Preseason quick recaps: September 23rd

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Earlier tonight, we touched on the Edmonton Oilers 5-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning. If you need a Cliff’s Notes version of that recap, here it is: Taylor Hall was good, Magnus Paajarvi was even better and the Lightning … well, they had some Dan Ellis Problems.

Anyway, in case you want to know about the six other games that took place tonight, you’ve come to the right place. Keep in mind that it’s foolish to put too much stock into any preseason results.

Florida Panthers 3, Boston Bruins 2

Plus: David Booth scored two goals and Michael Frolik notched two assists while Tomas Vokoun and Tyler Plante only allowed one goal each for the Florida Panthers tonight. It’s great to see Booth back after some serious concussion problems last season.

Minus: The Florida Panthers won’t be able to carry this win over to the regular season, something they never seem to begin with much gusto lately. Then again, the Panthers don’t often dominate the “with much gusto” category, anyway.

New York Rangers 4, New Jersey Devils 3 (OT)

Plus: It was a star-driven game tonight. Marian Gaborik scored two goals including the overtime-winner while this year’s big Rangers addition Alex Frolov earned the No. 1 star with a one-goal, two-assist performance. All three Devils goals were scored by their probable first line, as Ilya Kovalchuk, Zach Parise and Travis Zajac scored one goal each.

Minus: The Rangers are still crazy to pin their offensive hopes on Gaborik, a player so injury-prone he might as well be called the Slovakian Forsberg. The Devils no-longer-vaunted defense allowed 37 shots on goal in this one.

Toronto Maple Leafs 3, Philadelphia Flyers 2 (OT)

Plus: Colby Armstrong can briefly forget about the completely wooden acting performance he made in local Pittsburgh commercials a few years ago with a shootout winner. Both teams enjoyed some good goaltending, all things considered.

Minus: They might not have the same tie-breaking power, but 10-plus round shootouts clearly aren’t going extinct this season. Blimey.

Carolina Hurricanes 3, Nashville Predators 1

Plus: For at least one night, Patrick O’Sullivan justified his existence with a goal. He could be an underrated steal for Carolina – a noted place for cast-offs such as Jussi Jokinen and Sergei Samsonov (who also scored tonight) – if he can put it together this season. Eric Staal produced two assists.

Minus: This game is too unremarkable for their to being any true blemishes. It’s the nougat of hockey games.

Phoenix vs. LA part 1: Phoenix wins 2-1 in OT

Plus: Any sign of a pulse from Alex Ponikarovsky (one goal) must be a promising sign for the forward-poor Kings. Kyle Wellwood scored to the delight of anyone clamoring to make fat jokes. Solid human Shane Doan scored the OT GWG and assisted on Wellwood’s tally, both on the PP.

Minus: The Kings were out-shot 16-7 in the third period and 4-0 in overtime. Less than 6,000 people attended this game.

Phoenix vs. LA part 2:  Phoenix wins 3-1

Plus: The Coyotes took both of these split-team games, but I’m pretty sure neither contest including a matchup of “shirts and skins.” The attendance numbers of this one was quite a bit better, with 10,000+ in attendance (allegedly).

Minus: These split-team scrimmages are kind of obnoxious.

Speed, skill help Stars score late victory to take series lead over Blues

Dallas Stars defenseman John Klingberg (3) is hit by St. Louis Blues center Paul Stastny (26) during the second period in Game 1 in the second round of the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs Friday, April 29, 2016, in Dallas. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
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The Dallas Stars scored a late winner, held on in the final minute and eventually struck first in their best-of-seven second-round series with the St. Louis Blues.

Once again, it was the speed and skill of the Stars that proved to be the difference in the end. Radek Faksa scored with less than five minutes remaining in the third period, breaking the deadlock and giving Dallas a 2-1 victory and 1-0 series lead over their Central Division foes on Friday.

As he entered the zone on the rush, Faksa dished off to a flying Ales Hemsky, who was denied by Brian Elliott in alone. But Faksa followed up, jamming in the rebound to give the Stars the lead, as both St. Louis defensemen Jay Bouwmeester and Alex Pietrangelo were caught by the speed of the Dallas forwards on the rush.

The Stars held on from there, as the Blues made a late push to tie the game.

Kari Lehtonen stopped 31 of 32 shots for Dallas, while Elliott was busy throughout the night, stopping 40 of 42 shots.

Elliott was furious after the Stars opened the scoring in the second period, as Antoine Roussel tallied on a rebound after yet another nice Dallas passing play in the offensive zone.

Stars forward Patrick Eaves left the game early in the third period and didn’t play another shift after being hit in the lower part of his leg with the puck from a point shot.

 

Video: Roussel opens the scoring for Dallas and Elliott wasn’t happy about it

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The Dallas Stars grabbed the all-important first goal in Game 1 against the St. Louis Blues on Friday. And it was agitating forward Antoine Roussel who capitalized in the second period.

Roussel buried a rebound at the end of a pretty passing play from the Stars. Blues goalie Brian Elliott was furious, as defenseman Jay Bouwmeester slid into the crease in an attempt to block the shot.

WATCH LIVE: Nashville Predators at San Jose Sharks – Game 1

Nashville Predators' Paul Gaustad, left, defends against San Jose Sharks' Joel Ward (42) during the third period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015, in San Jose, Calif. Nashville won 2-1. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
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After stunning the Anaheim Ducks with a Game 7 win in the first round, the Nashville Predators remain in California to take on the San Jose Sharks in the second round. You can catch Game 1 on NBCSN (10:30 p.m. ET) or online with the NBC Sports’ Live Extra.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

Here are some links to check out for tonight’s game:

Sharks have some ‘pent up energy,’ eager to start series with Preds

Game 7 win is ‘a big step’ for Predators

Burns, Doughty, Karlsson named finalists for 2016 Norris Trophy

Ottawa Senators' Erik Karlsson poses with the James Norris Memorial Trophy after winning the award at the NHL Awards show Wednesday, June 24, 2015, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
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Brent Burns, Drew Doughty and Erik Karlsson have been named finalists for the Norris Trophy as the league’s top defenseman, but the debate about who should win is likely to persist right through to June 22 and the annual NHL Awards.

Not only did Karlsson, last year’s Norris winner, lead all blue liners is points with 82, he led the league in assists with 66 and finished tied with Joe Thornton for fourth in the entire NHL in total points. Those lofty offensive totals could make the Ottawa Senators star the clear favorite to claim the award for a third time in his career.

From NHL.com:

Karlsson is the first NHL defenseman to score at least 82 in a season since Brian Leetch of the New York Rangers (85 points) and Ray Bourque of the Boston Bruins (82 points) in 1995-96.

Burns — is there an award for most outrageous beard? — is also coming off an impressive regular season, finishing just shy of the 30-goal mark with 27 and 75 points in 82 games for the Sharks. He’s also had a strong showing in the post-season, as well, with eight points in the opening round versus L.A.

Doughty’s offensive numbers don’t match up with the production from Karlsson or Burns, with 51 points in 82 games for the Kings. There were eight defensemen ahead of him in overall point production. But he’s often recognized for logging hefty amounts of ice time, averaging 28:01 in the regular season, on a Kings team that often dominates puck possession at even strength.

“If you’re going to win, I don’t care how good you are, you’re going to have to play the other side of the puck,” Kings GM Dean Lombardi recently said to the Associated Press.

“You’re going to have to make those little plays that aren’t going to show up on the highlights. (Doughty’s) defensive partners — the little things he’ll do just to get his partner time to make a play. He’s three steps ahead of everything, and because he is that, he makes it look easy.”