Goalie nods: Harding starts, Backstrom backs up; Ellis gets third straight


News from around the crease…

Harding back in goal

Josh Harding will be back in goal for Minnesota tonight when the Wild take on the Lightning in Tampa Bay.

Filling in for the injured Niklas Backstrom — who, it should be mentioned, will return to the lineup tonight in a backup capacity — Harding has been a busy man lately, appearing in five straight contests.

Tuesday’s game against Toronto was supposed to be his night off as the Wild gave Darcy Kuemper the start, but Kuemper was yanked after allowing three goals on seven shots, forcing Harding into relief duty.

Stars keep rolling with Ellis

Dallas is still hesitant to give prospect Jack Campbell his first taste of NHL action, as the club announced it’ll start Dan Ellis for the third straight game on Thursday against San Jose.

Ellis, filling in for the injured Kari Lehtonen, has had a rough go over the last two games, He was shelled for five goals in a loss to Minnesota, then allowed all three goals in a 3-2 loss to Colorado on Tuesday — a game in which Dallas out-shot the Avs 41-26.

Campbell, the 11th overall selection at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, has been up with the club for the past few games but has yet to make his NHL debut.


— As Brough wrote earlier, Jonas Gustavsson gets his third straight start for Detroit tonight while Devan Dubnyk, he of the .829 save percentage, will be in goal for Edmonton.

— It’s Tuukka vs. Timmy in Florida this evening.

Steve Mason will get the nod for Philly against Pittsburgh.

Ben Bishop will start for the Bolts against Minny.

Scary moment: Carlo Colaiacovo hospitalized with ‘dented trachea’

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Buffalo Sabres defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo has experienced plenty of bad injury luck in his winding career, but Saturday presented one of his worst scares.

As you can see from the video above, Colaiacovo received a scary cross-check from Viktor Arvidsson of the Nashville Predators, who received a major penalty and game misconduct.

Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma said that Colaiacovo was hospitalized with a “dented trachea” yet is OK, the Buffalo News’ John Vogl reports.

Frightening stuff from an eventual 4-1 Sabres win.

PHT will keep an eye out for additional updates regarding Colaiacovo’s health (and a possible suspension for Arvidsson).

Comeback Kings: Gaborik pulls L.A. past Kane, Blackhawks

Jake Muzzin, Scott Darling

Patrick Kane set an American scoring record, and added another assist to make it more impressive, but the Los Angeles Kings just wouldn’t be denied.

In the end, Marian Gaborik‘s big night meant more than Kane’s; he scored the tying and then overtime game-winner, both assisted by Anze Kopitar, for a rousing 4-3 overtime Kings win.

Gaborik’s first goal:

And here’s video of the OT-GWG:

Noticing a theme tonight? Yeah, it’s been an evening in which it’s dangerous to assume a lead would stand.

With that, the Kings stick to the No. 1 spot in the Pacific Division, but Chicago shouldn’t feel all bad. The Blackhawks were able to piece together a decent run during their dreaded “circus trip.”

Patrick Kane’s streak hits 19 games, setting a new American record


When it comes to point streaks for U.S.-born NHL players, Patrick Kane now stands alone.

With a power-play goal early in Saturday’s Blackhawks – Kings game, Kane extended his streak to 19 games, breaking a tie with Phil Kessel and Eddie Olczyk (who finished with at least a point in 18 straight).

As of this writing, Kane has 11 goals and 19 assists during this 19-game streak. He also leads the NHL in scoring.

Bobby Hull’s 21-game point streak stands as the Chicago Blackhawks’ overall team record, by the way.

So, how would you protect a lead against the Stars?


You know what they say: it’s easy to bash a strategy in hindsight.

Slam that NFL head coach for going for it on fourth down … or settling for the field goal. Bury that MLB manager because he kept a pitcher in too long. And so on.

“Score effects” settle in during almost any lopsided hockey game, yet the Dallas Stars present quite a conundrum: what’s the best way to put a way a team with this much firepower?

Tonight may have presented the greatest evidence that this team won’t go away easy, as it seemed like the Minnesota Wild had the best of a tired Stars team* when they built a 3-0 lead.

Instead, the Stars scored three third-period goals while Tyler Seguin capped the comeback with an overtime-winner.

It was one of those bend-and-then-break moments for Minnesota. Dallas generated a 44-26 shot advantage, including a ridiculous 35-15 edge in the final two periods.

Does that mean that Mike Yeo may have tried to play too conservatively with a healthy lead? It’s a possibility.

On the other hand, would the Wild be wiser to try to run-and-gun with one of the most dangerous offenses in the NHL?

It sure seems like a pick-your-poison situation. Which way would you lean, though?

* – To be fair to Minnesota, each team was on back-to-backs.