Filppula, Bolts flush Isles’ efforts down the toilet


When you haven’t won a game in regulation for 16 games, it might be tough to pick out the losses that sting the most. Still, Tuesday’s defeat has to rank high for the floundering New York Islanders.

Frans Nielsen gave the Isles a 2-0 lead midway through the third period, yet things slipped away late in the game. Valtteri Filppula scored two goals – one with about three minutes left, the tying tally with a brutal four seconds remaining – to send the game to OT. The Islanders eventually fell short 3-2 in the shootout, prompting Evgeni Nabokov to provide New York Newsday’s Arthur Staple with this dour quote.

“We don’t know how to win the games right now,” Nabokov said. “All our efforts [go] down the toilet.”

(Head coach Jack Capuano was … less verbose.)

Here’s video of that late goal:

The Islanders only have one win in December (3-2 in shootout on Dec. 10) and just five wins overall since November rolled around. At this point, one might need to grasp at straws (two straight games with a standings point!) to find positives.

Columbus collapse: Rangers spoil Blue Jackets’ opener

Jarret Stoll, Mats Zuccarello
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For a little more than a minute, Brandon Saad was going to be the story of the Columbus Blue Jackets’ opener. Instead, his power-play goal merely got the ball rolling on a flabbergasting finish.

The New York Rangers scored three goals in 1:17 of game time to manage a 4-2 win.

They’ve now spoiled home openers for the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets to begin their 2015-16 season.

It might be easiest just to show you when the goals were scored, noting that the third period began with a 1-1 tie.

Brandon Saad power-play goal: 16:10 into third period (2-1 Columbus)
Oscar Lindberg: 17:24 (2-2 tie)
Kevin Hayes: 17:41 (3-2 Rangers)
Mats Zuccarello: 18:41 (4-2 Rangers)

Yikes. Zuccarello scored two of the Rangers’ goals, while a beauty by Cam Atkinson is likely long forgotten.

This post will be updated if there’s video of that staggering sequence.

Welcome back, Babs: Red Wings chase Bernier

Mike Babcock
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Mike Babcock admitted that there might be a painful transformation as he tries to fix the Toronto Maple Leafs.

His old friends made that abundantly, painfully clear on Friday.

As of this writing, the Detroit Red Wings are up 4-0 on the Buds. Justin Abdelkader just completed a hat trick with James Reimer in net, so the subplot isn’t just about Jonathan Bernier having another tough start.

The big story might just be Detroit’s varied new line of Abdelkader, Dylan Larkin (who scored his first career goal) and Henrik Zetterberg. At the moment, they’ve combined for seven points.

This post will be updated if Detroit’s tribute video to Babcock surfaces.

Really, though, this beating has been about as ugly as this blanket so far.

Here’s video of Abdelkader’s hat trick: