Florida Panthers Opening Night with Vincent J. Viola

Michael Lewis’ new book could be bad timing for Panthers’ new owner

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A new book by Michael Lewis, the author who brought the baseball world Moneyball and the football world The Blind Side, could have an effect on the fortunes of one of hockey’s newest owners.

From the Irish Times:

The release of Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt comes after years of public debate over the lightning-fast trading systems which have grown to dominate a fractured terrain where multiple exchanges and bank-run trading platforms compete for orders.

In the two weeks before publication of Mr Lewis’s book, Goldman Sachs has suddenly thrown its weight behind market reform after years of investment in HFT and has also taken the highly unusual step of telling staff to publicise its support for a competing trading platform.

Some market executives have even discussed with Virtu Financial, an HFT outfit preparing the first IPO of a global proprietary trading firm, postponing its share sale amid heightened scrutiny of its core business. Virtu declined to comment, but its roadshow is expected to kick off next week.

Virtu, if you thought you’d read that name before on PHT, was founded by Vincent Viola, the new owner of the Florida Panthers. Just a few weeks ago, the Wall Street Journal wrote the following about the company’s planned IPO:

High-frequency trading could soon officially mint its first billionaire.

Vincent “Vinnie” Viola, the founder of Virtu Financial Inc., could have his stake valued at around $2 billion once the company sells shares to the public, according to two people familiar with the matter.

We’re quite certain Viola won’t be out on the street if Virtu’s IPO doesn’t go perfectly, but certainly the timing of the book’s release isn’t fantastic.

Related: Panthers owner: ‘We intend on being in the free agent market in a significant way’

Game on: Penguins even series with rival Capitals

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The Pittsburgh Penguins will head back home with a split of their second-round series with the rival Washington Capitals.

Former Capitals forward Eric Fehr came back to burn his hold team, as he scored with under five minutes remaining in regulation to help lift the Penguins over Washington with a 2-1 victory in an eventful Game 2 on Saturday. Evgeni Malkin threw the puck toward the net and Fehr was able to re-direct it by Braden Holtby.

Oh, this was an eventful game, indeed.

It started early in the first period with Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik catching Penguins blue liner Olli Maatta with a late and high hit that warranted — at least for now — only a minor penalty for interference. Maatta, clearly in distress following the hit, didn’t play another shift and saw only 31 seconds of ice time in total, as Pittsburgh was reduced to five defensemen for the remainder of the game.

It continued in the third period. Kris Letang was furious after getting called for a trip on Justin Williams, and even more ticked off when the Capitals tied the game on the ensuing power play.

For two periods, the Capitals couldn’t get much going. Only four of their players had registered a shot on goal through 40 minutes, while the Penguins held the edge in that department and held the lead.

Washington came out with more jump in the third period, testing rookie netminder Matt Murray with 14 shots in the final 20 minutes. But the Penguins got the late goal to break the deadlock.

Video: Penguins’ Letang was furious after Capitals tie up Game 2 with power play goal

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Kris Letang watched from the penalty box as the Washington Capitals tied up Game 2 with a power play goal in the third period. The Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman was called for tripping after he appeared to muscle Justin Williams off the puck as he entered the zone.

Letang let his disagreement with the call be known at the time, and was furious after the Capitals capitalized on a goal from Marcus Johansson.

The Capitals started the period down a goal and being outshot 28-10 by the Penguins, who need a win to even the series.

Also, it seems this is worth mentioning:

Video: Hagelin goes top shelf to give Penguins the lead in Game 2

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In their quest to even the series, the Pittsburgh Penguins had done a nice job through two periods of suffocating the Washington Capitals, while gaining the lead on a beautiful goal.

Carl Hagelin took advantage of a vast amount of space that opened up in front of the Washington net, finishing off a nice pass from Nick Bonino, burying his shot just under the cross bar on the glove side of Braden Holtby.

Through two periods, the Penguins were outshooting Washington 28-10. Only four Capitals players — Alex Ovechkin, T.J. Oshie, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Matt Niskanen — had registered shots on goal.

Video: Orpik penalized after catching Maatta with late, high hit

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The Pittsburgh Penguins were without defenseman Olli Maatta for most of the first period of Game 2 after he was on the receiving end of a high, late hit from Washington Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik.

The hit occurred early in the first period, well after Maatta had gotten rid of the puck on a rush into the Washington zone.

Maatta, who nearly fell over as he tried to stand back up, was in obvious distress as he went to the dressing room. Orpik was given a minor penalty for interference on the play.