NHL preseason schedule begins with 9 games tonight, NHL Network carries three

Today is a good day to be a hockey fan, even if by the nature of preseason competition, we probably won’t remember these results once the first week of the regular season is over. The NHL’s preseason begins with nine games tonight, three of which will appear on the U.S. version of the NHL Network (although only one is live).

Here’s the games you can see if you have that station, first, from yesterday’s TV schedule. Again, these include the times the games will appear on the network, rather than their actual start times. (I’ll put the actual start times in bold for you.)

(All times listed as ET)

Format: Date, Visitor, Home team, Time, 

Tues, 9/21 New Jersey Devils Philadelphia Flyers 7:00 PM LIVE
Tues, 9/21 Ottawa Senators Toronto Maple Leafs 10:00 PM (actual start time: 7PM ET)
Tues, 9/21 Vancouver Canucks Calgary Flames 2:00 AM * (actual start time: 9PM ET)

Here are the six remaining games:

Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Atlanta Thrashers, 7PM ET

Florida Panthers vs. Carolina Hurricanes, 7PM ET

Colorado Avalanche vs. St. Louis Blues, 8PM ET

Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Dallas Stars, 8:30PM ET

Calgary Flames vs. Vancouver Canucks, 10PM ET (Note: the Flames and Canucks are playing “split-squad” games tonight, according to NHL.com.)

Phoenix Coyotes vs. Anaheim Ducks, 10PM ET

So fans rejoice because the exhibitions will begin. October 7th is right around the corner.

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    Crosby roars, Malkin scores in OT for Penguins win

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    Controversy just seems to find the Pittsburgh Penguins. Credit Sidney Crosby & Co. for responding with a win on Wednesday.

    Crosby generated two pretty goals, including this slam-dunk slapper:

    … While Evgeni Malkin‘s overtime-winner stood as the Penguins managed a 4-3 overtime win against the St. Louis Blues tonight.

    (You can see Malkin’s OT-clincher in the video above this post.)

    Will this win and strong performance from Crosby silence murmurs about his relationship with Mario Lemieux? Probably not, yet it likely turns the volume down in some ways, including killing the “Is he struggling because of distractions” storyline.

    You know, at least for a little while. Maybe.

    Fight video: Claude Giroux vs. Nick Leddy

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    Claude Giroux isn’t the nastiest, most physical captain the Philadelphia Flyers have employed. Even so, he can be feisty at times.

    Wednesday showed that, as he clearly wasn’t happy with an earlier Nick Leddy hit, and eventually got the New York Islanders defenseman to drop his gloves.

    You can see the fight and the check that inspired that scrap in the video above.

    It’s the fourth fight Giroux has been a part of, with his most recent adversary being may his most bitter rival.

    Not a heavyweight bout between Giroux and Leddy, mind you, but sometimes it’s amusing to soak in such a rare sight.

    Carter Hutton gets flipped, stays in game

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    Carter Hutton is getting something that might make fellow Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne jealous: goal support.

    Still, there was at least one moment where Rinne was likely happy to be on the bench, as Hutton was left flipping during this collision with Buffalo Sabres forward Marcus Foligno:

    Remarkably, Hutton remained in the game.

    If you’re the type who loves adding to your “hockey players are tough” files, put this under the goalies section.

    Check out this incredible shot of that moment:

    Update: The Predators held off the Buffalo Sabres to win 3-2.

    Habs win big against Rangers, may have lost big with Price hurt

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    Tonight was supposed to be about a clash of two Eastern Conference titans who sport arguably the two best goalies in the NHL. That mattered to Montreal Canadiens fans for about half the game against the New York Rangers, give or take a few minutes.

    Priorities are now shifting to calling upon higher powers/etc. in hopes that Carey Price is OK.

    Mike Condon replaced Price in the third period and … well, people are concerned.

    Again, people are pretty worried right now.

    Price being replaced isn’t the greatest sign, yet it’s early, so stay tuned for updates. Maybe it will merely be a matter of playing it safe?

    Update: The good news is that Montreal won by a significant 5-1 margin.

    Yes, that probably isn’t much solace for Habs fans. Agreed.

    It sounds like Price re-aggravated his previous injury.