Los Angeles Kings v New Jersey Devils - Game One

Kings felt there were no alarms and no surprises with Devils’ attack


The Kings’ work in shutting down the Devils was more than effective as New Jersey was held to just one goal and limited opportunities. A day later, Kings players said they felt more than prepared for how the Devils came after them.

“We’ve been watching some video. There were no huge surprises out there,” Anze Kopitar said.

“They played hard. They have some skilled forwards that have some size too. They come in on the forecheck pretty hard. Everytime we’re in our zone we want to make sure we make strong plays and get the hell out of there.”

Jonathan Quick echoed Kopitar’s thoughts on what they felt the Devils would bring to the table and ultimately did do.

“I think we had a pretty good understanding of what they’d bring to the table to be honest,” Quick said. “They’re great on the forecheck, they create a lot of speed in the neutral zone. Those are two of the biggest areas we have to take away to have success.”

For Drew Doughty, their biggest focus is trying to contain Ilya Kovalchuk.

“He’s got a lot of speed and I’m aware of that. He likes to get open and take that shot,” Doughty said. “So my main objective is to not giving him a lot of room, not give him those open areas and I want to play him hard and do everything I can to take him out of the series.”

Kopitar summed up their work in Game 1 succinctly.

“There’s always special attention to those kinds of players with that kind of caliber. We have to make sure it’s not given to them. Every time you play against those kinds of guys you have to make it hard on them. I thought we did a fairly good job of that.”

Video: Evgeni Malkin leaves Oilers spinning

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Yes, there’s a lot of drama surrounding the Pittsburgh Penguins, whether it’s founded on serious problems or merely speculation.

It’s easy to get swept up in all of that and ignore the fact that, hey, they still have Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby. Those two can really heal wounds with their on-ice play, and in Saturday’s case, Malkin is taking over against the Edmonton Oilers.

His spin-o-rama goal above was a real jaw-dropper. He also scored Pittsburgh’s second tally:

These highlights feel like Malkin’s way of saying “It’s going to be just fine.”

Lightning’s first fight this season: Ryan Callahan vs. Kyle Okposo

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Fighting is down more or less across the board in the NHL, but the Tampa Bay Lightning might be the franchise least interested in dropping the gloves.

Ryan Callahan vs. Kyle Okposo already has some name recognition to it, yet it gets some bonus points for being the Bolts’ first fighting major of 2015-16.

It … probably loses those bonus points in being run-of-the-mill.

Hey, be fair; the Lightning are clearly out of practice.

Oilers GM doesn’t want to force a trade for the sake of a trade

Peter Chiarelli

It must be a helpless feeling to sit idly by while your team continues to flail, but such emotions are what opposing GMs love to prey on.

Edmonton Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli hasn’t been around through much of the suffering for this hapless franchise, yet that doesn’t mean he’s immune to the calls for improvement. To his credit, he’s not buckling under that pressure.

You can see and hear his full comments below:

If you don’t feel like playing the video, the message is simple enough.

Chiarelli isn’t happy with Edmonton’s record – he hasn’t “seen progression” in ways that he was expecting, but again … he doesn’t want to force moves.

Long story short, he can “sleep at night,” even if he’s disappointed.

Is he right to take a relaxed approach, though? Maybe it’s time to blow up a part of what isn’t working? Have some fun armchair GM’ing on this one.

Slump busters: Simmonds, Couturier end long scoring droughts in win over Rangers


It’s been a good few days to be a fan of the Philadelphia Flyers, as their team delivered not once, but twice during Thanksgiving weekend.

The Flyers picked up a 3-2 OT win over the Predators on Friday before shutting out the New York Rangers, 3-0, on Saturday.

It was a good afternoon for three players in particular.

Both Wayne Simmonds and Sean Couturier ended long scoring slumps.

Simmonds’ two goals were his first in seven games, while Couturier scored for the first time in his last 13 contests.

Goaltender Steve Mason also had a solid outing against the Rangers.

The 27-year-old turned aside all 24 shots he faced including this great save on Dominic Moore:

The Flyers lost defenseman Nick Schultz to an upper-body injury in the first period after he took a big hit from Dylan McIlrath.

Luke Schenn defended his fallen teammate by dropping the gloves with McIlrath, which didn’t go unnoticed by his teammates.

The Rangers are now on a season-high three-game losing streak. Their lack of effort has to be concerning for their head coach Alain Vigneault.

The Flyers outshot the Rangers 30-14 over the final 40 minutes.