Didn’t Alex Ovechkin say this was supposed to be tough?
Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals made it look kinda easy tonight, topping the Florida Panthers 4-0 in a big Southeast Division matchup. This win moves the Caps into first overall in the division while the Panthers take Washington’s place outside the East’s top eight at No. 9.
Washington’s two up-and-down stars figured in heavily to the win. Tomas Vokoun earned his second shutout against his former team, turning aside all 42 shots. Ovechkin looked an awful lot like the force that fans miss and opponents hoped was long gone, scoring two goals and firing seven shots (five that registered and two that missed the net).
Frustrations in Florida
With those 42 shots on goal, the Panthers should know that there was at least a decent effort put forth. That being said, Scott Clemmensen had a rough night, allowing four goals on just 24 shots.
Word is that Jose Theodore is nearing a return and goalie prospect Jacob Markstrom is also making progress from his own knee injury, so perhaps Florida will get some help in net when it’s needed.
If the playoffs began today, the winner of the Southeast Division would be the third seed while the second place team wouldn’t even make the postseason. It’s not time for the Panthers to panic, but the playoff-starved franchise must be flustered by the thought of possibly falling short once again after such an especially promising start.
The Arizona Coyotes have returned Dylan Strome to the Erie Otters of the OHL.
Strome, 18, was the third overall pick in the 2015 NHL draft.
The 6’3, 185 pounder was hoping to stick with the Coyotes this season, but the team decided to take the conservative approach with their top prospect.
Strome will look to build off an incredible junior season that saw him score 45 goals and 129 points in 68 games.
Strome seems to be taking the demotion in stride.
The team also announced that they’ve assigned goaltender Louis Domingue and forward Matthias Plachta to their AHL affiliate in Springfield.
Domingue, 23, had a 1-2-1 record with a 2.73 goals-against-average and a .911 save percentage in seven games last season.
Plachta, a free agent signing, will begin his first pro season in North America. The 24-year-old had 14 goals and 35 points in the German League last season.
The Red Wings have placed Pavel Datsyuk, Darren Helm, Danny DeKeyser and Alexey Marchenko on injured reserve.
Placing these players on I.R. opens up four more roster spots for Detroit.
The Red Wings have suffered an incredibe amount of injuries heading into the season.
Datsyuk (ankle) is expected to be out until November.
DeKeyser (foot) is going to miss three-to-four weeks, while Helm (concussion) and Marchenko (lower-body) are considered day-to-day.
The team also announced that they have reduced their training camp roster to 27 players on Sunday.
Top prospect Dylan Larkin remains in camp for now.
Coach Jeff Blashill told reporters that the 19-year-old has looked good, but a final decision hasn’t been made on where he will play this year.
As for Larkin, he’s just fed up of living in a hotel.
“There’s been so much speculation and so many questions, and no one really knows,” said Larkin. “Maybe the coaches know, but just to find out where I’ll be living or what’s happening — I’m kind of sick of the hotel. It would be nice to know what’s going on.”