Close again, but the Vancouver Canucks suffered another loss to all but dash their playoff hopes.
The Canucks got two goals from Alex Burrows – he now has five goals in his last four games after going 35 games without – but still fell to the Tampa Bay Lightning by a final score of 4-3 on Monday.
Jannik Hansen scored short handed to get Vancouver to within a goal – twice in this game they trailed by three goals – but they couldn’t complete the comeback. The loss keeps them in the 10th spot in the Western Conference, three points back of the current eighth-place holders, the Dallas Stars. Dallas now has four games in hand on Vancouver.
It was another case of the Canucks not being able to finish their chances, and not being able to keep the puck out of their own net. The two goals they allowed in the second period went off Vancouver defenseman Ryan Stanton. Seconds before each of those goals, the Canucks had chances to score on Ben Bishop at the other end, but couldn’t.
The winning goal was also one goalie Eddie Lack would probably like to have back, as Tom Pyatt scored through the five-hole of Lack on a shot from a bad angle, giving Tampa Bay a 4-1 lead.
“We didn’t get points and we needed points. That’s it,” said Canucks head coach John Tortorella, as per the club’s Twitter account.
There was also no update on defenseman Chris Tanev, who left the game early in the second period.
He did not return to the game. In the first period, he blocked a pair of Steven Stamkos slap shot, although it’s not yet known if that’s what took him from the game.
For a little more than a minute, Brandon Saad was going to be the story of the Columbus Blue Jackets’ opener. Instead, his power-play goal merely got the ball rolling on a flabbergasting finish.
The New York Rangers scored three goals in 1:17 of game time to manage a 4-2 win.
They’ve now spoiled home openers for the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets to begin their 2015-16 season.
It might be easiest just to show you when the goals were scored, noting that the third period began with a 1-1 tie.
Brandon Saad power-play goal: 16:10 into third period (2-1 Columbus)
Oscar Lindberg: 17:24 (2-2 tie)
Kevin Hayes: 17:41 (3-2 Rangers)
Mats Zuccarello: 18:41 (4-2 Rangers)
Yikes. Zuccarello scored two of the Rangers’ goals, while a beauty by Cam Atkinson is likely long forgotten.
This post will be updated if there’s video of that staggering sequence.
Mike Babcock admitted that there might be a painful transformation as he tries to fix the Toronto Maple Leafs.
His old friends made that abundantly, painfully clear on Friday.
As of this writing, the Detroit Red Wings are up 4-0 on the Buds. Justin Abdelkader just completed a hat trick with James Reimer in net, so the subplot isn’t just about Jonathan Bernier having another tough start.
The big story might just be Detroit’s varied new line of Abdelkader, Dylan Larkin (who scored his first career goal) and Henrik Zetterberg. At the moment, they’ve combined for seven points.
This post will be updated if Detroit’s tribute video to Babcock surfaces.
Really, though, this beating has been about as ugly as this blanket so far.
Here’s video of Abdelkader’s hat trick: