Buffalo Sabres v Pittsburgh Penguins

Video: Malkin, Penguins win wild, controversial one over Leafs


There was no shortage of entertainment – really, that’s code for controversy – between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday.

The Penguins, after falling behind the Leafs by three goals in the second period, came back in a 6-5 shootout victory over the visitors from Toronto. Evgeni Malkin, who entered the night with only four goals so far this season, scored twice in regulation, had a goal waved off and assist, and then added the second Pittsburgh tally in the shootout.

That was also the deciding goal, after Sidney Crosby scored first in the breakaway competition.

The Leafs jumped out to a two-goal lead at the end of the second period. But they literally failed at any kind of offensive attack in the final 25 minutes of play.

Tyler Bozak scored to make it a 5-3 game with five seconds remaining in the second period. The Leafs didn’t register a single shot on Pittsburgh goalie Jeff Zatkoff – Marc-Andre Fleury was pulled after Toronto’s third goal – in the third period or overtime.

The win was not without its divisive issues.

Malkin’s second goal of the night, which tied the game at 5-5 just before the midway point of the third period, is up for debate about whether it should’ve been allowed.

It appeared Leafs’ goalie Jonathan Bernier may have had the puck covered, or in his pads, when Malkin first knocked it loose, and then eventually in to the net.

Leafs head coach Randy Carlyle, who didn’t get an explanation for the controversial Malkin tying goal, had some critical words for referees Ghislain Hebert and Kevin Pollock.

“By that time they didn’t want to talk to anybody,” Carlyle said afterward, as per Mark Masters of TSN.

They get to a position where they think they don’t have to talk to people I guess…”

And then there was this lengthy battle between Crosby and Dion Phaneuf.

It started in behind the net, than cooled off for a few seconds, and concluded with the two meeting up again and getting called for coincidental minor penalties.

Oilers get Kronwall’d – in more ways than one

Niklas Kronwall
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When someone gets clobbered by Niklas Kronwall, they get Kronwall’d.

(His detractors may insist that the definition require the words “dirty” or “illegal,” but that’s a debate for another day.)

It’s easy to get lost in those thunderous hits and forget that the  Swedish defenseman also brings some skill to the table.

He made a big impact – literally and figuratively – in Detroit’s 4-3 overtime win against the Edmonton Oilers on Friday.

First, the Kronwalling:

Next, Kronwall’s overtime-winner:

It hasn’t always been pretty, but the Red Wings are leaning on guys like Kronwall and Dylan Larkin to stick with it.

Tonight’s win extends their point streak to six games (4-0-2), with five of those contests going to overtime.

Dubinsky – Crosby’s nemesis – gets the last laugh on Friday

Sidney Crosby, Brandon Dubinsky

Brandon Dubinsky isn’t a household name like Sidney Crosby is, yet for all the hype that Crosby vs. Alex Ovechkin gets, Dubinsky is the sort of guy who truly rankles No. 87.

It’s been getting that spotlight since the Columbus Blue Jackets faced off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a brisk playoff series, though it wouldn’t be surprising if the bad blood stemmed to Dubinsky’s days with New York.

To some, Dubinsky’s cross-check on Crosby will resonate far more than the end result of this game:

The bottom line is that he’ll get the last laugh, at least for now. (In-game, that moment merely drew a minor penalty.)

That’s because Dubinsky set up the overtime game-winner, and the cherry on the top of that spite sundae came with Crosby being on the ice when it happened:

They’re not just rubbing the Penguins the wrong way.

Even Dubinsky kind of sort of admits that he may have been in the wrong.


More and more, the Blue Jackets are looking like a nuisance … possibly one that will grind their way to an unlikely playoff berth. They improved to 8-4-0 in November after a disastrous 2-10-0 October.

In other words, there’s at least a chance that we may see these increasingly bitter rivals butt heads in another playoff series.

Eichel’s sweet snipe helps Sabres snap six-game skid

Jack Eichel
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The Buffalo Sabres probably deserved better during at least some chunks of their six-game skid, yet Jack Eichel swooped in on Friday to remind fans that there’s a light shining at the end of the tunnel.

You can watch his goal from tonight’s eventual 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes in the video above.

That’s not necessarily the absolute height of his on-ice magic, yet it clearly gave his team a lift:

Call this a healthy reminder that Eichel has the ability to change games, something Buffalo fans hope to get used to.

Report: Likely no suspension for Matt Beleskey’s hit on Derek Stepan


Alain Vigneault went there in comparing Matt Beleskey‘s hit on Derek Stepan to the notorious check Aaron Rome delivered on Nathan Horton many moons ago, but the league seems to disagree.

While Rome sat through that memorable Stanley Cup Final between Boston and Vancouver, it sounds like Beleskey won’t face any further discipline, according to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun.

In the unlikely event that anything changes, PHT will make note.

The next game between the Rangers and Bruins takes place at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 11. Will these bad feelings linger?