A couple of NHL teams got their preseason fun started early today by our schedule, mostly because they played their games in Europe. San Jose and Boston each did their part to spread the good word of the NHL to some local favorites in Ireland and Germany, and one team nearly did their ultimate part to send the hometown fans home happy.
Boston 5 – Belfast Giants 1
Plus: Tyler Seguin had two goals for the Bruins including a penalty shot goal. Zdeno Chara, Milan Lucic, and Brad Marchand also scored for the Bruins. Tuukka Rask scored the victory.
Minus: There was a span of nearly five minutes in the second period where the Bruins weren’t leading. It was a bummer to not see Shawn Thornton not score a goal. Thornton has family that hails from Belfast, Northern Ireland and we’re a sucker for that sort of story.
San Jose 3 – Mannheim 2 (F/SO)
Plus: Joe Thornton and Devin Steoguchi each had goals for San Jose. Mannheim’s Fred Brathwaite (yes, the former Atlanta Thrasher) and Lukas Lang were out-of-their-mind great in the game. Brathwaite stopped all 20 shots he saw his half of the game, while Lang stopped 38 out of 40 the rest of the way, ending up the hard luck loser in the shootout.
Minus: Come on, the Sharks needed to go to a shootout to beat a team from Germany’s Elite League. That’s no knock on Mannheim, but it is a huge knock on the Sharks.
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: