Dallas Stars v Carolina Hurricanes

Riding the Zamboni – Monday, November 29th

Pittsburgh 3 – NY Rangers 1

In a game that’ll be talked about more for Sidney Crosby’s supposed “slew foot” on Ryan Callahan, it saw Crosby extend his consecutive points streak to 13 games with an assist and made the Penguins 9-0-1 over their last ten games. Maxime Talbot, Kris Letang, and Chris Conner scored for the Pens while Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 25 shots in the win. Henrik Lundqvist saved 24 shots in the loss while Marian Gaborik scored his fifth goal of the season. As for slew foot mania, we’ll surely be talking about this more tomorrow.

Dallas 4 – Carolina 1

A sloppy game from the Hurricanes turned into a definitive win for the Stars. James Neal had two goals and Jamie Benn had a goal and an assist for the Stars as they won their fourth straight game. Kari Lehtonen was strong in net stopping 27 shots.  Eric Staal had Carolina’s lone goal. The game got a bit feisty in the third period when Steve Ott and Tim Gleason exchange pleasantries after Gleason put a wicked hit on an unsuspecting Adam Burish.

Edmonton 4 – Ottawa 1

In a game that should’ve been one that saw the Sens get on a win streak, it turns out they lose in one of their worst efforts of the season giving them losses in six of their last eight. Stuffing the Sens was former goalie Martin Gerber who saved 22 shots in the effort. Tom Gilbert, Andrew Cogliano, Gilbert Brule, and Taylor Hall did the scoring for Edmonton while Brian Elliott was mediocre in stopping just 21 shots. Nick Foligno scored his first goal of the year for Ottawa.

Calgary 3 – Minnesota 0

The Wild’s second period woes continued in what was an all-around awful game for Minnesota. After a scoreless first, Calgary got goals from Jay Bouwmeester and Jarome Iginla in the second to put the Wild out of their misery. Niklas Hagman added a third goal in the third period to ice it. Jose Theodore played strong despite the outcome saving 28 shots. Meanwhile, his counterpart Miikka Kiprusoff was flawless in stopping 32 shots in earning the shutout.

Anaheim 2 – Los Angeles 0

A lackluster effort out of the Kings turns into a strong win for the crosstown rivals from Anaheim. Jonas Hiller stopped 27 shots to earn the shutout while Cam Fowler and Jason Blake had the goals for the Ducks. Blake’s goal came late in the third as the Kings were trying to tie the game, but a two-on-one with Teemu Selanne turned into the nail in the coffin for the Kings. The loss dropped the Kings to 10th in the Western Conference. Don’t take that to mean things are bad though, things are so tight in the standings that they’re just three points out of second.

Kesler believes Ducks are ‘too good to not be in the playoffs’

Shane Doan, Ryan Kesler
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It’s been 24 games for the Anaheim Ducks, more than a quarter of the season, and still they’re having trouble winning.

Friday against Chicago, they surrendered two goals in the last two minutes of regulation and lost in overtime.

Currently, the Ducks sit five points out of a playoff spot with a record of 8-11-5.

Still, forward Ryan Kesler is confident they’ll find a way into the postseason.

“If we keep playing like we are, we’re going to get into the playoffs — this team is too good to not be in the playoffs,” Kesler told The Province ahead of tonight’s home game versus Vancouver.

“We had a bad start and, to be honest, some guys weren’t ready to start the season. There’s a lot of hockey to be played and we’re ready for the challenge.”

To match the 45-30-7 record the Flames squeaked into the playoffs with last year, the Ducks would need to go 37-19-2 over their next 58 games.




Depends who you ask.

Anaheim’s playoff chances will depend a lot on how Pacific Division teams like San Jose, Arizona, and Vancouver finish. The Ducks may need to leapfrog two of those three to get in.

Yes, there’s always the chance four teams from the Pacific qualify, because it’s not like Colorado, Winnipeg, and Minnesota don’t have their problems. Even Nashville you have to wonder about lately. Heck, even Chicago isn’t assured of anything yet.

