Around the Rink – Saturday, November 20th

Let’s preview tonight’s 11 games. All times are Eastern (ET).

7:00 pm

Los Angeles @ Boston

These two teams do not play against each other very often, but they can act as a good barometer for each other. After all, their records are nearly identical (the Kings are 12-6-0; the Bruins are 11-5-1.) and they both play smart, defense-first hockey.

Florida @ NY Islanders

The “Will the Islanders break the 17 consecutive loss record?” countdown continues. The Isles are mired in an 11-game losing streak while the Panthers are in their typical middle-of-the-pack spot.

Tampa Bay @ Buffalo

The Sabres are beginning to get things together while the Lightning are coming off that ridiculous 8-7 win over the Flyers. If Ryan Miller plays again, it will be Steve Stamkos vs. Miller. That should be solid fun … probably not 8-7 fun, but solid fun.

Nashville @ Carolina

In this game, we have a matchup involving a team that experiences dynamic highs and lows (the Hurricanes) against a squad that tries to keep things moderate and normal.

Toronto @ Montreal

The Canadiens are at the top and the Maple Leafs are on the bottom … seems fitting on the night of the 50,000th game, right?

Philadelphia @ Washington

While you can make a case for the Canadiens, many would agree that this is a confrontation between the two best teams in the East. Last time around, the Caps won in overtime. This might be the best of the night.

8:00 pm

NY Rangers @ Minnesota

The Rangers are slipping ever so slightly (two game losing streak) while the Wild are getting hotter (three game winning streak), but both teams are at their best in this situation. New York is strong on the road (6-3-0) while Minnesota is tough at home (6-3-1).

New Jersey @ St. Louis

St. Louis beat up on Ottawa last night and now they get an even colder team in New Jersey. Can the Blues stay unbeaten in regulation at home (7-0-1) tonight?

Colorado @ Dallas

The Avalanche are pushing the Canucks for the Northwest Division lead while the Stars are doing their best to keep pace with the ultra-competitive Pacific Division. Last time around, Colorado won convincingly, so we’ll see if Dallas can get revenge.

10:00 pm

Chicago @ Vancouver

These two teams hate each other, even if Dustin Byfuglien won’t be around to torment Roberto Luongo. The Blackhawks are only one point behind the Canucks overall, but Vancouver played four fewer games so far this season.

10:30 pm

Columbus @ San Jose

The Blue Jackets are off to the best start in their franchise history while the Sharks cannot seem to finish, giving up leads in their last two games to lose in overtime. This should be a real test for Columbus, though.

Scary moment: Carlo Colaiacovo hospitalized with ‘dented trachea’

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Buffalo Sabres defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo has experienced plenty of bad injury luck in his winding career, but Saturday presented one of his worst scares.

As you can see from the video above, Colaiacovo received a scary cross-check from Viktor Arvidsson of the Nashville Predators, who received a major penalty and game misconduct.

Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma said that Colaiacovo was hospitalized with a “dented trachea” yet is OK, the Buffalo News’ John Vogl reports.

Frightening stuff from an eventual 4-1 Sabres win.

PHT will keep an eye out for additional updates regarding Colaiacovo’s health (and a possible suspension for Arvidsson).

Comeback Kings: Gaborik pulls L.A. past Kane, Blackhawks

Jake Muzzin, Scott Darling

Patrick Kane set an American scoring record, and added another assist to make it more impressive, but the Los Angeles Kings just wouldn’t be denied.

In the end, Marian Gaborik‘s big night meant more than Kane’s; he scored the tying and then overtime game-winner, both assisted by Anze Kopitar, for a rousing 4-3 overtime Kings win.

Gaborik’s first goal:

And here’s video of the OT-GWG:

Noticing a theme tonight? Yeah, it’s been an evening in which it’s dangerous to assume a lead would stand.

With that, the Kings stick to the No. 1 spot in the Pacific Division, but Chicago shouldn’t feel all bad. The Blackhawks were able to piece together a decent run during their dreaded “circus trip.”

Patrick Kane’s streak hits 19 games, setting a new American record


When it comes to point streaks for U.S.-born NHL players, Patrick Kane now stands alone.

With a power-play goal early in Saturday’s Blackhawks – Kings game, Kane extended his streak to 19 games, breaking a tie with Phil Kessel and Eddie Olczyk (who finished with at least a point in 18 straight).

As of this writing, Kane has 11 goals and 19 assists during this 19-game streak. He also leads the NHL in scoring.

Bobby Hull’s 21-game point streak stands as the Chicago Blackhawks’ overall team record, by the way.

So, how would you protect a lead against the Stars?


You know what they say: it’s easy to bash a strategy in hindsight.

Slam that NFL head coach for going for it on fourth down … or settling for the field goal. Bury that MLB manager because he kept a pitcher in too long. And so on.

“Score effects” settle in during almost any lopsided hockey game, yet the Dallas Stars present quite a conundrum: what’s the best way to put a way a team with this much firepower?

Tonight may have presented the greatest evidence that this team won’t go away easy, as it seemed like the Minnesota Wild had the best of a tired Stars team* when they built a 3-0 lead.

Instead, the Stars scored three third-period goals while Tyler Seguin capped the comeback with an overtime-winner.

It was one of those bend-and-then-break moments for Minnesota. Dallas generated a 44-26 shot advantage, including a ridiculous 35-15 edge in the final two periods.

Does that mean that Mike Yeo may have tried to play too conservatively with a healthy lead? It’s a possibility.

On the other hand, would the Wild be wiser to try to run-and-gun with one of the most dangerous offenses in the NHL?

It sure seems like a pick-your-poison situation. Which way would you lean, though?

* – To be fair to Minnesota, each team was on back-to-backs.