Pacioretty (arm), Gionta (personal) expected to play vs Flames tomorrow

It looks like the Calgary Flames will have their hands full on Wednesday. Although they were both previously questionable, Max Pacioretty and captain Brian Gionta should both be available for that contest, according to the Montreal Gazette’s Dave Stubbs.

Pacioretty wasn’t able to play on Saturday because of an arm injury, but now that he’s healthy, he should be one of the Canadiens’ biggest offensive threats. He broke out in 2011-12 with 65 points and had 39 points in 44 contests last season.

Gionta played in Montreal’s first two games, but his availability was thrown into doubt when he missed the flight to Calgary for personal reasons. As it turns out, he’ll rejoin the team in time for tomorrow’s action.

Montreal had a light start to the season, but starting on Wednesday, the Canadiens will play three road games in just four nights. After that, they’ll wrap up their current road trip in Winnipeg on Oct. 15.

Measure of revenge? Red Wings bottle Lightning

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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.

Hands of gold: Connor McDavid scores his first NHL goal


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: