LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 31: Jonathan Quick #32 of the Los Angeles Kings makes a save against the Minnesota Wild at Staples Center on March 31, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.

Sutter close to overseeing fourth Jennings Trophy with third team


With the 2013-14 campaign almost over, the Los Angeles Kings have an edge in the race for the Jennings Trophy. The award goes to the goalie(s) that play in at least 25 games with the team that allows the least goals in the regular season.

Los Angeles is a bit of a unique case in that regard because Jonathan Quick would be the sole recipient despite the fact that he’s only appeared in only 46 contests. That’s because Martin Jones and Ben Scrivens have split the other 32 starts fairly evenly. Scrivens was dealt to the Edmonton Oilers in January.

Jones and Scrivens deserve a lot of the credit for putting the Kings in the running for this award, but there’s no question that the team’s starting goaltender has been dominant with a 2.03 GAA and .916 save percentage.

As an interesting note, if the Kings do win, it will be the fourth time that Darryl Sutter has coached a team to that award. He previously oversaw Chicago claiming the distinction in 1993 and 1996 and then Calgary in 2006.

“I think that’s pretty interesting considering…probably at the quarter-pole, I don’t know if we’d be in the top-10,” Sutter told LA Kings Insider. “So we’ve come along pretty good. Give credit to everybody.”

The Kings don’t have one of the more successful offenses in the NHL, so they’ve relied on their superior defense and goaltending to get by. So far it has served them decently as the team is set to make the playoffs as the Pacific Division’s third seed.

The Boston Bruins and St. Louis Blues are also still in the running for the award.

Vatrano presence: Bruins edge Red Wings in overtime

Frank Vatrano David Krejci

The Boston Bruins keep flipping the script.

In Wednesday’s case, it swerved to a “Cinderella” story, as little-known forward Frank Vatrano scored two of Boston’s three goals – including the overtime clincher – as the B’s beat the Detroit Red Wings 3-2 (OT).

Here’s his first goal of the night:

While this is his overtime game-winner:

It wasn’t a perfect night for the 21-year-old, yet it may have been a convincing one.

The Bruins continue to begin a month on a sour note before ending up with impressive sprees.

October: 0-3-0 start, finished month with four straight wins and victories in six of seven contests.

November: 0-3-0 start, losses in four of five; currently on a four-game winning strek with victories in five of six.

Boston faces a challenge in closing this month out against the Rangers on Friday, and it’s possible that this trend may continue, as they begin December with a three-game road trip through Western Canada.

More than anything else, the safest bet with the Bruins is for ups and downs.

Crosby roars, Malkin scores in OT for Penguins win

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Controversy just seems to find the Pittsburgh Penguins. Credit Sidney Crosby & Co. for responding with a win on Wednesday.

Crosby generated two pretty goals, including this slam-dunk slapper:

… While Evgeni Malkin‘s overtime-winner stood as the Penguins managed a 4-3 overtime win against the St. Louis Blues tonight.

(You can see Malkin’s OT-clincher in the video above this post.)

Will this win and strong performance from Crosby silence murmurs about his relationship with Mario Lemieux? Probably not, yet it likely turns the volume down in some ways, including killing the “Is he struggling because of distractions” storyline.

You know, at least for a little while. Maybe.

Fight video: Claude Giroux vs. Nick Leddy


Claude Giroux isn’t the nastiest, most physical captain the Philadelphia Flyers have employed. Even so, he can be feisty at times.

Wednesday showed that, as he clearly wasn’t happy with an earlier Nick Leddy hit, and eventually got the New York Islanders defenseman to drop his gloves.

You can see the fight and the check that inspired that scrap in the video above.

It’s the fourth fight Giroux has been a part of, with his most recent adversary being may his most bitter rival.

Not a heavyweight bout between Giroux and Leddy, mind you, but sometimes it’s amusing to soak in such a rare sight.

Update: The fight may have inspired the Islanders more than the Flyers, as they bested Philly 3-1 on Wednesday.

Carter Hutton gets flipped, stays in game

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Carter Hutton is getting something that might make fellow Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne jealous: goal support.

Still, there was at least one moment where Rinne was likely happy to be on the bench, as Hutton was left flipping during this collision with Buffalo Sabres forward Marcus Foligno:

Remarkably, Hutton remained in the game.

If you’re the type who loves adding to your “hockey players are tough” files, put this under the goalies section.

Check out this incredible shot of that moment:

Update: The Predators held off the Buffalo Sabres to win 3-2.