Riding the Zamboni – November 24 (early edition)

It’s been an awfully busy night of action, so we’ll summarize the first 11 of tonight’s 13 games. We’ll discuss the other two contests later on.

Atlanta 5, Detroit 1

How do you respond to a tongue-lashing from your coach (in this case, Craig Ramsay)? Well, by beating two of the NHL’s best teams – Washington and Detroit- by 5-0 and 5-1 scores respectively. The Thrashers are now on a three game winning streak as they also be the woeful NY Islanders, while the Red Wings are going through some rare struggles.

Washington 3, Carolina 2

The Capitals got things back together in this one, on the strength of Nicklas Backstrom’s two goals and Alex Ovechkin’s three assists. Perhaps best of all, Semyon Varlamov stopped 30 out of 32 shots for his first win of the season while Justin Peters played well (35 out of 38) in defeat.

Pittsburgh 1, Buffalo 0

The Penguins won this game with a rare 1-0 shutout thanks to Marc-Andre Fleury’s 30 saves. Jhonas Enoth was strong in his own right, stopping all but one shot by Pascal Dupuis 15 minutes into the first period. Pittsburgh is now on a four game winning streak.

Columbus 4, NY Islanders 3 (OT)

Read the full recap here.

Boston 3, Florida 1

Both Tim Thomas (31 saves) and Tomas Vokoun (34) made more than 30 stops, but Thomas came away with the win. The ageless Mark Recchi scored two goals while David Krejci earned two assists.

Tampa Bay 5, NY Rangers 3

Steve Stamkos progressed to a two point lead over Sidney Crosby in the points race for the 2010-11 season thanks to a one goal, two assist performance (and the Lightning actually have a game in hand on the Penguins right now). The Rangers scored three third period goals after going down 5-0 but Tampa Bay ultimately held them off.

New Jersey 2, Calgary 1 (SO)

It might not be much, but at least the Devils aren’t as bad as the Islanders.

Philadelphia 6, Minnesota 1

Perhaps that broken pane of glass actually symbolized the Wild’s efforts and/or spirits in this game? Either way, the Flyers outclassed their opponents by getting six goals from six different players while Sergei Bobrovsky had a leisurely day in net, only needing to stop 15 out of 16 shots for the win.

Montreal 4, Los Angeles 1

It turned out to be a less than ideal homecoming for Kings goalie Jonathan Bernier, as he allowed four goals on 33 shots while Carey Price only allowed one goal in 25 Los Angeles attempts. The Habs solidified their Northeast Division lead while the Kings are just a little bit further behind the Coyotes in the Pacific.

Dallas 2, Ottawa 1

The score was closer than the play on the ice, as the Stars missed a few golden opportunities but still managed to win the game. That being said, Dallas must be worried about one disturbing stat: their road power play only has one measly goal so far this season.

St. Louis 2, Nashville 1 (SO)

This score seems about right for two Central Division teams who make their hay thanks to strong, stifling defense. Ultimately, it came down to Andy McDonald, the only player who could manage to score a goal during the two team’s shootout.

Should Erik Karlsson’s game-winning goal have counted?

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We’re only one game into the Sens-Rangers series, and we already have a little bit of controversy.

Ottawa won Game 1, 2-1, thanks to Erik Karlsson‘s game-winning goal from a seemingly impossible angle (seriously, he scored from the corner).

But should it have counted?

There’s no issue with the Karlsson shot going off Henrik Lundqvist‘s mask and in, but the Rangers felt that the referees missed an icing call moments before the goal happened.

Karlsson is standing near his own blue line when he sends a pass in Jean-Gabriel Pageau‘s direction. Did Pageau get a piece of it? It’s hard to tell from the angles we have at our disposal, but Alain Vigneault seemed to have had a good look at the play.

“We felt on their game-winning goal it should have been icing,” Vigneault said, per Sportsnet. “When we look at it, and look at the angles we get, I think it should have been icing. But at the end of the game you gotta play and you gotta do more than we did tonight to win.”

