WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 20: Beau Bennett #19 of the Pittsburgh Penguins skates down the ice against the Washington Capitals at the Verizon Center on November 20, 2013 in Washington, DC.

Pens’ Bennett undergoes wrist surgery, out four months


Another day, another Penguin undergoing major offseason surgery.

This time, it’s sophomore forward Beau Bennett, who following the team’s playoff exit told reporters he’d be undergoing surgery on a bothersome wrist injury — per the Post-Gazette, that procedure happened today and will sideline Bennett for the next four months.

Bennett missed 61 games this year with the injury — that never fully healed — and, last week, acknowledged the ailment rendered him ineffective in the Pens’ second-round loss to New York.

“I don’t want to make any excuses,” he said, per NHL.com. “The wrist thing, it is what it is. I tried to play as hard as I could and the Ranger games, I was useless out there, to be honest.

“I was just trying to get the puck deep. I couldn’t make plays, couldn’t push on guys.’”

Bennett, the 20th overall pick at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, has shown flashes of good scoring ability during his first two years in the league (21 points in 47 games), and Pittsburgh certainly could’ve used his offense against the Rangers. The Pens finished series by scoring just three goals on Henrik Lundqvist in the final three games and only 14 goals over the course of the full seven.

Bennett finished with no goals and one assist against the Blueshirts.

As mentioned above, Bennett is just the latest Penguin to go under the knife. Prospect Derrick Pouliot had shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum on Wednesday and, earlier today, blueliner Olli Maatta underwent the same procedure on his shoulder. Both are expected to miss the next 4-6 months rehabbing.


Columbus collapse: Rangers spoil Blue Jackets’ opener

Jarret Stoll, Mats Zuccarello
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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 now 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.

Welcome back, Babs: Red Wings chase Bernier

Mike Babcock
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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.

Here’s video of Abdelkader’s hat trick: