Jason Spezza’s Swiss adventure is over.
That’s the word out of Ottawa on Wednesday as Spezza informed his club team, Rapperswill-Jona, he’s headed back to North America.
More, from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun:
The Senators centre has informed the Rapperswill-Jona Lakers he will not be returning — at least for now — after winning the Spengler Cup with Team Canada Monday. He will return to Ottawa to see if there’s going to be a collective bargaining agreement in place for a shortened NHL season.
The Lakers confirmed on their website Wednesday morning that Spezza was on his way home because he’s confident the league and the NHLPA are going to get an agreement in place by the Jan. 19 deadline to resume playing.
Few locked-out NHLers have enjoyed a more successful European campaign than Spezza.
He joined Rapperswil early (mid-September), played a ton of hockey (29 games with the Lakers, four with Team Canada at the Spengler), racked up a ton of points (30, 11th in Swiss league scoring) and, perhaps most importantly, avoided injury.
All told, Ottawa could be in pretty solid shape when (if?) play resumes.
Spezza is just one on a long list of Senators that played extensively overseas during the work stoppage, joining Erik Karlsson, Kyle Turris, Erik Condra, Peter Regin, Colin Greening, Milan Michalek, Mike Lundin and Zack Smith.
He’s done it before. He’ll do it again.
Patrik Laine scored another beautiful goal for the Winnipeg Jets, as he beat Carter Hutton with a wrist shot Saturday. But it was how he got into position for the goal that is so much fun to watch.
Laine dished the puck to Bryan Little in the neutral zone, then, after shaking off a St. Louis Blues defender, he knocked the give-and-go pass out of the air and immediately ripped his shot past Hutton.
That’s goal No. 16 for the rookie Laine.
That goal also tied him with Sidney Crosby for the league lead in that category. Not bad — for a rookie.
And then Laine did this in OT, setting up Little for the winner. He can pass, too.
Video: Laine’s goal was the game-winner (and mind-blower)
Video: Nothing lucky about Laine’s seventh goal of the season
We asked earlier tonight if the bad blood between the Canucks and Leafs would spill over into tonight’s rematch. It had been pretty tame — unlike what occurred last month.
But there were some fireworks and, as expected following the events of Nov. 5, the combatants were Canucks defenseman Erik Gudbranson and Maple Leafs tough guy Matt Martin.
The two dropped the gloves for a heavyweight scrap during the second period, with both landing some major shots.
Placed on injured reserve earlier this week, Gabriel Landeskog may be close to returning to the Colorado Avalanche lineup.
Out with a lower-body injury for the past eight games, including tonight’s home contest against the Dallas Stars, Landeskog reportedly skated briefly with his teammates on Saturday. Head coach Jared Bednar provided more reason for optimism on the condition of the Colorado captain when he spoke to the media.
“He’s been working in the gym the last couple of days,” Bednar told the Denver Post.
“He’s been progressing. He feels better again today. He skated slightly on his own there for a few minutes, and that seemed to go well. I’ve already talked to (trainer Matt Sokolowski) about that. I would expect he’s a guy who’s going to continue to move forward here and probably be on the road trip with us.”
The Avalanche could certainly use their leader in the lineup.
They sit tied for last in the West with the Arizona Coyotes and Bednar, earlier this week, ripped his team for a lack of intensity following a 5-3 loss to Nashville on Tuesday.
The Avalanche begin a four-game road trip on Tuesday, as they face the Predators.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Michael Cammalleri‘s second goal of the game with 18 seconds remaining on the clock in overtime capped New Jersey’s comeback from three goals down in the third period and gave the Devils a 5-4 win over the Nashville Predators on Saturday.
Taylor Hall took a pass from Cammalleri and brought the puck up the right side into the offensive zone on a 2-on-1 break, passed it back to Cammalleri cutting up the middle and he fired it past Predators goalie Pekka Rinne.
Cammalleri started the Devils’ comeback from a 4-1 deficit after two as he fired a rebound into an open net 25 seconds into the third.
Andy Greene pulled New Jersey within one 30 seconds later and Adam Henrique tied it with a power-play goal through Rinne’s legs with 7:23 remaining.
Hall had a goal and two assists, Travis Zajac also had two assists and Green added one for the Devils, who were 0-4-2 in their previous six road games. Keith Kincaid stopped 38 shots to improve to 3-1-2.
Kevin Fiala had two goals and P.K. Subban and Roman Josi also scored for the Predators, who fell to 9-1-2 at home. Rinne, a five-time All-Star, gave up five goals on 22 shots.
New Jersey evened its record to 6-6 in games beyond regulation, and Nashville fell to 0-4.
Fiala gave the Predators a 1-0 lead when Matt Irwin‘s point shot appeared to bounce off him into the net with 3:46 left in the first.
Hall tied it 1:17 later when he swatted a rebound out of the air past Rinne.
Nashville went back ahead on Subban’s wrist shot from the slot with 39 seconds left in the opening period. Five of Subban’s six goals have come at home.
Fiala’s second goal increased the Predators lead to 3-1 on a tic-tac-toe play from Craig Smith and Mike Ribeiro at 6:02 of the second period.
Josi extended the Predators’ advantage to 4-1 when he blasted a one-timer from just inside the center of blue line past Kinkaid with 5:29 left in the second.