Not a banner night for Karri Ramo of the Calgary Flames and Ilya Bryzgalov of the Edmonton Oilers.
Ramo was pulled just six minutes into the second period after giving up three goals on just 12 shots against the visiting Nashville Predators. The low moment came on a dump-in during the second period, when the puck bounced off Ramo right to Eric Nystrom, who buried his second of the night to that point.
In Edmonton, the Oilers fell behind the Phoenix Coyotes by four goals, after Bryzgalov made only 12 saves on 16 shots faced. The Oilers weren’t necessarily outplayed in the opening period, but Phoenix got three goals in four minutes and two seconds to take complete control.
It didn’t get any better for Bryzgalov, who was kept in the game to begin the second. Mike Ribeiro scored on a deflection three minutes into the middle period to give Phoenix the four-goal cushion.
Adding to the Oilers’ struggles: defenseman Andrew Ference has left the game with a head injury and will not return, according to Derek Van Diest of the Edmonton Sun.
Robin Lehner might not be back anytime soon.
Making his debut with the Buffalo Sabres, the 24-year-old goaltender couldn’t complete Thursday’s game against his former squad, the Ottawa Senators, due to what has now been revealed to be a right leg injury.
When he left the arena, he was wearing a walking boot on that nearly went up to his knee.
“It doesn’t look like it’s short term,” Sabres coach Dan Bylsma told the Buffalo News. “It’s more than day-to-day at this point, but we need to evaluate further.”
It’s a rocky start to what’s an important campaign for Lehner. He has been given an opportunity to demonstrate that he’s ready to be a starting goaltender after being acquired by the Sabres over the summer, but it looks like that will have to be postponed.
While he’s sidelined, Chad Johnson is likely to be leaned on heavily.
Brad Stuart wasn’t on the ice for the first game of his two-year, $7.2 million contract and it had nothing to do with his health.
Avalanche coach Patrick Roy felt Stuart simply wasn’t one of the six best defensemen in training camp and consequently he wasn’t in the lineup, per the Denver Post.
“Things could change for the next game,” Roy offered. “Like I said (Wednesday), we’re going to use those eight D all year long. (Last night was) just the first game of the season.”
Perhaps, but it’s still a terrible indicator, especially given that Stuart will turn 36 on Nov. 6. Stuart is a veteran of over 1,000 games, but now the question is if he has enough left in the tank to provide Colorado with much value.
The Avalanche also scratched defenseman Brandon Gormley, who was acquired from the Coyotes in exchange for Stefan Elliott. The hope was that both players would benefit from the change in scenery. Gormley was taken with the 13th overall pick of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, but has only played in 32 career NHL games.