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.
It seems there will be no NHL comeback attempt by Alex Semin. At least not in 2016-17.
Instead, Semin has inked a one-year extension with Magnitogorsk Metallurg, according to Sport-Express writer Igor Eronko.
At 32 years old, Semin still could have a lot of years left in him as a professional hockey player, but at this point it wouldn’t be surprising if he has played in his last NHL game. Early in his career his talent was clear and demonstrated by some great showings offensively, but he was plagued by inconsistency. In recent years though, he wasn’t so much inconsistent as he was underwhelming.
After being limited to six goals and 19 points in 57 games with Carolina in 2014-15, the one-time 40-goal scorer was bought out of his five-year, $35 million contract just two seasons into it. Montreal took a chance on him for 2015-16, but he only appeared in 15 games with the Canadiens before they put him on unconditional waivers on Dec. 9.
He’s fared better in the KHL though, with five goals and 14 points in 20 regular season games followed by another seven markers and 15 points in 23 playoff contests.
PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
Among the 21 NHL.com and NHL Network experts offering their prediction for the Stanley Cup Final, 17 of them are choosing the San Jose Sharks. (NHL.com)
The majority of ESPN’s experts are also picking the Sharks. (ESPN.com)
For CBS Sports, Adam Gretz and Chris Peters are split on the outcome. (CBS Sports)
Tickets for the first Stanley Cup Final in San Jose appear to be going for significantly more than their Pittsburgh Penguins counterparts. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
Inspired by John Scott‘s comments, here’s the start of a World Cup All-Snubs’ team. (TSN)
Peter DeBoer said that then New Jersey Devils GM Lou Lamoriello fired him from the Devils’ head coaching job late at night on Christmas. The news then broke on Dec. 26. (Tom Gulitti)
The Pittsburgh Penguins are Vegas favorites to win the 2016 Stanley Cup, but the odds lean toward a San Jose Sharks player capturing the Conn Smythe.
Bovada released a variety of odds on Sunday after others surfaced on Friday.
Joe Pavelski is pegged as a +400 favorite as a winner, edging some other top candidates such as Sidney Crosby, Phil Kessel and Matt Murray.
Here’s the full list:
Logan Couture +500
Martin Jones +600
Brent Burns +700
Joe Thornton +900
Evgeni Malkin +900
Kris Letang +1400
Bovada also released prop bets, including how long the series might last. Check that out here.