak that was finally snapped
against the Capitals on Sunday. But tonight's late start (puck drop is
closer to 7:30) due to the Howe ceremony could wrench them up a bit.

Bryz is back in net tonight, where we're likely to see him far more
often than not the rest of the way. He's responded well to getting
consecutive starts.

For out of towners, the Howe ceremony will be viewable at CSNPhilly.com. In pre-game skate, the Flyers will all wear a #2 Howe jersey with a special patch. photo by the Flyers

Best of NHL: Crosby scores league-leading 28th goal in win vs. Bruins

Best of NHL: Crosby scores league-leading 28th goal in win vs. Bruins

PITTSBURGH -- Conor Sheary scored two goals, Sidney Crosby added his league-leading 28th and the Pittsburgh Penguins won their fourth straight game, 5-1 over the Boston Bruins 5-1 on Sunday.

Pittsburgh led 2-1 through two periods before breaking out in the third with three goals in a span of 2 minutes, 57 seconds.

Sheary scored his 17th and has nine goals in nine games. Bryan Rust added his 12th and Patric Hornqvist his 11th for the Penguins, who won a season-high seventh straight at home. Pittsburgh the NHL's best home team, is 13-0-1 in its last 14 home games.

Evgeni Malkin had two assists for a season-best seven-game point streak. Crosby added two assists for a three-point game. Matt Murray made 44 saves to win his fourth straight game.

David Krejci scored his 11th for the Bruins, who have lost four straight and five of their last six (see full recap).

Rangers shut out Red Wings in 1-0 OT win
DETROIT -- J.T. Miller scored at 1:56 of overtime to lift the New York Rangers to a 1-0 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday.

Henrik Lundqvist made 21 saves for his second shutout of the season and 61st of his career. The Rangers managed only 19 shots in a game that featured few memorable chances by either team.

The winner came when Mats Zuccarello and Miller swooped in alone on Detroit goalie Jared Coreau. Zuccarello made a simple pass to Miller, who lifted the puck over Coreau for his 16th goal of the season.

Detroit defenseman Niklas Kronwall played for the first time since Jan. 4, returning from a lower-body injury. The Red Wings put forward Drew Miller on waivers (see full recap).

Atikinson lifts Jackets over Senators in wild OT win
OTTAWA, Ontario -- Cam Atkinson's second goal of the game at 1:09 of overtime lifted the Columbus Blue Jackets a 7-6 win over the Ottawa Senators on Sunday night.

Atkinson had a breakaway after a shot by Senators captain Erik Karlsson missed the Columbus net and went around the boards out to Atkinson, who was at center-ice.

The Blue Jackets trailed 5-3 after two periods before Lukas Sedlak and Matt Calvert scored 31 seconds apart to tie it less than 2 1/2 minutes into the third. Atklnson then gave Columbus a 6-5 lead with 9:10 remaining, before Kyle Turries tied it for Ottawa on the power play less than 2 minutes later.

Nick Foligno, Scott Harrington and Zach Werenski also scored for the Blue Jackets, and Joonas Korpisalo finished with 28 saves.

Zach Smith and Mike Hoffman each had two goals and Mark Stone also scored for the Senators. Mike Condon had 22 saves (see full recap).

Best of NBA: Lakers suffer worst loss in team history

Best of NBA: Lakers suffer worst loss in team history

DALLAS -- Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks had something to prove on Sunday following two straight tough losses.

Coming off a three-point effort in an overtime loss on Friday, Nowitzki scored all 13 of his points in the first half and Dallas gave the Los Angeles Lakers the worst loss in their history, 122-73.

"We didn't show up to play," Lakers coach Luke Walton said. "It's embarrassing for us as a team and for us as an organization. The effort just wasn't there tonight, which I don't understand."

The 49-point defeat just edged Los Angeles' two previous worst losses at 48 points, most recently 123-75 at Utah on March 28, 2016.

The Mavericks' winning margin was the third-largest in their history.

It was Dallas' 13th straight win over the Lakers, who have lost six of their last seven games overall (see full recap).

Curry, Thompson each hit 7 3s, Warriors pull away from Magic
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson each hit seven 3-pointers and the Golden State Warriors won their seventh straight game, beating the Orlando Magic 118-98 on Sunday.

Tied at the half, the Warriors woke up from West Coast time in the second half to pull away. This was the first Eastern time zone noon tip for them since 1995, when they lost by 34 points in Orlando.

Curry went 7 for 13 on 3s and scored 27 points while Thompson as 7 for 9 from behind the arc and had 21 points. The Warriors shot 19 of 42 overall from 3-point range while the Magic went 7 for 28.

After trailing by 11 in the first half and committing a dozen turnovers, the Warriors went into the break even at 50. Curry hit four 3s and had 14 points in the third quarter as the Warriors outscored the Magic 42-24 (see full recap).

Bledsoe's career day leads Suns over Raptors 115-103
TORONTO -- Eric Bledsoe scored a career-high 40 points and had 13 assists and the Phoenix Suns handed the Toronto Raptors their third straight loss, 115-103 on Sunday night.

Bledsoe was 11 of 17 from the floor, including 4 of 7 from 3-point range, and Devin Booker added 20 points as the Suns won their second straight road game following Saturday's win at New York. The victory also completed a season sweep of the Raptors for the first time since 2013-14 and improved Phoenix to 11-6 against Eastern Conference teams this season.

DeMar DeRozan had 22 points for Toronto and Jonas Valanciunas added 16 points and 12 rebounds for his 17th double-double of the season. It's the first time the Raptors have lost three straight since Nov. 6-10, 2015.

Kyle Lowry was ejected with 1:30 left after a flagrant-two foul following contact with the head of Brandon Knight. It capped a night to forget for Lowry, who had 15 points but shot just 5 of 17, including 1 of 9 from 3-point range (see full recap).