Colorado Avalanche v Montreal Canadiens

Vanek, Habs explode in third, ruin Roy’s return to Montreal


Thomas Vanek managed just one assist in his first five games with the Montreal Canadiens, but he likely silenced any critics in a big way on Tuesday (and soiled Patrick Roy’s coaching debut in Montreal in the process).

Vanek generated his first goal and hat trick with the Habs as Montreal exploded with a 4-1 third period to beat the Colorado Avalanche 6-3 tonight. The 30-year-old scored the game-winner and the 5-3 insurance tally before an empty-netter gave Montreal three unanswered goals.

Here’s each clip from Vanek’s hat trick:

The Canadiens are now on a three-game winning streak, with Carey Price grabbing two of those victories. (That last part probably matters most to Montreal.)

If this is Jean-Sebastien Giguere’s final game in Montreal, it didn’t finish very well, as he allowed five goals on 35 shots (and three on 12 in the final frame). The rest of Tuesday’s action will determine if this burns a little extra for Patrick Roy, as the Chicago Blackhawks are also in action.

Blue Jackets’ Wennberg done for night with upper-body injury

Alexander Wennberg, Jay Bouwmeester
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It wouldn’t be a regular season game without a Columbus Blue Jackets injury, right?

OK, the Blue Jackets hope that 2015-16 looks different from the medically challenged mess of last season, but at least one player is banged up tonight.

Alexander Wennberg suffered an upper-body injury and won’t return on Friday, as the team noted.

There’s no word yet regarding how serious the issue might be. It looks like he might have suffered an injury thanks to a Chris Kreider check:

Naturally, the Blue Jackets must hope that this doesn’t begin another trend.

Kings grab goalie insurance by signing Budaj

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 22: Jhonas Enroth #1 and Peter Budaj #31 of the Los Angeles Kings stretch before a game against the Arizona Coyotes at STAPLES Center on September 22, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NHLI via Getty Images)
via Los Angeles Kings
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In slightly less interesting Los Angeles Kings news than the latest in the Mike Richards fiasco, the team handed Peter Budaj a one-year, two-way deal on Friday.

The veteran goalie’s contract pays $575K on the NHL level and $100K in the AHL (though it’s $150K guaranteed), according to Hockey’s Cap.

At the moment, it sounds like Budaj will be third on the Kings’ goalie depth chart. That says as much about how things have been going lately for Los Angeles than Budaj’s work on a PTO.

As noted above, one of the more significant moves in Budaj’s favor came when the New York Islanders claimed Jean-Francois Berube off of waivers this week.

The Kings actually waived Budaj before signing him, so this has to be a relief to a goalie with a fairly robust resume as a backup.

All apologies to Budaj, but it’s probably true that the Kings would prefer not to see him at the NHL level very often in 2015-16.