This wasn’t even close.
In a battle for top spot in the Metropolitan Division, the Pittsburgh Penguins, playing on the road, dominated the host Washington Capitals on Wednesday night. The Penguins scored early and often enough to make this a blowout, defeating the Capitals 4-0 to take Rivalry Night on the NHL on NBCSN.
- The subplot of Sidney Crosby versus Alex Ovechkin, much like the main event, was largely one-sided. Crosby finished with two points. Ovechkin was held off the score sheet.
- The Capitals came into this game trailing the Penguins by one point in the Metropolitan Division. They now trail by three points.
- This was actually a home game for the Capitals. Hard to tell by their performance. Washington finished with 18 shots on goal. Needing some kind of push in the third period, the Capitals tested Marc-Andre Fleury a whopping four times.
- By the way, this Crosby goal was something else. Precision passing, solid finish.
- No Mike Green for the Capitals. Not sure he would’ve made the difference, but a talking point nonetheless.
- Fleury continues to play like he has something to prove. Not just for the Penguins, after back-to-back years of playoff disasters, but for his hopes of making the Canadian Olympic hockey team. Picked up win No. 13 of the season. Has to be in the discussion at this point.
Brad Stuart wasn’t on the ice for the first game of his two-year, $7.2 million contract and it had nothing to do with his health.
Avalanche coach Patrick Roy felt Stuart simply wasn’t one of the six best defensemen in training camp and consequently he wasn’t in the lineup, per the Denver Post.
“Things could change for the next game,” Roy offered. “Like I said (Wednesday), we’re going to use those eight D all year long. (Last night was) just the first game of the season.”
Perhaps, but it’s still a terrible indicator, especially given that Stuart will turn 36 on Nov. 6. Stuart is a veteran of over 1,000 games, but now the question is if he has enough left in the tank to provide Colorado with much value.
The Avalanche also scratched defenseman Brandon Gormley, who was acquired from the Coyotes in exchange for Stefan Elliott. The hope was that both players would benefit from the change in scenery. Gormley was taken with the 13th overall pick of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, but has only played in 32 career NHL games.
PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
In a survey of 29 beat writers, the Anaheim Ducks emerged as the clear favorite to win the Stanley Cup. If you’ll recall, they have that in common with the EA Sports simulation. (Boston Globe)
Alex Ovechkin would pick an Olympic hit against Jaromir Jagr as the biggest check of his life. (Russian Machine Never Breaks)
Here are the highlights from Minnesota’s 5-4 victory over Colorado:
The Montreal Canadiens seem committed to using Alex Galchenyuk as a center throughout the 2015-16 campaign. (The Canadian Press)
The NHL recently enlisted its players to read off some not so mean tweets. (USA Today)
Bills coach Rex Ryan talked about the Sabres in Thursday’s press conference. (NHL.com)
Frederik Andersen may have the Anaheim Ducks’ starting job for now, but with John Gibson still a big part of their plans, Andersen has to keep proving himself. (Orange County Register)