Preseason quick recaps – October 2nd

Here are the rest of the preseason recaps from action last night. If you’re missing the goods from earlier in the day from Europe, don’t worry we got to that already.

Columbus 4 – Atlanta 3

Plus: Maybe there’s something to this Nikita Filatov kid after all. Two more goals in the preseason certainly helps make us believe it.

Minus: In the battle of goaltenders named Mason, Chris came up short against Steve, stopping 25 shots.

Toronto 4 – Detroit 2

Plus: Toronto came out all guns blazing against a very AHL-like Wings lineup and did their job. They were even able to give their own AHL-bound goalie Jussi Rynnas a bit of a confidence boost after getting shelled the other night.

Minus: Detroit’s Justin Abdelkader got a chance to show how his boxing lessons in the off-season worked out for him against Luke Schenn. Perhaps going back for a few more lessons might be a good idea.

Montreal 7 – NY Islanders 2

Plus: Benoit Pouliot and Tomas Plekanec were able to jump start themselves for the regular season by each scoring two goals against the Isles split squad.

Minus: Mike Cammalleri getting kicked out of the game for slashing Nino Niederreiter. Of course, Niederreiter might’ve lit the fuse by hitting Cammalleri questionably the play before that.

NY Islanders 2 – New Jersey 1

Plus: Getting a solid start out of Rick DiPietro has to make the Islanders feel pretty good. Ricky D stopped 25 shots in the win.

Minus: The Devils rolled out what amounts to be their opening night lineup and couldn’t take out the half-Isles. Oops.

Ottawa 8 – NY Rangers 5

Plus: Sens getting hat tricks from both Zack Smith and Chris Kelly ranks out as one of the most unlikely things I thought I’d ever write, yet here we are. Rangers getting two goals from Todd White is nice as he’s in danger of not making the team.

Minus: How about that goaltending? Martin Biron stopped 20 of 26 shots he faced, meanwhile Pascal Leclaire stopped 25 out of 30. Barf-tastic.

Tampa Bay 4 – Florida 1

Plus: Steven Stamkos appears to be ready for the regular season after a two-goal night. Vinny Lecavalier got on the board with a goal of his own. Florida’s Mike Santorelli continues to impress the Panthers scoring their only goal.

Minus: Panthers goalie Jakob Markstrom has had a rough training camp and he takes the loss again, this time thanks to his defense hanging him out to dry stopping 36 of 40 shots.

St. Louis 4 – Dallas 3 (F/OT)

Plus: Alex Steen had two assists for St. Louis while four different goal scorers got them the win. Jamie Benn had a goal and an assist for Dallas.

Minus: After Kari Lehtonen stopped all 19 shots he saw, Andrew Raycroft stopped just eight of 12 shots in taking the loss.

Los Angeles 3 – Colorado 2

Plus: Ryan Smyth scored the game-winning goal late in the third period while Anze Kopitar had a goal and an assist. David Jones scored both goals for Colorado.

Minus: The Avalanche taking another loss in the annual preseason battle with the Kings in Las Vegas. The Avs are now 2-10-2 in the series that dates back to 1998.

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    Ducks cement Pacific lead as Getzlaf continues his mammoth March

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    By the end of Sunday night, the Anaheim Ducks removed all doubt: they’re on top of the Pacific Division.

    Now, it’s not the sort of substantial lead that the sliding San Jose Sharks squandered; Anaheim merely leads the Sharks and Edmonton Oilers by two standings points after beating the New York Rangers 6-3.

    With everyone at 75 games played, it’s kind of nice to enjoy the clarity that comes with a clear lead (though the Sharks and Oilers will disagree):

    Pacific top four (all teams with 75 games played)

    1. Ducks – 93 points (38 ROW, 41 W)
    2. Sharks – 91 poitns (40 ROW, 42 W)
    3. Oilers – 91 points (37 ROW, 41 W)

    Flames – 88 points (38 ROW, 42 W)

    The Ducks are now on a four-game winning streak and managed an 8-1-1 mark in their last 10 contests.

    With all due respect to Patrick Eaves‘ two goals, it’s Ryan Getzlaf who’s really playing outstanding hockey. He generated four assists in this one, giving him eight helpers in his past four games. He now has a whopping 20 points in March.

