Nightly recap – Tuesday, October 19th

Boston 3 – Washington 1

The Bruins and Tim Thomas continue to stay hot after taking out Washington at Verizon Center in D.C. 3-1. Milan Lucic became the NHL’s second player to record a Gordie Howe hat trick, getting a goal, an assist and a fight with John Erskine. Tim Thomas made 35 saves in the win, meanwhile the Caps saw starting goalie Michal Neuvirth leave the game in the first period after feeling ill. Giving up two goals on seven shots couldn’t have helped. Semyon Varlamov replaced him to see his first action of the year, stopping 13 of 14.

Calgary 1 – Nashville 0 (F/OT)

It was one heck of a return to action for Rene Bourque of the Flames as he scored in overtime to give Calgary the win. Bourque had missed the Flames’ previous two games with a concussion. Meanwhile, it appears that early reports of the demise of the Flames were not only incorrect but also hilariously dumb for being written just a few games into the season. Miikka Kiprusoff stopped all 34 shots he saw, earning him his first shutout of the season. Pekka Rinne also made his return to the Preds lineup tonight and saved 34 shots in the hard-luck loss.

Minnesota 6 – Vancouver 2

While this game will get talked about more for Canucks forward Rick Rypien going after a fan, lost in all of it is the Wild continuing their dominance over Roberto Luongo in Minnesota. Six different goal scorers got on the board for the Wild, meanwhile Daniel Sedin had both goals for the Canucks. Marek Zidlicky had a goal and two assists for Minnesota while goalie Niklas Backstrom stopped 25 shots in the win. Luongo, meanwhile, gave up all six goals in just two periods of work while saving just 12 shots. That’s good for a .667 save percentage. Yuck. Cory Schneider stopped six shots in the third period in relief.

Carolina 5 – San Jose 2

While some Carolina players aren’t too happy with their never-ending road trip to start the season, their play on the ice seems to say they’re OK with it. Five different Hurricanes potted goals while Cam Ward was his ho-hum self stopping 41 shots in earning the Canes the win. Antti Niemi looked a bit flustered in stopping just 26 shots in the loss. Chad LaRose had a goal and two assists for Carolina, meanwhile Patrick Marleau scored both goals for San Jose.

Benn, Holtby and Galchenyuk are NHL’s three stars of the week

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Stars winger Jamie Benn, Capitals goalie Braden Holtby and Canadiens center Alex Galchenyuk have been named the NHL’s three stars for the past week.


Benn shared the League lead in goals (4) and points (6) as the Stars (19-5-0, 38 points) won two of three games to continue their best start to a season in the franchise’s 48-year history.

Holtby posted a 4-0-0 record with a 1.75 goals-against average, .945 save percentage and one shutout to backstop the Capitals (17-5-1, 35 points) to the top of the Metropolitan Division standings.

Galchenyuk tied for first in the NHL with four goals and added one assist to help the Canadiens (18-4-3, 39 points) earn five of a possible six points and reclaim first place in the League standings.

As much as the injuries to Carey Price and Brendan Gallagher have been frustrating for the Canadiens, those are short-term issues that should be forgotten soon enough. Galchenyuk’s play, in contrast, is reason for long-term optimism. The 21-year-old is trending towards becoming the elite No. 1 center the Habs have needed so badly. He’s not there yet, but when’s all said and done, he could turn out to be the best forward (or player, period) taken in the 2012 draft.

Stepan to miss 4-6 weeks with broken ribs


Derek Stepan is out 4-6 weeks with broken ribs, the New York Rangers announced today.

Stepan was hurt Friday on a controversial hit by Boston’s Matt Beleskey. The Bruins’ forward did not receive any supplemental discipline for the check, despite admitting it was “maybe…a little bit late.”

At any rate it’s a big loss for the Rangers, who suddenly find themselves on a three-game losing streak. Considering the timeline, New York could be without one of its top centers for 12-18 games, give or take.

The Rangers host Carolina tonight.

Related: Yep, Alain Vigneault went there — ‘I remember Aaron Rome in this building’

Price to miss minimum six weeks, so no Winter Classic for him

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Carey Price will miss a minimum of six weeks with a lower-body injury, the Montreal Canadiens announced today.

That means Price will miss the Winter Classic against the Bruins on New Year’s Day. The 28-year-old goalie has only appeared in 12 games this season.

On the bright side, the reigning Hart Trophy winner will not require surgery. And considering the Habs have already built up a 13-point playoff cushion in the standings, well, if something like this were going to happen during the season, now is as good a time as any.

Related: The latest on Price’s injury

Report: Jets offered Byfuglien for Hamonic, Isles said no

Dustin Byfuglien

If Travis Hamonic could choose one team to be traded to, he’d probably choose Winnipeg. The 25-year-old Islanders defenseman wants to be closer to his family, and his family is from Manitoba. Hamonic already owns a condo in Winnipeg.

So far, though, the Jets and Islanders haven’t been able to work out a deal. The Jets have three right-shot defensemen in Dustin Byfuglien, Jacob Trouba, and Tyler Myers who could, theoretically, be swapped for Hamonic, also a right shot.

“I think the Islanders were offered Byfuglien and they said no,” Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman said this morning on Sportsnet 960 (audio), per Today’s Slapshot. “And I understand why, because Byfuglien’s got no term left.

“I think they’d love to have Trouba, but the Jets aren’t really there to do it. Myers, if it’s happened – I can’t say for sure it has or hasn’t – I’m not sure that’s the deal either team really wants to make, to be perfectly honest.”

Byfuglien is a pending unrestricted free agent who’s expected to cash in big-time on his next deal. The 30-year-old may not be the most disciplined player, but at his best, he’s an absolute force on the back end.

That the Isles reportedly said no to Byfuglien shouldn’t really come as a surprise, given his contract uncertainty. However, it does make one wonder about his future in Winnipeg. Remember that the salary cap is not expected to go up by much, and the Jets have another pending UFA in captain Andrew Ladd, plus a couple of key RFAs in Trouba and Mark Scheifele.

While it’s never easy to tell what GM Kevin Cheveldayoff is thinking, the big question with Byfuglien and the Jets may end up being when, not if, they part ways. Will it be after the season or before the Feb. 29 trade deadline?