Riding the Zamboni – March 9; Caps keep streaking, Ducks knock off Rangers

Washington 5 – Edmonton 0

Make it six in a row for the Capitals. Alex Ovechkin had two goals (one of which being a beauty) and an assist while Eric Fehr had two goals of his own to lead the offense. Rookie Braden Holtby earned his first career shutout stopping 22 shots against the NHL’s worst team. The Caps maintained their two point lead on Tampa Bay in the Southeast Division as the Lightning also won tonight.

Anaheim 5 – NY Rangers 2

Bobby Ryan had himself a good night scoring a goal and adding three assists in leading the Ducks to victory. Ryan’s four point night was the most impressive of many big nights for the Ducks. Lubomir Visnovsky continues to impress as he had two goals and an assist. Corey Perry likewise had two goals and an assist. Dan Ellis made 30 saves for the Ducks in the win. Marian Gaborik scored his 18th goal of the year while Brandon Dubinsky scored his 20th for New York.

Los Angeles 2 – Detroit 1

The Kings won an important one for themselves thanks to second period goals from Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown. Detroit has a bit to complain about on Brown’s goal as officials missed a clear high stick to the face of Nick Lidstrom courtesy of Michal Handzus just moments before Brown tipped home the eventual game winning goal. Jonathan Quick made it all stand up for L.A. stopping 28 shots. Darren Helm scored his 10th goal of the year for Detroit who lost a point off their lead on Chicago as the Blackhawks lost in a shootout.  Detroit leads Chicago by five points in the Central and holds a two point lead on San Jose for the second seed in the West.

Tampa Bay 4 – Chicago 3 (F/SO)

Calgary 4 – Dallas 3 (F/SO)

Curtis Glencross’ shootout goal was the decider in Calgary’s win over Dallas. Calgary did hold a 3-0 at one point in the first period and appeared ready to roll over the Stars. As has been typical of late for Dallas, they were able to whittle away and finally tie the game in the third thanks to Tomas Vincour’s first career NHL goal. Both Miikka Kiprusoff and Kari Lehtonen stopped 31 shots in the game. Lehtonen did not fare as well in the shootout giving up two goals on three shots. Brad Richards had no points and was a -1 for Dallas in his first game back after suffering a concussion.

Atlanta 3 – Carolina 2 (F/OT)

A thriller in Carolina saw the Thrashers pick up their second straight win thanks to Tim Stapleton’s overtime game-winner. Carolina rallied from a 2-0 early deficit thanks to goals from Troy Bodie in the second and  yet another clutch goal from Erik Cole in the third to tie it.  Ondrej Pavelec was outstanding in goal for Atlanta stopping 35 shots to earn the win. Carolina sits tied with the Rangers with 72 points in the East while Atlanta is to within five points of New York for the eighth spot in the East.

St. Louis 4 – Columbus 3 (F/OT)

Another night, another soul crushing defeat for Columbus as they saw their 3-1 lead after two periods evaporate in the third and ultimately lose in overtime thanks to Chris Stewart. Stewart tied the game 6:23 into the third scoring his 21st goal, minutes after Ian Cole scored his first NHL goal to cut the lead to one. In overtime, Stewart would fool the Columbus defense and snipe a wicked backhand shot past Mathieu Garon to win it for the Blues with his 22nd goal of the season. Jaroslav Halak earned the win in goal for St. Louis stopping just 19 shots.

Habs prospect Juulsen out six weeks with fractured foot

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Tough news for the Montreal Canadiens and prospect defenseman Noah Juulsen on Thursday.

The Habs have announced that the 2015 first-round pick is expected to be sidelined six weeks after suffering a fractured foot on Monday.

The Habs selected Juulsen with the 26th overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft following his 52-point regular season with the Everett Silvertips in the Western Hockey League.

This past spring, Juulsen appeared in two playoff games for the AHL’s St. John’s IceCaps. He turned 20 years old in April and it seemed like the Habs were going to give him a serious look to make the NHL club out of training camp.  

“We like the way he skates and his transition game,” said head coach Claude Julien earlier this week, before the injury was revealed. “He’s going to get a chance to make this team and if he doesn’t he’s not going to be too far away.”

