Nightly recap – October 16

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We won’t be able to cover the two latest games, but there’s plenty of hockey to go around with 12 games on the docket tonight. Let’s take a look at a busy night in the NHL.

Pittsburgh 5, Philadelphia 1

Read all about Brent Johnson and Sidney Crosby’s strong night here.

Montreal 4, Ottawa 3

Carey Price had been playing out of his mind while his team let him down a bit for most of the games this season, but in this one his teammates helped him get over a weak performance (three goals allowed on 19 shots). The Canadiens came back from a 3-1 deficit created mainly by Milan Michalek’s two goals to win this in regulation 4-3. Tomas Plekanec assisted on the tying goal before scoring the winner.

Florida 6, Tampa Bay 0

Read all about Tomas Vokoun’s second straight shutout here. Beyond that, the Panthers shut down the previously undefeated Lightning while getting two goals and one assist from David Booth, one goal and two assists for Rostislav Olesz and an impressive four assists from much-derided defenseman Bryan McCabe.

Boston 4, New Jersey 1

Tim Thomas is now 2-0 and has only allowed one goal so far this season, which came via Dainius Zubrus to start off the scoring. After that, the Bruins rattled off four second period goals with Jordan Caron scoring his first NHL tally to start things off. Is it time to worry a bit in New Jersey?

NY Islanders 5, Colorado 2

It’s not every day that hard-hitting defenseman scores two goals and one assist, but that’s exactly what occurred in this one. This win pulls the Islanders into a tie with the Pittsburgh Penguins to lead the Atlantic Division and the Isles played one less game so far this season.

Columbus 3, Minnesota 2

The Wild responded with two second period goals after being booed off the ice following a two-shot first period, but they weren’t able to beat the Blue Jackets in this one. R.J. Umberger won this one with a shorthanded goal in the third period.

Washington 3, Nashville 2 (OT)

The Predators carried a 2-0 lead into the third period of this game, but the Capitals rallied to earn their fourth win of the season (all with Michal Neuvirth in net). Both injury-prompted goalies Neuvirth and Anders Linback produced 30+ saves in this one. Brooks Laich earned the number one star nod by assisting on the tying goal and then scoring the OT winner by tipping in an Alex Ovechkin slapper.

Chicago 4, Buffalo 3

Marty Turco earned his first win as a Blackhawk the hard way. He helped Chicago win the game despite being badly out-shot (41-21), while Patrick Sharp scored two goals – including the GWG – to help the Blackhawks beat the hard luck Sabres. This marks the second game they’ve lost by one goal to the Blackhawks this season, but at least this time they can blame Patrick Lalime.

Dallas 3, St. Louis 2 (SO)

Sometimes to be a good team, you also have to get a little luck. The Stars were pretty lucky to win this one, as Kari Lehtonen needed to make 41 saves to keep Dallas in this game. The Brad Richards-James Neal-Loui Eriksson combination might be the best line in this young season, as the trio factored into the Stars’ two goals.

Detroit 2, Phoenix 1 (OT)

Going 1 for 8 on the PP isn’t too great, but when that goal wins you a game, it’s hard to complain. Niklas Kronwall scored the game-winner on the man advantage in overtime with only 16 seconds left in the extra frame. The Red Wings were on the PP for four minutes of that overtime period, so if they let this slip away, they would’ve been kicking themselves quite a bit.

Expect word on the Edmonton-Calgary and Atlanta-San Jose games tomorrow morning.

Schwartz (hand) suffers scare at Blues practice, but Hitch says ‘he’ll be fine’

St. Louis Blues left wing Jaden Schwartz celebrates after scoring during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Florida Panthers, Friday, Feb. 12, 2016, in Sunrise, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
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You couldn’t blame the Blues for freaking out a bit today when Jaden Schwartz left practice after an apparent hand injury, and didn’t return.

It was last October, of course, when Schwartz fractured his ankle during practice, an injury that required surgery and sidelined him for 49 games.

Thankfully for St. Louis, it won’t be deja vu.

From the Post-Dispatch:

Coach Ken Hitchcock said Schwartz was fine but would miss some practice.

“He’ll need a couple days off, but he’s a lot like Fabbri,” Hitchcock said. “He’s probably not going to skate this weekend in any of the games but he’ll be ready to go next weekend.

“He’s day to day. He’ll be fine.”

Signed to a five-year, $26.75 million extension this summer, Schwartz will be a big piece of the Blues moving forward.

