It’s just another typical Rangers-Penguins game in New York City tonight. This time around, things got a bit heated in the second period with the Rangers trailing 3-2 and a scrum erupting in front of the Rangers bench.
Rangers tough guy Brandon Prust and Penguins forward Jordan Staal came together briefly with Prust roughing up Staal initially. Staal pushed back and then punched Prust in the face with a gloved hand. Prust, however, dropped like a rock to the ice holding his face and getting the Rangers bench on their feet. Staal was assessed a five-minute major and a match penalty for roughing and was sent off for the sucker punch. Prust, got up and was back on the bench after over-selling the punch to draw the penalty.
A match penalty comes with a mandatory one-game suspension unless the NHL rescinds the penalty. The Penguins are slated to face the Islanders tomorrow so whether or not Staal ends up sitting down will be decided tomorrow.
What’s the real issue here is the egregious embellishment of the punch on the part of Prust. Prust earlier fought Penguins tough defenseman Deryk Engelland and took multiple punches to the head from Engelland’s bare fist without dropping like a rock. Either Jordan Staal is a lot stronger than he lets on or Prust needs to win an Academy Award.
Flames keep showing life, Stars stumble once again
If you think the Dallas Stars are struggling because of defense more than anything else, then you’ll make sure to keep the video above “on file.”
There Kari Lehtonen was, helpless on a 2-on-0 rush for the Calgary Flames, which Johnny Gaudreau finished with calm and ease. For some, that goal is the symbol of the Stars’ season.
Either way, it was a painful goal in the Flames’ 2-1 win against the Stars. Calgary won despite Dallas firing 30 shots on goal versus the Flames’ 20.
One team climbing, the other stumbling
With that, the Flames are now on a four-game winning streak. Since falling to 5-10-1 on Nov. 12, the Flames have gone 9-3-1 in their last 13 games, pushing them to 14-13-2 overall. Gaudreau coming back is the icing on the cake after Chad Johnson really took charge of the Flames’ top job.
During a similar span, the Stars can’t seem to get it together. Dallas stood at 6-6-3 after beating the Oilers 3-2 on Nov. 11. They’re now 10-11-6, essentially standing in place as a .500 team.
Dallas can’t seem to get momentum going, a thought that might have left them envious of the team on the other end of the ice on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, it wasn’t just about Jack Eichel vs. Connor McDavid. Instead, it was a clash between a fleet of young scorers who were in their prime, with the Buffalo Sabres coming up on top against the Edmonton Oilers.