Kyle Okposo, Cristobal Huet

Team USA rolls over France at Worlds, Canada awaits tomorrow


Give it up to the United States for making sure to take care of business right off the bat. Opening up the World Championships against France could’ve been a time to struggle to find team chemistry. Instead it turned into a 7-2 victory to kick off the tournament the right way.

Kyle Okposo netted two goals while Max Pacioretty had a goal and two assists and Paul Stastny had three assists to lead the way. Jimmy Howard stopped 21 shots to keep the French at bay. Former Blackhawks and Capitals goalie Cristobal Huet stopped 28 in the loss.

The game didn’t start out quite the way the United States was hoping as France jumped out to a 1-0 lead 12 minutes into the first period. Okposo would make sure France didn’t go into the intermission with a lead scoring his first goal. The opening 20 minutes proved to be the wake-up call Team USA needed as they scored three goals in the second and third to roll on past the French.

Up next for the Americans: Canada tomorrow (7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN). Canada slipped past Slovakia 3-2 in their opening game of the tournament. Expect Team USA to have to deal with Cam Ward in goal while Ryan Getzlaf, Jamie Benn, Jordan Eberle highlight the wide array of talent the Canadians brought this year.

Just remember, the key in the preliminary round is to finish in the top four of the group. Knocking off Canada would go a long way to helping the cause and open the door to finishing first in the group.

Hey, Tortorella called the Penguins whiners again

John Tortorella
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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).

Comeback Kings: Gaborik pulls L.A. past Kane, Blackhawks

Jake Muzzin, Scott Darling

Patrick Kane set an American scoring record, and added another assist to make it more impressive, but the Los Angeles Kings just wouldn’t be denied.

In the end, Marian Gaborik‘s big night meant more than Kane’s; he scored the tying and then overtime game-winner, both assisted by Anze Kopitar, for a rousing 4-3 overtime Kings win.

Gaborik’s first goal:

And here’s video of the OT-GWG:

Noticing a theme tonight? Yeah, it’s been an evening in which it’s dangerous to assume a lead would stand.

With that, the Kings stick to the No. 1 spot in the Pacific Division, but Chicago shouldn’t feel all bad. The Blackhawks were able to piece together a decent run during their dreaded “circus trip.”

Patrick Kane’s streak hits 19 games, setting a new American record


When it comes to point streaks for U.S.-born NHL players, Patrick Kane now stands alone.

With a power-play goal early in Saturday’s Blackhawks – Kings game, Kane extended his streak to 19 games, breaking a tie with Phil Kessel and Eddie Olczyk (who finished with at least a point in 18 straight).

As of this writing, Kane has 11 goals and 19 assists during this 19-game streak. He also leads the NHL in scoring.

Bobby Hull’s 21-game point streak stands as the Chicago Blackhawks’ overall team record, by the way.