Riding the Zamboni – December 6th

If you want to know all about the Penguins continuing their winning ways and Sidney Crosby extending his scoring streak to 16 games, click here. Now let’s take a look at tonight’s other four games.

Toronto 5, Washington 4 (SO)

Going into the third period, it looked like the same old story: the Capitals had a 4-1 lead over the seemingly lost Maple Leafs. That final frame changed all of that, though, as Toronto reeled off three goals in the third and then won the game in a shootout.

Clarke MacArthur scored two goals for Toronto and Mathieu Perrault also provided two tallies for Washington. Mikhail Grabovski and Tim Brent scored Toronto’s other goals while Alex Ovechkin and Mike Knuble scored a goal each for the Capitals.

Atlanta 3, Nashville 2 (OT)

Speaking of come-from-behind victories, the Thrashers authored one of their own against the Predators tonight. After going down 2-0 to Nashville in the first period thanks to goals by Colin Wilson and Steve Sullivan, Atlanta rattled off three goals to win in overtime. Jim Slater and Andrew Ladd scored to tie it up while Zach Bogosian won the game two minutes into OT.

Ondrej Pavelec stopped 27 out of 29 shots to keep his hot streak going while Anders Lindback put up a valiant effort, making 34 out of 37 saves.

Columbus 3, Dallas 2 (SO)

The Blue Jackets stopped their own bleeding while ending the Stars’ six game winning streak with a shootout win, thanks to a great performance by Rick Nash (1 goal, 1 assist and one shootout goal). Kari Lehtonen kept Dallas in the game by making 27 out of 29 saves while Mathieu Garon was pretty lucky to win, only needing to stop 16 out of 18 shots.

San Jose 5, Detroit 2

After falling behind to the Red Wings 2-1 in the first period, the Sharks scored four unanswered goals to earn Antti Niemi’s second win in three straight starts. San Jose took a lead in the second when Niclas Wallin and Logan Couture scored eight seconds apart and never looked back. Couture had two goals overall, Dany Heatley scored a goal and an assist and Joe Thornton also scored for the Sharks in this one.

NHL on NBCSN: Red Wings face Lightning in ’15 playoff rematch

Steven Stamkos, Henrik Zetterberg
AP Photo

NBCSN will continue its coverage of the 2015-16 campaign tonight when the Detroit Red Wings host the Tampa Bay Lightning at 7:30 p.m. ET. You can stream the game online here.

The Lightning made it all the way to the Stanley Cup Final in 2015, but their journey almost ended in the first round at the hands of the Red Wings. Detroit shutout Tampa Bay twice in that series and the two squads were locked in a scoreless tie until the third period of Game 7.

Despite the fact that the Red Wings were a mere hair away from advancing instead of Tampa Bay, the Lightning are often mentioned as serious Cup contenders while Detroit is typically regarded as a good, but not amazing team. However, that gap isn’t entirely unjustified.

After all, Tampa Bay has a very effective core of forwards that features Steven Stamkos, Tyler Johnson, Nikita Kucherov, and Ondrej Palat. If the highly regarded Jonathan Drouin, 20, is able to build off of his strong start to the 2015-16 campaign then the Lightning’s offense could be even more dangerous this season.

Detroit certainly has some offensive star power too in Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk, but the duo is 35 and 37 years old respectively. On top of that, injuries have been a recurring issue for Datsyuk, who isn’t expected to make his season debut until November after undergoing ankle surgery.

As good as those two forwards still are, the Red Wings have to hope that their younger players will be able to lead the charge sooner rather than later. The good news is that 19-year-old Dylan Larkin‘s campaign is off to a strong start with three points in two games while 23-year-old Teemu Pulkkinen scored twice on Saturday.

The Red Wings have opened the season with back-to-back wins against Toronto and Carolina, but tonight’s game represents their biggest test to date. Meanwhile, the Lightning are similarly undefeated after three games, but this contest will be particularly trying for them given that it’s their third game in four days.

PHT Morning Skate: Columnist argues McDavid’s already NHL’s most important player

Connor McDavid
AP Photo

PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Although Connor McDavid‘s NHL career has only just gotten started, is he already the league’s most important player? (Sportsnet)

While we’re on the subject of McDavid, what should we expect from him for the remainder of his rookie campaign? (NHL Numbers)

Jack Jablonski was paralyzed on Dec. 30, 2011 at the age of 16 while playing high school hockey, but that hasn’t ended his pursuit of a career in hockey. He’s spent the last two years hosting a weekly hockey-talk radio program and has now joined the Los Angeles Kings as a communications intern. (Orange County Register)

Arizona State has earned its first NCAA victory. (Arizona Republic)

The 2015 Calder Cup champion Manchester Monarchs got their rings. (LA Kings Insider)

The Anaheim Ducks and the Make-A-Wish Foundation gave 13-year-old Kai Quinonez, who was diagnosed with aplastic anemia four years ago, a tremendous experience. (Orange County Register)