Riding the Zamboni – Wednesday, December 1st

Edmonton 4 – Montreal 3 (F/OT)

Some nights a loss is worse than normal. The Habs went into the third period of this game with a 3-1 lead on Edmonton and playing great. The foot came off the gas pedal and the Oilers took advantage. Ales Hemsky and Sam Gagner scored in the final ten minutes of the game to send it to overtime. There, Dustin Penner won it on a breakaway goal after a brutal turnover by Mike Cammalleri. Both Cammalleri and P.K. Subban were instrumental in Edmonton’s final two goals. The win is Edmonton’s second in a row, their first two-game win streak since the first two games of the year. For Montreal, it serves to be a lesson that sometimes playing it safe means death.

Boston 3 – Philadelphia 0

Tim Thomas had himself a hell of a night. Thomas had 41 saves in what turned out to be his fifth shutout of the year. Patrice Bergeron, Tyler Seguin, and Milan Lucic had the goals for Boston as they got a little bit of payback on the Flyers after they ousted Boston last season. Sergei Bobrovsky made 29 saves for Philly in the loss.

Nashville 4 – Columbus 3 (F/SO)

Who knew that these division rivals would have a barn burner of a game? While Antoine Vermette had two goals for Columbus, it would be Steve Sullivan and his ridiculous deke in the shootout that would win the day for Nashville.

Washington 4 – St. Louis 1

What do you get with a rested Caps team and a Blues team that lost a 7-5 slugfest last night? A tired Blues team getting skated off the ice. Nicklas Backstrom had two goals and an assist for the Caps while Semyon Varlamov had a busy night stopping 37 shots for the win. Don’t let the shot total fool you, Washington was in control of the game but still, a stellar effort out of the young goalie to get it done. Alex Steen had the lone goal for St. Louis.

Phoenix 4 – Minnesota 2

The Wild drop another one but it wasn’t without trying. Coyotes goalie Jason LaBarbera made life on the Wild difficult stopping 33 shots in the win. Scottie Upshall scored twice for Phoenix to lead the way. For Minnesota, it seems like piling on because any mistake the team makes ends up in the back of the net and now it’s the team leaders that are making the mistakes. For Phoenix, the win snaps a two game skid while the Wild have now lost three in a row. Pierre-Marc Bouchard played 14:05 in his first game back in over a year and had no points and finished a -2 on the night.

Vancouver 7 – Calgary 2

Things got out of hand fast in Calgary for the Flames and by the time it was over, Mason Raymond finished with a hat trick and an assist while Jeff Tambellini had a goal and an assist. Daniel Sedin scored his 14th goal of the year while Ryan Kesler and Henrik Sedin each added two assists. For Calgary, the inconsistency continues while Vancouver looks like they’re starting to figure things out.

Anaheim 5 – Florida 3

This game was one of miracles. Ducks enforcer George Parros finished the game with more goals than fights (two goals, one fight). Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry each had a goal and an assist as well for Anaheim who stays hot. Meanwhile the Florida Panthers snapped their horrendous power play inefficiency streak and piled on by scoring twice with the man advantage, each time by Steve Bernier. Bernier finished the game with three points earning an assist on Mike Santorelli’s goal in the second period.

Lundqvist will start four of five remaining games

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Henrik Lundqvist has had two tough starts since returning from injury.

The 35-year-old allowed five goals in his first game back, a 6-3 loss to Anaheim Sunday, and five more in his second game, a 5-4 OT loss to San Jose Tuesday.

But Lundqvist is still the No. 1 in New York, and for that reason he’s scheduled to start four of the Rangers’ five remaining regular-season games, with the hope he’ll be able to play his way back into form in time for the postseason.

Lundqvist was not happy after Tuesday’s loss to the Sharks, even though the point the Rangers gained earned them a playoff berth.

“I’m extremely disappointed right now,” he told reporters. “I’m glad we’re in, but I want to get the job done. I want the win. We found a way to lose this one at the end.”

With the loss, Lundqvist’s save percentage fell to .911 on the season. If it finishes at that number, it would be the lowest save percentage of his NHL career.

Antti Raanta‘s save percentage, meanwhile, sits at .922. In his last start, he shut out the Kings in Los Angeles.

The Rangers host Pittsburgh tomorrow and Philadelphia Sunday. Next week, they’re in Washington Wednesday, Ottawa Saturday, and then they close out their schedule at home to Pittsburgh Sunday.

Raanta will start one of the final two games.

The Rangers are likely to face Carey Price and the Montreal Canadiens in the first round of the playoffs.

Reinhart suggests benching him for an entire game might’ve been a stretch

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Two days after Sam Reinhart was bolted to the pine for the entirety of Buffalo’s 3-1 loss to Columbus — his punishment for showing up late to a team stretch — Reinhart discussed the incident, and didn’t sound overly thrilled about how it played out.

“It’s a coach’s decision. It’s a management decision,” Reinhart said, per the Buffalo News. “From my perspective, I would have rather battled it out with my teammates.

“I don’t think five minutes in the morning is going to influence my preparation for a game, but it was a team stretch and I should have been there on time.”

Reinhart also had this to say:

Discipline of this nature is pretty common, though the way Reinhart’s played out was a bit more dramatic. Rather than park him in the press box as a healthy scratch, the Sabres — who didn’t have an extra forward, as Kyle Okposo was out sick — dressed the 21-year-old, then sat him for the entire 60 minutes.

The Buffalo News said the move “would seem to send a deeper message than merely being scratch,” adding that “there has been friction between players and [Sabres head coach Dan] Bylsma throughout the season.”

In the club’s defense, Reinhart is hardly the first young player to be punished for lateness. Nikita Zadorov had repeated issues with punctuality and, after being suspended, was eventually traded to Colorado. Evander Kane was parked for a game last season after sleeping in and missing a practice.

Of course, each situation is unique and some will argue showing up five minutes late for a stretch isn’t on par with what Zadorov and Kane did. Which is fair. That could be why Bylsma said the club might consider a policy change.

And that could by why Reinhart’s teammate, Jack Eichel, tried to put things in perspective.

“We’re obviously not going to hold it over his head here,” Eichel said, per the News. “He didn’t really do too much wrong.”

North Dakota’s Poolman turns pro, signs with Jets

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Another day, another North Dakota departure.

Having already lost freshman Tyson Jost (signed with Colorado) and sophomore Brock Boeser (signed with Vancouver), the school has now learned that junior blueliner Tucker Poolman has signed an entry-level deal with the Jets.

Poolman, 23, was taken by Winnipeg in the fifth round (127th overall) at the ’13 draft. From the Free Press:

UND’s top defenceman was playing between 25 and 30 minutes per game and was the fourth-highest scoring blue-liner in the NCHC. He finished the season with seven goals, 30 points, 14 penalty minutes and a plus-18 rating in 38 games.

Poolman’s final campaign ended on a sour note. He suffered a shoulder injury during the NCHC championship game and was unable to play in North Dakota’s season-ending loss to Boston University in the NCAA championships.

Coming to America: Jackets assign Carlsson to Cleveland

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His Swedish season over, defenseman Gabriel Carlsson is coming to North America to play some hockey.

The Columbus Blue Jackets announced today that Carlsson, the 29th overall pick in the 2015 draft, has been assigned to AHL Cleveland.

From the press release:

Carlsson, 20, recently completed his second full season with Linköping HC in the Swedish Hockey League where he collected two goals and two assists for four points with six penalty minutes and a +8 plus/minus rating in 40 games.

Linköping was eliminated from the SHL playoffs on Tuesday.

Carlsson is listed at 6-4 and 191 pounds.