Bottom line, though, the Ducks have dug themselves a hole, and it’s starting to look a lot like the one the Kings dug last year.

In the NHL, even good teams don’t always climb out.

Related: Boudreau does the playoff math, and it’s no ‘easy task’ for Ducks

Video: Ryan Suter doesn’t seem very happy with his coach


As you can see in the video, apparently Ryan Suter doesn’t like being paired with fellow lefty Jonas Brodin.

The Wild defenseman rather openly questioned the coaching staff’s decision-making today after practice.

“Yeah, I don’t know what they’re thinking,” said Suter. “I need to play with a right-handed defenseman. To give me more options. Neutral zone. Offensively. And even coming out of the D zone, it’s not fair to put a guy on his off side.”

Suter didn’t know if the pairings were just for practice or not. The Wild play tomorrow in Chicago. Minnesota has just one win in its last seven games.

Suter also had something to say about that.

“It does no good to pout and get pissed off at each other,” said Suter. “You’ve got to come together and dig out of this. Now’s when you need leadership more than ever. It’s easy to be a coach and a leader when things are going good.”

Yeo, by the way, has not been very happy with the Wild lately.  In fact, one could go so far as to say he’s been acting pretty “pissed off.”

For example, at today’s practice:

The Star Tribune has more on what went down today.

Yeo, you may recall, went a little “nuts” during a Wild practice last season.

Goalie nods: Sparks to make NHL debut for Leafs

Garett Sparks

We already knew this yesterday, but in case you missed it, Garret Sparks will make his NHL debut in goal for the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight against Edmonton.

Sparks, 22, has been excellent in the AHL this season, going 8-2-1 with a .938 save percentage. He spent most of last season in the ECHL, where he also posted good numbers.

Sparks is getting the nod tonight because James Reimer is hurt and Jonathan Bernier has been struggling badly.

“He’s got an opportunity like lots of kids have had before him and it’s up to him to grab it,” Leafs coach Mike Babcock said, per NHL.com. “He’s got the [second-best] save percentage in the AHL and he’s winning all the time down there. Obviously we’re in need of some saves and we’ll have to play well in front of him for sure. But it’s an opportunity for him.”

Bernier, meanwhile, will have to sit and watch. The 27-year-old has allowed at least four goals in four of his last five starts. His save percentage has fallen all the way to .888.

Anders Nilsson will be in net for the Oilers.


Cam Ward for the Hurricanes. Henrik Lundqvist for the Rangers, who will try not to rely on him so much.

Semyon Varlamov for the Avs. Thomas Greiss for the Isles.

— The Canucks aren’t saying if it’ll be Ryan Miller of Jacob Markstrom. For the Ducks, it’ll be John Gibson.

Vigneault: ‘After three losses in a row, I think we’ve got everybody’s attention’

Alain Vigneault

Alain Vigneault has maintained for much of the season that the New York Rangers needed to play better.

The head coach said it a week ago, after the Blueshirts had beaten the Predators, 3-0, despite getting outshot, 31-19.

He’d said it a couple of weeks before that, after they’d beaten the Hurricanes in very similar fashion. (Final score: 3-0. Shots: 33-23 for Carolina.)

But as long as the Rangers kept winning, it was tough, according to Vigneault, to get the message across.

“Sometimes, the results might be going your way, so when you’re pointing out certain things, it might be a little bit more challenging for them to understand because the results are so positive,” Vigneault said, per the New York Post.

“But after three losses in a row, I think we’ve got everybody’s attention.”

Derek Stepan‘s injury — he’ll miss 4-6 weeks with broken ribs — has no doubt captured their attention as well. (Oscar Lindberg will center Chris Kreider and Jesper Fast tonight at home to Carolina.)

The Rangers also play Wednesday, in Brooklyn against the Islanders (on NBCSN).