Early ride of the Zamboni – Friday, December 10th

Three of tonight’s six games have already come to an end, so let’s take an early ride on the recap Zamboni.

Detroit 4, Montreal 2

After losing two straight games at home, you had to think that the Red Wings would bring a focused (and angry) effort into this one against the Canadiens. They did just that, as Detroit answered an early Travis Moen score by rattling off three unanswered goals (Nicklas Lidstrom, Niklas Kronwall and Pavel Datsyuk) to take a 3-1 lead into the third period. Benoit Pouliot made it interesting with a goal in the final frame, but a Patrick Eaves empty-netter sealed the deal for the Red Wings.

Both goalies were solid-to-great in this one, with Jimmy Howard stopping 36 out of 38 while Carey Price made 28 out of 31 saves. Howard (15 wins) now only trails Price (16) by one win for the league lead.

Ottawa 3, New Jersey 2

It’s still kind of difficult to believe it, but the Devils have become the team that you just need to win or you’ll feel like you left crucial standings points on the board. It’s even that much harder to believe that the same holds true when they start Martin Brodeur, as the future Hall of Fame goalie is now 4-11-1 this season after allowing three goals on 29 shots in this one.

The Devils scored both of their goals against Pascal Leclaire on the power play, but the Senators beat them 3-0 at even strength to improve their home record to .500 (8-8-1).

Colorado 4, Atlanta 2

It’s been a tough tour through the Southeast Division for the Avalanche lately, as they previous lost to Atlanta at home and Carolina, Tampa Bay and Florida on the road in an unfamiliar road trip. They finally beat some unfamiliar foes tonight, as they took down the Thrashers in Atlanta 4-2.

This Avalanche win ended a five-game road losing streak for Colorado as well as a six-game home winning streak for Atlanta. Craig Anderson was able to nurse a 3-2 lead against fellow previously banged up goalie Ondrej Pavelec before Paul Stastny put it out of reach with an empty net goal.

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.