Riding the Zamboni – December 4th (early edition)

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To read about today’s first two games, click here. If you want to know what happened in the Pittsburgh Penguins-Columbus Blue Jackets game and the Atlanta Thrashers-Washington Capitals game, click here. We’ll have recaps of the two late games either very late tonight or sometime on Sunday.

Toronto 3, Boston 2 (SO)

For at least one night, Phil Kessel and Brian Burke bested the Boston Bruins after that fateful trade. Kessel bested Tim Thomas (who was fantastic in the game, stopping 38 out of 40 shots during the real hockey) in the shootout to help Toronto earn a sorely needed win. Jean-Sebastien Gigure also got off the hook with a 25 for 27 save performance.

Buffalo 1, Ottawa 0 (SO)

This is one of those “both goalies really got a shutout” games, being that the only puck that went in either net happened during a shootout (when Thomas Vanek scored for Buffalo). Ryan Miller gets the shiny bonus point as he stopped 32 shots while Brian Elliott somewhat fittingly made 31.

Tampa Bay 6, Colorado 5

Eleven goals were scored in this game and yet, somehow, Steve Stamkos didn’t earn a single point. That’s OK, though, because the Lightning received great performances from Martin St. Louis and Simon Gagne, who scored one goal and two assists each. Unfortunately, Tampa Bay’s goalie situation is still pretty sketchy as Dan Ellis allowed five goals on only 24 shots.

Dallas 4, Minnesota 3 (OT)

The Stars are now (quite quietly) on a six game winning streak and they needed to scrap for every one of those victories, as each win came by one goal. Stephane Robidas scored the overtime game-winner in this one, capping the win off with a victory hop that seemed reminiscent of Phil Mickelson’s far-from-gravity-defying leap from a few years ago. At least Robidas was on skates, though.

Florida 2, Phoenix 1 (SO)

Here is a sentence I wasn’t expecting to write tonight: Scott Clemmensen out-dueled Ilya Bryzgalov in this game. Clemmensen earned 40 saves to Bryzgalov’s 36 as the Panthers. Breezy is now on a three game losing streak after winning six in a row.

Nashville 5, Carolina 2

Anders Lindback keeps playing pretty well whenever Pekka Rinne is absent as he’s now 4-1-1 during the 2010-11 season. In some ways, it was a typical Predators win, as they received offense from a variety of sources. It wasn’t just same-old, same-old, though, as the team also threw 38 shots on Cam Ward (who allowed four, with the other goal coming via an empty-netter).

Report: Islanders cut first-rounder Barzal from camp

Mathew Barzal
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It seems Mathew Barzal has played in his last game in a New York Islanders’ uniform for a little while.

Barzal took part in the Islanders’ preseason finale against the Washington Capitals on Sunday, but after that contest the Islanders decided to return him to WHL Seattle, per Newsday’s Arthur Staple.

He was taken with the 16th overall pick in 2015 NHL Entry Draft. That selection was well-traveled as it originally belonged to the Pittsburgh Penguins, but was involved in the David Perron trade and then moved to the Islanders as part of Edmonton’s deal to get Griffin Reinhart.

Barzal is noteworthy for his skill and speed, but he may have slipped in the draft due to a knee injury he sustained during the 2014-15 campaign.

The Islanders also reassigned Kirill Petrov, Kevin Czuczman, Scott Mayfield, and Adam Pelech to the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

Torres offered in-person hearing, potentially setting up long suspension

Torres hit

What will Raffi Torres get this time?

The 33-year-old forward that has become known primarily for his controversial hits has once again put himself in the sights of the NHL’s Department of Players Safety. They confirmed that he was offered an in-person hearing following his hit on Jakub Silfverberg Saturday night. He declined the opportunity to meet with them face-to-face, but the offer itself is an important detail because it gives the league the option to suspend him for more than five games.

It certainly seems like the stage is set for a lengthy suspension. While Torres is not considered a repeat offender as his last suspension came more than 18 months ago, the NHL still retains the right to consider his history when deciding on this matter.

Among other incidents, he was once was banned from 25 games for his hit on Marian Hossa in 2012, although it was later reduced to 21 contests after an appeal. The NHL found that Torres was guilty of breaking three rules for that hit; namely interference, charging, and illegally hitting the head. The NHL is reviewing Torres’ latest incident for the same three violations.

You can see the hit below:

And here it is slowed down:

Torres got a match penalty and Silfverberg left the game. Fortunately, Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said that Silfverberg could have returned, but was kept out for precautionary reasons.