The Florida Panthers managed to re-sign restricted free agent Dmitry Kulikov just before the start of the season, but it looks like they were still a little too late, based on a Miami Herald report.
Without a contract, Kulikov stayed in Russia even after the lockout ended and only returned to North America on Thursday. After missing most of training camp and suffering from a serious case of jet lag, Panthers coach Kevin Dineen decided that Kulikov isn’t ready to play.
“You have to look at a guy, whether he helps you,” Dineen said. “Frankly it’s disappointing he’s not ready to play. There are different ways around it, but he’s not playing tonight.
“He’s a guy who’s had some time and should be ready to go. He signed a contract yesterday, fortunately passed his physical. He’ll play Monday.”
Kulikov was a big part of the Panthers’ defense last season and averaged a career-high 21:51 minutes per game. He had six points and 28 penalty minutes in 22 KHL games during the work stoppage.
It’s been getting that spotlight since the Columbus Blue Jackets faced off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a brisk playoff series, though it wouldn’t be surprising if the bad blood stemmed to Dubinsky’s days with New York.
To some, Dubinsky’s cross-check on Crosby will resonate far more than the end result of this game:
The bottom line is that he’ll get the last laugh, at least for now. (In-game, that moment merely drew a minor penalty.)
That’s because Dubinsky set up the overtime game-winner, and the cherry on the top of that spite sundae came with Crosby being on the ice when it happened:
They’re not just rubbing the Penguins the wrong way.
Cheap shot on a superstar, a little uncalled goalie interference and presto – Blue Jackets win!
The Buffalo Sabres probably deserved better during at least some chunks of their six-game skid, yet Jack Eichel swooped in on Friday to remind fans that there’s a light shining at the end of the tunnel.
You can watch his goal from tonight’s eventual 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes in the video above.
That’s not necessarily the absolute height of his on-ice magic, yet it clearly gave his team a lift:
Coach Bylsma: Feel like after Jack's goal, the game changed for us. #gamechanger