Crosby, Ovechkin continue see-saw Richard race

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crosbyovie.jpgIt’s almost as if Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin are playing some sort of telepathic game of goal scoring “H-O-R-S-E.” The two seem especially likely to score when the other did so earlier in a given day. Really, the Rocket Richard trophy lead is as fleeting as an encounter with Kaiser Soze.

Ovechkin scored his 46th of the year on a power play during the first period of what would be a 5-3 loss to the Calgary Flames. It gave the goal scoring dynamo the lead … for a matter of a few hours.

That’s because Sidney Crosby scored two goals within four minutes in the second period of a 5-4 shootout win against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Obviously, Crosby has had the advantage since he’s played in 10 more games than Ovechkin, but I doubt that the league will complain that its two biggest stars could fight the rest of the season for the Richard trophy. Of course, neither player can sleep on the dark horse candidate in the goal scoring race: Steven Stamkos. The sophomore center has 45 goals so anything can happen in this net-filling race.

Sabres place Lehner on IR; Recall Lieuwen

Connor Brown, Robin Lehner
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They’re just one game into their regular season, but the Buffalo Sabres have already had to shift things around in their crease.

The Sabres announced that they have placed starting goaltender Robin Lehner on injured reserve after he was knocked out of Thursday’s game with a lower-body injury.

In a corresponding move, the club has recalled Nathan Lieuwen from their AHL affiliate in Rochester.

The 24-year-old didn’t play in the NHL last season, but he did have a 1-4-0 record with a 2.98 goals-against-average and a .906 save percentage in seven games during the 2013-14 season.

Lieuwen was Buffalo’s sixth round pick, 167th overall, in the 2011 draft.

The Sabres also announced that they have loaned defenseman Jake McCabe and goaltender Linus Ullmark to the Rochester Americans (AHL).

McCabe was a healthy scratch in Thursday’s game against Ottawa, while Ullmark is being activated off I.R. after having double hip surgery during the off-season.



Chara ‘doubtful’ for game against rival Canadiens

Brad Marchand, Zdeno Chara
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It looks like the Boston Bruins will be without their captain again on Saturday night.

Head coach Claude Julien told members of the media that Zdeno Chara is considered doubtful for tonight’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.

Chara suffered an upper-body injury during the preseason and he’s already been forced to miss Boston’s season opening loss to the Jets.

Per CSN, Chara says he’s improving but he won’t return to the lineup until he’s as close to 100 percent as possible.

“Every area of the injury is improving,” said Chara. “Hopefully it’s not long before I’m free of any kind of discomfort. That’s what we’re doing right now…we’re being patient. For sure you don’t want to come back, and be half of what you are…and basically hurting yourself and the team. And you’re putting yourself in a position where you could be missing more time. At this time of the season, I think it’s important to be as close as you can be to 100 percent.”

Based on the number of defensive mistakes they committed on Thursday, the Bruins need Chara back as soon as possible: