Minnesota Wild goalie Josh Harding, right, stops a shot by Philadelphia Flyers' Wayne Simmonds in the first period of an NHL hockey game, Monday, Dec. 2, 2013, in St. Paul, Minn. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

Flyers experience deja vu in shutout loss


If you were a Philadelphia Flyers fan looking to dismiss last night’s 2-0 loss to the Minnesota Wild, you would have grounds to do so.

Philadelphia was without forward Vincent Lecavalier and facing one of this season’s top goaltenders in Josh Harding. At the same time, just 21 shots even reached Harding last night.

“Same story as the start of the year; we just need to get more pucks to the net and maybe more traffic and the puck will start going in,” Flyers captain Claude Giroux told the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Their early offensive struggles put them in an 4-10-1 hole that they spent most of November trying to climb out of. They’re in a far better position now, but the Flyers have managed just seven goals in regulation in their last five games. They also still rank near the bottom of the league in goals per contest this season.

The silver lining is that Philadelphia’s goaltending has been superb and they are in the thick of the battle for a postseason spot, albeit partially because the Metropolitan Division has been anemic.

The Flyers are heading to Detroit next for a match on Wednesday (8:00 p.m. ET, NBCSN). Philadelphia might have Lecavalier back in time for that match and they could certainly use all the offensive help they can get right now.

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: