Washington Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner (27) lays on the ice after he was hit by Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Richard Panik (71), of Slovakia, in the second period of an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013, in Washington. Panik received a five-minute penalty for boarding, and Washington Capitals right wing Alex Ovechkin scored two goals on that power play. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Panik suspended two games for boarding Alzner


Tampa Bay forward Richard Panik has been suspended two games for boarding Washington’s Karl Alzner on Tuesday night, the NHL has announced.

At 16:31 of the second period, Panik hit Alzner in the neutral zone, driving him into the boards. Alzner was temporarily shaken up, but returned in the third period while Panik was assessed a five-minute boarding major on the play.

“Just as Alzner dumps the puck and while in a very vulnerable position at a dangerous distance from the boards, Panik checks him in the numbers, causing a violent collision with the boards,” the NHL’s Department of Player Safety explained.

Here’s the video:

Mitigating factors for the suspension length included Alzner going uninjured on the play, and Panik’s clean history with regards to player discipline.

Panik will now miss Tampa Bay’s next two games — Thursday against Detroit, Saturday vs. New Jersey — eligible to return to the lineup on Sunday (also against the Red Wings.) Additionally, Panik will forfeit $7,589.74 in salary to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.

After lopsided loss, Julien says it’s ‘not about the young D’

Claude Julien

The Boston Bruins’ young, makeshift defense failed to come through Thursday night as the B’s were thumped, 6-2, on home ice by the Winnipeg Jets.

Without injured veterans Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg, the defensive pairings were as follows:

Torey KrugAdam McQuaid
Joe MorrowKevan Miller
Matt IrwinZach Trotman

And let’s just say, turnovers were a factor:

That was Irwin getting checked off the puck there.

“I had the puck behind the net, and I went to one side of the net, and then I just didn’t use the net to my advantage,” he explained afterwards, per CSN New England. “He got his stick in there, obviously stripped me of the puck, and we all know what happened after that. I take full blame for that one.”

But head coach Claude Julien wasn’t willing to blame inexperience for the poor outing.

“It’s not about youth. It’s not about the young D,” said Julien. “It’s about our game without the puck. I think we might have gotten a little excited here about our offense and forgot about the other part of our game.”

And to be fair, even Boston’s more accomplished d-men had their challenging moments.

Here’s Krug failing to get position on Nicolas Petan in front of the Bruins’ net:

All in all, it was a tough night.

“We’ll correct those [mistakes] tomorrow in practice,” said Irwin. “We’re a confident group in here. We liked our offense. We liked the chances we were getting. All those mistakes, D-zone, are something that we’re going to work on and get better every day.”

The Bruins host their rivals from Montreal on Saturday.

Greene named 11th captain in Devils history

Dion Phaneuf; Andy Greene
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Andy Greene has been named Bryce Salvador’s successor as New Jersey’s team captain.

Greene, an undrafted free agent that’s spent his entire nine-year career with the Devils organization, becomes the 11th captain in the franchise’s history and third American to wear the “C” (Zach Parise and Jamie Langenbrunner were the others).

A former standout at Miami of Ohio, Greene — who served as an alternate captain in each of the last two seasons — has developed into a steady, durable blueliner that hasn’t missed a game in three years. He’s also locked into the Devils long term, having signed a five-year, $25 million extension with the club last summer.

That deal kicks in this season, and runs through 2020.

As for the rest of the leadership group, four players will serve as alternate captains this season: Patrik Elias, Travis Zajac, Mike Cammalleri, and Adam Henrique.

Elias and Zajac both wore an “A” in New Jersey last year, while Cammalleri and Henrique are first-timers.