NBC Game of the Week: Detroit takes out Boston 4-2, sweeps home-and-home

What started as a slow game for Detroit turned into a controlling, stifling effort in beating Boston this afternoon in NBC’s Game of the Week at Joe Louis Arena.

The Bruins jumped out in the first thanks to goals from Tyler Seguin and Brad Marchand. Todd Bertuzzi’s goal in the first was all the Wings had to show for after getting out of the gates slowly. The Bruins ability to keep things moving would soon be at an end.

The Red Wings came out in the second more focused and were rewarded by goals from Pavel Datsyuk and Kris Draper to take the lead. When it came down to the third period, Detroit held on and stayed in control, capping things off with a great Todd Bertuzzi goal on a 2-on-1 with Johan Franzen. Jimmy Howard finished the game with 23 saves while Tim Thomas stopped 32 in a losing effort.

For Detroit, they sweep the home-and-home set with Boston and show that when they’re healthy and they’ve got all their lines clicking, they’re as dangerous as they’ve ever been. After beating the Northeast Division leaders twice in a row and winning three of their last four games, the Wings are once again looking good.

For Boston, their test against one the best in the West has not gone well. Aside from spurts where they took charge for a shift or two at a time, the Bruins struggled at keeping up with Detroit. Having their issues shown off by the Wings may force Boston to make a move to improve their ability to move the puck from the blue line.

Video: Evgeni Malkin leaves Oilers spinning

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Yes, there’s a lot of drama surrounding the Pittsburgh Penguins, whether it’s founded on serious problems or merely speculation.

It’s easy to get swept up in all of that and ignore the fact that, hey, they still have Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby. Those two can really heal wounds with their on-ice play, and in Saturday’s case, Malkin is taking over against the Edmonton Oilers.

His spin-o-rama goal above was a real jaw-dropper. He also scored Pittsburgh’s second tally:

These highlights feel like Malkin’s way of saying “It’s going to be just fine.”

Lightning’s first fight this season: Ryan Callahan vs. Kyle Okposo

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Fighting is down more or less across the board in the NHL, but the Tampa Bay Lightning might be the franchise least interested in dropping the gloves.

Ryan Callahan vs. Kyle Okposo already has some name recognition to it, yet it gets some bonus points for being the Bolts’ first fighting major of 2015-16.

It … probably loses those bonus points in being run-of-the-mill.

Hey, be fair; the Lightning are clearly out of practice.

Oilers GM doesn’t want to force a trade for the sake of a trade

Peter Chiarelli

It must be a helpless feeling to sit idly by while your team continues to flail, but such emotions are what opposing GMs love to prey on.

Edmonton Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli hasn’t been around through much of the suffering for this hapless franchise, yet that doesn’t mean he’s immune to the calls for improvement. To his credit, he’s not buckling under that pressure.

You can see and hear his full comments below:

If you don’t feel like playing the video, the message is simple enough.

Chiarelli isn’t happy with Edmonton’s record – he hasn’t “seen progression” in ways that he was expecting, but again … he doesn’t want to force moves.

Long story short, he can “sleep at night,” even if he’s disappointed.

Is he right to take a relaxed approach, though? Maybe it’s time to blow up a part of what isn’t working? Have some fun armchair GM’ing on this one.

Slump busters: Simmonds, Couturier end long scoring droughts in win over Rangers


It’s been a good few days to be a fan of the Philadelphia Flyers, as their team delivered not once, but twice during Thanksgiving weekend.

The Flyers picked up a 3-2 OT win over the Predators on Friday before shutting out the New York Rangers, 3-0, on Saturday.

It was a good afternoon for three players in particular.

Both Wayne Simmonds and Sean Couturier ended long scoring slumps.

Simmonds’ two goals were his first in seven games, while Couturier scored for the first time in his last 13 contests.

Goaltender Steve Mason also had a solid outing against the Rangers.

The 27-year-old turned aside all 24 shots he faced including this great save on Dominic Moore:

The Flyers lost defenseman Nick Schultz to an upper-body injury in the first period after he took a big hit from Dylan McIlrath.

Luke Schenn defended his fallen teammate by dropping the gloves with McIlrath, which didn’t go unnoticed by his teammates.

The Rangers are now on a season-high three-game losing streak. Their lack of effort has to be concerning for their head coach Alain Vigneault.

The Flyers outshot the Rangers 30-14 over the final 40 minutes.