Whoever told you goal scoring was down may have had a point, but some of the games of the playoffs are making people get a hearty laugh at statements like that. Tonight, Ottawa and Pittsburgh broke out their wagons and set them ablaze as the teams traded shots and chances to the tune of eight total goals in the second period. The downside of that for the home standing Senators is that Pittsburgh scored five of them.
Pittsburgh got the goal scoring started quickly in the period with Sidney Crosby at the 3:47 mark followed 12 seconds later by the infamous Matt Cooke helping to put Pittsburgh up 3-0. Crosby added his second goal of the game at the 6:12 mark to make it 4-0 and chasing starting goaltender Brian Elliott from the game. Pascal Leclaire would replace and enter the fray, seeing the first playoff action of his career.
Ottawa then decided to get back into things less than a minute after that courtesy of the infamous Chris Neil. Four minutes later it was Daniel Alfredsson to make the game 4-2. After all that excitement even strength, it was high time for the special teams to get involved. Max Talbot would score a shorthanded goal for the Pens then followed by a Senators power play goal by Matt Cullen during Jordan Staal’s penalty for hooking. Chris Kunitz would chip in the eighth goal of the period with under two minutes to play in the second to make it 6-3.
I’d suspect that tightening things up defensively will be discussed during the intermission.
Alexei Emelin has been in and out of the Montreal Canadiens lineup, but this wasn’t the way they wanted him to keep his legs fresh.
The hard-hitting defenseman received a game misconduct and five-minute major penalty for a late hit on Columbus Blue Jackets forward Matt Calvert on Tuesday.
So far, it sounds like Calvert may be OK.
You can see video of that hit above, as well as a GIF of the infraction via My Regular Face.
Many believe that Emelin should not have been ejected.
Injuries have been a regular problem for Joffrey Lupul for much of his time with the Toronto Maple Leafs, and it doesn’t look like that’s changing in 2015-16.
The team placed him on injured reserve retroactive to Nov. 28, calling up Rich Clune in the process.
This IR stint means that Lupul will miss at least three games for Toronto.
From the sound of things, it’s a nagging issue, as NHL.com notes.
“He’s been having the same problem here for a bit,” Mike Babcock told media members on Sunday. “He doesn’t seem to be getting the power back that they thought, so we’re just trying to monitor it the best we can.”
Leafs Nation points out that Lupul has missed about one-third of Toronto’s contests since suffering a separated shoulder in April 2012.
At 32, there’s still time for Lupul to fight through this, although injuries generally accumulate with age.
Will Ryan Suter say something foolish during tonight’s game? Is Brent Burns‘ beard so long that it’s finally starting to scrape the ice?
We’ll find out the answer to those questions and more during Tuesday’s NBCSN doubleheader.
Need to follow the two games online? Never fear.
Game 1: Minnesota Wild at Chicago Blackhawks
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Game 2: Pittsburgh Penguins at San Jose Sharks
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Message sent or not via healthy scratches or not, Dave Bolland returns to the Florida Panthers mix on Tuesday.
Unfortunately for the Panthers, it’s maybe not under the most ideal circumstances, as part of the explanation for his return is Nick Bjugstad‘s absence.
The Miami Herald’s George Richards reports that Bjugstad is out tonight against the St. Louis Blues with an upper-body injury that he suffered during a Monday practice.
In fact, as you can see in the tweet above, the young forward was sent home because of the injury.
This forces some shuffling, with Vincent Trocheck moving up to the second line while Bolland centers the third combo as usual.
The Panthers are currently on a two-game winning streak and visit St. Louis as the second date in a five-game road trip.
This is also the early part of a span in which they play nine of 10 games on the road (counting Sunday’s away win), so a prolonged absence from Bjugstad could sting that much more.