Leave it to the Pancake Man to come up with the quote of the evening.
Shortly after the Kings dispached of the New Jersey Devils 4-0 in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup finals, Dustin Penner took note of the raucous Staples Center crowd and anticipated an even louder one should L.A. do the business on Wednesday and hoist Lord Stanley’s Mug for the first time in franchise history.
“If we win one more game, I hope the San Andreas fault can take it,” Penner said.
The comment came on a night when the Kings set a Staples Center attendance for a hockey game — 18,764 — and the building was rocking throughout.
L.A. masterfully killed New Jersey’s 5-on-3 power play in the first period, drawing a chorus of cheers, then followed it with two goals in both the second and third periods to send Kings fans into a frenzy.
While we’re unsure if Penner was aware of this or not, Los Angeles could ellicit a quake-like response on Wednesday — something that hasn’t happened in recent Stanley Cup finals
— In 2011, the Bruins won the Cup in Vancouver (in Game 7)
— In 2010, the Blackhawks won the Cup in Philadelphia (in overtime, no less)
— In 2009, the Penguins won the Cup in Detroit (in Game 7)
— In 2008, the Red Wings won the Cup in Pittsburgh.
Those four wins essentially silenced the arenas. You have to go all the way back to 2007 — when Anaheim won the Cup at the Honda Center — to find the last team to hoist the mug in front of its home fans.
If nothing else, the New Jersey Devils seem like they won’t be the sort of team a contender can essentially mark off as a “W” on their calendars.
The Montreal Canadiens may not be in a position to take opponents lightly with Carey Price on the shelf, but whatever the case may be, they saw their four-game winning streak end in frustrating fashion on Saturday.
After falling behind 2-0, the Devils scrapped their way back into it, eventually riding a John Moore overtime goal to a 3-2 OT win.
If Montreal needs an obvious bright side to look on considering this hiccup, Alex Galchenyuk‘s hot weekend may be a good thing to look at.
Tonight’s loss may smart a bit anyway, however.
If you want to summarize the Capitals – Maple Leafs game in one sentence, you could do worse than:
“Washington is hot as Jonathan Bernier is cold.”
The Caps reeled off a 4-2 win against Toronto on Saturday, giving them five straight wins. They also jumped into first place in the Metropolitan Division today, as they keep climbing while the New York Rangers are experiencing some growing pains.
Again, James Reimer can’t get healthy and back in Toronto’s net too soon:
With this win, Washington is now 17-5-1, leading the Metro by one point with 35 standings points. They also hold a game in hand against the Rangers, and no other Metro team even has 30 right now.
Measuring stick stretch begins
Tonight’s game began a “prove-it” month-and-change for Washington.
This contest began a three-game road trip, and they’ll also play six of seven away from Washington.
It’s pretty rough through the start of 2016, really. The Capitals will only enjoy three home games through Jan. 9.
In other words, the Capitals seem like a convincing East contender, but look out if they remain hot through the next 5-6 weeks.
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.”
Update: It wasn’t enough for a win, however, as the Oilers beat the Penguins 3-2 via a shootout.
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.