Adam Henrique

Henrique aiming for early February return


Good thing Ilya Kovalchuk is coming back or the Devils might have been seriously shorthanded to start the season.

Instead, they’ll just be semi-seriously shorthanded.

Having already lost Zach Parise to free agency over the summer, New Jersey will also be without 22-year-old center Adam Henrique (thumb) until at least early February.

“It’s coming along. I haven’t started skating yet,” Henrique said, per The Star-Ledger. “Right now I’m just working out and going to therapy every day to just get the motion back and to get the strength back. We need to make sure we take the time to get it where it needs to be so I can play the same way I played before.”

Henrique’s 51 points put him fourth in team scoring in 2011-12, his first season in the NHL.

On the bright side, the Devils will have a “100 percent” healthy Travis Zajac after going without the 27-year-old center (torn left Achilles tendon) for all but 15 games of the 2011-12 regular season.

Related: Henrique gets his cast off

Columbus collapse: Rangers spoil Blue Jackets’ opener

Jarret Stoll, Mats Zuccarello
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For a little more than a minute, Brandon Saad was going to be the story of the Columbus Blue Jackets’ opener. Instead, his power-play goal merely got the ball rolling on a flabbergasting finish.

The New York Rangers scored three goals in 1:17 of game time to manage a 4-2 win.

They’ve now spoiled home openers for the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets to begin their 2015-16 season.

It might be easiest just to show you when the goals were scored, noting that the third period began with a 1-1 tie.

Brandon Saad power-play goal: 16:10 into third period (2-1 Columbus)
Oscar Lindberg: 17:24 (2-2 tie)
Kevin Hayes: 17:41 (3-2 Rangers)
Mats Zuccarello: 18:41 (4-2 Rangers)

Yikes. Zuccarello scored two of the Rangers’ goals, while a beauty by Cam Atkinson is likely long forgotten.

This post will be updated if there’s video of that staggering sequence.

Welcome back, Babs: Red Wings chase Bernier

Mike Babcock
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Mike Babcock admitted that there might be a painful transformation as he tries to fix the Toronto Maple Leafs.

His old friends made that abundantly, painfully clear on Friday.

As of this writing, the Detroit Red Wings are up 4-0 on the Buds. Justin Abdelkader just completed a hat trick with James Reimer in net, so the subplot isn’t just about Jonathan Bernier having another tough start.

The big story might just be Detroit’s varied new line of Abdelkader, Dylan Larkin (who scored his first career goal) and Henrik Zetterberg. At the moment, they’ve combined for seven points.

This post will be updated if Detroit’s tribute video to Babcock surfaces.

Really, though, this beating has been about as ugly as this blanket so far.

Here’s video of Abdelkader’s hat trick: