Joe Pavelski is far from the “other” Joe right now. He tied the game 1-1 with yet another goal on the powerplay about midway through the first period. This makes it five consecutive games with at least one goal for the red hot Big Pavelski. (The puck abides?) Ryane Clowe also had some really nice scoring chances in the early going so it was great to see him rewarded when Pavelski (who else?) melted Brad Stuart’s brain and sent a brilliant pass Clowe’s way for a 2-1 goal.
Joe Thornton started off the period very strong, looking sharp and decisive. Unfortunately for Jumbo Joe, one mistake opened things up for the Detroit Red Wings. Thornton sent an errant pass to what should have been a defenseman on the left point, only no one was there. Correction: No one but Pavel Datsyuk, who beguiled a backchecking Thornton, a Sharks defenseman and Evgeni Nabokov to score a knuckleball of a goal to start the night’s scoring.
Jimmy Howard has been strong so far as the Sharks carried the early play, while one must wonder where Nabokov’s head might be. Nabokov allowed a goal on only the second shot of the game and is a troubling 5-for-7 so far. Howard allowed two goals, but made two gigantic (and difficult) glove saves to keep the Red Wings in the game and went 13-for-15 in the first.
The Red Wings must feel pretty good about this game because they were able tie things up despite being out-shot, out-hustled and beaten pretty badly in the faceoff circle to boot. It’s been a great game so far. Stay tuned for more updates.
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.
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: