Henrik Lundqvist,  Steve Stamkos

Star of Operation Hat Trick? Henrik Lundqvist


Last night’s “Operation Hat Trick” charity game in Atlantic City turned out to be a rousing success. Fans of all kinds sold out Boardwalk Hall and were treated to a 10-6 win for Team New York over Team New Jersey/Philly.

In a game that had 16 goals, however, the guy everyone was talking about afterwards was goalie Henrik Lundqvist as Tim Panaccio of CSNPhilly.com found out. Kings forward Simon Gagne put it bluntly.

“The Rangers should call the league and tell them we should start playing pretty soon because [Lundqvist] is pissing away a lot of talent right now,” Gagne said.

“Even a game for fun, we’re taking real shots, real plays and he was very tough to beat.”

When you stand on your head like that, so to speak, it’ll get people talking. Even Scott Hartnell thinks Lundqvist’s performance is enough to make the Rangers organization twitchy enough to get the lockout settled.

“It seems like he is in playoff shape. We were joking after the first period that now the Rangers want to play really bad because he’s on fire.”

Spending a year of Lundqvist’s prime seasons in a lockout is a waste of time, so to speak, but the show everyone put on to help victims of Hurricane Sandy was a great one.

Sabres place Lehner on IR; Recall Lieuwen

Connor Brown, Robin Lehner
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They’re just one game into their regular season, but the Buffalo Sabres have already had to shift things around in their crease.

The Sabres announced that they have placed starting goaltender Robin Lehner on injured reserve after he was knocked out of Thursday’s game with a lower-body injury.

In a corresponding move, the club has recalled Nathan Lieuwen from their AHL affiliate in Rochester.

The 24-year-old didn’t play in the NHL last season, but he did have a 1-4-0 record with a 2.98 goals-against-average and a .906 save percentage in seven games during the 2013-14 season.

Lieuwen was Buffalo’s sixth round pick, 167th overall, in the 2011 draft.

The Sabres also announced that they have loaned defenseman Jake McCabe and goaltender Linus Ullmark to the Rochester Americans (AHL).

McCabe was a healthy scratch in Thursday’s game against Ottawa, while Ullmark is being activated off I.R. after having double hip surgery during the off-season.



Chara ‘doubtful’ for game against rival Canadiens

Brad Marchand, Zdeno Chara
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It looks like the Boston Bruins will be without their captain again on Saturday night.

Head coach Claude Julien told members of the media that Zdeno Chara is considered doubtful for tonight’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.

Chara suffered an upper-body injury during the preseason and he’s already been forced to miss Boston’s season opening loss to the Jets.

Per CSN, Chara says he’s improving but he won’t return to the lineup until he’s as close to 100 percent as possible.

“Every area of the injury is improving,” said Chara. “Hopefully it’s not long before I’m free of any kind of discomfort. That’s what we’re doing right now…we’re being patient. For sure you don’t want to come back, and be half of what you are…and basically hurting yourself and the team. And you’re putting yourself in a position where you could be missing more time. At this time of the season, I think it’s important to be as close as you can be to 100 percent.”

Based on the number of defensive mistakes they committed on Thursday, the Bruins need Chara back as soon as possible: