Things just can’t be easy for Josh Harding and the Minnesota Wild.
During the first period of tonight’s Game 4, Harding’s crease was crashed by a Wild defender and Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews. Toews landed on top of Harding and the goalie came up looking hurt.
The play came with about four minutes to play in the period and Harding did stay in the game, but when the second period got underway it would be backup and third-stringer Darcy Kuemper taking over in net.
Michael Russo of The Star Tribune reports Harding is out with a lower body injury. He faced six shots and allowed a goal to Patrick Sharp before departing. Harding was playing thanks to an injury to starting goalie Niklas Backstrom suffered during warmups before the start of Game 1.
Here’s video of the play in question:
This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!
In some ways, it really felt like their first-round series.
For all the talent on both ends of the rink with the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning, each squad can really smother opponents defensively when things go that way.
Through two periods, the two teams were very quiet. Things really picked up when Justin Abdelkader unleashed a big hit, a moment that injected enough life into the proceedings for the Red Wings to eventually build a 3-1 win.
Maybe they’re slipping under the radar a bit compared to previous iterations of the team, but it’s interesting that the Red Wings are now undefeated in three games.
They’ve been impressive at times, too, outscoring opponents by a combined score of 11-4.
Call it a refreshing time after Mike Babcock or merely carryover from a subtly solid run last season, but either way, the Red Wings may just be able to keep up their end of a brewing rivalry.
Taking three games to score your first NHL goal isn’t a big deal, unless you’re someone like Connor McDavid.
The mega-hyped wunderkind must feel relieved to finally find the net, as he tied tonight’s Edmonton Oilers – Dallas Stars skirmish with a 2-2 deflection goal, which you can watch above this post’s headline.
To no surprise, there were plenty of reactions, including Pierre LeBrun’s tweet (which inspired part of this headline).
Of course, there were the inevitable Wayne Gretzky comparisons:
Interesting thing you might not consider: Stars fans will have to stomach this one even more frequently than that time Patrik Stefan biffed that empty-netter (also against the Oilers):
McDavid may have also delivered his first questionable check, too: