PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
As if the Detroit Red Wings didn’t have enough injury problems, 21-year-old forward Tomas Jurco (rib) will be out for at least 10-14 days. (Detroit Free Press)
Editor’s Note: Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a $1,500 Fantasy Hockey league for Thursday’s NHL games. It’s $10 to join and first prize is $350. Starts Thursday at 7:00 p.m. ET. Here’s the FanDuel link.
By signing 21-year-old forward Evgeny Kuznetsov and having him join Washington now, the Capitals are burning through the first season of his two-year, entry-level contract. While that’s not ideal for the team, GM George McPhee feels it’s worth the risk. On top of that, as McPhee noted, Kuznetsov could have merely stayed in the KHL and made far more money in the short-term, so the Capitals aren’t the only ones taking a chance. (CSN Washington)
Hall of Fame goaltender Ken Dryden thinks fighting in hockey is a “distraction.” (Calgary Sun)
Ottawa forward Mika Zibanejad might have the hardest shot in the Senators’ franchise history. If nothing else, he broke the team’s record during their skills competition. (Ottawa Citizen)
As part of the Tampa Bay Lightning’s efforts to grow their fanbase in a non-traditional hockey market, owner Jeff Vinik is hosting a Hockey 101 seminar. The event is also to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Lightning’s Stanley Cup championship and will include a showing of Game 7 of Tampa Bay’s series against Calgary. (Tampa Bay Times)
The Dallas Stars versus Columbus Blue Jackets’ game that was postponed on Monday hasn’t been rescheduled yet, but the open dates are March 31 and April 9. The contest was delayed in light of the scary cardiac event that Rich Peverley suffered. (Dallas Morning News)
Here are the highlights from Boston’s 4-1 win over Montreal:
The Pittsburgh Penguins ended a long run of playoff overtime struggles on Wednesday … and are now one win away from ending the Washington Capitals’ season.
Many expected the Penguins to crater on defense without Kris Letang (they were 2-8-1 in the regular season without him). While there were shaky moments, Pittsburgh emphasized its speed and other strengths in taking a 3-2 overtime thriller against Washington.
With that, the Penguins’ series lead grows to 3-1.
It was a thrilling, sometimes nasty contest, from Sidney Crosby shaking off an Alex Ovechkin slash, to Evgeni Malkin delivering a hit some thought was over the line and plenty of typical playoff skirmishes.
Ultimately, Matt Murray played another strong game and Patric Hornqvist scored the overtime-winner to put the Capitals in a tough spot.
The Penguins lost their previous eight playoff overtime games, so maybe it was just a matter of time before such a game went their way?
Then again, the history between the two teams is a little different:
If the Capitals want to advance beyond the second round for the first time in the Ovechkin era, they’ll need to accomplish quite the feat against arguably the hottest team in the NHL.
Sidney Crosby is known to get fiery, but even for his feisty standards, he was furious during the third period of Game 4.
An Alex Ovechkin slash caught Crosby on the hand, leaving the Pittsburgh Penguins star shaking his mitt and pleading for a call.
After that, Crosby left to get his hand looked at … but not before flipping out and destroying his stick.
You can watch it happen in the GIF and the videos above.
Crosby was able to return not that long after that moment, although we can only speculate regarding how his overall game will be affected if his hand isn’t 100 percent.
Tensions seem to rise with every passing game in the playoffs, particularly in a series with bad blood like the one between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals.
Kris Letang was suspended for his hit in Game 3, and some wonder if Evgeni Malkin should suffer a similar fate for his check on Daniel Winnik on Wednesday.
Winnik left the contest and has not yet returned during the third period.
Take a look at the hit in the video above and decide for yourself.
Fires devastated the Canadian city of Fort McMurray, and the St. Louis Blues are doing their part to help those who were affected.
Here’s what the team is doing to raise money during Game 4 against the Dallas Stars:
Proceeds raised through the team’s 50/50 raffle and the Blues for Kids silent auction will benefit families who have been misplaced by the fires.
Blues forward Scottie Upshall shared his thoughts with the Associated Press regarding several family members being among those evacuated from the area.
“It’s been a great city, a city that’s survived for many years through some tough times and for me, growing up there doesn’t seem too long ago,” Upshall said. “Places that probably aren’t standing anymore will be really, really tough to take. But as long as everyone’s OK, that’s the main thing.”
Other people from around the hockey world weighed in on the scary scene, including Ottawa Senators defenseman Chris Phillips, who told the Ottawa Citizen that “it hurts a lot.”
People shared some scary sights from the evacuation.