NBC Game of the Week: Patrick Sharp gives Chicago a 1-0 lead on Pittsburgh after first period

Patrick Sharp and the rest of his line figured into the action early on in today’s Game of the Week. Sharp connected on a fantastic goal started thanks to passes from Patrick Kane, Niklas Hjalmarsson, and Jonathan Toews. Sharp’s pretty finisher was the lone goal of the first period giving Chicago a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes.

Sharp’s goal wasn’t the only action he saw though as he accidentally got his stick up high on Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik and drew a double-minor for the infraction. Sharp’s stick got caught up in Orpik’s jersey and the blade caught Orpik right in the mouth. The Penguins will have 1:09 of power play carried over into the second period.

Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford was solid in the first period saving all seven shots he saw while Marc-Andre Fleury saved 12 out of 13 shots he saw. Pittsburgh is having a hard time keeping up with Chicago’s speed in this game and the amount of personnel the Penguins are missing due to injury is very apparent. If the Penguins aren’t careful, they’ll get run out of United Center.

Kings grab goalie insurance by signing Budaj

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 22: Jhonas Enroth #1 and Peter Budaj #31 of the Los Angeles Kings stretch before a game against the Arizona Coyotes at STAPLES Center on September 22, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NHLI via Getty Images)
via Los Angeles Kings
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In slightly less interesting Los Angeles Kings news than the latest in the Mike Richards fiasco, the team handed Peter Budaj a one-year, two-way deal on Friday.

The veteran goalie’s contract pays $575K on the NHL level and $100K in the AHL (though it’s $150K guaranteed), according to Hockey’s Cap.

At the moment, it sounds like Budaj will be third on the Kings’ goalie depth chart. That says as much about how things have been going lately for Los Angeles than Budaj’s work on a PTO.

As noted above, one of the more significant moves in Budaj’s favor came when the New York Islanders claimed Jean-Francois Berube off of waivers this week.

The Kings actually waived Budaj before signing him, so this has to be a relief to a goalie with a fairly robust resume as a backup.

All apologies to Budaj, but it’s probably true that the Kings would prefer not to see him at the NHL level very often in 2015-16.

Kings, NHLPA announce settlement in Richards grievance

Los Angeles Kings v New York Rangers

The Los Angeles Kings announced today that they have “reached an agreement with Mike Richards to resolve the grievance filed in relation to the termination of his NHL Standard Players Contract. The terms are agreeable to all parties.”

The club said that it will not be commenting further “on the terms” of the settlement.

The NHLPA released a similar statement.

It was reported earlier in the week that a settlement was close to being reached; however, it wasn’t clear what salary-cap penalties the Kings would incur.

We’re starting to find out some details now:

How the final numbers differ from what the Kings would have incurred if they’d bought Richards out will be interesting to see. And if there are differences, how will they be justified?

Stay tuned.