No Pronger, no problem: Flyers roll Rangers 4-1

The Flyers first game without Chris Pronger, who’s sidelined for the next 4-6 weeks after surgery on his broken foot, went off without a hitch.

The Flyers used two goals from Nikolay Zherdev and a continued adherence to tight-checking defense to lead their way 4-1 past the Rangers in this afternoon’s featured tilt. Andreas Nodl and Ville Leino each had a goal to help pad the scoring for the Flyers who lead the way in the Eastern Conference. The worry about being without Chris Pronger is that the defense would be a bit easier to maneuver around and that life would be tougher on any of the Flyers three goaltenders.

That wasn’t the case today as the Flyers held the Rangers to 25 shots and Brian Boucher stopped all but one of them on a Derek Stepan goal. The Flyers offense, meanwhile, bombarded Rangers netminder Henrik Lundqvist with 39 shots on goal. Lundqvist did well stopping 35 of them but the Flyers defense made sure they wouldn’t be able to get back into the game.

If you’re curious as to who did the heavy lifting minutes-wise for the Flyers on defense, it was Braydon Coburn and Kimmo Timonen. Timonen played 23:08 while Coburn checked in with 22:05 played. Lineup replacement Oskars Bartulis played 12:51. Bartulis was on the ice for the Rangers only goal of the game.

Video: Josh Ho-Sang’s creativity gives Islanders a shot in the arm

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Honestly, after 10 games, the question shouldn’t be “can Josh Ho-Sang stick with the Islanders full-time?” Instead, the feeling is … what took so long for him to get this chance?

For all the grumbling about Ho-Sang sporting number 66, he’s provided serious bursts of brilliance and creativity for the Islanders, whether he’s been supporting or even setting up John Tavares.

The video above is some really good stuff, as it walks through his confident comments – and undeniable uncertainty – during the night he was drafted, all the way through him getting his chance with the Isles this season. Some of the best stuff comes from Doug Weight, who raves that Ho-Sang is a “five out of five” from an offensive standpoint.

Auston Matthews’ 33rd goal includes a dash of comedy (Video)

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This wouldn’t have been worth a chuckle if not for the correction. (Well, maybe a chuckle at Auston Matthews‘ expense.)

On the 33rd goal of his brilliant rookie season, Auston Matthews made it 2-0 for Toronto on the power play. Crusty “act like you’ve been there” types might grumble that he actually celebrated before a goal really happened, only to tap it in for real the second time around. The rest of us, again, get a mild chuckle.

William Nylander‘s pass was nothing to laugh at, however. That one just gets a big thumbs up.

Hnnngmgghh indeed.

That goal could end up being key as the Blue Jackets quickly scored to start the second period, shrinking Toronto’s lead to 2-1 on Wednesday.

Video: Leafs’ Carrick delivers thunderous hit on Blue Jackets’ Anderson

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Both the Columbus Blue Jackets and Toronto Maple Leafs have motivation to win their Wednesday game, but the Maple Leafs need it more.

So far, it shows, too.

The Maple Leafs have raced off to a 2-0 lead, with Auston Matthews scoring his 33rd goal of the season. If generating such offense didn’t highlight the urgency, Connor Carrick‘s huge hit on Josh Anderson makes a compelling argument. Witness that big impact in the video above.

There was also another high-impact moment when Nick Foligno went crashing into the boards:

Ouch, Blues consider Paul Stastny out week-to-week

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The St. Louis Blues announced that Paul Stastny is out week-to-week with a lower-body injury.

Stastny was limited to less than four minutes of ice time during last night’s 4-2 win against the Colorado Avalanche. Initially, head coach Mike Yeo indicated that the issue wasn’t serious.

There are only about three weeks left in the regular season, so it’s tough to tell if “week-to-week” would mean that the Blues will be without Stastny for any playoff time.

With Stastny out for an expended period of time and other injuries affecting Blues forwards, it sounds like Nail Yakupov gets another chance to prove himself:

Stastny generated 18 goals and 40 points in 66 games so far this season. He has played more of a defensive role this season (46.2 offensive zone start percentage after being closer to 50 earlier in his Blues days) and has been impressive in the dot, winning 53.8 of his faceoffs.