Teemu Selanne upset over questionable hit says Niklas Kronwall “will get his”

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The Anaheim Ducks were mighty worked up after losing to Detroit 5-4 last night and it wasn’t just over the outcome of the game. Early on in the tilt, Ducks legendary forward Teemu Selanne took a wicked hit from Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall. The hit appeared to catch Selanne while in a crouched position, meanwhile Kronwall sprung into the hit like a spring being unleashed. You can see video of the hit here on YouTube.

After the game, Selanne and Ducks coach Randy Carlyle made their feelings on the hit very clear. Mlive.com’s Ansar Khan shares the Ducks’ anger.

“That guy is dangerous out there. One of these days somebody’s going to get him, for sure,” Selanne said. “I know that. It’s just a matter of time when. For sure his elbow hit in my face. I didn’t see the replay, but I know how it felt.”

Ducks coach Randy Carlyle supported his player and then criticized the officiating. The Red Wings had three power plays in the first period, the Ducks had one. There were no penalties the rest of the night.

“Kronwall clearly jumped and shouldered him in the jaw, went for his head,” Carlyle said. “You could see the replay, but then the referee said, ‘I didn’t see any illegal act.’ I said, ‘You better look at the replay.’

“(Then) two players collide in the middle of the ice, (Johan) Franzen and Corey Perry, we get a penalty for it. I’m just sick of it in this building.”

The Ducks had a lot of complaining to do after the game, and Carlyle continued to dress down the officiating that he sees in Joe Louis Arena. It’s no secret that sometimes home teams get the benefit of the doubt in games and it’s also no secret that officials can be inconsistent. That said, the Ducks don’t do themselves any favors as they’re the most penalized team in the league by a wide margin. Through nine games, the Ducks have 202 penalty minutes as a team, an average of 22.4 PIMs per game.

As for Kronwall’s hit on Selanne, it looks very ugly and it’s one that could fall under the jurisdiction of the NHL’s new rule regarding head shots. A play doesn’t have to result in injury nor does it need to be penalized to be punished by the league and considering Kronwall’s elbow caught Selanne right on the chin, it’s possible Kronwall could get fined for it. Kronwall’s history of questionable hits likely won’t earn him much sympathy. As for what he thought of the hit, well, he’s not exactly an expert.

“I haven’t seen the replay yet, but to me, the way I (saw it), I felt I hit him with the shoulder,” Kronwall said.

Whether or not Selanne and Carlyle’s comments will be enough to get the attention of the NHL regarding Kronwall remains to be seen, but be sure that Carlyle’s complaints about the officiating will surely lighten his wallet.

Ovechkin shrugs off Caps’ Game 1 loss in very Ovechkin way

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You know, it happens. Maybe not always in those exact words.

The Washington Capitals carried the play during portions of their 3-2 Game 1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins, and even down 1-0 in the series, just about every player seemed happy with their overall game.

(Granted, Braden Holtby picked apart two of the three goals he allowed, and so on.)

Still, Alex Ovechkin shrugged off the disappointment in a way that wasn’t quite Rated R, but probably ranks in the PG-13 range:

The penalty element is interesting, though.

When asked after the loss about the lack of power plays, Matt Niskanen merely offered a “no comment.”

The Penguins experienced some sprawling moments, yet they avoided taking a penalty each time. Often, when a team carries long sequences of play, they’ll go on the PP (especially with home-ice advantage) … but not the Capitals in Game 1.

via Natural Stat Trick

It’s a situation to watch as the Capitals hope to even the series against the Penguins with Game 2 coming on Saturday at 8 p.m. ET on NBC. (You can watch online, via the NBC Sports App and follow the livestream here).

Holtby takes blame for two big goals in Caps’ loss to Pens

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It’s just about a consensus that the Washington Capitals believed that they generally played a strong game despite falling 3-2 to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Braden Holtby‘s teammates likely wouldn’t agree with his assessment that the Game 1 loss is on his shoulders, but the perennial Vezina candidate took the blame for Sidney Crosby‘s first goal of the night and Nick Bonino‘s game-winner.

Noting that the Penguins are a dangerous rush team – making them a different threat than the Toronto Maple Leafs – Holtby believes that he should have had his glove in position to stop the 1-0 goal. He said he’s capable of making such a stop and “will next time.” Check out Crosby’s two goals below, with Holtby having a beef with the first one:

It’s really difficult to place too much blame on Holtby for giving up Nick Bonino’s game-winner, as it seemed like a great rush play that few goalies would be able to stop.

Judge for yourself in the highlights:

The Penguins were ultimately able to take a 1-0 series lead, but the Capitals seem capable of shrugging off questions about frustrations, even with naysayers starting to gain confidence in claiming that there will be more than the same.

If Washington’s going to get over this big hurdle, Holtby is likely to be a big part in doing so.

Fleury, Penguins hang on for Game 1 win against Capitals

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The Pittsburgh Penguins pulled off a 3-2 Game 1 win against the Washington Capitals, but Thursday’s thriller probably prompted a sigh of relief.

(Washington, meanwhile, might have uttered a sigh at such unpleasantly familiar feelings.)

The first period ended 0-0 in part thanks to Jake Guentzel‘s sprawling “kick save.” Business really picked up in the second after Sidney Crosby raced off to two quick goals, only for Alex Ovechkin to give Washington a shot thanks to a booming goal and some physical play.

It sure felt like this one might head to overtime, especially after Evgeny Kuznetsov was tying things up and flapping his arms like wings. That was not to be, however, as Nick Bonino took advantage of a pretty area pass to beat Braden Holtby for the decisive tally.

Now, it was only decisive because Marc-Andre Fleury was at the top of his game. Oh, and also because the Penguins did a collective Guentzel impression in frantically denying a tying tally.

Makes you want to wipe some sweat from your brow, eh?

The Capitals dominated by just about every statistical measure … except, of course, goals on the scoreboard. Pittsburgh will gladly take that 1-0 series lead, then.

Expect a desperate Washington team in Game 2, which airs at 8 p.m. ET on Saturday. You can watch it online and via the NBC Sports App (click here for the livestream link).

Karlsson makes difference for Senators vs. Lundqvist, Rangers

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Swedish superstars Henrik Lundqvist and Erik Karlsson were both stupendous in Game 1 between the New York Rangers and Ottawa Senators.

Still, it was Karlsson’s game-winning goal (from a seemingly impossible angle) against Lundqvist that made the difference as the Senators beat the Rangers 2-1 on Thursday. With that, the Senators are up 1-0 in the series.

That Karlsson goal really deserves a special look.

Whether you blame that 2-1 tally on Lundqvist or not, the Rangers would be foolish to do anything but praise their red-hot franchise goalie. He stopped all 21 Senators shots in the first period and ultimately made 41 out of 43 stops in defeat.

Craig Anderson was strong in his own right, mind you, stopping 34 out of 35 shots (including all 28 at even-strength) to help Ottawa take that tight contest.

Anderson’s strong play highlights the fact that Rangers – Senators doesn’t merely come down to Lundqvist vs. Karlsson … but even so, both Swedish superstars really did stand out in this one.

Game 2 airs on NBC at 3 p.m. ET on Saturday. You can also watch online and via the NBC Sports App; click here for the livestream link.