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Riding the Zamboni – Thursday, February 3rd

Want a recap of the busy start and 6-3 win for Boston against Dallas? Click here. We’ll have a summary of the Wild-Avs game later on. In the mean time, chew on these other four games.

Toronto 3, Carolina 0

Ron Wilson said that the best revenge for Tim Gleason’s knockout of Nikolai Kulemin would be taking two points from the Hurricanes. If that wasn’t just PR-speak, then the Leafs got what they wanted. Gleason did fight Jay Rosehill in the first period, so at least some retribution took place.

James Reimer earned the first shutout of his career in this one, making 27 saves. Clarke MacArthur, Darryl Boyce and Kris Versteeg scored Toronto’s three goals. Cam Ward stopped 38 out of 41 shots.

Tim Brent earned the second star of the game, despite going without a point. He did so by blocking three shots on a 5 on 3 power play. That’s the kind of thing that makes you a short-term folk hero in a hockey mad (and optimism-poor) market like Toronto.

Calgary 4, Atlanta 2

Talk about two teams going in opposite directions. The Flames have now won six games in a row and are 8-1-1 in their last 10 games while the Thrashers are 2-6-3 in their last 11 contests.

Mark Giordano scored one goal and one assist to help the Flames beat the team that plays in their original host city for the first time in Atlanta. That’s some long-term context, ladies and gentlemen.

New Jersey 3, NY Rangers 2

Well, look at that: the Devils are no longer the worst team in the NHL. They’re now tied with the Islanders for second to last with 39 points as they’ve won eight of their last 10 games.

They built a 3-0 lead against their regional rivals and almost gave it up, but Martin Brodeur earned his 16th win of the season. Henrik Lundqvist was pulled after allowing three goals on 12 shots, giving way to Martin Biron, who stopped all the six shots he saw.

Philadelphia 3, Nashville 2

The Eastern Conference-leading Flyers opened their four game homestand with a win over the Predators, a team that helped spark the franchise’s resurgence years ago. Philly traded with Nashville for Kimmo Timonen and Scott Hartnell, two still-valuable players who helped key their resurgence.

Another savvy trade piece (though not from Nashville) factored into Philadelphia’s win, as former Red Wing Ville Leino scored the team’s last two goals to earn the win. Jeff Carter also came up big, scoring a goal and assisting on both of Leino’s goals. Joel Ward and Marcel Goc scored for the Predators, who are on a troubling four game skid.

Video: Penguins coach takes issue with late, high Orpik hit on Maatta

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The Pittsburgh Penguins have spoken out against a late, high hit that Washington Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik threw on Olli Maatta early in the first period of an eventful Game 2 on Saturday.

Maatta left and didn’t return. He played only 31 seconds, and the Penguins were reduced to five defensemen for a large portion of the game. Orpik was given a minor penalty on the play, but the league’s Department of Player Safety may see it differently.

The hit occurred well after Maatta had gotten rid of the puck. He struggled on his way to the dressing room for further evaluation.

Based on multiple reports, Orpik wasn’t made available to the media following the game, which went to the Penguins as they earned the split on the road.

But the Penguins have taken issue with the hit.

“I thought it was a late hit,” said Penguins coach Mike Sullivan, as per CSN Mid-Atlantic. “I thought it was a target to his head. I think it’s the type of hit everyone in hockey is trying to remove from the game.”

Game on: Penguins even series with rival Capitals

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The Pittsburgh Penguins will head back home with a split of their second-round series with the rival Washington Capitals.

Former Capitals forward Eric Fehr came back to burn his hold team, as he scored with under five minutes remaining in regulation to help lift the Penguins over Washington with a 2-1 victory in an eventful Game 2 on Saturday. Evgeni Malkin threw the puck toward the net and Fehr was able to re-direct it by Braden Holtby.

Oh, this was an eventful game, indeed.

It started early in the first period with Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik catching Penguins blue liner Olli Maatta with a late and high hit that warranted — at least for now — only a minor penalty for interference. Maatta, clearly in distress following the hit, didn’t play another shift and saw only 31 seconds of ice time in total, as Pittsburgh was reduced to five defensemen for the remainder of the game.

It continued in the third period. Kris Letang was furious after getting called for a trip on Justin Williams, and even more ticked off when the Capitals tied the game on the ensuing power play.

For two periods, the Capitals couldn’t get much going. Only four of their players had registered a shot on goal through 40 minutes, while the Penguins held the edge in that department and held the lead.

Washington came out with more jump in the third period, testing rookie netminder Matt Murray with 14 shots in the final 20 minutes. But the Penguins got the late goal to break the deadlock.

Video: Penguins’ Letang was furious after Capitals tie up Game 2 with power play goal

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Kris Letang watched from the penalty box as the Washington Capitals tied up Game 2 with a power play goal in the third period. The Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman was called for tripping after he appeared to muscle Justin Williams off the puck as he entered the zone.

Letang let his disagreement with the call be known at the time, and was furious after the Capitals capitalized on a goal from Marcus Johansson.

The Capitals started the period down a goal and being outshot 28-10 by the Penguins, who need a win to even the series.

Also, it seems this is worth mentioning:

Video: Hagelin goes top shelf to give Penguins the lead in Game 2

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In their quest to even the series, the Pittsburgh Penguins had done a nice job through two periods of suffocating the Washington Capitals, while gaining the lead on a beautiful goal.

Carl Hagelin took advantage of a vast amount of space that opened up in front of the Washington net, finishing off a nice pass from Nick Bonino, burying his shot just under the cross bar on the glove side of Braden Holtby.

Through two periods, the Penguins were outshooting Washington 28-10. Only four Capitals players — Alex Ovechkin, T.J. Oshie, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Matt Niskanen — had registered shots on goal.