Vancouver Canucks v Washington Capitals

Riding the Zamboni – Friday, January 14th

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Vancouver 4 – Washington 2

In what some were calling a potential Stanley Cup finals showdown, the Canucks showed the Caps what they’re all about. Daniel Sedin scored two goals while Christian Ehrhoff and Alex Edler each had a goal and an assist to lead the Canucks to victory. Roberto Luongo stopped 25 shots in the win. For Washington, they were still without Alex Semin and Alex Ovechkin was held without a point. Matt Hendricks and Marcus Johansson scored for Washington who continue their recent struggles dropping their third in a row. Semyon Varlamov stopped 31 shots in the loss.

Philadelphia 5 – Atlanta 2

The Flyers rebounded nicely after a brutal loss against Boston last night pouring five goals on Ondrej Pavelec and the Thrashers. Claude Giroux and Jeff Carter each had a goal and an assist and Sergei Bobrovsky got back on the winning side stopping 27 shots. Pavelec had a tough night dealing with the Flyers in the third period as they scored three goals late (including an empty netter) to ice the game. Pavelec made 31 saves in the loss. Daniel Briere scored his 24th goal of the season for Philly. Flyer fans are still wondering if his All-Star invitation got lost in the mail.

New Jersey 5 – Tampa Bay 2

Right when we get all excited about the Lightning and Dwayne Roloson they go and lose to the basement dwelling Devils in ugly fashion. Roloson started but didn’t finish the game after giving up four goals in the first period. Ilya Kovalchuk scored twice for New Jersey giving him 12 on the season. Brian Rolston and Travis Zajac each had a goal and an assist for the Devils who won their first road game since November 3rd snapping a streak of 11 straight road losses. At least Tampa Bay got a goal and an assist each from Steve Stamkos and Martin St. Louis with St. Louis’ goal being of the highlight variety. Still, a frustrating outcome for Tampa Bay in that they could’ve put some distance between themselves and their Southeast Division foes who lost tonight.

Columbus 3 – Detroit 2 (F/SO)

It was a heart-warming win for the Blue Jackets as their home win over Detroit was able to snap a string of five losses in a row and was able to make money for charity. Blue Jackets fans put up over $5000 for their “Money on the Board” fundraiser and with the win, the Jackets team is matching their output to give money to the Blue Jackets Foundation. The Jackets got the win in the shootout after Antoine Vermette was able to beat Joey MacDonald. MacDonald got into the game because Jimmy Howard left in the first period with a bruised knee.

It was a rough game for Detroit as they found out after it was over that Tomas Holmstrom broke his hand and will be out indefinitely. Detroit will have to bounce back fast as they’ll play the Jackets again tomorrow night.  Grant Clitsome and Jakub Voracek scored for Columbus while Drew Miller and Jiri Hudler scored for Detroit. Steve Mason stopped 26 shots in the win.

Colorado 4 – Minnesota 1

With the Wild having health issues with their goalies, Anton Khudobin was called up and tasked with the job of having to stop one of the league’s top offenses. After two periods, it was clear that wouldn’t happen as the Avalanche jumped out to a 3-0 lead and the Wild left the ice to a chorus of boos. The Avalanche got stellar goaltending out of Craig Anderson for the first time in a long time as Anderson stopped 32 shots in the win. Khudobin, on the other hand, stopped just 14 shots and gave up an embarrassing goal in the second period to Tomas Fleischmann on an innocent dump in.

The game was marred by an ugly incident involving Ryan O’Reilly as he lost an edge and crashed head first into the boards. He was taken from the ice on a stretcher and taken to the hospital for observation. Good news for him, however, as he flew home with the team to Denver.

Calgary 3 – Ottawa 2

Don’t let the score fool you, this game wasn’t exactly close. The Flames got two goals from David Moss and a third goal from Ales Kotalik to ice the Senators in the second period. Henrik Karlsson made it stand up with 33 saves on the night. The Senators made it close in the third with goals from Nick Foligno and Milan Michalek, but Michalek’s goal came with under a minute to go and the Senators already skating uphill to get back in it.

