It’s a big loss for the Oilers. Being without their prized rookie for a month is one thing, but RNH is the team’s second-leading scorer and key setup-man on the powerplay — his 15 PP assists are double that of the No. 2 guy, Jordan Eberle, who has seven.
The injury also blows the Calder Trophy race wide open. Reigning NHL Rookie of the Month Adam Henrique is charging hard and now just seven points back of Nugent-Hopkins for the rookie scoring lead, but there are plenty of others in the mix. Vancouver’s Cody Hodgson (9G-13A-22PTS) has seven points in his last 10 games and seems to have found his groove, Philadelphia’s Matt Read is getting first-line minutes with Claude Giroux/Scott Hartnell and Craig Smith is still Nashville’s top-scoring forward.
If the Nuge misses up to four weeks of action, he could find himself in a real dogfight for a trophy that was all but his after an outstanding first three months.
Video: Canucks escape Arizona with another win for the moms
With their mothers traveling on the road trip — Matt Bartkowski‘s mom, Beth, has become a cult hero in Vancouver after another priceless media interview — the Canucks took back-to-back wins, moving them right back into the thick of the playoff fight in the Western Conference.
Up by a goal in the third period, defenseman Alex Biega played the hero, pulling the puck out of the crease after it got by Ryan Miller on a backhand shot from Kyle Chipchura, maintaining Vancouver’s lead.
Phaneuf burned on Zetterberg game-winner in Sens debut
“I put my stick there, he put (the puck) under and he made a good shot. I’ve got to have a better stick in that situation, but you’ve got to give him credit for that play.”
Phaneuf finished the night with a minus-one rating and two hits in almost 22 minutes of ice time, putting him second among Sens defensemen in that category behind Erik Karlsson, who played a whopping 33:30.
Phaneuf drilled Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser with a hard slap shot early in the third period.
DeKeyser played one more shift — all of 10 seconds — before exiting the game.
Blashill says DeKeyser has a bruise, not a break. Will know more tomorrow, but probably day-to-day
The New York Rangers are likely too far behind the Washington Capitals to take any legitimate run at the Atlantic Division down the stretch.
But winners now of four straight, the Rangers have opened up a bit of a gap between them and other Eastern Conference teams in the playoff race. New York scored a 3-0 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins, winners in six of their last seven games, on Wednesday.
“Now, ultimately what they’re hoping from a Wideman perspective and the Players’ Association is that commissioner Gary Bettman will rule and he will reduce the number of games suspended down from 20,” said Dreger during a segment on NBCSN.
“Is he going to reduce it by three games? Five games seems a bit of a stretch. And when might he do that? There’s no timeline on this.”
7 hours of back and forth legal speak…otherwise known as the Wideman appeal has concluded in NYC.