The Montreal Canadiens and Washington Capitals each started their backups against each other tonight and it was Peter Budaj who came out on top with a 3-2 win in Washington.
Best part of his night? He can say he survived a full-on onslaught from Alex Ovechkin.
The Capitals captain scored two goals but couldn’t come away with a third to tie things up. The goals were his 18th and 19th on the season, giving him the league lead ahead of St. Louis’ Alex Steen.
Danny Briere scored what turned out to be the game-winner at 13:40 of the first period, a tally that put the Canadiens up 3-0, but Ovechkin scored once in the first and again in the third to whittle away at the Habs lead.
Budaj made 25 saves for Montreal while Michal Neuvirth stopped 28 for Washington. Now the Capitals get to tangle with the Maple Leafs on Saturday night. If Caps forward Mikhail Grabovski needed a reason to be motivated, he’s got it facing the team that bought him out over the summer.
You probably know the drill: injury updates are murky in the NHL basically from the moment a puck drops.
We’ll learn more once the 2015-16 season begins, but at the moment, Saturday might have served as a costly night for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn went down with injuries stemming from a 3-2 pre-season win against the Florida Panthers.
“Guys were dropping like flies,” Steven Stamkos told the Tamba Bay Times.
These could be minor situations – just about any ailment will sideline a key asset this time of year – yet one cannot help but wonder if the Lightning might limp into this campaign.
Nikita Kucherov is dealing with his own issues, so that means at least minor issues for one half of the Bolts’ top six forwards.
It’s believed that more will be known about these banged-up Bolts sometime on Sunday.
With knee issues still limiting him, Raffi Torres isn’t as mobile as he once was. Apparently he still moves well enough to leave the usual path of destruction.
It’s the pre-season, so it’s unclear if we’ll get a good look at the check, but Torres received a match penalty for his hit on Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.
Most accounts were pretty critical of the San Jose Sharks’ chief troublemaker:
It’s too early to tell if Silfverberg is injured. If he is, that’s a significant loss for the Ducks, as he really showed signs of fulfilling his promise (especially during the 2015 playoffs).
As far as Torres goes, he’s hoping to play in the Sharks’ season-opener. Wherever he ends up, he’ll certainly make plenty of enemies on the ice.
Whether it was because of that hit or just the general distaste shared by those sides, it sounds like tonight’s Sharks – Ducks exhibition is getting ugly, in general:
This post will be updated if video of the hit becomes available, and also if we get a better idea of Silfverberg’s condition.
Update: Bullet dodged?