The PHT Nightcap – Thursday, March 18th

We put a lot of content on this blog each day, and we understand
it can be a bit tough to keep track of everything. So at the end of the
day we’ll put up a nightly recap of all of that day’s news. Presenting
the
Pro Hockey Talk Nightcap:

Ryane
Clow says he didn’t want to fight Morrow
– Clowe eventually fought
Barch after he took out Stephane Robidas.

Bruins
seeking payback could be nightmare for NHL
– Turns out, we didn’t
have anything to worry about.

Senators
need help to miss the playoffs
– They may not need much, but some
teams behind them have to start winning.

Tortorella
and Drury disagree on Rangers’ maturity
– Chris Drury looked to be
onto something.

Three
Bruins questionable with the flu
– You know, that “post-St.
Patrick’s Day bug that’s going around” flu.

Bruins
should make Pens pay
– legally – Once again, we really didn’t have
anything to worry about.

Seabrook’s
injury continues awful week for Chicago
– It’s not just the
goaltending that’s an issue for Chicago; they’re once great defense has
started to fall to pieces.

Does
the West have a ‘true’ favorite?
– San Jose and Chicago are far
from dominant late in the season. Is it Phoenix? It can’t be, can it?

Are
the Ducks completely delusional?
– James Wisiewski and Randy
Carlisle are not from this planet. I’m convinced of it.

Nicklas
Lidstrom: Still the one
– The reports of Nicklas Lidstrom’s hockey
death are completely false

Flyers’
goalie curse strikes again: Leighton out 8-10 weeks
– I called it.
There’s no way a high ankle sprain is just a day-to-day injury for a
goaltender.

NHL
hands Wisniewski an 8-game suspension
– Was it enough? I think so.

Matt
Cooke gets in a fight right away
– Cooke ‘paid’ for his
transgressions immediately, dropping the gloves and then getting pounded
by Shawn Thornton.

Cooke
gets a penalty for tripping
– This was about the most interesting
thing that happened in the game.

Quick
hits: Could 3D coverage give us Hockey-tar?
– The NHL in 3-D? Yes,
please.

Miracle?
Japan beats Canada in sledge hockey 
– I challenge anyone not to
watch a sledge hockey game and not be entertained.

Pens
win tepid bout with Boston 3-0
– About as anticlimactic as you can
get.

What
has happened to the ‘hockey code’ in the NHL?
– I am appalled at
the lack of respect that is being shown on a nightly basis around the
NHL.

Paul
Kariya scores his 400th career goal
– Congratulations to the future
Hall of Famer.

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    Pavelski’s late goal helps Sharks grab 2-0 series lead over Preds

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    The San Jose Sharks became the only team in the second round to jump out to a 2-0 lead in their series. The Sharks did it by beating the Predators 3-2 in Game 2 on Sunday night.

    San Jose opened the scoring in the second period when Logan Couture buried a rebound by Preds goalie Pekka Rinne. Brent Burns took the initial shot from the point and extended his playoff point streak to four games.

    The Predators finally got on the board at the 12:56 mark of the third period when Mattias Ekholm tied the game at one.

    Here’s the goal:

    Nashville’s good fortune didn’t last very long. Sharks captain Joe Pavelski gave San Jose a 2-1 lead less than five minutes later.

    Pavelski also picked up two assists in the game. The 31-year-old has at least one point in six of his seven postseason games in 2016.

    Joe Thornton then added an empty-netter in the final minute of play before Ryan Johansen scored with four seconds remaining.

    Despite the loss, Preds head coach Peter Laviolette wasn’t too disappointed by the way his team played.

    The Predators outshot the Sharks (39-25), they outhit San Jose (46-26), but they just couldn’t outscore them.

    Like the old saying goes: “you’re not in trouble until you lose a game on home ice.” The Preds still haven’t done that, which means they’re not done yet.

    The series now shifts to Nashville for Game 3, which will be played on Tuesday night.

    Video: Marc-Edouard Vlasic saved by his visor after taking Shea Weber shot to the face

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    It’s a scary night for players getting hit in the head with pucks.

    After Brian Elliott was hit in the head by a Jason Spezza slapshot, it was Marc-Edouard Vlasic‘s turn to narrowly avoid disaster.

    In the third period of Sunday’s game against the Predators, Vlasic took a puck to the face. The end result could have been catastrophic had Vlasic not had a visor.

    You can see the incident by clicking the video at the top of the page.

    Hockey Twitter breathed a collective sigh of relief after Vlasic got back up:

    It sounds like Olli Maatta won’t be ready for Game 3

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    You’ve all seen it by now (if you haven’t, click the video at the top of page). Penguins defenseman Olli Maatta was forced to leave Game 2 against the Capitals after taking a late hit from Brooks Orpik. Not only was the hit late, but Orpik also caught Maatta in the head.

    After the Penguins’ optional skate on Sunday, Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan wasn’t optimistic about Maatta’s chances of playing in Game 3 on Monday night.

    “Olli’s being evaluated as we speak, so I don’t have any real update as far as his status is concerned,” Sullivan said, per the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “He’s being evaluated today, we’ll probably have more information in the morning.

    “I don’t have a lot of sense of his availability. I’m probably not optimistic, though.”

    After the game, Capitals coach Barry Trotz stood up for his defenseman.

    “We’ll let the league handle it,” Trotz said, per CSN Mid-Atlantic. “If you know anything about Brooks, he plays hard, he plays clean. He’s not a dirty player.”

    And the league certainly did handle it, as they suspended Orpik for three games.

    Related:

    Penguins coach takes issue with late, high Orpik hit on Maatta

    Brooks Orpik suspended three games for hit on Olli Maatta

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    Brooks Orpik has been suspended for three games for his hit on Olli Maatta (top). The Caps defenseman will be forced to miss Games 3, 4 and 5 of the best-of-seven series against the Penguins.

    Orpik delivered a late, high hit to Maatta in Game 2. The Penguins defenseman was wobbly getting off the ice and he was unable to return to the game.

    Here’s how the Department of Players Safety saw the play:

    “Orpik steps up to pressure Bonino, who quickly moves the puck to Maatta. Orpik peels off Bonino to pressure Maatta, who releases a shot from the top of the circle. The two continue on their path toward the goal line, as the puck is kicked into the slot. A full second after Maatta releases the puck, Orpik delivers a high, forceful hit making significant head contact. This is interference.”

    To watch the NHL’s Department of Player Safety’s full explanation, click the video below.

    This is the third time Orpik’s been suspended in his NHL career.