Back-to-back wins for the L.A. Kings in Alberta has given the defending Stanley Cup champs wins in four of their last five games.
On Wednesday, a night after displacing the Edmonton Oilers, the Kings defeated the Calgary Flames 3-1.
The Kings have played eight of their first nine games in February away from Los Angeles. They’ll return home to the Staples Center for eight of their next nine games.
“That was definitely a good road game especially coming in at two o’clock in the morning and have to get up,” Kings forward Anze Kopitar told NHL.com.
“We had a good start and that’s what we wanted, and I thought our pace of play was pretty good throughout. We didn’t have too many breakdowns, but it’s going to happen. They have skilled players that are going to make good plays. (Jonathan Bernier) was able to be there for us.”
The Flames, on the other hand, continue to struggle. They’re now only three points up on the last-place Columbus Blue Jackets in the Western Conference standings. They’ve lost three of their last four games. The Flames have been outscored a combined 12-3 in those three losses.
“Our job is to find solutions, but I don’t think the solutions are in the newspapers or in my office,” Flames head coach Bob Hartley told the Calgary Sun.
“They’re on the ice, and it’s all a matter of being ready.”
Kyle Turris is gearing up for his fifth season with the Ottawa Senators, but this campaign will be a little different.
Ottawa announced that Turris will be joining Chris Neil as one of the team’s alternate captains. Turris is assuming that role from Chris Phillips as the 37-year-old defenseman remains out indefinitely due to a back injury.
Since being acquired from the then Phoenix Coyotes in 2011, Turris has established himself as one of Ottawa’s top forwards. He tied for second in the team’s scoring race last season with 64 points in 82 contests and gelled with rookie linemate Mark Stone.
With the Senators favoring a youth movement, Turris actually stands out as one of the Senators’ more experienced players at the age of 26. He’s also set to play a big role with the Senators for years to come as he’s locked to an affordable $3.5 million annual cap hit through 2017-18.
Meanwhile defenseman Erik Karlsson is getting ready for his second season as the team’s captain.
On the eve of their season opener, the Buffalo Sabres got another bit of bad health news.
Captain Brian Gionta missed practice and is day-to-day with a lower-body injury, per head coach Dan Bylsma. The ailment puts the 36-year-old’s availability for Thursday’s game against Ottawa in jeopardy.
The ailment also puts Gionta alongside a slew of hurting Sabres. Defensemen Zach Bogosian and Josh Gorges were on the injured list when Buffalo’ roster was released this morning, along with rookie Brendan Guhle and veteran Cody McCormick.
There is a bright light for Buffalo, however.
Gorges skated on Wednesday and could possibly dress tomorrow, per Bylsma. If he does play, it’ll likely be on a pairing with Rasmus Ristolainen.