Goal turns Toews’ frown upside down

Instead of writing paragraph after paragraph about Jonathan Toews’ struggles, this photo from Game 4 probably told the greatest story from the Chicago Blackhawks captain’s frustrations:

source: Getty Images

That’s just one of the sad Toews face shots (this one via Getty) that some delighted in passing around on the Internet. The 25-year-old star finally broke through for his first goal in Game 5 and Bryan Bickell told the Chicago Sun-Times’ Mark Lazerus that it was easy to notice the difference.

“It’s nice to a smile on his face instead of that frown,” Bickell said.

“Captain Serious” did indeed seem seriously relieved on Saturday.

“Just goes to show if you get excited and have that positive feeling in your locker room and on the bench, hey, anything can happen,” Toews said. “It builds your confidence, I don’t care who you are. When you see it go in, you feel like you can do it again.”

A confident Blackhawks team is probably the last thing the Detroit Red Wings wanted to see, so winning Game 6 just got that much more important.

Sabres place Lehner on IR; Recall Lieuwen

Connor Brown, Robin Lehner
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They’re just one game into their regular season, but the Buffalo Sabres have already had to shift things around in their crease.

The Sabres announced that they have placed starting goaltender Robin Lehner on injured reserve after he was knocked out of Thursday’s game with a lower-body injury.

In a corresponding move, the club has recalled Nathan Lieuwen from their AHL affiliate in Rochester.

The 24-year-old didn’t play in the NHL last season, but he did have a 1-4-0 record with a 2.98 goals-against-average and a .906 save percentage in seven games during the 2013-14 season.

Lieuwen was Buffalo’s sixth round pick, 167th overall, in the 2011 draft.

The Sabres also announced that they have loaned defenseman Jake McCabe and goaltender Linus Ullmark to the Rochester Americans (AHL).

McCabe was a healthy scratch in Thursday’s game against Ottawa, while Ullmark is being activated off I.R. after having double hip surgery during the off-season.



Chara ‘doubtful’ for game against rival Canadiens

Brad Marchand, Zdeno Chara
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It looks like the Boston Bruins will be without their captain again on Saturday night.

Head coach Claude Julien told members of the media that Zdeno Chara is considered doubtful for tonight’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.

Chara suffered an upper-body injury during the preseason and he’s already been forced to miss Boston’s season opening loss to the Jets.

Per CSN, Chara says he’s improving but he won’t return to the lineup until he’s as close to 100 percent as possible.

“Every area of the injury is improving,” said Chara. “Hopefully it’s not long before I’m free of any kind of discomfort. That’s what we’re doing right now…we’re being patient. For sure you don’t want to come back, and be half of what you are…and basically hurting yourself and the team. And you’re putting yourself in a position where you could be missing more time. At this time of the season, I think it’s important to be as close as you can be to 100 percent.”

Based on the number of defensive mistakes they committed on Thursday, the Bruins need Chara back as soon as possible: