This season has been downright terrible for Carolina Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward. After only getting two wins from Nov. 23-Dec. 21, the Canes are now on a two-game winning streak thanks to a 4-2 victory against the New Jersey Devils, which marks just their third run of consecutive wins this season.*
Ward grew up idolizing Martin Brodeur, so he’s probably delighted to get a goal to his credit, although it wasn’t Ward who sent the puck all the way down the ice.
Instead it was Brodeur’s own teammate Ilya Kovalchuk, who tried to send the puck to the point but instead fired it into his own net. Darker minds might find that to be a symbolic moment, but either way, Ward received his first career NHL goal and the first in Hurricanes history.
* – The Canes won three straight games from Oct. 12-18 and collected two victories during a back-to-back set on Nov. 20-21.
Video: In case you wonder if Crosby will still score gritty goals
Many hockey fans were sad that Sidney Crosby was absent from the start of the 2016-17 season. The New York Islanders probably would’ve preferred that he sit out a few more games.
Crosby’s been back and hasn’t really missed a beat, and Thursday provided a reminder that he’s unlikely to change the way he plays.
To be more specific, he’s a star player willing to score “greasy” or “dirty” goals (depending upon your region). Crosby operated like a power forward while scoring the game-winner against the Islanders on Thursday:
The Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Islanders 4-2, with the likes of Marc-Andre Fleury receiving a lot of the credit.
Still, it doesn’t hurt to have an all-world player willing to get that physical on your side.
A game in late-October doesn’t necessarily prove anything, but it never hurts to beat a team you consider a legitimate contender.
The Montreal Canadiens continued their hot start to 2016-17 by beating the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-1 on Thursday.
There were certain familiar ingredients, such as Carey Price looking very much like himself, stopping 30 out of 31 shots on goal. He’s now on a four-game winning streak and has only allowed six goals during that span.
It's no longer surprising when Price stops sure goals, but it's always amazing.
Devan Dubnyk already showed signs of having a hot start to 2016-17, but Thursday made that point abundantly clear.
For the second straight game, Dubnyk generated a shutout, with the Minnesota Wild beating the Buffalo Sabres 4-0 in this instance.
It’s not as if Dubnyk is just leisurely turning aside the occasional chance, either; he made 38 saves to blank Buffalo and needed to stop 65 shots on goal considering the 27 he turned aside in a 5-0 win vs. Boston.