Kris Versteeg, Jason Pominville

Jason Pominville is out for Game 6; playoff future in doubt after being cut by skate


Jason Pominville’s playoff future might be in doubt after suffering a scary injury during Game 5’s overtime win over Philadelphia. Pominville left the game in the first period after he was cut on the leg by James van Riemsdyk’s skate blade after a body check in the corner.

Pominville has been ruled out of Game 6 in Buffalo on Sunday which means Matt Ellis gets the call from the AHL to take his spot in the lineup.

As for how Pominville is doing, things weren’t looking too good after the game. The Buffalo News’ John Vogl has the observation from Philadelphia and the grim outlook from the Sabres head coach.

The Sabres’ early dominance disappeared when Jason Pominville did. The right winger suffered a lacerated left leg when stepped on with a skate late in the first period. He reportedly was seen after the game with crutches and a walking boot that went up above the knee.

“We’ll have more probably [Saturday], but it doesn’t look too good,” Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said.

Pominville is quietly one of the more important players in the lineup for Buffalo. He provides scoring balance along their top two lines and he’s got a knack for just finding the net. While the Flyers have issues of their own, Buffalo can’t afford to be losing any offensive producers from their lineup.

On the upside for Buffalo, they’re close to getting last season’s top scorer Derek Roy as well as Jochen Hecht back from injury as well. If Pominville is out for a while and they get Roy back, things shape up well for Buffalo. In a perfect world they’d have both guys ready to go, but as it is they’ll gladly welcome back a healthy Roy.

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


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?