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.

Start the Carr: Habs recall another player from the minors

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There’s been a lot of movement between Montreal and Saint John’s lately and that continued on Sunday.

This time, it’s forward Daniel Carr who’ll be getting a stint with the big club.

Carr has no prior NHL experience.

The 24-year-old spent four years at Union College before joining the Canadiens organization as an undrafted free agent.

In his first season as a pro, Carr scored 24 goals (led the team) and 39 points in 76 AHL games with the Hamilton Bulldogs in 2014-15.

This year, Carr has seven goals and 15 points in 20 games.

Montreal is without forwards Torrey Mitchell, Brendan Gallagher and Alexander Semin.

Campbell’s perfect snipe sinks Wings in OT


Brian Campbell doesn’t score as many points as he used to, but he came up with a huge goal against the Red Wings on Sunday afternoon.

With the game tied, 1-1, in overtime, Campbell skated into the slot and beat Petr Mrazek with a perfect wrister to end the game.

It was also a pretty nice passing play between Jussi Jokinen, Jonathan Huberdeau and Campbell.

Dylan Larkin opened the scoring in the second period before Reilly Smith leveled the score with just over five minutes remaining.

The Wings have blown a lead in three straight games.

Detroit was up 2-0 and 3-2 in their last game, against Edmonton, before they finally closed the game out with an overtime goal by Niklas Kronwall.

They weren’t so fortunate against the Bruins on Wednesday, as they lost 3-2 in OT after leading 2-1 with under two minutes remaining in regulation.

This was the first meeting of the season between Detroit and Florida, but they’ll see each other three times between Feb. 4 and Mar. 19.

With Jonathan Bernier sputtering, we’ll meet Garret Sparks

Garett Sparks
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You can’t blame Mike Babcock for siding with the relatively unknown when the other option is Jonathan Bernier, a goalie who’s 0-8-1 so far in 2015-16.

With that in mind, meet Garret Sparks, the Toronto Maple Leafs’ expected starter for Monday’s game against the Edmonton Oilers.

Sparks was a seventh-round pick (190th overall) in 2011, a guy who was off to a great start in the AHL. That much wasn’t lost on Babcock.

Let’s face it, though; this is as much about the Leafs’ other two goalies as it is about Sparks (whose name inspired a very obscure reference in this post’s headline).

In Bernier’s case, there’s an “enough’s enough” feel:

Meanwhile, James Reimer‘s not quite healthy enough to play yet, so the window of opportunity is open for Sparks … a little bit.

Sparks will get a chance to make an impression, even if it’s just a small one.

Video: Dylan Larkin adds to his rookie goals lead

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So far, the 2015-16 crop of rookies is living up to the hype, if not exceeding it. Connor McDavid‘s unfortunate injury hasn’t even derailed this year’s crop.

The Detroit Red Wings are watching their own blue chip blossom, as Dylan Larkin is making an instant impact.

No. 71 scored his 10th goal of the season against the Florida Panthers on Sunday, fattening his rookie goals lead.

He still needs five points to match rookie points leader Artemi Panarin, though.