Zibanejadgetty

Sens surprise: Ottawa ships Zibanejad to AHL Binghamton

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The Ottawa Senators have made a surprising decision to start the campaign, sending sophomore Mika Zibanejad to AHL Binghamton rather than beginning the year in Ottawa.

Zibanejad, 20, was Ottawa’s first-round pick (sixth overall) at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft and played well for the club last season, his first full NHL campaign. The Swedish forward finished fourth on the team in scoring (20 points in 42 games) — as a 19-year-old — then proceeded to score four points in 10 playoff games while averaging over 13 minutes a night.

The motives behind this decision are unclear, but it was known Ottawa wanted to keep Stephane Da Costa and were afraid of exposing him to waivers (Zibanejad doesn’t need to clear them to go to the AHL).

What’s more, youngster Jean-Gabriel Pageau has performed admirably this preseason and has apparently earned himself a spot on the team to start the year.

It’s also possible this move could’ve been cost-related. The Sens are working under a tight internal budget this season and Zibanejad, while still on his entry-level contract, does carry a cap hit of $1.74 million.

 

Matt Niskanen injured by Patrice Bergeron boarding hit

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Patrice Bergeron doesn’t have a reputation for dirty hits, but he drew the Washington Capitals’ ire for a hit on Matt Niskanen.

The Capitals consider Niskanen “probable” to return to Wednesday’s game against the Boston Bruins with what they’re calling an upper-body injury. Bergeron received a two-minute boarding penalty for the infraction.

(Check out video of the hit above.)

The Capitals’ Twitter acknowledged the brewing bad feelings.

Does Bergeron deserve supplemental discipline for that boarding hit?

Washington currently leads the game 3-2.

Ouch: NHL official helped off ice after puck to knee (Video)

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There are plenty of hazards on an NHL rink even if you’re not a player.

Barry Trotz ranks among the coaches who’ve been hit by pucks, though he’s one of the tiny sliver of humans who would shake off a puck to the forehead. It can be dangerous for officials, too, whether it means a wayward puck or wayward player.

The latest example comes in the form of linesman Steve Miller needing help off the ice after a puck hit him in the knee area. As you can see from the video, it looked like he was in serious pain.

Video: Tyler Bozak with some saucy moves on this goal

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It’s refreshing that hockey fans have, for the most part, moved on from debating Tyler Bozak‘s merits.

The general feeling is that the Toronto Maple Leafs use him in appropriate ways these days, so we can simply enjoy his work as a pretty spiffy hockey player.

Speaking of spiffy, check out the sweet moves he made against the Minnesota Wild for the goal above. Feels like you could dub over a Chris Berman “whoop” or two in there, right?

(If you’re into that kind of thing.)

Here’s that gaudy move in isolation and in GIF form:

WATCH LIVE: Bruins at Capitals – Wednesday Night Rivalry

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Even with two games in hand, some might be surprised to see the Washington Capitals tied with the Boston Bruins in standings points in early December.

That’s the case on Wednesday Night Rivalry, as a somewhat up-and-down Capitals team (which is glad to welcome T.J. Oshie back) hosts a Bruins squad that’s riding a three-game winning streak.

It should be an interesting matchup on NBCSN, which you can also watch online or via the NBC Sports App.

Click here for the livestream.