Canadiens, Sabres jump to 2-0 1st period leads

So far, so good for the two teams looking to climb 3-1 mountains starting tonight.

In DC, the Capitals are playing like, well, they’re up two games in the series. While a 2-0 lead is clearly not an insurmountable one for Washington, the game actually could be quite a bit more lopsided as the Canadiens have gotten the majority of the scoring chances in this game. You know, I thought that the Capitals’ sluggish start to the series would be good for the Capitals – a team that sometimes seems to believe their own hype a bit too much. Instead, it’s quite possible that the Game 2 comeback made them think that they can sleepwalk through periods of games.

While Buffalo’s 2-0 lead doesn’t camouflage the goofiness that is their crowd’s “Tuu-Kka” chants (he’s been excellent so far), Ryan Miller & Co. are happy to build a lead in the game. Then again, this isn’t exactly an unusual situation for the series as the Sabres have 7 first period goals to Boston’s 1 so far. In other words, don’t get too comfortable Sabres fans.

Both the Sabres and Canadiens face serious uphill battles (especially since both clearly struggle to keep a lead), but they’ll take a two-goal lead over a deficit any day.

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    BREAKING: Carey Price’s composure

    ANAHEIM, CA - NOVEMBER 29:  Carey Price #31 of the Montreal Canadiens looks on during the third period of a game against the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center on November 29, 2016 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
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    Even the best goalie in the world – one who makes it look easy – can lose his cool sometimes.

    (Heck, that used to be the domain of Patrick Roy, right?)

    It was quite the sight on Thursday nonetheless: Carey Price absolutely lost his cool and went after Kyle Palmieri during the Montreal Canadiens’ game against the New Jersey Devils. You can watch that spectacle in the video above.

    Palmieri received an interference penalty while Price received a roughing double-minor. Apparently fits of Price anger are rare:

    By Hockey Reference’s numbers, Price has accrued 39 penalty minutes in 465 career regular season games and eight in 54 playoff contests before tonight’s outburst.

    Video: John Tavares exhibits all-out-effort on this goal

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    Sometimes it feels like John Tavares is alone on an island. Even during such grimmer times, there are moments where it seems like he can do it all by himself, anyway.

    The New York Islanders have been quietly getting it back together lately (4-0-1 in their last five games), with Tavares averaging a point per contest during that span. Still, he’s obviously been getting some help lately.

    If you want an “all by himself” moment, look no further than the goal above, where he just out-efforts everyone. It’s an unusual sight, although especially jaded people may just come to expect this type of thing from Tavares. He’s that great.

    Niskanen will miss at least one game from that Bergeron hit

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    However you feel about the hit Patrice Bergeron delivered on Matt Niskanen, the bottom line is that the Washington Capitals defenseman is hurt.

    The Capitals consider the valuable blueliner day-to-day with an upper-body injury and noted that he won’t travel to Buffalo for Friday’s game against the Sabres.

    That only tells us so much, as the Capitals will face the Vancouver Canucks at home in their next game after that on Sunday. If that’s all he ends up missing, that wouldn’t be too huge of an issue. CSN Mid-Atlantic notes that he’s played in every game (all 189) since joining the Capitals, so he’s been healthy so far in his stay with Washington.

    Washington called up defenseman Aaron Ness to help give them some depth.

    As you may recall, Bergeron received a two-minute boarding minor for the check in question.

    Bruised Blackhawks will be without Seabrook, Toews vs. Rangers

    CHICAGO, IL - FEBRUARY 13: Brent Seabrook #7 and Jonathan Toews #19 of the Chicago Blackhawks
celebrate a second period goal by Seabrook against the Anaheim Ducks at the United Center on February 13, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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    Scott Darling isn’t the only member of the Chicago Blackhawks who will be asked to step up with key players out of the lineup.

    The Blackhawks have already ruled out Brent Seabrook and Jonathan Toews for Friday’s game against the New York Rangers, as CSN Chicago notes.

    This will mark the eighth consecutive game Toews is missing, although the bright side is that Joel Quenneville didn’t dismiss the possibility of Chicago’s captain playing on Sunday.

    Seabrook is considered day-to-day after being shaken up by this awkward spill from Wednesday:

    A few days ago, Patrick Kane called upon others to step up with Toews out. That message can now apply to Chicago’s defensemen with Seabrook banged up.