Vancouver Canucks v Phoenix Coyotes

Riding the Zamboni – Wednesday, February 2nd

For a recap of the Pittsburgh Penguins’ 3-0 win over the New York Islanders and video of Brent Johnson’s one-punch knockout of Rick DiPietro, click here. Here are recaps of the other five games.

Detroit 7, Ottawa 5

Johan Franzen scored as many goals as the Senators in this one, as he collected a career-best five in this one. Henrik Zetterberg was a big part of his Swedish teammate’s night, earning the primary assist on three of those goals. The Senators did their fair share of scoring too, as Milan Michalek lead the way for Ottawa with two goals.

Jimmy Howard didn’t have a great night, but at least he made it through the whole game. The same cannot be said for Robin Lehner, who eventually was pulled for Brian Elliott.

Montreal 3, Florida 2

There was a while there when it looked like the Habs might fall out of the playoff picture, but they are now a solid 9-2-3 in their last 14 games. Meanwhile the Panthers are watching their playoff hopes fade as they’ve lost both of their games coming out of the all-star break.

Los Angeles 3, Edmonton 1

The Kings are now 1-0-1 in the first two games of what could be a make-or-break 10 game road run. They won’t play again until Saturday, so winning this game should improve their spirits considerably.

Magnus Paajarvi scored the opening goal, but the Kings scored three unanswered tallies, with Ryan Smyth tying and then winning it while Jack Johnson earned an insurance marker. Ales Hemsky failed to score a point in his return, but played a little more than 20 minutes.

Vancouver 6, Phoenix 0

The Canucks earned their fourth win a row, putting them four points ahead of the Flyers for the top spot in the NHL. While Vancouver is prospering, the Coyotes are watching what looked like a semi-comfortable playoff spot after losing two games in a row in two very different ways.

Roberto Luongo earned a shutout with 23 saves while Ryan Kesler scored two goals and four other Canucks filled the net.

San Jose 4, Anaheim 3

While the Canucks pounded the Coyotes, the Sharks earned a come from behind victory against Phoenix last night. They nearly allowed a similar thing to happen to them tonight, as they almost coughed up a 3-0 lead to the Ducks but held on for their second win a row. To underscore the constant upheaval in the West, San Jose is now in fifth place.

Colorado inks defensive prospect Anton Lindholm

LAKE PLACID, NY - AUGUST 07: Anton Lindholm #5 of Team Sweden skates against Team USA during the 2013 USA Hockey Junior Evaluation Camp at the Lake Placid Olympic Center on August 7, 2013 in Lake Placid, New York.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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After establishing himself in the Swedish league, Anton Lindholm will head to North America.

The Colorado Avalanche announced that they have signed the 21-year-old defenseman to a three-year, entry-level contract. They selected Lindholm in the fifth round of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft.

More of a defensive defenseman, Lindholm only registered four assists in 30 Swedish league games with Skelleftea AIK in 2015-16, but he also had a team-high 85 hits despite missing a chunk of the season due to injury. During the playoffs he helped his team reach the SHL Finals by leading them in both hits and blocked shots.

That was his second full campaign with Skelleftea AIK. The next step for Lindholm will likely be for him to continue his development in the AHL.

PHT Morning Skate: Sidney Crosby eyes more history

TAMPA, FL - MAY 24:  Sidney Crosby #87 of the Pittsburgh Penguins looks to face off against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Final during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena on May 24, 2016 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images)
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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Bob McKenzie shares his memories of Tragically Hip singer Gord Downie, who apparently was a big hockey fan. (TSN)

Don Cherry discusses John Brophy’s toughness after the former Leafs coach recently passed away. (Sportsnet)

 

A look at Vincent Lecavalier‘s career. (Greatest Hockey Legends)

The perils of flip-flopping goalies in the playoffs … although it worked out for the Penguins at least last night. (The Hockey News)

Speaking of which, will the Blues get burned for switching back to Brian Elliott in Game 6 tonight? Here’s a preview:

Sidney Crosby has a chance to join a very rare club of clutch goal-scorers if he can win it for Pittsburgh in Game 7:

Pens coach praises Murray: ‘He doesn’t get rattled’

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Hot take: the Pittsburgh Penguins probably won’t deal with a goalie controversy going into Game 7.

(Ugh, that’s a failed hot take … you can’t use “probably” in those things, right?)

Matt Murray was fantastic at times during Game 6, much like his counterpart in the Tampa Bay Lightning’s net in a 5-2 win. Granted, there were some tense moments during the Bolts’ late-game push:

Much has been made about experience, especially from those calling for Marc-Andre Fleury earlier in this series. It’s telling that the praise Murray draws sure sounds like what you’d expect from a “veteran.”

“He has a calming influence,” Sullivan said. “He doesn’t get rattled. If he lets a goal in, he just continues to compete. That’s usually an attribute that usually takes years to acquire that, and to have it at such a young age is impressive.”

Thanks in part to Murray’s efforts in Game 6, he’ll get a chance to prove his resolve in something new: a Game 7 in the Eastern Conference Final.

Once again, his teammates seem pretty confident in this elimination situation.

Lightning lament Game 6 effort, Cooper doesn’t blame disallowed goal

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The Tampa Bay Lightning seemed to sleepwalk through the first two periods of Game 6, and waking up in the final frame wasn’t enough to edge the Pittsburgh Penguins.

On the bright side, at least the Lightning aren’t in denial about that weak first 40 minutes.

It seemed like everyone on the team more or less admitted as much in unison.

Brian Boyle added that he felt like the Lightning tiptoed around this game. Jon Cooper often provides great quips, yet he was pretty matter-of-fact in this case.

Many will linger on this disallowed goal for Jonathan Drouin, which would have provided a 1-0 lead for Tampa Bay in the first period.

Let’s face it; that moment came pretty early in the game. To Tampa Bay’s credit, they’re not pinning the loss on that setback.

Now they must set their sights on competing throughout Game 7 … and maybe earning some bounces of their own in the process.

Read more about Game 6 here.