You probably noticed both Zach Parise and Ilya Kovalchuk didn’t bring much to the table in Game 1. While Parise showed a lot of effort, Kovalchuk was a complete non-factor.
After the game, Kings defenseman Rob Scuderi told PHT keeping both in check is vitally important.
“[Kovalchuk’s] a special player. Both of them are very explosive offensively,” Scuderi said. “They get their teammates involved, they have great shots. They’re just great hockey players.
“Certainly anytime we can keep those guys off the score sheet we give ourselves a better shot to win a hockey game.”
Scuderi was complimentary, but make no mistake — Kovalchuk had a bad game and admitted as much to Rich Chere of The Star-Ledger.
“I thought it was probably the worst game of the playoffs for us,” Kovalchuk said. “Maybe we were a little too nervous.”
At the very least, Kovalchuk is good at keeping his teammates alive and well on the bench — just ask Ryan Carter (video courtesy The Score).
Kyle Turris is gearing up for his fifth season with the Ottawa Senators, but this campaign will be a little different.
Ottawa announced that Turris will be joining Chris Neil as one of the team’s alternate captains. Turris is assuming that role from Chris Phillips as the 37-year-old defenseman remains out indefinitely due to a back injury.
Since being acquired from the then Phoenix Coyotes in 2011, Turris has established himself as one of Ottawa’s top forwards. He tied for second in the team’s scoring race last season with 64 points in 82 contests and gelled with rookie linemate Mark Stone.
With the Senators favoring a youth movement, Turris actually stands out as one of the Senators’ more experienced players at the age of 26. He’s also set to play a big role with the Senators for years to come as he’s locked to an affordable $3.5 million annual cap hit through 2017-18.
Meanwhile defenseman Erik Karlsson is getting ready for his second season as the team’s captain.
On the eve of their season opener, the Buffalo Sabres got another bit of bad health news.
Captain Brian Gionta missed practice and is day-to-day with a lower-body injury, per head coach Dan Bylsma. The ailment puts the 36-year-old’s availability for Thursday’s game against Ottawa in jeopardy.
The ailment also puts Gionta alongside a slew of hurting Sabres. Defensemen Zach Bogosian and Josh Gorges were on the injured list when Buffalo’ roster was released this morning, along with rookie Brendan Guhle and veteran Cody McCormick.
There is a bright light for Buffalo, however.
Gorges skated on Wednesday and could possibly dress tomorrow, per Bylsma. If he does play, it’ll likely be on a pairing with Rasmus Ristolainen.