For Ottawa it’s an especially poor effort coming off their win over the Islanders to snap their losing streak. It’s apparently a poor enough effort to get the Ottawa Sun to call for coach Cory Clouston to be fired for starting Brian Elliott tonight instead of 19 year-old rookie Robin Lehner.

Jets sign towering prospect Stanley to entry-level deal

BUFFALO, NY - JUNE 24:  Logan Stanley celebrates with the Winnepeg Jets after being selected 18th during round one of the 2016 NHL Draft on June 24, 2016 in Buffalo, New York.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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One of the biggest — literally, biggest — prospects taken at this June’s draft has been signed to his entry-level deal.

Logan Stanley, the 6-foot-7, 231-pound rearguard taken 18th overall by the Jets, inked a three-year contract with an average annual value of $1,137,500, the club announced on Tuesday.

Stanley, 18, is currently with OHL Windsor, though he did have a brief cameo with Winnipeg during training camp. He, along with another first-round pick — Jack Roslovic — were dropped from camp in early October.

“[Stanley] is a guy that is going to continue to grow, grow into his body, grow into his frame, grow into his game,” Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff told NHL.com. “There’s lot of room for development, and that’s what makes him a really exciting prospect.”

Stanley has shown a bit more offensive upside this year, his third with the Spits. After scoring just 17 points in 64 games last season, he already has nine through 20 games this season.

The Jets actually traded up at the draft to get Stanley, sending the 22nd and 36th overall selections to the Flyers in exchange for the 18th and 79th overall picks.

Blues place Bortuzzo on IR, he will miss at least six weeks

DALLAS, TX - APRIL 03:  Robert Bortuzzo #41 of the St. Louis Blues at American Airlines Center on April 3, 2015 in Dallas, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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The St. Louis Blues are going to be without defenseman Robert Boruzzo for more than a month due to a lower body injury that he suffered in their most recent game against the Winnipeg Jets.

Blues general manager Doug Armstrong announced on Tuesday that Bortuzzo has been placed on injured reserve and that he will be re-evaluated in six weeks.

Bortuzzo has only appeared in 11 games for the Blues this season but has played well when he has been on the ice, mostly in a third pairing role. He only has two points on the year, but offense has never been a big part of his game. He is mostly more of a stay-at-home defender and his defensive numbers this season have been mostly impressive. The Blues have allowed just 1.31 goals per 60 minutes of 5-on-5 play with Bortuzzo on the ice this season (the best mark on the team) and only 48 total shot attempts per 60 minutes (third best on the team).

With Bortuzzo heading to injured reserve, the team also announced that Joel Edmundson has been activated from IR after he missed the past 12 games with an upper body injury. Edmundson has one assist in 13 games this season for the Blues.

The Blues acquired Bortuzzo from the Pittsburgh Penguins during the 2014-15 season in exchange for Ian Cole.

In 64 games with the Blues since the trade he has four goals and three assists.

Goalie nods: Habs start Montoya for first time in over two weeks

MONTREAL, QC - NOVEMBER 02:  Al Montoya #35 of the Montreal Canadiens looks on during the warmup prior to the NHL game against the Vancouver Canucks at the Bell Centre on November 2, 2016 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.  The Montreal Canadiens defeated the Vancouver Canucks 3-0.  (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
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And for the eighth game, Carey rested.

Tonight in St. Louis, Al Montoya will be in goal when the Habs take on the Blues at Scottrade. The decision will end Carey Price‘s streak of consecutive starts at seven, and give Montoya his first nod since allowing three goals on 18 shots in a loss to Carolina on Nov. 18.

Since then, it’s been all Price, all the time.

The former Hart and Vezina Trophy winner closed out November in style — finishing the month with a .944 save percentage — but could definitely use a break, especially after a wild game on Sunday in which he beat the Kings, 5-4, in a shootout.

