CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 12: Patrick Sharp #10 of the Chicago Blackhawks and Cody Hodgson #19 of the Buffalo Sabres skate up the ice during the NHL game on October 12, 2013 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois.

NHL on NBCSN: Hawks know they can’t take Sabres lightly


NBCSN continues its coverage of the 2013-14 campaign tonight when the Buffalo Sabres host the Chicago Blackhawks at the First Niagara Center at 7:30 p.m. ET. In addition to NBCSN, you can also watch the game online.

On paper this is an obvious mismatch. The Sabres were the league’s worst team even before they traded away Ryan Miller, Steve Ott, Matt Moulson, and Brayden McNabb and they’re up against a Blackhawks squad that they haven’t beaten since Dec. 11, 2009.

At the same time, Buffalo has managed to post a 4-2-0 record since the Olympic break. That’s due in large part to goalie Jhonas Enroth, who has a 2.00 GAA and .950 save percentage in three games following the Miller trade. They’ve also leaned on defenseman Tyler Myers, who has six points in five contests.

There’s no question that the Blackhawks are still the heavy favorites to win tonight, but they can’t take Buffalo lightly either.

“We have to be respectful,” Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville told CSN Chicago. “We approached the Columbus game the right way and have to have the same type of attitude going into tomorrow’s game. When you look at the standings, what’s at stake, every game will have some meaning.”

In Chicago’s case, the Central Division title is what’s still at stake. Now that the St. Louis Blues have Miller, they’ve opened up a four-point lead on the Blackhawks despite having played in one less contest. They also have to be weary of the third place Colorado Avalanche, which are just one point shy of them.

Just as important for Chicago though is finding motivation to maintain a high level of play now that its playoff spot is all-but secured. The Blackhawks did a great job last season when it came to competing hard until the end of the regular season despite the fact that they realistically could have just coasted after getting off to a 21-0-3 start and probably still ended up with a high seed.

Instead they were able to carry that momentum all the way into the playoffs and use it to propel them to a Stanley Cup championship.

So while there’s no question that Chicago can survive no matter what happens tonight, this would still be a terrible time to start easing up against opponents they should be beating.

Julien explains comments about Lundqvist’s ‘acting’

Claude Julien

We’re now over two days removed from last Friday’s tilt between the Bruins and the Rangers, but the coaches from both teams seem unwilling to move on.

Moments after that game, Claude Julien claimed that Henrik Lundqvist did some “acting” on the ice to sell a goalie interference call on Brad Marchand.

On Saturday, Alain Vigneault fired back by saying that Julien needed to get his eyesight checked. Vigneault also compared Aaron Rome’s hit on Nathan Horton in the 2011 Stanley Cup final to Matt Beleskey’s hit on Derek Stepan in Friday’s game.

Now it was Julien’s turn to address the “issue” at hand.

Julien clarified his original comment about Lundqvist and he also tackled some of Vigneault’s comments.

“I think it’s pretty obvious what I said . . . I thought Lundqvist sold it,” said Julien. “Not for a second did I ever question Henrik Lundqvist as a person, or a goaltender or any of that. We all know how good he is as a goaltender, and I know he’s a good person. I’ve met him at the All-Star games and all that stuff.

Julien on his eyesight: “As far as my eyes, I’m not the one that compared Beleskey’s hit to Aaron Rome’s [hit]. We’ll just leave it at that.”

It’s time for both sides to move on.

Good news: Colaiacovo traveling with Sabres

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It was a scary sight.

Carlo Colaiacovo fell to his hands and knees after taking a cross-check to the throat from Predators forward Viktor Arvidsson (above).

Arvidsson received a five-minute major and a game misconduct, while Colaiacovo suffered a dented trachea on the play.

After the game, both Dan Bylsma and Peter Laviolette agreed that there was no malicious intent on Arvidsson’s part.

“I don’t think there was intent there to maliciously cross-check,” Bylsma said. “They kind of lose the puck, turn and his stick is right at that level and delivers a blow. When you look at it, it’s a pretty stiff cross-check to Carlo’s neck.”

“It was tough for Arvidsson,” said Laviolette. “I don’t think he had any bad intentions. He just ran into somebody and the stick got caught a little bit high, but just a tough turn of events.”

The Sabres defenseman left the game and was treated at a nearby hospital, but there is some good news to report.

According to the Buffalo News, Colaiacovo was released from hospital and he was able to travel to Detroit with his teammates.

It’s unclear how long he’ll be out.

Start the Carr: Habs recall another player from the minors

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There’s been a lot of movement between Montreal and Saint John’s lately and that continued on Sunday.

This time, it’s forward Daniel Carr who’ll be getting a stint with the big club.

Carr has no prior NHL experience.

The 24-year-old spent four years at Union College before joining the Canadiens organization as an undrafted free agent.

In his first season as a pro, Carr scored 24 goals (led the team) and 39 points in 76 AHL games with the Hamilton Bulldogs in 2014-15.

This year, Carr has seven goals and 15 points in 20 games.

Montreal is without forwards Torrey Mitchell, Brendan Gallagher and Alexander Semin.

Campbell’s perfect snipe sinks Wings in OT


Brian Campbell doesn’t score as many points as he used to, but he came up with a huge goal against the Red Wings on Sunday afternoon.

With the game tied, 1-1, in overtime, Campbell skated into the slot and beat Petr Mrazek with a perfect wrister to end the game.

It was also a pretty nice passing play between Jussi Jokinen, Jonathan Huberdeau and Campbell.

Dylan Larkin opened the scoring in the second period before Reilly Smith leveled the score with just over five minutes remaining.

The Wings have blown a lead in three straight games.

Detroit was up 2-0 and 3-2 in their last game, against Edmonton, before they finally closed the game out with an overtime goal by Niklas Kronwall.

They weren’t so fortunate against the Bruins on Wednesday, as they lost 3-2 in OT after leading 2-1 with under two minutes remaining in regulation.

This was the first meeting of the season between Detroit and Florida, but they’ll see each other three times between Feb. 4 and Mar. 19.