    A lot going on – fight included – between Corey Perry, Brendan Smith (Video)

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    If there’s one thing that’s undeniable from the clip going on, it’s that Corey Perry and Brendan Smith squeezed a lot of activity (carnage?) into a single shift.

    Early on in Sunday’s New York Rangers – Anaheim Ducks game, both player delivered hits that were at least borderline dangerous. After that, they traded punches in a pretty solid fight (especially since they seemed a little tired because, again, this was a fairly elaborate sequence).

    It’s way too messy a sequence to call neat, but there is something efficient about trading hits and then getting into a fight. That’s a mini-hockey feud in short order.

    If you want a pretty moment to counteract all that, check out the great puck movement on this 3-on-1 goal for the Rangers:

    Penguins lose to Flyers and lose another key player to injury

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    PITTSBURGH — Even with a ridiculously long injured list that would be the foundation of a pretty good hockey team, the Pittsburgh Penguins still found a way to go 8-1-3 in their previous 12 games entering Sunday’s contest against the Philadelphia Flyers.

    The injuries finally seemed to start catching up to them on Sunday in a 6-2 loss, extending their current losing streak to three games, matching their season long.

    While the loss certainly impacts their pursuit of the top spot in the Metropolitan Division (they remain three points back of the Washington Capitals), and even their quest for home ice advantage in the first round, it is still not the worst thing to come out of Sunday’s game.

    The worst thing for them would be the fact the Penguins lost yet another key player to an injury when forward Conor Sheary had to leave the game mid-way through the first period.

    Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said after the game that Sheary is dealing with a lower body injury and that right now he is considered to be day-to-day. It was initially believed that Sheary was injured blocking a shot, but Sullivan insisted that was not the case and that it happened in the offensive zone at some point in the first period.

    With Jake Guentzel still sidelined due a concussion he suffered in a recent game against the Buffalo Sabres, that means two-thirds of the team’s recently assembled top line (Sidney Crosby-Sheary-Guentzel) is now sidelined due to injury. Sheary’s injury is especially concerning given how good he has been on Crosby’s wing dating back to the 2016 playoffs. Entering play on Sunday Sheary was averaging nearly a point per game (50 points in 54 games) with almost all of that production coming at even-strength.

    They had yet another scare in the third period on Sunday when defenseman Brian Dumoulin had to briefly leave the game and head to the locker room after he was elbowed in the side of the head by Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds.

    On Sunday, all of the injuries finally seemed to be too much with the Flyers pretty much dominating the game over the final two periods.

    The Flyers received goals from six different players (Jordan Weal, Valtteri Filppula, Dale Weise, Jakob Voracek, Radko Gudas and Shayne Gostisbehere) in the win and outshot the Penguins by a 24-15 margin over the final 40 minutes.

    “That wasn’t a good effort and at this point of the season we can’t afford to have those,” said Penguins forward Matt Cullen after the game. “I don’t think that was a typical effort for us. I don’t think we had a lot of life, to be honest.”

    Even more than winning games the rest of the way the biggest concern for the Penguins has to be getting their list of injured players healthy and finding a way to avoid adding to it, something that has proven to be difficult in recent weeks.

    At this point, whether they win the Metropolitan Division or not, they know their path through the Eastern Conference playoffs is very likely going to have to go through both Washington and Columbus, and they are going to need their full complement of players to do it.

    One of the biggest factors in winning a Stanley Cup is having all of your key players in the lineup come playoff time.

    A year ago the Penguins did.

    Right now they are not even close to having that.

    Video: Dumoulin shakes off elbow, Sheary out day-to-day for Penguins

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    Barring a major comeback, the Pittsburgh Penguins look like they’re going to lose to the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday. Their injury losses might be just as big.

    On the bright side, it seems like Brian Dumoulin was able to shake off an elbow from Wayne Simmonds. You can watch the hit, which didn’t draw a penalty, in the video above.

    Meanwhile, Conor Sheary has been missing since the first period with what might be a lower-body injury.

    The Penguins’ list of injuries is already pretty ridiculous, so if one or both of these players miss significant time, tonight will sting deeper than a setback on the scoreboard.

    Update after the Penguins’ loss: Seemingly good news, if very early and vague: