Brandon Dubinsky, Scott Hannan

Mustache moxie: Brandon Dubinsky’s late goal gives Rangers 3-2 win over Washington

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Some teams are rocking the playoff beards but Rangers forward Brandon Dubinsky is rolling with the playoff mustache. While it might be offensive to your eyes, it’s working out just great for him as Dubinsky potted the game-winning goal with 1:39 to play in the third to give the Rangers a 3-2 victory and their first win in the series.

Dubinsky’s goal was a huge lift for the team after the Caps managed to keep finding ways to tie the game up. New York had taken a 2-1 lead earlier in the third period thanks to a goal from Vinny Prospal at 8:01 of the third. The Rangers lead would only last for a few minutes as a Marian Gaborik penalty turned into a Mike Knuble power play goal at 14:48 of the third to tie things up at 2-2.

For New York, they’ve got life finally after getting a win and getting the series to 2-1. Things were looking low for the Rangers after their lackluster performance in Game 2 getting shutout by Michal Neuvirth (32 saves today). Now they’ve got a little momentum going and their band mustachioed players can use that going ahead into Game 4 on Wednesday.

New York was able to overcome their bad power play (1-7) and a disallowed goal at the end of the second period as well as a persistent Caps team to get the win. All that and a little bit of luck on Dubinsky’s goal is all it takes sometimes to change the mindset of a team.

For the Capitals, they need to clean things up. While Bruce Boudreau complained during a mid-game interview about how some of the calls being made against his team were “ticky tack calls” penalties hurt the Caps. While they allowed just one power play goal, playing shorthanded for stretches like that hurts as well because it keeps them from attacking.

For Game 4, expect the same sort of play from New York with aggressive attacking and lots of shot blocking while the Capitals look to avoid the watchful eye of the officials and stay out of the box to work on an attack of their own and put a bit more pressure on Henrik Lundqvist (23 saves). With as many dangerous players as the Caps have, they’re not doing a lot to make Lundqvist uncomfortable in goal.

Here’s Brandon Dubinsky and his glorious mustache talking with Darren Pang after the game about his game-winner.

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Oilers get Kronwall’d – in more ways than one

Niklas Kronwall
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When someone gets clobbered by Niklas Kronwall, they get Kronwall’d.

(His detractors may insist that the definition require the words “dirty” or “illegal,” but that’s a debate for another day.)

It’s easy to get lost in those thunderous hits and forget that the  Swedish defenseman also brings some skill to the table.

He made a big impact – literally and figuratively – in Detroit’s 4-3 overtime win against the Edmonton Oilers on Friday.

First, the Kronwalling:

Next, Kronwall’s overtime-winner:

It hasn’t always been pretty, but the Red Wings are leaning on guys like Kronwall and Dylan Larkin to stick with it.

Tonight’s win extends their point streak to six games (4-0-2), with five of those contests going to overtime.

Dubinsky – Crosby’s nemesis – gets the last laugh on Friday

Sidney Crosby, Brandon Dubinsky

Brandon Dubinsky isn’t a household name like Sidney Crosby is, yet for all the hype that Crosby vs. Alex Ovechkin gets, Dubinsky is the sort of guy who truly rankles No. 87.

It’s been getting that spotlight since the Columbus Blue Jackets faced off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a brisk playoff series, though it wouldn’t be surprising if the bad blood stemmed to Dubinsky’s days with New York.

To some, Dubinsky’s cross-check on Crosby will resonate far more than the end result of this game:

The bottom line is that he’ll get the last laugh, at least for now. (In-game, that moment merely drew a minor penalty.)

That’s because Dubinsky set up the overtime game-winner, and the cherry on the top of that spite sundae came with Crosby being on the ice when it happened:

They’re not just rubbing the Penguins the wrong way.

Even Dubinsky kind of sort of admits that he may have been in the wrong.


More and more, the Blue Jackets are looking like a nuisance … possibly one that will grind their way to an unlikely playoff berth. They improved to 8-4-0 in November after a disastrous 2-10-0 October.

In other words, there’s at least a chance that we may see these increasingly bitter rivals butt heads in another playoff series.

Eichel’s sweet snipe helps Sabres snap six-game skid

Jack Eichel
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The Buffalo Sabres probably deserved better during at least some chunks of their six-game skid, yet Jack Eichel swooped in on Friday to remind fans that there’s a light shining at the end of the tunnel.

You can watch his goal from tonight’s eventual 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes in the video above.

That’s not necessarily the absolute height of his on-ice magic, yet it clearly gave his team a lift:

Call this a healthy reminder that Eichel has the ability to change games, something Buffalo fans hope to get used to.

Report: Likely no suspension for Matt Beleskey’s hit on Derek Stepan

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Alain Vigneault went there in comparing Matt Beleskey‘s hit on Derek Stepan to the notorious check Aaron Rome delivered on Nathan Horton many moons ago, but the league seems to disagree.

While Rome sat through that memorable Stanley Cup Final between Boston and Vancouver, it sounds like Beleskey won’t face any further discipline, according to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun.

In the unlikely event that anything changes, PHT will make note.

The next game between the Rangers and Bruins takes place at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 11. Will these bad feelings linger?