He’s coming off a good playoff run — 14 points in 20 games — and the club is hopeful he can build on the goalscoring form shown in ’13-14 (25 tallies) and ’14-15 (a career-high 28).

 

Kucherov won’t report to Bolts until he’s signed

TAMPA, FL - APRIL 16: Nikita Kucherov #86 of the Tampa Bay Lightning is checked by Danny DeKeyser #65 of the Detroit Red Wings in front of Petr Mrazek #34 in Game One of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2015 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena on April 16, 2015 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images)
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Nikita Kucherov will not report to Tampa Bay Lightning training camp until he’s signed. The 23-year-old winger is not currently under contract, though as a restricted free agent he is partially under club control.

From the Tampa Bay Times, which confirmed through GM Steve Yzerman that Kucherov would not be reporting:

Kucherov, the team’s leading scorer last season, could warrant $6 million or more annually. And that makes it difficult for the Lightning, which has between $5-5.5 million of cap space remaining, per CapFriendly.com. It begs the question whether Tampa Bay may need to make another move to create room. With the season opening two weeks from today, no deal appears imminent.

Yzerman said earlier in the month that he can get Kucherov signed without making a trade, but as mentioned, no deal has been reached yet.

Kucherov is one of a handful of high-profile RFAs who remain unsigned as the regular season approaches. The others are Johnny Gaudreau, Rasmus Ristolainen, Jacob Trouba, Hampus Lindholm, Rickard Rakell, and Tobias Rieder, the latter of whom requested a trade yesterday.

Trouba has also requested a trade.

Related: Ristolainen, still without a contract, makes ‘good will’ gesture towards Sabres

Another — yes, another — blow for Dallas as Janmark spotted on crutches

PITTSBURGH, PA - OCTOBER 22: Mattias Janmark #13 of the Dallas Stars looks on against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the game at Consol Energy Center on October 22, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Matt Kincaid/Getty Images)
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This has been a forgettable month for the Stars.

To say the least.

Having already lost Tyler Seguin (heel), Cody Eakin (knee) and Ales Hemsky (groin) to injury — and Valeri Nichushkin to the KHL — Dallas could now be without versatile Swedish forward Mattias Janmark, who was spotted on crutches Thursday at the club’s practice facility.

Janmark missed Wednesday’s game against Colorado, and was held out of today’s training session.

After surprising onlookers by making the Stars out of camp last year — a “great story,” according to GM Jim Nill — Janmark, 23, went on to have a pretty successful rookie campaign, scoring 15 goals and 29 points in 73 games.

He also fared well in the playoffs, with five points in 12 contests.

If there’s a silver lining to any of this, it’s that Dallas has arguably the NHL’s deepest forward group. Even with Seguin, Eakin, Hemsky, Nichushkin and Janmark out of action, the Stars can still roll the likes of Jamie Benn, Jason Spezza, Patrick Sharp and Jiri Hudler, and still have one of the league’s premier point producers on defense in John Klingberg.

That said, the team really can’t afford any more guys getting hurt.

Ristolainen, still without a contract, makes ‘good will’ gesture towards Sabres

BUFFALO, NY - JANUARY 22: Rasmus Ristolainen #55 of the Buffalo Sabres makes a pass during the game against the Detroit Red Wings on January 22, 2016 at the First Niagara Center in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Tom Brenner/Getty Images)
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Rasmus Ristolainen doesn’t have a contract yet, and he’s not particularly close to getting one either.

But the Sabres defenseman, a restricted free agent, doesn’t want to burn any bridges, so he arrived at KeyBank Center on Thursday as a “good will” gesture, reports The Buffalo News. He’ll practice with his teammates, head coach Dan Bylsma confirmed.

“Everyone knows how dedicated he is to his training, and he wanted to continue to build on the gains he made this summer,” Ristolainen’s agent, Mike Liut, wrote in an email to the News. “In the end, this made sense to him, at least in the short term.”

The eighth overall pick in the 2013 draft, Ristolainen had nine goals and 32 assists in 82 games for the Sabres last season.

“I still trust that we will make that contract happen,” Ristolainen told reporters a couple of weeks ago at the World Cup in Toronto, where he was representing Finland. “I like Buffalo. I want to be there as long as I can and I feel they feel the same way about me. I trust it’s going to be taken care of.”

Related: Rieder’s agent thinks trade from Coyotes is best for both parties