Bobrovsky

Jackets’ Bobrovsky named NHL’s first star of the week

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After recording four wins, a .972 save percentage and 0.77 GAA, Columbus goalie Sergei Bobrovsky was named the NHL’s first star of the week on Monday.

Bobrovsky, 24, started the week by relieving Steve Mason in a 4-3 shootout win over Edmonton, followed by a 34-save effort in a victory over Vancouver.

‘Bob’ then beat Detroit in consecutive games, posting 30 saves in a 3-0 win on Saturday — the first shutout of his NHL career — before stopping another 21 shots in a 2-1 OT win on Sunday.

Second star of the week went to Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby.

Crosby led all skaters with nine assists and 11 points last week, taking a stranglehold of the NHL’s scoring lead in the process. Crosby is now eight points clear of Tampa Bay’s Steve Stamkos and nine clear of linemate Chris Kunitz, the NHL’s third-leading scorer.

The highlight of Crosby’s week came on Sunday, in which he tied a career-high with five assists in a 6-1 romp. In doing so, Crosby became the only active NHLer to record more than one five-assist game.

Third star of the week went to Los Angeles’ Jeff Carter.

Carter scored six goals in four games last week, bringing his overall total on the season to 17. That puts him in a tie for second with Kunitz and James Neal, all of whom sit behind league leader Steve Stamkos (19 goals).

Carter also scored two-game winning goals this week — against Nashville and St. Louis — and now leads the NHL in game-winning goals this season, with six.

Brad Marchand wins it … on a penalty shot … in overtime

Boston Bruins' Brad Marchand celebrates after scoring on a penalty shot during the overtime period of the Boston Bruins 2-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres in an NHL hockey game in Boston Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
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Looking at the standings, beating the Buffalo Sabres was pretty important for the Boston Bruins. The Atlantic Division’s run for spots appears particularly congested out East.

Of all the Bruins to get a chance to win it all, the team might have wanted Brad Marchand to have that opportunity. He’s on pace to destroy his previous career-highs for scoring, and Marchand’s been particularly hot lately.

Either way, Marchand came up big indeed, scoring the rare overtime game-winner on a penalty shot. Check out the drama below:

That can be a big extra point and ROW (regulation/overtime win) when the regular season is finished.

Note: Many believe that Marchand should not have received a penalty shot on the play.

Crosby kills the Cats: Penguins end Panthers’ winning streak

Pittsburgh Penguins' Sidney Crosby (87) collides with Florida Panthers' Connor Brickley (86) during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Pittsburgh, Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
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For quite some time, it looked like the Florida Panthers would keep the Pittsburgh Penguins under wraps.

Florida nursed a 1-0 lead into a 2-0 margin almost halfway through the third period, looking to win its sixth consecutive game. That looked great … and then Sidney Crosby + Kris Letang happened.

Let’s put it this way: this GIF of Crosby being frustrated is amusing, yet it doesn’t exactly tell the story of Saturday’s 3-2 overtime win for the Penguins:

Instead, Crosby grabbed his 900th point assisting on a Letang goal, and finished the night with 902 by collecting the game-tying goal and grabbing a helper on Letang’s overtime game-winner.

Crosby crossing that barrier is indeed special, even if it prompts “What if?” questions about No. 87’s health.

The resurgence of Crosby and Letang already played a big role in the Penguins going from disjointed and frustrating to sneaky and scary, so it  shouldn’t be that surprising to see them play so well. Doing so in such brisk order is a little bewildering, however.

Video: Mika Zibanejad’s check to Tyler Bozak’s head

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Saturday’s been unkind to the Toronto Maple Leafs, and not just on the scoreboard (where it’s 3-0 early on against the Ottawa Senators).

The Maple Leafs lost Tyler Bozak to an apparent upper-body injury thanks to a questionable hit by Sens forward Mika Zibanejad.

You can judge that check (which drew a minor penalty for illegal check to the head) in the video above. Again, Bozak will not return to tonight’s game.

It’s unclear if Bozak will miss time beyond this contest.

Update: It didn’t get much better going forward; the Senators beat the Maple Leafs 6-1.

Malcolm Subban hospitalized after taking puck to throat

Malcolm Subban
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Scary stuff on Saturday: multiple reporters (including the Maine Hockey Journal’s Chris Roy) note that Malcolm Subban was taken to a hospital after a puck struck his throat during warm-ups.

There’s no word yet on Subban’s condition beyond that he was taken away in an ambulance.

The AHL’s Providence Bruins seem like they’ve been left scrambling for a backup goalie in Subban’s absence.

Subban stated days ago that he’s taken some significant steps forward during the 2015-16 season.

Update: This seems fairly positive.