Challenging icing calls isn’t permitted, so when the officials decided that Pageau touched the puck, there’s nothing more the Rangers could do to reverse the call (except get the puck out of the zone when they had the chance).

 

2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs schedule for Friday, April 28

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Two games on the schedule tonight, as the St. Louis Blues and Anaheim Ducks look to avenge their losses to the Nashville Predators and Edmonton Oilers in Game 1.

Here’s what you need to know:

Nashville Predators vs. St. Louis Blues (Preds lead 1-0)

Time: 8:00 p.m. ET

Network: NBCSN (Stream online here)

Check out the highlights from Nashville’s 4-3 win in Game 1.

Edmonton Oilers vs. Anaheim Ducks (Oilers lead 1-0)

Time: 10:30 p.m. ET

Network: NBCSN (Stream online here)

Check out the highlights from Edmonton’s 5-3 win in Game 1.

PHT Morning Skate: David Letterman shows off awesome playoff beard at Caps-Pens game

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–We’ll start with highlights from Game 1 of the highly anticipated matchup between Washington and Pittsburgh, which the Penguins won 3-2. Sidney Crosby scored twice, while Alex Ovechkin found the back of the net once.

–It appears as though hockey fans in Montreal still aren’t thrilled about P.K. Subban being shipped to Nashville last summer. But what if they had kept Subban? Would they still be alive this postseason? Sportsnet’s Andrew Berkshire says we can’t know for sure, but there’s at least a chance the Canadiens would still be playing in they had Subban instead of Weber. (Sportsnet)

–Speaking of trades that happened last off-season, The Hockey News’ Ken Campbell writes that we shouldn’t be quick to appoint winners and losers of last year’s major trades (Subban to Nashville for Weber, Adam Larsson to Edmonton for Taylor Hall). Campbell writes: “We rush to judge. That’s what we do. Guilty, by the way. So when Adam Larsson has the night of his life in the Oilers Game 1 win over the Anaheim Ducks, the low-hanging fruit gets picked and Larsson becomes everything to the Oilers that Taylor Hall was not. It’s not terribly fair to the guys who were on the other side of the trade, but you pretty much sign up for that kind of scrutiny when you become a part of the NHL Millionaires Club.” (The Hockey News)

–Goalies like Jake Allen, Pekka Rinne and Henrik Lundqvist all turned in spectacular performances in the first round of this year’s playoffs. So Yahoo’s Puck Daddy blog takes a deeper look at eight goalies that have stolen a playoff series. Vintage J.S. Giguere was fun to watch! (Yahoo)

–Caps defenseman Brooks Orpik is one of the few players that has been on both sides of the Caps-Pens rivalry, but how did it start? “It was Penguins-Flyers when I started. Then when Sid and Ovi came, that’s two of the marquee names. I think that rivalry was manufactured a little bit, especially when we weren’t even in the same division and didn’t play each other in the playoffs until ‘09. A lot of that, I think, was hyped up for TV ratings. But at the same time those guys always seemed to kick it up a notch when they played each other, so it was fun to be a part of. (Sports Illustrated)

–Political speechwriter Stephen Krupin wrote and agreed with many of Barack Obama’s speeches, but there was one he wrote that he just couldn’t get on board with. You see, Krupin is a big Washington Capitals fan, so when the Penguins came to the White House after their Stanley Cup triumph, he had to write a nice speech about his team’s biggest rival. “As with any good speech, the process began with research. I clenched my jaw and read recaps of the Penguins’ remarkable turnaround season. I grew nauseous as I dug through fawning profiles about enemies of the state such as Matt Murray and accomplices such as Phil Kessel.” (Washington Post)

–David Letterman was at last night’s game between the Capitals and Penguins, and he was sporting a pretty impressive playoff beard. See for yourself:

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).