Tomas Fleischmann might have nightmares about this one later on.
The Florida Panthers’ forward looked like he had a sure goal against the L.A. Kings on a rebound off the end boards in the second period of Saturday’s game. He was able to get a backhand away, with the puck sailing on its way into an empty net.
Not so fast.
Kings’ goalie Jonathan Quick quickly pushed back to his left, doing the splits, to make a miraculous desperation glove save and keep the Panthers off the board.
The save wasn’t just spectacular but important, too. The Panthers, on a power play, had a chance to cut the Kings’ two-goal lead in half early in the second period and perhaps make a game of this one. Instead, the Kings powered their way to a 4-0 victory.
The save appropriately highlighted Quick’s 172nd NHL win, which put him past Rogie Vachon for the most in Kings history.
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 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.