Marc-Andre Fleury helped the Pittsburgh Penguins steal a point (or two?) on Friday night, stopping 34 out of 35 shots in a 2-1 shootout win against the New York Rangers. That intense game could be costly for both teams, though.
James Neal looked groggy and glassy eyed after a third period hit by Michael Del Zotto. Meanwhile, there’s a chance Henrik Lundqvist might have tweaked something while stopping an Evgeni Malkin shootout attempt.
(Lundqvist stayed in net and made more saves, but cameras caught him grimacing, opening up questions about a possible groin pull.)
The Rangers dominated large chunks of play, out-shooting the Penguins 35-27 overall (including 14-4 in a heated third period).
Fleury was game, though, and that makes things uncomfortable for Pittsburgh’s division rivals. The Rangers moved back ahead of the New York Islanders for seventh place with 40 points, but that extra point could have been handy in holding off the likes of the New Jersey Devils (39 points in 37 games played), Winnipeg Jets (38 points in 39 GP) and Philadelphia Flyers (37 points in 37 GP).
Things could really be interesting if these two would-be contenders meet in what few would have expected would be an opening round clash. The Rangers still have a way to go before they can guarantee a seventh or eighth seed, though.
Former NHL defenseman Mike Commodore may have been coached by Mike Babcock, but that doesn’t mean he’s a fan of Mike Babcock.
Commodore played in just 17 games for the Detroit Red Wings during the 2011-12 season and that was enough for him to muster up some pretty harsh feelings toward his old coach.
As Babcock’s new team, the Toronto Maple Leafs, were being embarrassed in Detroit on Friday, Commodore took to Twitter to show fans just how much he was enjoying his former coach’s struggles.
Things got especially interesting after Red Wings rookie Dylan Larkin scored just 20 seconds into the second period to give Detroit a 3-0 lead.
“3-0 nothin Babs you posing arrogant piece of (bleep),” said Commodore via his Twitter page. “Welcome back to the rink where everyone that met you hates you.”
Commodore wasn’t done there:
And there was much, much more.
To get a look at all of Commodore’s Babcock-bashing tweets, click here.
Late in the third period of Friday’s game against the New York Rangers, things were looking good for Columbus.
Brandon Saad, who the team acquired from Chicago this off-season, scored his first goal of the season to give his team a 2-1 lead with under four minutes remaining in the contest.
Unfortunately for the Jackets, that’s as good as it would get.
The Rangers responded with three unanswered goals from Oscar Lindberg, Kevin Hayes and Mats Zuccarello to spoil Columbus’ home opener.
“When something like that happens at the end, I think we’re gonna be a better team because of it,” defenseman Ryan Murray told reporters after the game. “It’s a harsh lesson, but it’s a good one.
Luckily for Columbus, they won’t have to wait very long to try and get their revenge.
The Blue Jackets and Rangers will finish off their home-and-home series at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night, which might not be such a bad thing for Columbus.
“It’s good that we get another chance tomorrow,” Saad said after Friday’s game. “We were high on emotions (after the go-ahead goal) and they scored and it took the wind out of our sails, but we have to keep playing. We have to learn to keep doing our thing, regardless of the score.”