Riding the Zamboni – November 30th

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Let’s take a look at tonight’s five contests.

Tampa Bay 4, Toronto 3 (OT)

Check out this full recap featuring the late game heroics of Simon Gagne and Martin St. Louis.

Chicago 7, St. Louis 5

It was a wild game between to solid Central Division teams, with each period getting crazier than the one before it (three goals in the first, four in the second and five in the third). Few should be surprised that the Blackhawks won a shooting gallery type contest against the offensively stunted Blues, although they had to work for it after building a 5-1 lead.

St. Louis rattled off three goals to take it within one before Jonathan Toews (two power-play goals, one assist on the night) and Patrick Kane (two goals, one assist) brought it back to a three goal lead. David Backes scored to cap a wacky night of bad defense and exciting offense, but the Blackhawks were just too much for the beleaguered Blues.

Nashville 3, Phoenix 0

The Coyotes peppered Pekka Rinne with 33 shots, but he turned all of them away to help the Predators beat Phoenix at their own bend-but-don’t-break game. Nashville relied on a productive power play (2 out of 7) and an empty-net goal to win this one. Shea Weber and Cal O’Reilly scored those PP goals while Jordin Tootoo earned an ENG. Steve Sullivan provided to helpers in this one, as well.

This is the first time the Coyotes lost two games in a row in regulation this season.

Atlanta 3, Colorado 2 (OT)

With Chris Stewart injured, his brother Anthony Stewart hurt the Avalanche in a different way: scoring an overtime game winning goal. Rich Peverley and Dustin Byfuglien also scored for Atlanta, while Matt Duchene and David Jones provided Colorado’s tallies.

This extends the Thrashers’ winning streak to six games.

Detroit 5, San Jose 3

On a night in which some wondered if a power outage might preempt a game, the Red Wings revealed that they are the true powerhouse team in the West once again. The only other team in the conference with at least 30 points is Chicago, but they’ve needed a league-high 27 games to get there.

Detroit’s stars fueled this win, with Henrik Zetterberg scoring two goals and two assists while Pavel Datsyuk added a goal and two assists himself. Jimmy Howard is now tied with Carey Price for the league lead with 14 wins, yet he needed four less to get there (18 GP to Price’s 22).

NHL has no plans to change waiver rules

Manny Malhotra Ryan Stanton
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Even with all the young players that have been healthy scratches this season, don’t expect the NHL to change its waiver rules.

Deputy commissioner Bill Daly told PHT in an email that it’s not something that’s “ever been considered.”

“For better or worse that’s what waiver rules are there for,” Daly wrote. “They force Clubs to make tough decisions.”

Today, Montreal defenseman Jarred Tinordi became the latest waiver-eligible youngster to be sent to the AHL on a two-week conditioning loan.

Tinordi, 23, has yet to play a single game for the Habs this season. If he were still exempt from waivers, he’d have undoubtedly been sent to the AHL long before he had to watch so many NHL games from the press box.

In light of situations like Tinordi’s, some have suggested the NHL change the rules. Currently, the only risk-free way for waiver-eligible players to get playing time in the AHL is via conditioning stint, and, as mentioned, those are limited to 14 days in length.

So the Habs will, indeed, need to make a “tough decision” when Tinordi’s conditioning stint is up. Do they put him in the lineup? Do they keep him in the press box and wait for an injury or some other circumstance to create an opportunity for him to play? Do they risk losing him to waivers by attempting to send him to the AHL? Do they trade him?

Related: Stanislav Galiev is stuck in the NHL

Ortio clears waivers, assigned to Flames’ AHL team

Joni Ortio
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Joni Ortio has cleared waivers and been assigned to AHL Stockton, the Calgary Flames announced today.

The 24-year-old goalie was always likely to clear, what with his dreadful numbers this season (0-2-1, .868),

But we suppose there was always the chance he’d get picked up, so it’s a relief for the Flames all the same. With a little more time to hone his game in the AHL, Ortio could still turn out to be a quality NHL netminder.

In a related move, veteran goalie Jonas Hiller has been activated from injured reserve. Hiller and Karri Ramo are the only goalies on the Flames’ active roster now.

Price placed on injured reserve; Yakupov to miss 2-4 weeks with sprained ankle

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Two injury updates in one post.

First, the situation with Montreal goalie Carey Price, who was hurt last night versus the Rangers.

According to Canadiens coach Michel Therrien, Price has been placed on injured reserve with a lower-body injury. That means he’ll be out at least a week, though no exact timeline was provided.

“We don’t know how long Carey will be out, but for us it’s business as usual,” said Therrien.

Mike Condon will get the start tomorrow in New Jersey.

As for Oilers forward Nail Yakupov, he’ll be out 2-4 weeks after spraining his ankle last night in Carolina while getting tangled up with a linesman.

Getzlaf didn’t love the ‘dead’ atmosphere at Coyotes game

Martin Erat, Ryan Getzlaf

Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf wasn’t impressed with at least two things last night in Arizona:

1. His team’s performance in a 4-2 loss to the Coyotes.
2. The atmosphere inside Gila River Arena, where the announced attendance was just 11,578.

“It’s hard. When you come into a building … it’s dead,” Getzlaf told the O.C. Register. “Nothing against the fans. It’s hard to fill a big building like this and have the amount of people in it to build your energy. So you have to do it yourself. You have to be ready when you step on the ice. I thought we came out flat.”

Anaheim’s record fell to 8-11-4 with the defeat.

The Coyotes’ average attendance also fell, to 13,144 in eight games.