in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at St Pete Times Forum on May 21, 2011 in Tampa, Florida.
–Lightning goalie Ben Bishop is a creature of habit when it comes to his game day meals. One of the things that’s consistent in his diet is the overload of carbs. Bread, pasta and oatmeal, Bishop eats it all on game day. Here’s a deeper look into his diet. (Sports Illustrated)
–Speaking of carbs, did you know that Alex Ovechkin always dreamed of becoming a pizza delivery boy? Okay, maybe not, but this Papa John’s commercial of him failing miserably at being a delivery guy is still pretty funny. (Top)
–The Edmonton Oilers made a huge move last off-season when they shipped Taylor Hall to New Jersey for Adam Larsson. The Oilers are currently in first place in the Pacific Division, but that doesn’t mean the trade has worked out well for them. (Sportsnet)
–Wayne Gretzky will appear on an episode of the Simpsons on Sunday evening. NHL.com provides us with a look at his appearance. “People argue about a lot of things, but they never argue about who’s the greatest hockey player. It’s always him,” Al Jean, who’s an executive producer on the show. “I don’t think there is anybody better at anything than Gretzky is as a hockey player. He had a lot of great stories, and it was a real pleasure to meet him.” (NHL)
–Oilers sophomore forward Connor McDavid has been fantastic this season, but “The Great One” still doesn’t think he’s the top player in the NHL. “Is Connor a great player? Absolutely. Does Connor have an opportunity to be the next Crosby? Absolutely. Right now, Sidney deserves to be known as the best player in the game,” Gretzky told ESPN.com.
–Yesterday, we told you that Blackhawks emergency goalie Eric Semborski will be getting his own Topps hockey card. Now, Puck Junk gives us the inside story on how the idea for the card came about. “It all came together pretty quickly,” said Mike Salerno, App Producer of Topps Skate. “We saw the situation in Philadelphia unfold over the weekend and thought it would make for a fun and unique card.” (Puck Junk)
But, yeah, that edge left him bleeding this time around.
As you can see from the video above, Domi and Garnet Hathaway engaged in a fierce fight after a hit by Domi. The Arizona Coyotes forward left the game and didn’t return with an upper-body injury, and is now considered day-to-day. The price of doing business?
Domi grabbed an assist during the game, so maybe this will be the sort of thing that helps him get back on track.
Speaking of back on track, the Flames are now on a five-game winning streak while the Coyotes dropped their sixth in a row as Calgary won 2-1 in overtime. Chad Johnson remains brilliant, Mike Smith keeps getting Arizona points (they may or may not actually want in the long run) and, hey, Dougie Hamilton is still a Flame:
SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) Sidney Crosby is tied for the NHL goal-scoring lead, and the defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins are tied atop the division.
They certainly impressed the struggling Florida Panthers and their new coach.
Sidney Crosby got his 18th goal and added an assist to lead the Penguins over the Panthers 5-1 on Thursday night.
The Penguins have won four straight, scoring 24 goals in the process. Pittsburgh had a 3-0 lead on five shots less than eight minutes in.
“It was nice to start with the lead. It was kind of weird the way things worked out,” Crosby said. “We didn’t have many shots, but we had a few goals right off the bat.”
Panthers interim coach Tom Rowe, who replaced Gerard Gallant on Nov. 28, made his home debut. The Panthers have lost five of six under Rowe, but managed a point in three of those losses.
“I thought we showed them way too much respect in the beginning of the game. We were back on our heels a little bit,” Rowe said. “Obviously, they’ve got two of the best players in the world and I think it could have intimidated some of our younger guys a little bit.”
The Panthers have lost six of seven.
“It’s a work in progress, I guess,” Rowe said. “We’ve still got a lot of young guys in the lineup.”
Pittsburgh took a 1-0 lead on Crosby’s goal 3:06 in. Crosby snapped a wrist shot from above the right circle that got through several Florida defenders and past Luongo.
Crosby is tied with Boston’s David Pastrnak for the NHL lead in goals.
“With us, we knew that they were going to be motivated,” Crosby said. “They’ve played a lot of close games lately, a lot of overtime games. When you get a new coach, everybody is trying to prove themselves. I think we expected a pretty tough game. It was just nice to get that kind of start.”
The Penguins extended their lead to 2-0 on Sheary’s tally. The initial shot by Sheary missed the net, but the puck came off the end boards and into the crease and was inadvertently kicked across the goal line by Luongo at 4:51. Crosby had an assist on the goal.
“(Crosby) is always the guy that takes the lead,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. “His line gets us a couple goals early on and gets us the lead and speaks volumes for the leadership he displays night in and night out.”
Pittsburgh stretched the score to 3-0 when Scott Wilson‘s shot from the right circle deflected off Kuhnhackl and into the net at 7:34. The Panthers unsuccessfully challenged the goal, claiming Kuhnhackl interfered with Luongo.
The Panthers closed to 3-1 on Jagr’s power-play goal. Aleksander Barkov passed from below the right circle to Jagr in the slot, and his one-timer beat Murray at 6:17 of the second.
Cullen gave the Penguins a 4-1 lead at 5:48 of the third when he grabbed a rebound in front and put the puck between the pads of Luongo.
Hagelin added an empty-net goal with 32.9 seconds left to make the score 5-1.
Notes: The Penguins have gone 6-0-2 in their past eight games against the Panthers. … The Penguins sent LW Jake Guentzel and D Derrick Pouliot to AHL Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. … Jagr has 1,882 points, putting him six behind Mark Messier for second place on the career list. … Panthers C Jonathan Marchessault missed his third game with a lower-body injury. … Former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield attended the game.
Penguins: Visit Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday night.
Panthers: Host Vancouver Canucks on Saturday night.
December hasn’t been kind to November’s player of the month so far.
Pekka Rinne helped hold the Nashville Predators together when they struggled early and then was there for their recent ascent, but coming into this season, many expected him to be a weakness for his team.
Especially worried types might wonder if “that” Rinne is returning after a tough Thursday performance in the Dallas Stars’ eventual 5-2 win against the Predators.
Rinne allowed four goals on 18 shots before being taken out of the game about six minutes into the second period. One of his best moments was this bit of unintentional comedy:
All kidding aside, it’s been a rough run lately, even if the sample size is small enough that it would be silly to panic.
While he did grab a win during this span, Rinne’s now allowed 12 goals in his last four games. That’s happened on 68 shots on goal, so he’d have a .823 save percentage for this span.
During his magnificent month of November, he generated an awe-inspiring .949 save percentage over 12 games.
Such a staggering disparity shows how wildly a goalie’s stats can swing thanks to an off night or two.
It would be foolish to overreact, but it’s a situation to watch as the Predators hope to round into a legitimate contender out West.