Turtle Wax Weekend Recap: Overtime thrills

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Three Stanley Cup playoff games were decided in the most dramatic of fashions this weekend:

Sudden death overtime.

On Saturday, the Washington Capitals gave the Verizon Center faithful plenty to cheer about as they took a 2-0 series lead over the Rangers thanks to Mike Green’s OT tally.

The sharp-shooting blueliner capitalized on a powerplay after New York defenseman Ryan McDonagh flipped the puck over the glass, earning himself a delay of game minor.

“I think the whole game was patience — whoever was going to make the mistake first,” Green told the Washington Post. “Just a lucky one tonight. What an effort before we got that power play by the guys that were on the ice, pressuring their D.

“They had no choice but to try to go off the glass and they made a bad play.”

On Sunday, the Pittsburgh Penguins took a page out of Washington’s notebook by winning their game against the Islanders with a powerplay goal in OT as well.

Chris Kunitz converted a Sidney Crosby pass for the game-winning goal, after Crosby earned Pittsburgh a man advantage by drawing a holding call from Isles defenseman Brian Strait.

“I probably think the best set-up he had was drawing the penalty,” Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “That’s kind of typical, what Sidney Crosby can do. He’s a tough guy, a power forward, and he draws the penalty by playing that way — playing down low and going to the net.

“That sets up, obviously, the game-winning goal on the power play.”

Kunitz’s goal was the only dramatic OT winner on Sunday.

In the second game of a national doubleheader on NBC, Minnesota got back into its series with Chicago thanks to an extra session winner from rookie Jason Zucker, giving the Wild at 3-2 win in front of a frenzied Xcel Energy crowd.

The goal was the culmination of a strong series from Zucker, who almost won Game 1 when his shot in overtime rang off the crossbar.

“You’ve got to work for everything,” Zucker said. “I just tried keeping the puck on net and tried keeping at it, and this one happened to go in for me.”

Sens demote former first-rounder Puempel

Matt Puempel
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Looks like Matt Puempel won’t be making the leap after all.

Puempel, the subject of Ottawa’s “looking to make the leap” profile during our Team of the Day series, has been sent down to AHL Binghamton one day prior to the Sens’ opener against Buffalo.

Puempel, taken by Ottawa in the first round (24th overall) at the ’11 draft, made his big-league debut last season and looked as though he’d stick around — only to suffer a high ankle sprain after 13 games, and miss the rest of the season.

The 22-year-old came into this year’s camp looking to secure a full-time position at the big league level, but was beaten out by Shane Prince for the final forward spot on the roster.

To be fair, contract status probably played a role. Prince would’ve had to clear waivers to get down to Bingo, whereas Puempel didn’t.

A former 30-goal scorer in the American League, Puempel is expected to get another look with Ottawa this season.

Report: Torres won’t appeal 41-game suspension


Sounds like Raffi Torres is accepting his punishment.

Per Sportsnet, Torres won’t appeal his 41-game suspension for an illegal hit to the head of Anaheim’s Jakob Silfverberg.

The report comes just days after the NHL’s Department of Player Safety levied one of the longest disciplinary rulings in league history, citing both the severity of the Silfverberg hit and Torres’ lengthy history of suspensions, fines and warnings.

There was some thought, however, that Torres would try to challenge the ruling.


He does have a history of success in that department. In 2012,Torres successfully appealed his suspension for a headshot on Chicago’s Marian Hossa, and had his punishment reduced from 25 games to 21.

Torres also isn’t considered a “repeat offender” under the current collective bargaining agreement, as his last suspension came in 2013.

Of course, part of that clean record is due to the fact he hasn’t played much. Torres has largely been sidelined by injury for the last two seasons, missing all of last year with knee problems.

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman delved further into the repeat offender thing in his latest 30 Thoughts column:

If you read the relevant sections of the CBA, the league takes the position that the repeat offender status is only applicable to fines. Repeaters are fined on a per-game basis, non-repeaters on a per-day basis. (The former is more expensive, because there are fewer games than days in an NHL season.) However, if you go to Section 18.2, among the factors taken into account are, “the status of the offender and, specifically, whether the Player has a history of being subject to Supplementary Discipline for On-Ice Conduct.”

So, in the NHL’s view, a player’s history is relevant, even if longer than 18 months ago.

Should the report prove accurate and Torres doesn’t appeal, he will be eligible to return to action on Jan. 14, when the Sharks take on the Oilers.