Brad Boyes, Martin Brodeur

Tonight on Versus: Kovalchuk to comeback against Sabres

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Darn those Sabres for earning a win on Monday night against Montreal because now we’ve got a sincere lack of drama points as the Devils head into Buffalo (7:30 p.m. ET) looking to put a tough loss to Boston behind them. The Devils will do things a bit differently this time around by likely having Ilya Kovalchuk rejoining the lineup after being out with a lower body injury.

The Bruins tying everything together here for both teams shows that while they’ve got a common enemy, their circumstances are vastly different. The Devils were able to run and gun with the Bruins before ultimately coming up short while the Sabres got knocked around and beat up famously by them.

The goalie battle here is an intriguing one. Jhonas Enroth is the youthful upstart taking the place of an injured superstar. Martin Brodeur, meanwhile, is the ultimate goalie superstar and a legend on the ice. Both guys are equally fearless and the Sabres just seem to keep winning with Enroth. Brodeur would love to teach the kid a trick or two.

If you’re looking for scoring, while it may end up being tough to come by, there’s enough to keep everyone locked in. Thomas Vanek and Jason Pominville shine for Buffalo while Zach Parise and Patrik Elias carry New Jersey. Kovalchuk will ultimately be the guy to watch here though as he’s a minute-eating forward playing in all facets of the game.

The one side story worth watching here might be whether we see Tyler Myers exiled from the press box after sitting out against Montreal. If he’s back in the lineup, all eyes will be on him to see how he responds to the first benching in his career. New Jersey needs a bounce back win while the Sabres want to string the wins together.

Dubinsky won’t change, and he won’t go easy on Crosby

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Sometimes a suspension will shame a player, or at least inspire him to change the way he plays.

That apparently won’t happen regarding Brandon Dubinsky‘s one-game timeout session for cross-checking Sidney Crosby.

Dubinsky told Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch that he won’t alter his style, whether it’s against Crosby or someone else.

“Nope,” Dubinsky said. “You know, I’ve played the same way my whole career and I’m not going to change. The next time I have an opportunity to play (Crosby), I’m going to play him hard.”

In case you’re wondering, that next opportunity comes on Dec. 21 in Pittsburgh, assuming that both players are healthy and not suspended.

One can understand Dubinsky’s perspective, although such honesty would be that much more interesting if there’s another incident with Crosby. His initial reaction to the hit was interestingly candid, admitting that his “stick rode up” on his adversary.

Would that stance – which, from a harsher view, might seem flippant to Dubinsky’s critics – open the door for a bigger future bit of a discipline?

Maybe, maybe not … but at least his comments aren’t as inflammatory as what John Tortorella said (at least on the record).

Bad news for Boedker: Coyotes won’t face Sens again in 2015-16


Sorry Mikkel Boedker, you won’t get to face the Ottawa Senators again this season.

OK, it could happen if the speedster is traded from the Arizona Coyotes. He could also face the Senators in the unlikely instance that the two teams fight it out in the 2016 Stanley Cup Final.

Beyond those two possibilities, Saturday night was it, and Boedker must have been licking his chops much like an actual coyote.

For the second straight game, Boedker managed a hat trick against the Senators, helping Arizona beat Ottawa 4-3 last night. His third tally stood as the game-winner in a 4-3 victory.

You can watch all three goals in the video above.

It’s oddly fitting that Boedker has three goals this season … against teams not named the Ottawa Senators.

Hey, Tortorella called the Penguins whiners again

John Tortorella

Don’t forget, the Blue Jackets – Penguins rivalry isn’t just about the bitterness between Sidney Crosby and Brandon Dubinsky; John Tortorella can fuel the fire, too.

Torts must not have been happy about the one-game suspension that Dubinsky received for cross-checking Crosby, as he channeled his vintage self in essentially calling the Penguins a bunch of whiners.

You can see from this glorious Sportsnet video, Tortorella said: “Pittsburgh whines enough for the whole league.”

(He also said the Blue Jackets weren’t going to whine by … whining. Good stuff.)

As Puck Daddy notes, this isn’t the first time Torts claimed that the Penguins are whiners.

Both the Blue Jackets and Penguins lost their games on Saturday, but clearly some eyes and ears were still focused on their last confrontation.

In case you’re wondering, the two teams next face off in Pittsburgh on Dec. 21.


Scary moment: Carlo Colaiacovo hospitalized with ‘dented trachea’


Buffalo Sabres defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo has experienced plenty of bad injury luck in his winding career, but Saturday presented one of his worst scares.

As you can see from the video above, Colaiacovo received a scary cross-check from Viktor Arvidsson of the Nashville Predators, who received a major penalty and game misconduct.

Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma said that Colaiacovo was hospitalized with a “dented trachea” yet is OK, the Buffalo News’ John Vogl reports.

Frightening stuff from an eventual 4-1 Sabres win.

PHT will keep an eye out for additional updates regarding Colaiacovo’s health (and a possible suspension for Arvidsson).