Adam McQuaid

After nine-game absence, McQuaid returns for B’s


Boston defenseman Adam McQuaid will play for the first time in nine games tonight when the B’s take on the Preds in Nashville.

McQuaid, 27, has been sidelined with a lower-body injury believed to be a groin strain. He last played on Nov. 30, and that came after he missed eight games with the same ailment (McQuaid also sat from Nov. 9-29).

The Bruins will be pleased to get McQuaid back in the mix. The depth defenseman was a fairly steadying presence prior to getting hurt — averaging 15:43 per game with a plus-7 rating — and without him, the Bruins were forced to use AHL Providence blueliners Kevan Miller and David Warsofsky, the latter of whom performed admirably but saw limited minutes.

(The loss also put extra strain on Boston’s other defenseman, notably Zdeno Chara, who played 27:17 in Saturday’s win over Buffalo.)

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.