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Early ride on the Zamboni – Friday, November 26th

Considering the fact that seven of today’s 13 games began before the typical start time of 7:00 pm Eastern, it seems appropriate to recap the early games. We’ll take a look at the later games tonight/tomorrow.

Carolina 3, Boston 0

In a rare change of pace, Tim Thomas was on the wrong end of a shutout this season. Cam Ward earned that 37-save shutout this afternoon, as the Hurricanes continued their weird hot-and-cold streak with a nice win over the Bruins. Carolina’s power play was the only other difference maker, going three for three.

Pittsburgh 2, Ottawa 1

The Penguins are officially hot right now and the best part for them is that Marc-Andre Fleury is a huge reason why they’ve been on such a great run. Fleury is on a five game winning streak, only allowed three goals in his last three games and is 7-0-1 in last eight games. He made 43 saves to help the red-hot Pens in this one.

Calgary 3, Philadelphia 2 (SO)

As you probably know already, this game ended in controversy as a would-be overtime winner was called off because of Chris Pronger’s breaching of “The Avery Rule.” Ultimately, the Flames were able to steal this one via the shootout, but that call definitely casts a shadow over the game.

NY Islanders 2, New Jersey 0

Maybe the Islanders aren’t as bad as the Devils after all? Read the recap here.

Minnesota 5, Nashville 2

Pekka Rinne allowed three goals on only nine shots and lasted only one period in this one, as the Wild dominated the Predators. Martin Havlat is quietly having quite the season for himself, as the injury prone but talented forward scored two goals and one assist.

Chicago 4, Anaheim 1

After tying the game up with a shorthanded goal by Duncan Keith, the Chicago Blackhawks exploded with a three goal third period to hand the Ducks their sixth consecutive loss.

Washington 6, Tampa Bay 0

The Capitals proved that they’re still clearly the Southeast Division’s best team, pummeling the upstart Lightning in convincing fashion. Alexander Semin scored a natural hat trick while Semyon Varlamov cruised to a 17 save shutout to help Washington win this one without much trouble.

Oshie’s hat trick lets Caps just barely squeak by Penguins in OT

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What a start.

This series between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals might be headlined by Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin, but as many have said in the lead-up to tonight’s opener, there is so much more to this second round matchup than that. Washington’s 4-3 overtime victory in Game 1 tonight could be offered up as Exhibit A.

This game had everything except big offensive showings from Crosby and Ovechkin. They had their moments, but in the end combined for just one assist.

What we got instead was a hat trick by T.J. Oshie that was completed with a game-winning goal that made it past the line by such a narrow margin that it warranted a video review:

This game also featured a sequence of three goals in 90 seconds and yet also some great saves by goaltenders Braden Holtby and Matt Murray. At the other end of the spectrum, there was a controversial hit by Tom Wilson that might lead to a suspension.

There was even some odd stuff. Like how Jay Beagle got a stick stuck in his equipment.

Twice:

If this game sets the tone for the rest of the series, then we should be in for a closely contested, highlight filled affair.

NOTES:

Nick Bonino had a goal and an assist for the Penguins. Evgeni Malkin and Ben Lovejoy accounted for the Penguins’ other markers.

— Capitals forward Andre Burakovsky scored the game’s opening goal. It was his first marker of the 2016 playoffs.

— Washington outshot Pittsburgh 15-9 in the first period, but Pittsburgh ended up with a 45-35 edge.

— This is the first time in the 2016 playoffs that Braden Holtby has allowed more than two goals. He surrendered just five goals in six games to Philadelphia.

— Matt Murray suffered his first career postseason loss after winning three straight contests against the New York Rangers.

Video: Wilson delivers late, knee-on-knee hit to Sheary

Wilson hit
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Tom Wilson has already found himself in a controversy for delivering a late, knee-on-knee hit to Penguins forward Conor Sheary in the third period of Game 1 Thursday night.

You can see that incident below:

Wilson spent two minutes in the sin bin earlier in the contest for crosschecking Evgeni Malkin, but there was no penalty on this play.

Fortunately Conor Sheary was able to stay in the game. The question now is if Wilson’s actions will lead to him being suspended prior to Game 2.

This isn’t Wilson’s first brush with controversy. He delivered a big hit to Brayden Schenn in 2013, but Wilson wasn’t suspended for that incident. Lubomir Visnovsky’s final campaign was cut short due to a check by Wilson that angered the New York Islanders. More recently, Nikita Zadorov was concussed by a crushing blow from the Capitals forward.

In 231 career regular season games, Wilson has 50 points and 486 penalty minutes.

Related: Wilson says ‘I’ve never been a dirty hitter’ after teams voice complaints

Video: Penguins, Caps combine for three goals in 90 seconds

Oshie goal
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For the first 30 minutes of Game 1 between Pittsburgh and Washington it looked like goaltenders Matt Murray and Braden Holtby might outshine these star-studded offenses. Then the floodgates opened up, if only for a moment.

Washington already had a 1-0 lead going into the second frame courtesy of Andre Burakovsky‘s first marker of the 2016 playoffs, but Ben Lovejoy and Evgeni Malkin scored back-to-back goals within the span of 57 seconds midway through the second period to tilt the scale in Pittsburgh’s favor. That lead didn’t last for long though as Capitals forward T.J. Oshie got a breakaway opportunity and took full advantage of it.

In total, there were three goals scored in the span of just 90 seconds and you can see all of them below:

After that sequence, the 2-2 tie held for the remainder of the frame. However, Oshie was able to reassert Washington’s edge just 3:23 minutes into the third period.

Video: Beagle gets stick stuck in visor

Beagle
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Through 40 minutes of action in Game 1 of the second round series between Pittsburgh and Washington and we’ve already seen some big moments, along with a pretty unusual one.

Beagle ended up with a stick lodged into his visor towards the end of the second frame. He tried to get it out himself, but ended up having to go to the bench for assistance. You can see that below: