Carolina Hurricanes' Nathan Gerbe (14) tries to gather in the puck in front of Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price (31) as Canadiens' Josh Gorges (26) joins the play during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Raleigh, N.C., Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013. (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)

Canes win by netting four goals in under nine minutes


After dropping five straight games and with their hopes of making the playoffs fading, the Carolina Hurricanes were in desperate need of a big, morale boosting win. Tonight’s 5-4 overtime victory over the Montreal Canadiens certainly qualifies.

Montreal got off to a strong start, thanks in large part by Max Pacioretty, who scored twice to give the team a 3-0 lead going into the second intermission.

Then the Hurricanes turned the tide. Jeff Skinner scored back-to-back power-play goals in just 37 seconds to shave the Canadiens’ lead to a single marker. It wasn’t long before Eric Staal managed to tie it and then Manny Malhotra found the back of the net for just the second time this season. All-in-all, the Hurricanes scored four goals in under nine minutes to climb ahead 4-3.

Montreal defenseman P.K. Subban managed to capitalize on a power-play opportunity to even the game. The contest went into overtime and it was up to Alexander Semin, who has struggled significantly this season, but is showing signs of heating up, to break the tie in overtime:

The Hurricanes improved to 15-16-9 this season, but this was just their second win in 10 games. They’ll try to make it two in a row against Washington on Thursday.

Video: Dylan Larkin adds to his rookie goals lead

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So far, the 2015-16 crop of rookies is living up to the hype, if not exceeding it. Connor McDavid‘s unfortunate injury hasn’t even derailed this year’s crop.

The Detroit Red Wings are watching their own blue chip blossom, as Dylan Larkin is making an instant impact.

No. 71 scored his 10th goal of the season against the Florida Panthers on Sunday, fattening his rookie goals lead.

He still needs five points to match rookie points leader Artemi Panarin, though.

Latest report leaves Carey Price’s injury timeline fuzzy

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There’s one thing we seem to know about Carey Price‘s injury situation: he first got hurt stepping on a puck on Oct. 29, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.

Contrary to earlier reports about him missing about a month, it sounds like his window of recovery is still up in the air (which, to be fair, could mean that he’ll still miss about a month when it’s all said and done).

ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun reports that Price underwent testing with Montreal’s team doctor on Saturday and is expected to go through more; we may not know more about his expected injury timeline until early this coming week.

So, basically, Price’s situation is fuzzier than his mustache right now.

Leg injuries can be tricky anyway, so we shouldn’t be too surprised that there are mixed signals regarding Price, and this may remain a fluid situation for some time.

(But we’ll hopefully know more soon enough.)

Lightning lament life as a .500 team

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The Tampa Bay Lightning have plenty of time to rise above mediocrity, yet it still must be deserving to finish at .500 for two straight months.

After last night’s 3-2 loss to the New York Islanders, that’s exactly where they find themselves:

Record at the end of October: 5-5-2

Record at the end of November: 11-11-3

As of this writing, the Lightning found themselves on the outside looking in at the playoff picture. It all stands as a pretty tough thing for the reigning Eastern Conference champs to swallow.

The uncomfortable-yet-vital question is: can the Lightning break out of this funk?

Looking at their schedule, it won’t be easy, at least not right away.

They crawl through California during a three-game road trip to start December, and they also face six of eight on the road from Dec. 2 – 18.

The Lightning soak up home dates to finish 2015 after that, but what damage will be done by then?

Frankly, the Bolts will need to dig deep to break this pattern. If nothing else, they’ve fought with their backs against the wall before.

Dubinsky won’t change, and he won’t go easy on Crosby


Sometimes a suspension will shame a player, or at least inspire him to change the way he plays.

That apparently won’t happen regarding Brandon Dubinsky‘s one-game timeout session for cross-checking Sidney Crosby.

Dubinsky told Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch that he won’t alter his style, whether it’s against Crosby or someone else.

“Nope,” Dubinsky said. “You know, I’ve played the same way my whole career and I’m not going to change. The next time I have an opportunity to play (Crosby), I’m going to play him hard.”

In case you’re wondering, that next opportunity comes on Dec. 21 in Pittsburgh, assuming that both players are healthy and not suspended.

One can understand Dubinsky’s perspective, although such honesty would be that much more interesting if there’s another incident with Crosby. His initial reaction to the hit was interestingly candid, admitting that his “stick rode up” on his adversary.

Would that stance – which, from a harsher view, might seem flippant to Dubinsky’s critics – open the door for a bigger future bit of a discipline?

Maybe, maybe not … but at least his comments aren’t as inflammatory as what John Tortorella said (at least on the record).