Canada cruises to blowout win over Austria

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After Canada’s first game at the Sochi Olympics, there was some concern about chemistry and a lack of offense.

The second game put those fears to rest.

One day after the Canadians slogged through a 3-1 win over Norway, they put forth a complete and dominant effort against an overmatched Austrian squad, winning 6-0 at the Bolshoy Ice Dome. The victory displayed both the speed and goal scoring prowess many expected from Canada at the onset of the tournament.

Los Angeles forward Jeff Carter led the way with a natural hat trick in the second period and San Jose’s Patrick Marleau assisted on all three goals. Carter and Marleau finished with a team-high three points as a result, while Shea Weber and Ryan Getzlaf added two points each.

Roberto Luongo posted a 23-save shutout in his first action of the tournament.

VIDEO: Highlights from Canada’s impressive win

Austria, who came into this tournament as a major underdog, was blown out for the second consecutive game after losing 8-4 to Finland in the tournament opener. While little was expected of the Austrians in Sochi, Friday’s game had to be a disappointment as their three NHL forwards — Michael Raffl, Michael Grabner and Thomas Vanek — failed to score a single point, registered just six shots on goal and finished a combined minus-8.

Goalie Bernhard Starkbaum, who Vanek criticized following the Finland game, gave up six goals on 31 shots before getting hooked after two periods. Mathias Lange played well in relief, stopping all 15 shots in the final frame.

This game, though, was more about Canadian dominance than Austria’s inability to keep pace, and Canada had to be thrilled about getting major production from its blueline for the second straight game. Weber, Drew Doughty and Alex Pietrangelo combined for five points, and that came just one day after Doughty, Weber and Duncan Keith went for four in the win over Norway.

Canada will now take on Finland on Sunday to decide who finishes atop Group B, while Austria will take on Norway in the battle of winless squads.

Video: After blowout loss in Dallas, struggling Sharks off to slow start vs. Predators

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Last night, we asked: What is wrong with the San Jose Sharks?

Well, a day later, with the Sharks looking to avoid a sixth straight loss, the struggle continues.

After a blowout loss last night against the Dallas Stars, the Sharks have fallen behind the Nashville Predators by a score of 2-0 after the opening period.

Colton Sissons opened the scoring for Nashville.

It didn’t get any better for the Sharks.

Roman Josi walked right around Brent Burns, hitting the cross bar with his shot. Cody McLeod was right there for the tap-in to increase Nashville’s lead.

Maple Leafs goalie Andersen suffers upper-body injury vs. Sabres

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Anxious times right now for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Facing the Buffalo Sabres and looking to extend their winning streak, Curtis McElhinney took over in net for Toronto to begin the second period.

Adding to the situation was the fact Frederik Andersen, who started the game, was reportedly not on the bench when the teams came back out following the intermission.

And now we know why. The Leafs have announced Andersen suffered an upper-body injury and will not return.

Andersen faced 16 shots in the opening period, making 14 saves.

The Maple Leafs are third in the Atlantic Division with 85 points.

Video: Ovechkin joins elite company with this goal vs. Coyotes

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Barring a miraculous barrage of goals in the final stretch of games, Alex Ovechkin very likely won’t hit the 50-mark this season.

Now 31 years old, there has been talk that this could be the beginning of the decline for Ovechkin.

But on Saturday, he scored the 30th goal of his season, letting that famous Ovechkin shot rip from his favorite spot on the power play.

For Ovechkin, that’s 12 straight seasons with at least 30 goals scored. He has been consistently prolific since joining the league in 2005-06. He’s an elite player, as everyone has known for years, and he once again joined elite company with this latest goal.

Per the Capitals, Ovechkin joins Mike Gartner and Wayne Gretzky — he was good — as the only three players in NHL history to score at least 30 goals in each of their first 12 seasons in the league.

Sharp to undergo hip surgery, expected recovery is 4-5 months

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Patrick Sharp‘s difficult season is now over.

The Dallas Stars announced on Saturday that the 35-year-old forward will undergo hip surgery on Tuesday. The recovery time, according to the club, is between four and five months.

Sharp is in the final year of a five-year contract with a $5.9 million cap hit, per CapFriendly

“We are going to get the surgery done and let him heal. He’s going to train and let’s take a look at him,” said Stars GM Jim Nill, per NHL.com. “We’ve had conversations. If he comes back, he wants it to be Dallas. He thinks he’s a Dallas Star.”

Not only has Sharp dealt with injuries on the ice, but he is dealing with a personal matter off it.

From the Dallas Morning News:

But in battling through two concussions, hip pain, and his dad’s fight with leukemia, Sharp has shown significant fortitude. The Dallas chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association nominated Sharp Saturday as its candidate for the Bill Masterton Trophy, given each season to a player who displays the attributes of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.

“It shows what kind of person he is and what kind of hockey player and leader he is,” said Stars captain Jamie Benn. “I think that’s why he’s a winner at every level he’s played at. I think that’s why he’s a great leader for this team and a great guy for a lot of these young guys to look up to.”

Sharp was first sidelined with a concussion in October. He was then placed on injured reserve with another concussion in December.

He has been held to just 48 games, with eight goals — his lowest total since the lockout-shortened season — and 18 points.