Sunday promises to be a busy day, but in the meantime, we have a handful of 11th hour signings to report:
— The Columbus Blue Jackets confirmed that they have locked up Jared Boll and Nick Holden.
Holden, who agreed to a one-year, two-way contract, only ended up playing in 25 AHL games last season and might not factor into the Blue Jackets’ 2012-13 plans. However, Boll will probably serve as a bottom-six forward.
Boll will make $950,000 next season and $1.15 million in 2013-14.
— Renaud P Lavoie reported that Mark Olver has inked a two-year contract extension with the Colorado Avalanche.
Olver’s deal is two-ways in 2012-13, but he’ll earn $650,000 in 2013-14 even if he spends the entire season in the minors. He had four goals and three assists in 24 contests with the Avalanche last season.
— The Montreal Canadiens announced that Alexei Emelin has signed a two-year deal. He’s coming off a rookie season where he netted three goals and registered four assists in 67 games with Montreal.
— James Mirtle of the Globe and Mail reported that Keith Aulie has inked a one-year, two-way contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Aulie should be in the mix for a roster spot in 2012-13.
— The Edmonton Oilers announced that they have locked up defenseman David Musil to a three-year, entry-level contract. He was taken with the 31st overall pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.
Predators sign Paul Gaustad to a four-year deal
Edmonton wins Justin Schultz sweepstakes
Pulling Anders Nilsson didn’t stop the bleeding for the Edmonton Oilers. Instead, it really just spread the “wealth.”
The New York Islanders are up 7-1, so don’t be surprised if there’s some ugly stuff in the final frame.
Zack Kassian is an author of at least one outburst, as he was tagged with 19 penalty minutes for a display that included fighting Brian Strait, as you can see in the video above.
It’s not the only fight stemming from the blowout, either, as Eric Gryba just tangled with Matt Martin.
Could there be more?
There was a time when Anders Nilsson seemed like the best bet in the Oilers’ net this season. This … is not that time.
Less than 12 minutes into Sunday’s game, the New York Islanders roared to a 3-0 lead, and that was enough for Edmonton to give Nilsson the hook.
He allowed those three goals on 10 shots, so to be fair, that’s a pretty impressive chunk of chances (almost a shot on goal per minute).
Still, the Oilers were likely hoping to give Cam Talbot a breather, and instead he was rushed into action. Nilsson hadn’t played since Jan. 19, and he’s only appeared in three games in 2016.
As if this didn’t sting enough for Nilsson, consider the fact that he began his NHL career with the Islanders, who eventually decided he wasn’t worth keeping.
Alex Ovechkin scored to join Wayne Gretzky and Mike Gartner as only players with at least 30 goals in each of their first 11 NHL seasons, and Matt Niskanen netted the game winner as Washington beat the Flyers 3-2 at Verizon on Super Bowl Sunday.
Michael Del Zotto and Nick Schultz replied for the Flyers, who suffered their second straight loss.
The win was the Capitals’ third in a row.
It didn’t always look as though Washington would emerge the victor, however. The Caps were out-shot 35-30 on the day and looked disjointed at times, finishing with 12 giveaways (Philly was credited with just five, for comparison’s sake).
But good teams find ways to win when they’re not playing especially well, and the Caps are a pretty good team — especially when Braden Holtby is on his game.
Holtby, atop many Vezina lists at the moment, had another terrific outing on Sunday, making 33 saves, perhaps none better than this one on Mark Streit in the second period:
Holtby’s counterpart, Steve Mason, had a solid outing as well, finishing with 27 stops.
Looking ahead, the Caps will now head out on a three-game Western Conference swing through Minnesota, Nashville and what promises to be a high-octane game in Dallas on Feb. 13.
The Flyers, meanwhile, will now kick off a three-game homestand against Anaheim, Buffalo and New Jersey.
Winnipeg forward Drew Stafford will meet with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety for his high stick on Colorado’s Nick Holden on Saturday night, the DoPS announced this afternoon.
There was no immediate video of the incident available. Stafford wasn’t penalized on the play, which occurred during the third period; Holden finished the final frame with 10 shifts for 6:46 of ice time.
Stafford, 30, has a clean disciplinary history and hasn’t been fined or suspended during his 10-year NHL career.