NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 20: Henrik Lundqvist #30 of the New York Rangers makes the first period save as Sidney Crosby #87 of the Pittsburgh Penguins looks for the rebound at Madison Square Garden on January 20, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Pens, Rangers cap off starkly different opening weekends


The Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Rangers will be dealing with very different emotions following this weekends contests.

The teams ranked first and second when it came to their chances of winning the Stanley Cup as far as the online sports book Bovada was concerned. However, with the Penguins 6-3 victory over the Rangers on Sunday, Pittsburgh is leading the Atlantic Division with a 2-0-0 record while the Rangers are still searching for their first win.

Fortunately for the Rangers, their schedule isn’t as initially heavy as some other teams. After playing in back-to-back games over the weekend, they will only participate in five contests over the next 11 days. That will give them time to adjust rather than being forced to sort their problems out on the fly.

Another silver lining for the Rangers is that they did look good towards the end of Sunday’s game and while it was too little, too late, Rick Nash and Derek Stepan combined for an impressive shorthanded goal late in the third period.

Still, moral victories will only take them so far. They need to start accumulating actual points soon if they don’t want to wind up in a rather deep hole.

Dropping like flies: Johnson, Killorn hurt in Bolts’ exhibition

Montreal Canadiens v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game One
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You probably know the drill: injury updates are murky in the NHL basically from the moment a puck drops.

We’ll learn more once the 2015-16 season begins, but at the moment, Saturday might have served as a costly night for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn went down with injuries stemming from a 3-2 pre-season win against the Florida Panthers.

“Guys were dropping like flies,” Steven Stamkos told the Tamba Bay Times.

These could be minor situations – just about any ailment will sideline a key asset this time of year – yet one cannot help but wonder if the Lightning might limp into this campaign.

Nikita Kucherov is dealing with his own issues, so that means at least minor issues for one half of the Bolts’ top six forwards.

It’s believed that more will be known about these banged-up Bolts sometime on Sunday.

Raffi Torres gets match penalty for being Raffi Torres

Raffi Torres

With knee issues still limiting him, Raffi Torres isn’t as mobile as he once was. Apparently he still moves well enough to leave the usual path of destruction.

It’s the pre-season, so it’s unclear if we’ll get a good look at the check, but Torres received a match penalty for his hit on Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.

Most accounts were pretty critical of the San Jose Sharks’ chief troublemaker:

It’s too early to tell if Silfverberg is injured. If he is, that’s a significant loss for the Ducks, as he really showed signs of fulfilling his promise (especially during the 2015 playoffs).

As far as Torres goes, he’s hoping to play in the Sharks’ season-opener. Wherever he ends up, he’ll certainly make plenty of enemies on the ice.

Whether it was because of that hit or just the general distaste shared by those sides, it sounds like tonight’s Sharks – Ducks exhibition is getting ugly, in general:

This post will be updated if video of the hit becomes available, and also if we get a better idea of Silfverberg’s condition.

Update: All that’s been announced about Silfverberg is that he’s under evaluation and will not return.