Brad Richardson, Evgeni Nabokov, Kevin Bieksa

Vanquished: Isles stun Canucks with seven-goal third period

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Vancouver Canucks GM Mike Gillis might need to send out another letter to embattled fans after the latest bit of soul-crushing drama for this team.

The Canucks took a 3-0 lead into a third period with things looking up – hey, Henrik Sedin finally scored! – yet that all came crumbling down as the Isles out-scored the Canucks 7-1 in a third period that almost seems like it could only happen to this Vancouver team.

Keep in mind this is an Islanders team that no longer boasts John Tavares (injury) or Thomas Vanek (trade).

Of note: the Islanders tied a franchise record with three power-play goals while the Canucks tied a dubious franchise record by allowing seven goals in a single period.

A closer look at that meltdown

For the sake of space and slower Internet connections, let’s throw out video of the lone Canucks goal (Christopher Tanev, which briefly tied things up) and the seventh Islanders goal (because it was an empty-netter) and glance at the six Islanders goals of note.

First, here are the three goals that tied things up.

Josh Bailey began the turnaround 1:13 into the third:

The three-minute mark was perhaps the ugliest. Ryan Strome scored at the 3:14 mark and then Calvin de Haan briefly tied things up 22 seconds later:

At the 6:22 mark, Frans Nielsen scored his 20th goal of the season to give the Islanders a 4-3 lead that lasted about three and a half minutes:

Again, Tanev made it 4-4, but Matt Martin scored the game-winner just 10 seconds later (10:04 into the third):

Anders Lee made it 6-4 not that much later (11:45 into the final frame, to be exact):

And then Clutterbuck scored that empty-netter.

So, beyond those franchise record-tying stats mentioned earlier, here are a couple other quick notes from that mind-numbing third period:

  • The Islanders scored four goals to make it 4-3 in less than five and a half minutes
  • The Canucks tied it … for 10 seconds.
  • New York’s game-winning and insurance goals came about a minute and a half apart.
  • Lack allowed six goals on 15 shots.

***

After a recent loss, Kevin Bieksa wondered “if this isn’t rock bottom, I don’t know what is.” That answer is pretty clear after this loss.

(At least they hope so.)

Sens announce Frattin, acquired in Phaneuf deal, will stick with AHL Marlies

Matt Frattin
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Matt Frattin was traded by the Leafs to Ottawa yesterday as part of the Dion Phaneuf blockbuster.

But for now, he’s staying in Toronto.

On Wednesday, Sens GM Bryan Murray announced that Frattin will remain with the Leafs’ AHL affiliate — the Toronto Marlies — on loan, but will be available for selection should Ottawa require his services down the road.

Frattin, 28, has spent all of this season with the Marlies, scoring nine goals and 22 points in 47 games. His last NHL appearance came during the ’14-15 campaign, with the Leafs.

Prior to that, the former North Dakota standout had spent time in Los Angeles and Columbus.

 

Gaudreau, Monahan, Bouma express remorse after benching

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One day after getting benched for showing up late for practice — following an “epic” Super Bowl party, per Sportsnet — Calgary forwards Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan and Lance Bouma apologized for their actions.

“We want to apologize to the organization, the coaches, our team especially, and the city of Calgary and the fans,” Gaudreau said, per the team’s Twitter account. “For us not to show up like that, and miss a game like that, it’s not professional on our part.”

“I’m a young guy and I’m a leader on this team,” Monahan added. “I’ve got to step up and take that back and earn that respect again.”

More on what transpired at Tuesday’s practice, from Sportsnet’s Mark Spector:

Calgary Flames head coach Bob Hartley did his best to keep an epic Super Bowl party under wraps. But two of his players — Lance Bouma and Sean Monahan — arrived at the Saddledome at 10:15 am for a 10:30 Monday morning practice, and those two barely beat Johnny Gaudreau in the Saddledome doors.

Then practice started, and in the words of Calgary winger David Jones: “It’s a little embarrassing when we’re not (making) five-foot passes.”

“I think (Hartley) was pretty pissed off.”

The trio was then subsequently benched for last night’s game against Toronto, which the Flames won 4-3.

Afterward, Hartley downplayed the incident, saying “it’s not like they robbed a bank,” before adding “they’re great kids.”

WATCH LIVE: Rangers at Penguins on Rivalry Night

New York Rangers v Pittsburgh Penguins - Game Three
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Tonight, the New York Rangers are in Pittsburgh to take on the Penguins at Consol, in a rematch of the ’14 and ’15 playoffs (the Blueshirts eliminated the Pens from each of the last two postseasons, you’ll recall.)

You can catch the game at 8 p.m. ET on NBCSN, or watch live online with NBC Sports’ Live Extra.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

Some relevant linkage for tonight’s tilt:

NHL on NBCSN: Rangers, Penguins renew acquaintances on Rivalry Night

Rangers ‘are doing a lot of good things’

‘I wonder if that’s Crosby, what happens?’ — AV upset after McDonagh concussed by Simmonds

Malkin (lower body) to miss rest of week

Crosby, Karlsson and Trocheck are NHL’s three stars of the week

Report: With Byfuglien sticking in Winnipeg, Kings ‘may now turn their attention’ to Ladd

Andrew Ladd, Anze Kopitar
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Maybe Dean Lombardi and Kevin Cheveldayoff still have something to discuss after all.

Sure, those Dustin Byfuglien-to-Los Angeles rumors are now dead — On Monday, Big Buff signed a five-year, $38 million extension with the Jets  — but a new rumor has emerged, one that suggests the Kings are interested in another of Winnipeg’s pending UFAs:

Andrew Ladd.

More, from the Free Press:

The common thinking now regarding Ladd is with Byfuglien now committed to a new five-year, US$38-million extension, the window to re-sign the captain is being slammed shut, especially knowing the young core of Mark Scheifele, Jacob Trouba and Adam Lowry all become restricted free agents this summer and will earn raises.

[Cheveldayoff], not surprisingly, offered no hints Monday after the Byfuglien announcement. Sources say the Jets and Ladd’s camp have kept communication open, but that hardly means a deal is close to getting done. In fact, if anything, the Byfuglien signing has only cranked up more Ladd speculation, including rumours the Los Angeles Kings — who were also thought to be in on any potential Byfuglien trade discussion — may now turn their attention to the Jets captain.

Ladd’s currently in the last of a five-year, $22 million deal with a $4.4M cap hit and, per TSN senior correspondent Gary Lawless, is seeking a six-year extension “with an average annual value north of $6 million.”

Which explains why the Jets might be forced to move him.

That L.A. is in the mix shouldn’t come as a surprise. Lombardi has a history of swinging for the fences with his deadline acquisitions — Jeff Carter, Marian Gaborik and Andrej Sekera, to name a few — and Ladd has a ton of postseason experience, with two Stanley Cups on his resume.

Report: Jets, Ladd break off contract talks