Fight Video: Lappin, Puempel land some good shots in preseason tilt

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Who says players don’t care about preseason hockey?

Matt Puempel and Nick Lappin are trying to earn spots on their respective clubs, so they know they may have to do the little things others aren’t willing to do to stick around in the NHL.

On Wednesday night, that involved dropping the gloves against each other. These two seemed to be in mid-season form when it came to throwing punches.

Neither player is considered a tough guy. Lappin had 17 penalty minutes in 43 games with the Devils last season, while Puempel has 28 penalty minutes in 79 career NHL games.

Here’s the video footage of the scrap:

By the way, the Rangers won 4-3 in overtime.

Flames say they were prepared to contribute $275M for new arena

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The arena situation in Calgary took another twist Thursday, with the Flames revealing that they had been prepared to contribute $275 million to a new arena.

The Flames released a nine-page report, which included the financial details of their proposed contributions. The organization said funding would also include $225 million from a Community Revitalization Levy, which would be generated from other developments in the immediate area around the arena.

Last week, it was reported that the Flames were no longer pursuing a new arena in Calgary. The club reiterated as much in their report Thursday.

“In a “small market” city, even one with an NHL team, a privately funded arena is not economically viable. The City’s proposal is just not workable (or even for that matter, “fair”, based on other arena deals in comparable cities),” the organization stated in the report.

“As a result, after over two years of discussions, we see absolutely no basis upon which a new arena agreement can be achieved with the City, and we have concluded that there is no point to continue the pursuit of a new arena in Calgary. Many, including us, believe Calgary is a terrific place for NHL hockey and we certainly have great fans. As such, we will strive to operate, as we have for the past 34 years, in the Saddledome for as long as we believe it is feasible.”

More from The Canadian Press:

The city proposed a three-way split on the cost of a $555-million arena, with the city and the Flames each paying $185 million and the remaining third raised from a surcharge on tickets sold to events in the new building.

Flames president Ken King contended the city’s plan amounted to the team paying the entire cost, or more, because the team considers a ticket surcharge paid by users revenue that belongs to the Flames and because they’d pay property tax back to the city.

The Flames current arena, the Saddledome, is now 34 years old and has drawn criticism in the past from NHL commissioner Gary Bettman. In 2015, the Flames unveiled their plans for a new arena — the CalgaryNEXT project — with an original cost of $890 million.

The city said at the time that the original proposed plan was not feasible. This issue has since continued for over two years now. In June, Brian Burke said the Flames could leave Calgary without a new arena. King, himself, has said the current arena situation in Calgary is not “viable in the near or long-term.”

“That’s why we’re having this discussion is about a new facility,” King told the Calgary Herald. “So, if we’re successful in that initiative, our near and long-term future is here (in Calgary). If not, we have to decide what the alternatives are … Anyone can connect the dots to how many choices we have left.

“If we don’t get a deal, what are our choices?”

There was also this from the commissioner.

Kings outlast Canucks in first edition of NHL China Games

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The Los Angeles Kings came away with a 5-2 preseason win over the Vancouver Canucks in the first of the 2017 NHL China Games. This contest took place in lovely Shanghai.

Adrian Kempe got the ball rolling for Kings, as he scored the first goal of the game on the power play to make it 1-0 for his team (top).

Kings forward Tanner Pearson scored a great shorthanded breakaway goal to extend Los Angeles’ lead to 2-0 (check out the Pearson goal by clicking the video below).

The shorthanded goal against wasn’t the only issue the Canucks power play had in this game. Vancouver managed to score once on the man-advantage, but they finished the game 1-for-14 in that department (yes, it’s only a preseason game).

with Vancouver trailing 3-0 in the second period, Sven Baertschi finally got them on the board to cut the Kings lead to 3-1.

Markus Granlund made it 3-2 in the third period, but that’s as close as the Canucks would come to tying the score.

Pearson extended Los Angeles’ lead to 4-2 before Jeff Carter finished off the game with an empty-net goal.

These two teams will meet again in Beijing on Saturday at 3:30 a.m. ET.