Nightly recap: Chicago and Pittsburgh remain winless at home, Tampa Bay steals one from Montreal

Well, tonight was certainly an odd night of hockey. To steal a phrase from professional wrestling, the Tampa Bay Lightning and Nashville Predators “hooked the tights” to shock their opponents late in games while the Chicago Blackhawks and Pittsburgh Penguins apparently haven’t seen those Under Armour “must protect this house” commercials (they are a collective 0-5 at home so far this season).

Anyway, obscure goofy sports clothing commercial references aside, let’s take a look at the first five games today (we’ll take a look at Vancouver at Anaheim later tonight or early tomorrow).

Washington 2, NY Islanders 1

Eh, same old, same old. Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom starred for Washington (each player notched one goal and one assist) while the Capitals beat the Islanders. Ho hum, right?

Well, it wasn’t all old hat. For one thing, there was a first: Nino Niederreiter – the youngest player in the NHL – scored his first career goal in this one. It also happened to be a low-scoring, low-shot affair as Michal Neuvirth (23 out of 24 saves) slightly edged Dwayne Roloson (24 out of 26 saves). Sure, it ended with the Capitals taking two points and the Islanders leaving with zero, but it wasn’t the blowout many expected.

New Jersey 1, Buffalo 0 (OT)

Read all about Martin Brodeur and Ryan Miller’s impressive performances by clicking here.

Toronto 4, Pittsburgh 3

I’ve heard about sports teams struggling to get acclimated to their new digs, but jeez, Pittsburgh is really taking that one far. They’re now winless in three games, but even worse, they didn’t even gain consolation points by losing during overtime or in shootouts. Meanwhile, the Toronto Maple Leafs are now 3-0 and it’s not just against cream puffs, either.

Unless, um, the Penguins turn out to be cream puffs this season. Yikes.

Tampa Bay 4, Montreal 3 (OT)

The Canadiens looked like they were poised to take this one until Steve Stamkos scored a power-play goal with just a little more than a minute left in the third period to send this one to overtime. Ryan Malone then sent Montreal fans home shocked as he scored an opportunistic goal in overtime, adding a game-winner to his two secondary assists. (It seems like the move to No. 6 is going well for Malone.)

Carey Price is the last person to blame for this, as his regular season has been the polar opposite of his horrid preseason so far. He made 44 out of 48 saves in this one while Mike Smith had a much easier workload, stopping 24 out of 27.

Nashville 3, Chicago 2

The Nashville Predators won this one seemingly out of nowhere, in a way that would make Ric Flair proud (if he was involved in anything but the occasional Carolina Hurricanes game). Joel Ward scored a game-winning power-play goal with only 27 seconds left in the game as Nashville continue to be a difficult foe to deal with for Chicago.

Scroll Down For:

    Video: This Kane-to-Panarin goal is all sorts of ridiculous

    1 Comment

    When people were arguing against Artemi Panarin‘s Calder case, they often discounted his work because of Patrick Kane‘s brilliance (at least when they weren’t focusing on age questions).

    It always felt a little unfair to Panarin.

    Do we blame a great wide receiver playing with an adept quarterback? Sure, it’s an interesting discussion to have, but it seems fairly clear that there’s a symbiotic relationship between Panarin and Kane.

    One could see that plainly in a 1-0 goal for the Chicago Blackhawks against the Pittsburgh Penguins that … admittedly was driven by Kane’s almost audacious creativity and skill.

    But still, Panarin has 26 goals this season because he’s really good, too. This season has been a nice showcase for such thoughts, and a reminder that – like most great combinations – they make each other better.

    (Seriously though, Kane was out of his mind there.)

    ‘Old Time Hockey’ video game takes a bit of an early beating from reviewers

    2 Comments

    From the sound of things, “Old Time Hockey” is a video game with a lot of heart, but maybe not the skills to make it to the big time.

    While “NHL 17” is pumped out by publishing giant EA Sports, this title is very much an independent labor of love by a company called V7 Entertainment. Puck Daddy’s Sean Leahy provided a great interview with the developers here. It’s worth noting that the game reminds one of 8-bit titles in another way: lacking an NHL license, these teams are instead fictional. This isn’t necessarily a drawback as much as it provides the title with its own unique “flavor.”

    It’s hard not to get behind a scrappy development, especially in an age where sports video game options are so scarce. Some leagues barely see any licensed games any longer (see: the MLB, which feels woefully misrepresented these days), and the arcade-style that “Blades of Steel” and other old-school games popularized is even tougher to come by.

    Combine these factors with an aesthetic inspired by “Slap Shot” and “Old Time Hockey” seems like it could really scratch an itch … except, it sounds like the puck missed the net.

    So far, reviews are pretty mixed for the title, which is currently on PC and Playstation 4 (with planned releases on Xbox One and Nintendo Switch).

    While there are a few good reviews here and there, the general reception is of disappointment.

    A Sporting News review states that “the promising premise falls apart quickly.” Game Informer slams a “slew-footed story mode.” PC Gamer notes that, with EA not releasing an NHL game on that platform since 2008, there was a need here … but it wasn’t met.

    Does that mean there’s no fun to be had? Not necessarily, but it’s a bummer that the game might be off the mark, especially since V7 Entertainment seems to have its heart in the right place.

    Then again, maybe those who want that “NHL 94” fix merely need to dig a little. As this Vice article points out, there’s still an active community playing the sort of game that scratches the itch that “Old Time Hockey” – perhaps – can’t quite reach.

    WATCH LIVE: Blackhawks at Penguins – Wednesday Night Rivalry

    Getty
    Leave a comment

    The latest edition of NBCSN’s Wednesday Night Rivalry presents quite the treat: the Chicago Blackhawks at the Pittsburgh Penguins.

    Both teams are at 103 standings points and each squad already punched a ticket to the playoffs. Even so, they’re dealing with mini-slumps that they’d like to work out tonight.

    For all we know, this could be a preview of what would be one extremely fun, high-profile 2017 Stanley Cup Final. Either way, it’s a showcase of two premiere franchises brimming with star power.

    You can watch on NBCSN, online and via NBC Sports App. Click here for the livestream.

    Yes, NHL will share protected, available player lists for expansion draft

    Getty
    1 Comment

    We can debate all day how much the NHL, Vegas Golden Knights and others involved really want to do this, but they’re making the right choice with the expansion draft nonetheless. The league will make protected and available players lists available at the same time they’re shared with teams, according to NHL.com’s Nick Cotsonika.

    (The NHL tweeted out as much, too.)

    Could this lead to feelings being hurt or perhaps even certain sneaky deals being scuttled? Perhaps, but those are headaches that management should be expected to absorb.

    The bottom line is that an expansion draft is a dream come true for armchair GMs, rumor enthusiasts, fantasy sports fans and … really, just about anyone interested in hockey. It would be a bewildering decision to try to keep all of this information locked down, even for a league that frequently garners a reputation for choosing comfort over entertainment value.

    Cotsonika reports that such lists will probably be made available on June 18, though that isn’t set in stone. NHL.com’s Dan Rosen also backs this up as a possible date.

    (If you’re the type to take off work if a trade deadline was exciting, you might want to start drumming up excuses/putting aside vacation time/practicing your best “I’m sick” voice just in case …)

    Cap Friendly provides a handy timeline for the expansion draft process: