Riding the Zamboni – Tuesday, January 4th

Detroit 5 – Edmonton 3

Detroit got the win but they made it interesting for a bit. The Wings jumped out to a 3-1 lead before giving up goals to Theo Peckham and Sam Gagner in the third to knot it up at three. Todd Bertuzzi would score the back breaker though with 2:50 to play. It was Bertuzzi’s second goal of the game and it was followed up by a Darren Helm snipe to make it 5-3. Chris Osgood got the win, his 401st putting him two behind Grant Fuhr for ninth all time.

Tampa Bay 1 – Washington 0 (F/OT)

Dwayne Roloson led the way with 34 saves in his Lightning debut and Martin St. Louis scored the game-winner in overtime. Semyon Varlamov was equally as good making 37 saves in the loss. With the win, Tampa Bay takes hold of first place in the Southeast Division.

Minnesota 2 – New Jersey 1

Another night, another loss for the Devils and this one came with an embarrassing twist. Clayton Stoner’s first NHL goal proved to be the game-winner and it came in especially baffling fashion for New Jersey. Stoner’s dump into the Devils zone glanced off the boards in a funny way so that rather than going around the boards to a waiting Johan Hedberg, it went straight into the net. Cal Clutterbuck scored his 11th goal while Ilya Kovalchuk finally cracked double figures with his 10th. Yes, Clutterbuck outscoring Kovalchuk, we know. Jose Theodore stopped 21 shots in the win while Johan Hedberg stopped only 16.

Phoenix 4 – Columbus 2

Shane Doan is the captain for a reason in Phoenix. With a goal and an assist, Doan lead the way offensively for the Coyotes in giving them a two-goal win over the Jackets. Phoenix jumped out to a 2-0 lead before goals by R.J. Umberger and Jakub Voracek tied it up. The tie would be short lived though as Doan and Vernon Fiddler would score goals less than a minute apart to seal the win. Ilya Bryzgalov made 26 stops in the win.

Colorado 4 – Buffalo 3 (F/OT)

It wasn’t a pretty looking game with teams making boneheaded mistakes all night long, but it sure was fun to watch. David Jones’ 2-on-1 power play goal in overtime sealed the deal for the Avalanche. Daniel Winnik had a goal and an assist while Tomas Fleischmann added two helpers. That gives Fleischmann 16 points in 16 games with the Avs. Thomas Vanek had a goal and an assist for Buffalo. Peter Budaj made 37 saves for Colorado while Ryan Miller stopped 30.

WATCH LIVE: Blackhawks at Penguins – Wednesday Night Rivalry

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The latest edition of NBCSN’s Wednesday Night Rivalry presents quite the treat: the Chicago Blackhawks at the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Both teams are at 103 standings points and each squad already punched a ticket to the playoffs. Even so, they’re dealing with mini-slumps that they’d like to work out tonight.

For all we know, this could be a preview of what would be one extremely fun, high-profile 2017 Stanley Cup Final. Either way, it’s a showcase of two premiere franchises brimming with star power.

You can watch on NBCSN, online and via NBC Sports App. Click here for the livestream.

Yes, NHL will share protected, available player lists for expansion draft

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We can debate all day how much the NHL, Vegas Golden Knights and others involved really want to do this, but they’re making the right choice with the expansion draft nonetheless. The league will make protected and available players lists available at the same time they’re shared with teams, according to NHL.com’s Nick Cotsonika.

(The NHL tweeted out as much, too.)

Could this lead to feelings being hurt or perhaps even certain sneaky deals being scuttled? Perhaps, but those are headaches that management should be expected to absorb.

The bottom line is that an expansion draft is a dream come true for armchair GMs, rumor enthusiasts, fantasy sports fans and … really, just about anyone interested in hockey. It would be a bewildering decision to try to keep all of this information locked down, even for a league that frequently garners a reputation for choosing comfort over entertainment value.

Cotsonika reports that such lists will probably be made available on June 18, though that isn’t set in stone.

(If you’re the type to take off work if a trade deadline was exciting, you might want to start drumming up excuses/putting aside vacation time/practicing your best “I’m sick” voice just in case …)

Cap Friendly provides a handy timeline for the expansion draft process:

Goalie nods: Blues give Hutton first start in two weeks

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Even though Jake Allen has played extremely well of late, Carter Hutton will get the call when the Blues take on the Coyotes in Arizona tonight.

Some of this could have to do with the opponent. The Coyotes are playing out the string on a forgettable campaign, and have lost six of their last seven. That includes a 4-1 defeat in St. Louis on Monday (in which Allen stopped 27 of 28 shots for the win).

As mentioned above, Allen has been great in March and deserves huge praise for turning his season around. He’s gone 8-1-1 this month with a remarkable .951 save percentage, allowing a mere 14 goals over his 10 appearances.

Hutton, though, has played equally well when called upon. He’s gone 4-1-0 over his last five starts, posting a .962 save percentage and a pair of shutouts. In his last outing, on Mar. 16, he allowed just one goal in a victory in San Jose.

For the Coyotes, Louis Domingue is in goal.

Elsewhere…

— A good matchup in Pittsburgh tonight, as the two defending Stanley Cup champions go head-to-head. Marc-Andre Fleury starts for the Penguins, while Corey Crawford goes for the Blackhawks.

— Calgary can clinch a playoff spot with a win tonight so, unsurprisingly, it’ll go with No. 1 Brian Elliott. No word yet on who starts for the visiting Kings, though it could be Ben Bishop after Jonathan Quick lost last night in Edmonton.

Philipp Grubauer gets the call for Washington, after Braden Holtby led the Caps to victory in Minnesota on Tuesday. Grubauer will take on Calvin Pickard, who starts for the Avs.

Vegas wants ‘progressive’ head coach, says McPhee

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Golden Knights GM George McPhee continued to list the characteristics he wants from a head coach this week, explaining that he’s searching for a forward-thinking bench boss.

“We want someone who is very current on the game, who is progressive on how the game should be played,” McPhee said in a recent phone call with season ticket holders, per the club website. “We’re looking for that progressive guy that can really help us through the early years and help develop our team and our players.”

So, time to connect the dots.

Back in November, Vegas owner Bill Foley laid the initial groundwork for McPhee’s coaching profile, saying he wanted to hire an experienced head coach.

“He’s not looking for a first-termer,” said Foley. “Some may or may not be available. … I would say the coach that we name is going to be a recognizable individual.”

Among the names that have already been floated, many fit the above billing: Jack Capuano, Gerard Gallant, Ken Hitchcock and Michel Therrien, among others.

Vegas has already spoken with Gallant and reportedly made contact with Capuano as well, which shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Gallant was nominated for last year’s Jack Adams as the NHL’s top coach, and McPhee is familiar with Capuano, having worked as an adviser to Isles GM Garth Snow prior to taking the Golden Knights gig.

It’s also believed former Flyers head coach Craig Berube is being considered, along with current Montreal associate Kirk Muller.