Nightly recap – October 14

Let’s take a look at the five “earlier” games that took place today. We’ll cover the Florida-Calgary contest tomorrow morning.

Ottawa 3, Carolina 2

The Senators managed to win this one despite being shaken up by the injury of their starting goalie, Pascal Leclaire. Then again, Ottawa may secretly benefit from Leclaire’s departure, as I discussed here.

Mike “Mr. Underwood” Fisher scored two goals for Ottawa, including the game-winner on the power-play. Eric Staal scored one goal and assisted on returning forward Sergei Samsonov’s power-play tally and Cam Ward put up a great performance, but it wasn’t enough to keep Ottawa from earning their first win of the season.

Tampa Bay 3, Philadelphia 2

Sure, it absolutely is early, but the Lightning look like they might justify some of the “most improved in hockey” hype they received this summer. They survived being out-shot 15-4 in the first period (leaving it tied 1-1) and Steve Stamkos scored yet again to prove that last season was far from a fluke.

Nashville 4, St. Louis 3

Despite being out-shot 35-22, Anders Lindback and the Predators managed to beat another Central Division foe in regulation. Steve Sullivan is hot so far this season (four goals in only three games) while Cal O’Reilly put up an impressive three assists to help Nashville win this one.

Dallas 4, Detroit 1

What was supposed to be a stomach-turning night in Dallas turned into a feel-good evening. Stars fans cheered for returning hero Mike Modano despite his presence in a Red Wings jersey then cheered an impressive win for their team, as Brad Richards scored one goal and two assists while Mike Ribeiro and Brenden Morrow seem like they’ve found a time machine to the 2008-09 season. Sadly, Chris Osgood appears to be in his “regular season form,” allowing four goals on only 15 shots.

Minnesota 4, Edmonton 2

Niklas Backstrom is now 13-0 against the Oilers in Minnesota, as he stopped 24 out of 26 shots to help the Wild win. Mikko Koivu continued his strong start to the season with a dominant performance, scoring two goals and one assist – all on the man advantage. The Wild powerplay was the real star of the show, though, going 4-for-6 on the night.

Another Sabre hurt: Gionta (lower body) day-to-day

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On the eve of their season opener, the Buffalo Sabres got another bit of bad health news.

Captain Brian Gionta missed practice and is day-to-day with a lower-body injury, per head coach Dan Bylsma. The ailment puts the 36-year-old’s availability for Thursday’s game against Ottawa in jeopardy.

The ailment also puts Gionta alongside a slew of hurting Sabres. Defensemen Zach Bogosian and Josh Gorges were on the injured list when Buffalo’ roster was released this morning, along with rookie Brendan Guhle and veteran Cody McCormick.

There is a bright light for Buffalo, however.

Gorges skated on Wednesday and could possibly dress tomorrow, per Bylsma. If he does play, it’ll likely be on a pairing with Rasmus Ristolainen.

Blues put Berglund on LTIR, use savings to sign Gomez

Scotte Gomez
AP Photo
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As was the case last season, Scott Gomez accepted a professional tryout offer because he went unsigned over the summer and once again he has used that opportunity to extend his career.

The St. Louis Blues announced that they have signed Gomez to a one-year contract. They didn’t disclose the financial terms, but it’s a two-way deal that comes with a base salary of $575K at the NHL level, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Jeremy Rutherford.

In order to free up the space necessary to sign him, St. Louis moved Patrik Berglund to the long-term injured reserve list. Berglund had shoulder surgery in August and isn’t expected to be available until January.

Gomez, 35, is coming off of a resurgence campaign where he recorded 34 points in 58 games on a Devils’ team that finished near the bottom of the pack offensively. The two-time Stanley Cup champion will be bringing more than a 1,000 games worth of NHL experience to St. Louis.

He’s not the only veteran forward to make the team off of a PTO as the Blues signed Scottie Upshall on Monday.