Believe it or not, there are hockey games going on during a day in which almost every American who isn’t a sports contrarian will be watching the Pittsburgh Steelers face the Green Bay Packers. By now you should have a pretty good idea about NBC’s Game of the Week between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Washington Capitals (start time: 12:30 pm ET), but there are two other contests that will take place before the world is captivated by swirling pigskins and occasionally witty commercials.
As always, these start times are according to Eastern Standard Time (ET).
New Jersey @ Montreal
The Devils have earned at least one point (and eight wins) in their last 11 games, yet the question is: why? The best comparison I can think would be an employee giving his or her two weeks notice and then working twice as hard during those 14 days.
Montreal comes into this game on a three-game winning streak with a chance to go into a virtual tie with Boston atop the Northeast Division if they earn a win. (The Bruins will have game in hand once this game ends though) You have to wonder if the Habs are a bit peeved that they’re facing the re-animated Devils in this one, but they need to get it done either way.
St. Louis @ Tampa Bay
After winning six games in a row and the first three games of their 12-game homestand, the Lightning finally lost to the Washington Capitals on Friday. The Bolts have a great opportunity to get their home ice mojo back, though, because they are hosting the Blues (probably the NHL’s worst road team with a league-low seven away wins).
Whether the Capitals get to within a point of the Lightning’s Southeast Division lead or not, Tampa Bay should have some serious regrets if they drop this game.
Ducks come to terms with Lindholm, so what happens now?
And now we wait for the other shoe to drop, because according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie, the Anaheim Ducks have come to terms with defenseman Hampus Lindholm on a six-year contract extension with a cap hit of $5.25 million.
It’s a win for the Ducks, who succeed in their quest to get Lindholm locked up with a lower cap hit than the Sabres got Rasmus Ristolainen ($5.4 million).
Pastrnak was whistled for a minor penalty on the play, which occurred in the second period of Boston’s 5-2 loss at MSG on Wednesday night. Girardi left the contest momentarily, but was able to return and finished with 16:15 TOI.
“I don’t really know it makes contact with my face at first, but it is what it is, I’m kind of vulnerable,” Girardi said of the hit, per the New York Post. “He’s going to try to make a hit. He just hit me in the front of the face, so it wasn’t like it was the side-of-the-head hit or something.
“As soon as I got up, I was fine.”
Pastrnak, who did appear to leave his feet to make the hit, doesn’t have any history with the DoPS, and has never been subjected to supplemental discipline from the department.
His hearing will take place on Friday.
Former Isles goalie Kevin Poulin signs with KHL club