Four things we learned in the NHL: The cat came back

Desperate times call for desperate measures. Watch as the Blackhawks, down 4-0 in the third to the Panthers, pull the goalie halfway through the period.

NHL action started out a little slow Friday night.

But things quickly picked up even with the league-leading Washington Capitals kept off the ice after their game with the Anaheim Ducks was postponed due to the severe snow storm hitting the eastern part of the United States.

John Tavares busted out of a goal-scoring slump, Aaron Ekblad returned from injury to star in the Panthers’ spanking of the Blackhawks and Alex Ovechkin still made it into the news…from a gas station.

Here are four things we learned in the NHL.

1. Ryan responds after embarrassing loss

The Ottawa Senators had a bad start to their game Thursday against New Jersey. Oh boy, was it bad. The Sens gave up five (!) in the first, losing 6-3 in the end. Forward Bobby Ryan spoke Friday about the loss and the club’s poor starts, calling them embarrassing.

Ryan himself got his team on the board against the Islanders Friday night with a quick snipe to the top shelf. However, the losing continued for Ottawa as the Islanders dropped them with a 5-2 come-from-behind victory.

The Senators also lost Milan Michalek to injury after he fractured his finger blocking a shot. The team announced he’ll be out indefinitely.

Meanwhile, it’s been a rough go for John Tavares this season who has just 31 points in 42 games. He recorded two points Friday, scoring just his third goal in his last 15 games.

2. Blizzex Snovechkin

No one wins when hockey is cancelled but the Ducks-Capitals game had to be postponed due to that little snowstorm thing happening in the eastern United States.

Still, the hockey world found a way to get its fill of Alexander Ovechkin as a local news crew caught up with him at a gas station to talk about the snowfall.

This storm is getting weird.

Sportsnet actually has a weather tracker going, specially customized to keep you posted on the storm and how it’s affecting games this weekend.

#Blizzard2016: Giant storm has NHL, NBA, NFL on alert

In Russia, Stormvechkin snows you.

3. The cat came back

When you’re a 19-year-old defenceman playing for a club with a rough history, this is one tremendous compliment.

The 12-game streak was a franchise record for the Panthers and Ekblad was a big part of it. The Panthers lost all four games with him out of the lineup, going 0-3-1. He missed time due to this hit but returned Friday to help lift his club over the reigning Stanley Cup Champions. He even chipped in a goal in a 4-0 drubbing of the Chicago Blackhawks.

Ekblad now has 19 points in 42 games after scoring 39 in 81 last season.

The game also featured this hit of the year candidate thanks to Panthers defenceman Erik Gudbranson.

4. Passing could be finer in Carolina

One night after the Carolina Hurricanes stymied the Toronto Maple Leafs with a beautifully played, defensive 1-0 win, they were their own enemies against the New York Rangers.

All four of the goals against were off of terrible giveaways that left poor Eddie Lack defenceless.

Sure, endurance could be an issue in back-to-back situations, but the numbers don’t bare that out.

Have a look at all that went wrong.

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