Lightning chase Peters, beat Carolina 5-3


The Tampa Bay Lightning capped an up-and-down weekend with a 5-3 win against the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday.

It’s been an interesting couple days for the Bolts, as their three big snubbed players made headlines. Victor Hedman suffered a lower-body injury that luckily doesn’t seem too severe and Martin St. Louis saw his four-goal game squandered in a loss, yet things were better today, as Ben Bishop was fantastic in making 48 out of 51 saves.

That stood in especially stark contrast with the Hurricanes’ play in net, as it was a rough day for Justin Peters.

The 27-year-old barely lasted more than 15 minutes of game time on Sunday, allowing three goals on seven shots before being pulled in favor of Anton Khudobin. The goal was likely to give Khudobin a little breather with Cam Ward on the shelf, as this was Peters’ first start since Jan. 19.

(Technically, Khudobin ended up taking the loss.)

Andrej Sekera and Justin Faulk also had an awful Sunday, posting matching -4 ratings.

The Lightning improved to 29-16-5 with the win, as their start to 2014 continues to be up-and-down (they’re 5-4-1 since Jan. 1). The Hurricanes have now lost three of their last four contests, falling to 20-19-9 overall.

Report: Kings, Richards nearing settlement

Mike Richards
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The Los Angeles Kings and Mike Richards may be nearing a settlement in their dispute over Richards’ terminated contract, TSN’s Bob McKenzie is reporting.

You can read the report for all the details, but we’re sure curious about this part:

If a settlement is reached, there’s no word yet on what salary cap penalties the Kings would still face. There’s bound to be something, but not likely as onerous as the full value of Richards’ contract, which carries with it a cap hit of $5.75 million. If there’s a settlement, Richards would undoubtedly become a free agent though there’s no telling at this point what monies he would be entitled to from the Kings in a settlement.

The issue here is precedent, and what this case could set. The NHL and NHLPA can’t allow teams to escape onerous contracts through a back door, and many are adamant that that’s what the Kings were attempting to do in Richards’ case.

Bettman to players: Don’t screw up ‘once-in-a-lifetime opportunity’ with drugs

Gary Bettman
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The NHL wants to take an educational approach — not a punitive one — to deter its players from using illicit drugs like cocaine.

“My interest is not to go around punishing people,” Bettman told Sportsnet today.

“My interest is getting players to understand the consequences of doing something that could jeopardize this great, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that they’ve been given, to play in the NHL.”

While some players have expressed surprise at hearing that cocaine use is growing, the anecdotal evidence of substance abuse has been very much in the news, from Jarret Stoll‘s arrest to Mike Richards’ arrest to, more recently, Zack Kassian‘s placement in the NHL/NHLPA’s treatment program.

“We don’t have the unilateral right to do things here. We need the consent of the Players’ Association,” Bettman said. “It’s not about punishment. It’s about making sure we get it to stop.”

Related: Cocaine in the NHL: A concern, but not a crisis?