The San Jose Sharks have been trending upward while the Anaheim Ducks are going in the wrong direction in the Pacific Division title race, and that continued on Thursday.
The Sharks outplayed the Ducks in the third period tonight to squeeze out a 3-2 win in regulation, taking the division lead for at least one night. San Jose has two more standings point but Anaheim holds a game in hand and tiebreaker advantages.
If you weigh the box scores heavily, it seems like the right team won. San Jose generated a 28-18 shot disparity, holding the Ducks to four shots in the opening period and five in the closing frame.
The bigger trends tend to lean the Sharks’ way, too, as they’ve gone 8-1-1 in their last 10 games while Anaheim is slipping in a similar set (4-4-2).
Does that mean the Sharks will take the division crown? Not necessarily; if the two teams’ paths show anything – let alone the NHL playoff races overall – it’s that momentum can shift swiftly. Right now things are clearly going San Jose’s way, though.
Derek Roy will continue his pro career overseas, as he has signed a contract with Bern in the Swiss League.
Roy attended training camp on a professional tryout with the Washington Capitals, but he was unable to claim a spot on their roster.
The 32-year-old had some great years in the NHL, but since the 2011-12 season Roy had suited up for six different teams (excluding his PTO with the Caps).
His best season came in 2007-08 when he scored 32 goals and 81 points in 78 games with the Buffalo Sabres.
Roy will leave the NHL with 189 goals and 524 points in 738 career games.
He will join former NHLers Cory Conacher, Andrew Ebbett, Chuck Kobasew, Simon Moser and Sean Bergenheim in Bern.
They’re just one game into their regular season, but the Buffalo Sabres have already had to shift things around in their crease.
The Sabres announced that they have placed starting goaltender Robin Lehner on injured reserve after he was knocked out of Thursday’s game with a lower-body injury.
In a corresponding move, the club has recalled Nathan Lieuwen from their AHL affiliate in Rochester.
The 24-year-old didn’t play in the NHL last season, but he did have a 1-4-0 record with a 2.98 goals-against-average and a .906 save percentage in seven games during the 2013-14 season.
Lieuwen was Buffalo’s sixth round pick, 167th overall, in the 2011 draft.
The Sabres also announced that they have loaned defenseman Jake McCabe and goaltender Linus Ullmark to the Rochester Americans (AHL).
McCabe was a healthy scratch in Thursday’s game against Ottawa, while Ullmark is being activated off I.R. after having double hip surgery during the off-season.