Canada cruises to blowout win over Austria


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: Wild score four in 5:07 for shock win in Colorado

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Everything was going great for the Avs in their season-opener against Minnesota on Thursday night.

Great until the third period, anyway.

In a stunning and dramatic comeback, the Wild erased a 4-1 deficit in just over five minutes — 5:07 to be exact — scoring four times to steal a 5-4 win at the Pepsi Center.

The comeback started early in the final frame, when Wild captain Zach Parise scored his second of the night at the 5:07 mark. Just over two minutes later, Nino Niederreiter snapped one past Semyon Varlamov to make it 4-3 and then, two minutes after that, Thomas Vanek scored to make it 4-4.

But the Wild weren’t done there.

Parise completed his hat-trick — the third of his career — with a power play marker at the 10:14 mark, an unassisted tally. When the dust finally settled on the 5:07 flurry, the Wild had combined to rack up nine points from eight different skaters.

Prior to the comeback, Colorado dominated proceedings with a goalscoring flurry of its own.

The Avs scored three times in the final seven minutes of the first period — including a pair of power play goals from Jarome Iginla and Erik Johnson — to race out to a (seemingly) commanding 3-0 lead.

Video: Flyers, Bolts confirm 3-on-3 OT is pretty much the greatest thing ever


Well, the NHL’s two new initiatives for ’15-16 seem to be going swimmingly.

Not long after Ottawa successfully made the second-ever coach’s challenge, fans got their first look at 3-on-3 overtime.

And what a look it was.

In the span of 137 seconds, the Tampa Bay Lightning and Philadelphia Flyers combined for eight shots on goal, a few breakaways, some tremendous saves — including one on a penalty shot — and, finally, Jason Garrison‘s game-winning goal on a breakaway from center, giving the Bolts a 3-2 win.

It was, in a word, fun.

Lots of fun.

A quick sampling of reviews:

Of course, not everybody was a fan:

Now, to temper things a bit — this was the first time we’ve seen 3-on-3 with something on the line, so there was a novelty factor at play. There’s also no guaranteeing future OT sessions will be as exciting as this.

But none of that takes away from the fact 3-on-3 made for appointment viewing, and immense entertainment value. The prospect of future games like this? That’s pretty exciting.