Sometimes the perils of dropping the gloves can have unforeseen circumstances. In the case of Ducks defenseman Andy Sutton, taking swings at Red Wings defenseman Ruslan Salei can bring about problems. Like a broken thumb.
Not only did the Ducks begin the season with a one-sided loss to the Detroit Red Wings on Friday night, defenseman Andy Sutton suffered a fractured right thumb when he was injured in the second period.
No timetable on his possible return was given as the club said he will be re-evaluated today, either in Nashville or in Anaheim, if the decision is made to send him home early. Sutton was wearing a cast after the game and wasn’t available for comment.
If there’s one thing the Ducks can’t afford it’s to have their defense take any hits whatsoever. Losing a guy who takes pride in his defensive game on a team that severely lacks a defensive presence on the blue line makes things even more difficult. Prospect defenseman Luca Sbisa will get the call to take Sutton’s spot in the lineup, meaning both Sbisa and 2010 first round pick Cam Fowler make up one-third of the Ducks defensemen. That’s a lot of youth.
Sbisa isn’t too green to the NHL however, having played 39 games for the Flyers back in 2008-2009 and eight games last season with Anaheim before being sent back to junior hockey.
The Ducks were out shot in the game with Detroit 43-21 and asking for a young guy like Luca Sbisa to step into that role is asking a lot of him. If the Ducks can’t tighten things up defensively, a task that was set to be tall as it is, both Sbisa and Fowler are going to get a sudden taste of NHL life on the blue line.
But the chance for at least a single point slipped at the worst possible time, as Jonathan Toews scored with 1:18 left in regulation and then set up an empty net goal from Marian Hossa just a few seconds later to secure the 4-2 win.
The Canucks remain stuck at five wins — just five wins — on the road. They have the 29th-ranked road record in the entire NHL. Only the Arizona Coyotes have been worse away from home ice. So, that’s a problem that needs to be fixed down the stretch.
Vancouver had a chance to move into a wild card spot. Instead, they let the Blackhawks regain momentum as the period went on, and as a result, they remain on the outside of the Western Conference playoff picture for right now.
Corey Crawford earned his 200th career win, making 26 saves. That’s a milestone night for him. For Toews, that’s his most productive night of the season, as he factored into all four Chicago goals, which, of course, included the winner.
So overtime against the New York Islanders seemed like a perfect time for captain Claude Giroux to bust his scoring slump.
Without a goal in his last 12 games, or since Dec. 21 before the holiday break, Giroux finished the Flyers comeback with an overtime goal to give Philly a 3-2 victory on Sunday. Jakub Voracek did great work along the boards to force a turnover from John Tavares, and Shayne Gostisbehere followed up his chance with a quick pass to a wide-open Giroux at the top of the crease.
That comeback win — Philly trailed by two goals early in the second period — bumps the Flyers back into a wild card spot.
Steve Mason had a big game in net for Philly, with 36 saves, while the Flyers fired 47 shots on goal toward Thomas Greiss, although it’s a difficult task trying to re-set and stop Giroux — an accomplished scorer in the NHL — on the doorstep.
Goals, goals and more goals! Blue Jackets outlast Senators for overtime win
Plenty of goals. A little three-on-three overtime. Seemed like an enjoyable afternoon of hockey between the Ottawa Senators and Columbus Blue Jackets.
Well, maybe the goalies, Mike Condon and Joonas Korpisalo, didn’t enjoy it as much.
The Blue Jackets prevailed for a 7-6 overtime win, with Cam Atkinson scoring just 1:09 into the extra period. That’s his 23rd goal of the season. Only two players — Jeff Carter (24) and Sidney Crosby (28) — have scored more goals than Atkinson this season.
With the win, and the Capitals sitting idle today, the Blue Jackets move back into a tie with Washington at 68 points in the fight for first place in the Metropolitan Division.
There were some anxious moments for Columbus.
Rookie defenseman Zach Werenski was hurt blocking a shot in the third period. He briefly left the game, unable to put any pressure on his right leg as he was helped off.
The good news: He only missed a few minutes, returning late in regulation and for the overtime as well, which is important for the Blue Jackets.
#CBJ Zach Werenski said on @FOXSportsOH post-game he "thought it was broken" and "long term" injury when he blocked the shot.
“He’s made a couple of huge mistakes in a game and he comes to the bench, shakes it off and then goes out and makes a great play. For a 19-year-old playing that position and the amount of time he’s getting in key situations with this organization, it’s pretty impressive.”