Riding the Zamboni – Thursday, December 30th (late edition)

For recaps of Thursday’s first four games, click here. Now let’s take a look at the two games that went beyond our bed times.

Colorado 4, Edmonton 3 (SO)

Something had to give with these two teams, as each club was on a losing streak. The Avalanche broke their three-game skid while they extended the Oilers slump to five consecutive games with a shootout win. It didn’t come easily, though.

The Avs built a three goal lead with goals by T.J. Galiardi, Paul Stastny and Tomas Fleischmann. Edmonton began their comeback with a Taylor Hall goal in the second period and then tied it up in the third thanks to tallies by Ales Hemsky and Andrew Cogliano. Milan Hejduk ended up being the only guy who scored in the shootout to win for Colorado, as Craig Anderson outlasted Devan Dubnyk.

Edmonton is firmly behind Calgary for last place in the West while Colorado still trails Vancouver in the Northwest by four points. The Avalanche would be the fifth seed if the playoffs started today.

Philadelphia 7, Los Angeles 4

After getting dismantled by the Vancouver Canucks on 6-2 on Tuesday, the Flyers redeemed themselves via a dominant performance against the Kings. Mike Richards and his teammates made things relatively easy for Michael Leighton (32 out of 36 saves) during the goalie’s first game back from injury. Richards scored two goals and two assists, matching the Kings’ offensive output in his own production.

Claude Giroux scored two goals while Ryan Smyth provided two assists a game in which both Jonathans (Quick and Bernier) appeared in the contest for Los Angeles.

As of today, Philadelphia would be fourth in the East (trailing the Penguins by two points and two wins with two games in hand) and L.A. would be fourth in the West (trailing the Stars by three points with one game in hand). If that held true, we’d see Washington-Philadelphia and Colorado-Los Angeles in the first round of the playoffs. Sign us up for that.

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.