Preseason quick recaps – September 28th

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NHL.gifHere’s the recap of tonight’s preseason action. Soak it in.

Washington 3 – Boston 2

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.

Buffalo 2 – Ottawa 1

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.

Pittsburgh 4 – Chicago 1

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.

New Jersey 3 – Philadelphia 2

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.

Colorado 2 – Dallas 1

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.

Calgary 3 – Phoenix 1

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.

Vancouver 3 – San Jose 1

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.

Los Angeles 8 – Anaheim 3

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.

Caps prospect Madison Bowey could face supplemental discipline for high hit, possible slur

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 28:  Madison Bowey #22 of the Washington Capitals skates against the Washington Capitals at the Barclays Center on September 28, 2015 in Brooklyn borough of New York City. The Capitals defeated the Islanders 3-1.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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Capitals prospect Madison Bowey is in trouble. The 21-year-old could face supplemental discipline for a pair of incidents that occurred in Game 4 of the Calder Cup Eastern Conference Final on Friday night.

The Hershey Bears defenseman was tossed from the game for delivering a high hit to the head of Toronto Marlies forward Kasperi Kapanen. The 19-year-old was shaken up on the play, but was able to skate off the ice on his own.

Bowey also appears to use a homophobic slur as the on-ice official is escorting him off the ice (the incident was caught on camera).

Here’s some footage of the hit:

Bowey was tossed from the game.

The hit might not be extremely vicious, but it’s unnecessarily high. The possible slur definitely doesn’t improve his odds of escaping without a suspension.

Earlier this season, ‘Hawks forward Andrew Shaw was suspended one game by the NHL for using a homophobic slur during a game.

‘I felt a huge pop’: Bishop suffered an ankle/shin injury in Eastern Conference Final

Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Ben Bishop looks at the ice after allowing a goal by Detroit Red Wings' Gustav Nyquist in the second period of an NHL hockey game in Detroit, Saturday, March 28, 2015. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
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Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Ben Bishop revealed he had strained ligaments in his ankle/shin area, which ultimately put him on the sidelines for the Eastern Conference Final.

Bishop was stretchered off the ice after suffering the injury in the first period of Game 1 versus the Pittsburgh Penguins, and never returned to game action, meaning back-up Andrei Vasilevskiy had to take over the starting duties for the duration of the series.

“When I went down, I felt a huge pop. I thought somebody two-handed me in the shin. Once I felt the pop and then it was a bunch of pressure and pain, I thought my leg broke,” Bishop told reporters.

“I pretty much strained all the stuff in my shin and ankle. I was coming back and it was getting better. I was able to skate there at the end but going down in the butterfly and those movements — like going up against the post — it was still really painful and I just wouldn’t have been effective.”

Bishop estimated he was getting close to a return, but still a “week or so” before he could play with the pain.

“It was getting there. Just tough timing.”

Bishop, 29, has one more year remaining on his current deal that comes with a cap hit of $5.95 million and is slated to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of next season. Vasilevskiy, 21, played well when called upon in the post-season and has one year remaining on his deal. He’s slated to become a restricted free agent after next season.

Lightning GM Steve Yzerman acknowledged that at some point, a decision on their goalies will probably be necessary, either for salary cap reasons or perhaps a potential expansion draft.

“We’ve got two outstanding goaltenders. I know that,” said Yzerman.

Added Bishop: “If you look around this league right now, you need two goalies to win.”

Yzerman: ‘I think the best thing for this team is Jonathan Drouin being on it’

TAMPA, FL - APRIL 30:  Jonathan Drouin #27 of the Tampa Bay Lightning celebrates his goal against the New York Islanders  during the first period in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Second Round during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena on April 30, 2016 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Scott Iskowitz/Getty Images)
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Talk about a whirlwind season for Jonathan Drouin.

The talented forward, and third overall pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, went from the center of a well documented controversy for a public trade request to a pivotal component for the Tampa Bay Lightning in its playoff quest that fell just short of a Stanley Cup Final berth after a Game 7 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Eastern Conference Final.

The 21-year-old Drouin, recalled from the AHL when Steven Stamkos was taken out of the lineup with a blood clot, scored five goals and 14 points in 17 playoff games. And, based on the comments of general manager Steve Yzerman to reporters, he’ll be a regular on this team when the 2016-17 season begins in the fall.

Drouin has one more year remaining on his entry-level contract before he’s a restricted free agent, as per General Fanager.

Funny how some things can change.

The Drouin trade request was one of the more contentious — not to mention ongoing — storylines this season. But it could be that both sides have since resolved their differences.

“I definitely want to be here,” said Drouin, as per the Tampa Bay Times. “I love the way this ended, I guess with this different and weird year. But the way this finished and it’s definitely somewhere I want to play.”

In this case, the best deal was the one Yzerman never made. Even as speculation and reports and rumor circulated the situation for weeks leading up to the trade deadline.

“He makes us a better team. Simple as that,” Yzerman told reporters. “He can do things — a talented young player that’s only going to get better.

“I think the best thing for this team is Jonathan Drouin being on it.”

 

Penguins enter Stanley Cup Final as favorites over Sharks: online bookmaker

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The Pittsburgh Penguins, led by the likes of Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang, were last in the Stanley Cup Final in 2009, when they hoisted hockey’s silver chalice.

The San Jose Sharks are in uncharted waters, having never been here before, and that includes Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau, both veterans of more than 1,000 regular season games played.

Perhaps that’s why the Penguins, one of the marquee NHL teams given their generational super star Crosby, are -135 favorites to win the Stanley Cup, according to online bookmaker Bovada on Friday. The Sharks were listed as +115 underdogs.

The Penguins, a force in the NHL since a coaching change in mid-December, became the betting favorites to win it all following their series win over Alex Ovechkin and the rival Washington Capitals in the second round.

Game 1 of the final goes Monday in Pittsburgh, where the Penguins will start with home ice advantage.

So far in these playoffs, the Penguins have gone 7-3 at Consol Energy Center. The Sharks are 5-4 on the road, where they actually started 3-0 following the first round against the L.A. Kings.

Right now, the Sharks possess the top three point producers in these playoffs in Logan Couture, Joe Pavelski (the leading goal scorer with 13) and Brent Burns, while Phil Kessel — as part of that dynamic HBK Line — is fifth in the league and leads the Penguins with 18 points in 18 games.