Boston Bruins v Pittsburgh Penguins

Bruins beat Penguins in clash of East contenders


An 82-game season begs for a lot of contests that are called “measuring stick games,” but it seemed excusable to use the term for tonight’s match between the Boston Bruins and the Pittsburgh Penguins. Sure, the Pens aren’t 100 percent, but both teams have been hot lately. It just turns out that the defending champions are even hotter, as they dismissed Pittsburgh by a score of 3-1.

It’s pretty tough to exaggerate Boston’s impressive 15-game record of 14-0-1, too. (That marks the best run they’ve had since they put together 17 consecutive games without a loss in 1983, according to The Associated Press.)

They’ve been winning in much of the same way that they did in the 2011 playoffs. The Bruins managed to blow some teams out, but tends to thrive in their natural habitat: skin-tight games.

Tim Thomas was the star on Monday night, as he stopped 44 out of 45 shots. Matt Cooke (one goal) may remain a thorn in Boston’s sides, but they’re likely pleased that he was the only guy who could do any damage tonight. Tyler Seguin, Gregory Campbell and Benoit Pouliot found the twine for the Bruins.

Again, it’s one game and the Penguins weren’t at 100 percent. Still, this exhibits another profound piece of evidence that the defending champions remain the team to beat, even if they aren’t always the sexiest choice.

Dropping like flies: Johnson, Killorn hurt in Bolts’ exhibition

Montreal Canadiens v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game One
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You probably know the drill: injury updates are murky in the NHL basically from the moment a puck drops.

We’ll learn more once the 2015-16 season begins, but at the moment, Saturday might have served as a costly night for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn went down with injuries stemming from a 3-2 pre-season win against the Florida Panthers.

“Guys were dropping like flies,” Steven Stamkos told the Tamba Bay Times.

These could be minor situations – just about any ailment will sideline a key asset this time of year – yet one cannot help but wonder if the Lightning might limp into this campaign.

Nikita Kucherov is dealing with his own issues, so that means at least minor issues for one half of the Bolts’ top six forwards.

It’s believed that more will be known about these banged-up Bolts sometime on Sunday.

Raffi Torres gets match penalty for being Raffi Torres

Raffi Torres

With knee issues still limiting him, Raffi Torres isn’t as mobile as he once was. Apparently he still moves well enough to leave the usual path of destruction.

It’s the pre-season, so it’s unclear if we’ll get a good look at the check, but Torres received a match penalty for his hit on Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.

Most accounts were pretty critical of the San Jose Sharks’ chief troublemaker:

It’s too early to tell if Silfverberg is injured. If he is, that’s a significant loss for the Ducks, as he really showed signs of fulfilling his promise (especially during the 2015 playoffs).

As far as Torres goes, he’s hoping to play in the Sharks’ season-opener. Wherever he ends up, he’ll certainly make plenty of enemies on the ice.

Whether it was because of that hit or just the general distaste shared by those sides, it sounds like tonight’s Sharks – Ducks exhibition is getting ugly, in general:

This post will be updated if video of the hit becomes available, and also if we get a better idea of Silfverberg’s condition.

Update: Bullet dodged?