New York Islanders goaltender Rick DiPietro returned to his Massachusetts roots to take on the Bruins in Boston on Friday, but it was more than just a homecoming for the 31-year-old goaltender.
Injuries limited DiPietro to just 47 games over the previous four seasons and going into this contest, he hadn’t played in the NHL since Dec. 3, 2011.
The Islanders fell 4-2 and DiPietro only managed to save 23 shots, but Islanders coach Jack Capuano stuck up for him after the contest.
“We had some guys that could’ve played a bit better, that could’ve stepped it up. Rick played well and kept us in the game,” Capuano said.
DiPietro was feeling great physically going into the shortened season, but his path to redemption is an uphill climb. 37-year-old goaltender Evgeni Nabokov started in the Islanders’ first three contests and should maintain the number one gig this season unless DiPietro can wrestle it away from him.
Flames keep showing life, Stars stumble once again
If you think the Dallas Stars are struggling because of defense more than anything else, then you’ll make sure to keep the video above “on file.”
There Kari Lehtonen was, helpless on a 2-on-0 rush for the Calgary Flames, which Johnny Gaudreau finished with calm and ease. For some, that goal is the symbol of the Stars’ season.
Either way, it was a painful goal in the Flames’ 2-1 win against the Stars. Calgary won despite Dallas firing 30 shots on goal versus the Flames’ 20.
One team climbing, the other stumbling
With that, the Flames are now on a four-game winning streak. Since falling to 5-10-1 on Nov. 12, the Flames have gone 9-3-1 in their last 13 games, pushing them to 14-13-2 overall. Gaudreau coming back is the icing on the cake after Chad Johnson really took charge of the Flames’ top job.
During a similar span, the Stars can’t seem to get it together. Dallas stood at 6-6-3 after beating the Oilers 3-2 on Nov. 11. They’re now 10-11-6, essentially standing in place as a .500 team.
Dallas can’t seem to get momentum going, a thought that might have left them envious of the team on the other end of the ice on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, it wasn’t just about Jack Eichel vs. Connor McDavid. Instead, it was a clash between a fleet of young scorers who were in their prime, with the Buffalo Sabres coming up on top against the Edmonton Oilers.