It’ll be really interesting to see how Montoya does tonight.

He was infamously left in for every goal during a 10-0 destruction in Columbus on Nov. 4, and things haven’t been the same since. The journeyman was terrific going into that Columbus game (3-0-1, .955 save percentage, one shutout), but has found it difficult to reclaim that form, and has lost each of his last two starts.

For the Blues, Jake Allen goes tonight.

Elsewhere…

Cam Talbot, coming off a 33-save win in OT against the Ducks on Sunday, goes for the Oilers in Buffalo. The Sabres are going with Anders Nilsson after Robin Lehner started the last two.

— Vancouver’s turning to Jacob Markstrom after Ryan Miller started each of the last three games. The Canucks will face a familiar foe in ex-Vancouver netminder Cory Schneider, who starts for the Devils.

— Tonight’s Battle of New York will see Henrik Lundqvist and the Rangers take on Jaroslav Halak and the Isles.

James Reimer gives Roberto Luongo the night off in Philly (or, he’s expected to, given Luongo played last night). The Flyers are going with Steve Mason, the NHL’s reigning first star of the week.

Semyon Varlamov will look to snap a three-game losing streak when the Avs visit Nashville. Looks as though the Preds are going with Pekka Rinne.

Petr Mrazek, who has played well since Jimmy Howard went down to injury (posting a .935 save percentage), will start in Winnipeg. The Jets counter with Connor Hellebuyck, who beat the Red Wings earlier this season on the strength of a 30-save effort.

— It’s Mike Smith versus Scott Darling as the Coyotes take on the ‘Hawks in Chicago.

— Calgary will keep rolling with Chad Johnson when it takes on the Stars in Dallas tonight. Lindy Ruff has confirmed that Kari Lehtonen, fresh off his first shutout of the year on Saturday against the Avs, will be back in goal.

McDavid, Crosby, Price and Kane lead All-Star voting through first week

DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 23:  Connor McDavid #97 of the Edmonton Oilers skates against the Colorado Avalanche at Pepsi Center on November 23, 2016 in Denver, Colorado. The Oilers defeated the Avalanche 6-3. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
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Voting for the 2017 NHL All-Star game has been underway for more than a week now, and on Tuesday afternoon the league announced the early leaders from each division.

The game, which will take place in Los Angeles on Jan. 26, will feature the same format as last year’s game with the four divisions taking part in a 3-on-3 tournament.

Connor McDavid, the NHL’s leading scorer, is the top vote-getter in the Pacific Division, while Sidney Crosby, currently the NHL’s leading goal scorer, is leading the Metropolitan Division.

Montreal’s Carey Price and Chicago’s Patrick Kane, the past two MVP winners, are leading the Atlantic and Central divisions respectively.

Unlike last season when John Scott dominated the voting, there are no surprise players in the early results. The league put new voting guidelines in place this season and limited voting only to players that are on an active NHL roster.

Here are is an early look at the top-five vote getters from each division.

Montreal (Price and Shea Weber), Pittsburgh (Crosby and Phil Kessel), and San Jose (Brent Burns and Joe Thornton) are the three teams that currently have two players in the top five of their division.

Atlantic
1. Carey Price, Montreal
2. Jaromir Jagr, Florida
3. Shea Weber, Montreal
4. Jack Eichel, Buffalo
5. Patrice Bergeron, Boston

Central
1. Patrick Kane, Chicago
2. P.K. Subban, Nashville
3. Jonathan Toews, Chicago
4. Patrik Laine, Winnipeg
5. Vladimir Tarasenko, St. Louis

Metropolitan
1. Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh
2. Alex Ovechkin, Washington
3. Phil Kessel, Pittsburgh
4. John Tavares, NY Islanders
5. Taylor Hall, New Jersey

Pacific
1. Connor McDavid, Edmonton
2. Brent Burns, San Jose
3. Johnny Gaudreau, Calgary
4. Anze Kopitar, Los Angeles
5. Joe Thornton, San Jose