For recaps of tonight’s first seven games, click here. Let’s get to the two latest contests now.
Edmonton 6, Columbus 3
Believe or not, Linus Omark earned last week’s goal of the week award before he actually scored his first real NHL goal. That’s because that goal came during the shootout. Instead, Omark scored his first real goal tonight, along with two assists. Jordan Eberle (two goals) and Taylor Hall (three assists) also produced on a night in which the Oilers’ youngsters were better than the Blue Jackets’ youngsters.
Kristian Huselius was explosive in defeat, scoring all three of the Blue Jackets’ tallies.
Nikolai Khabibulin stopped 37 out of 40 shots, while Steve Mason had a tough night, with Mason getting pulled after two periods because he allowed all six of Edmonton’s goals on 27 shots.
Calgary 5, Toronto 2
The Flames dominated “Neon” Dion Phaneuf‘s team in his return to Calgary, although the big defenseman wasn’t victimized very often (he finished the game with zero points and a +1 rating). He received some boos when he touched the puck, but nothing on the level of Dany Heatley.
Olli Jokinen (one goal and two assists), Niklas Hagman (one goal and one assist), Anton Babchuk (two assists) and Alex Tanguay (one goal) shined for the Flames in this contest.
Like Steve Mason and Curtis McElhinney, Jean-Sebastien Giguere didn’t make it through the entire start. He was pulled from the game after the second period, as he allowed four goals on 24 shots. Meanwhile, Miikka Kiprusoff had a light night, getting the win by stopping 17 out of 19 shots.
Some good news/bad news for the Rangers.
Exactly one week after suffering a concussion against the Philadelphia Flyers, defenseman Ryan McDonagh returned to the ice with his teammates this morning.
The Rangers captain was wearing a non-contract jersey, but “looked good” according to coach Alain Vigneault.
McDonagh was hurt after taking a punch to the head from Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds (above).
The 26-year-old has missed each of his team’s last three games since suffering the injury.
McDonagh hasn’t been cleared for contact, but that could happen in the next few days according to Vigneault.
The news wasn’t as good for forward Rick Nash, who’s been dealing with a bone bruise in his leg.
Nash has missed each of New York last eight game’s and Vigneault admitted that he’s no longer considered day-to-day.
He’ll miss at least another week.
What a story Joseph Blandisi‘s been for the New Jersey Devils this season.
The 21-year-old played in his first NHL game on Dec. 11 and has stayed with the Devils ever since.
It took him five games to pick up his first career point, but he’s done a whole lot more damage since then.
Blandisi came into Saturday’s action with 10 points in his last 12 games and he added to that against the Flyers.
He opened the scoring with this beautiful between-the-legs goal on goalie Michal Neuvirth (top of the page).
That’s Blandisi’s fourth goal of the season.
Some Twitter reaction to the goal:
The Boston Bruins will be without center Patrice Bergeron in Saturday afternoon’s matinee against the Minnesota Wild.
It’s unclear how Bergeron suffered the undisclosed injury, but there’s reason to believe it occurred after he dropped the gloves with Jets forward Blake Wheeler (above).
He’s considered day-to-day at this point.
Losing him for an extended period of time would be devastating for Boston.
“You don’t like seeing your star players (fight), but you also understand that it’s an emotional game and that stuff happens and at one point a player says, ‘Enough is enough and I’m going to stand up for myself,’” Bruins head coach Claude Julien said after the game, as per the Boston Herald.
“From what I gathered there was a lot of slashes behind the legs behind the play and stuff like that. He took things upon himself. As much as you don’t like it, you can’t tell him he’s not allowed. He’s a big boy and he can certainly make some decisions on the ice. And it’s not the first time that he’s fought. But I like the fact that he doesn’t fight much.”
After this incident, there’s no doubt that the Bruins will tell Bergeron to keep his gloves on from now on.
Jets captain Andrew Ladd still doesn’t have a contract for next season and with the Feb. 29 trade deadline approaching, something’s gonna have to give.
According to TSN’s Gary Lawless, the Winnipeg Jets will make one last push to sign the forward before making him available on the trade market.
Ladd doesn’t want to leave and the team wants to keep him, but after Dustin Byfgulien got an extension earlier this month, there may not be enough money to go around.
At one point, the Jets reportedly made Ladd a six-year offer worth $6 million per year, which he obviously didn’t accept.
Can they top that? Time will tell.
Waiting to trade Ladd is probably the smartest decision.
Keeping the captain around would be great, but if the two sides can’t agree to a new contract, there’ll be no shortage of suitors for Ladd’s services.
Lawless mentions the Penguins, Panthers and Blackhawks as potential landing spots for the 30-year-old.
The Kings have also been mentioned as a potential destination for Ladd.
Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff will have to make some crucial decisions over the next few weeks.