Here’s the recap of tonight’s preseason action. Soak it in.
Plus: Alex Semin had a goal for Washington. Michael Neuvirth played well for the Caps in goal. Brad Marchand had a goal for Boston.
Minus: Alex Ovechkin got a bit grumpy in this one and exchanged some spirited words with Gregory Campbell. It also offered up this photo from Russian Machine Never Breaks that will surely get overanalyzed by everyone with access to a computer.
Plus: Ryan Miller played the whole way and did well to earn the win. Jason Pominville scored the game-winner for the Sabres. Patrick Wiercioch scored Ottawa’s only goal.
Minus: Ottawa goalie Robin Lehner misplayed a puck on the small ice surface in Dundas, Ontario that lead to a Rob Niedermayer shorthanded goal. Oops. The rink was ten feet shorter in length and five feet lesser in width.
Plus: Evgeni Malkin played a strong game, adding a goal while Pens defenseman Paul Martin had two assists. Brent Johnson stopped 21 shots in the win. Kyle Beach continued his strong camp scoring Chicago’s lone goal.
Minus: Chicago goaltending was in rough shape tonight getting hung out to dry by their defense to the tune of 39 shots.
Columbus 3 – Minnesota 2 (F/SO)
Plus: Nikita Filatov had a strong game for the Jackets scoring in regulation and the shootout. Matt Cullen played well for the Wild scoring once.
Minus: Yes, another preseason shootout. Brutal. Just as brutal? The Wild. They rolled out what was essentially their opening night lineup against Columbus’ B/C team and still lost. Confidence is very low in Minnesota right now.
Plus: Ilya Kovalchuk played a great game and scored the eventual game-winning goal. Travis Zajac and Adam Mair also had goals for the Devils. Nikolai Zherdev had a goal and an assist for Philly. Martin Brodeur stopped 26 in getting the win.
Minus: Devils defenseman Bryce Salvador left the game with an injury.
Plus: Paul Stastny had both Colorado goals in the win. James Neal had Dallas’ lone goal. Peter Budaj stopped just 20 shots in the win.
Minus: Dallas’ offense for generating just 21 shots on goal against a Colorado team that’s been letting teams shoot at will in the preseason.
Plus: Jarome Iginla had a goal as did Niklas Hagman. Youngster T.J. Brodie had another goal for Calgary in the preseason. He’s doing well to impress coaches. Henrik Karlsson stopped 19 shots in the win.
Minus: Olli Jokinen left the game with an injury, but according to Coach Sutter, it’s a minor thing and he’ll be all right. Crisis averted.
Plus: Solid game all around for Vancouver getting scoring from all over the place. Cory Schneider bounced back well in goal stopping 23 shots for the win.
Minus: Antti Niemi looked a bit rough out there stopping just 19 shots in the loss. Canucks rookie wonder Cody Hodgson was buried on the fourth line by the end of this one, playing just 11:33 of this game. Can’t really get a good look at a player if he’s glued to the bench.
Plus: How about that Kings offense? Anze Kopitar had four assists, meanwhile Jack Johnson had two goals and an assist to lead the way for the Kings. Todd Marchant had two goals for Anaheim in a losing effort.
Minus: Everything the Ducks did tonight. Perhaps part of their evil plan was to make the Kings look so good they don’t want to send anyone to the AHL and then they get busted for a roster violation. Curtis McElhinney stopped 34 of the 42 shots he saw in this one. Ouch, babe.