For the second year in a row, it seemed like Steven Stamkos’ consolation prize for another awful Tampa Bay Lightning season would be the Maurice Richard trophy. Saturday showed that Alex Ovechkin might just claim that accolade – and on a much more successful team, in that.
The Washington Capitals and their captain remained red-hot tonight. A Mike Green overtime game-winner gave them a 6-5 win – which is their seventh in a row – while Ovechkin collected goal 27 of this season, placing him one ahead of Stamkos.
At first, the game seemed like it would be a blowout.
The Capitals took a 3-0 lead in the first period and Jason Chimera made it 4-0 early in the second. Martin St. Louis & co. wouldn’t allow the Capitals to take this one easily, however, as they eventually sent the game to OT. Green’s power-play marker still left the Lightning with a sour taste in their mouths, however.
With this victory, Washington now holds a four-point standings lead over the idle Winnipeg Jets for the Southeast Division crown (both teams have six games left).
It might be fun to call the Capitals’ division the “Southleast” or “Southeasy,” but the Caps are now on a startling 11-1-1 run in their last 13. In other words, save your insults for the lowly Lightning.
Montreal added some forward depth on Tuesday, acquiring diminutive forward Paul Byron off waivers from Calgary.
Byron, 26, is a veteran of nearly 150 career NHL games, most coming with the Flames. Despite fairly solid production over the last two years — 40 points in 104 games — he was exposed to waivers on Monday, along with fellow forward Mason Raymond.
(Calgary does have a logjam of players at forward, hence parting ways with Byron and Raymond.)
Byron can play both wing and center but, at 5-foot-7, 153 pounds, is one of the most undersized skaters in the league. Thankfully for him, Montreal has an affinity for undersized forwards, with the likes of Brendan Gallagher (5-foot-9, 184 pounds) and David Desharnais (5-foot-7, 174 pounds) already on the active roster.
Byron could also fill Zack Kassian‘s roster spot. Kassian is currently suspended without pay while undergoing Stage 2 of the NHL’s Substance Abuse program.
The New York Islanders have claimed goalie Jean-Francois Berube off waivers from the Los Angeles Kings, the club announced today.
Berube won the Calder Cup last season with AHL Manchester, but the 24-year-old has yet to appear in an NHL game.
That the Isles claimed Berube could be evidence that Jaroslav Halak will not be ready to start the season after all.
If that’s the case, Berube would back up Thomas Greiss, with Stephon Williams expected to go to the AHL.
The Isles open their regular season Friday at home versus the Blackhawks, then play the next day in Chicago.