The New York Rangers said all the right things about avoiding making the same mistakes from Game 4 in Game 5, yet Chris Kreider continued the early penalty trend by taking a tripping minor 22 seconds into the contest. This time around, the Montreal Canadiens made the Rangers pay as Alex Galchenyuk tipped a blazing P.K. Subban shot:
After going 1-for-8 in Game 4, the Canadiens are already 1-for-1 on the power play so far. That could be a key confidence booster; the common denominator for both power-play goals was Subban’s dangerous shot.
Perhaps it’s not just a confidence booster for the Habs’ man advantage, either. NBCSN flashed a graphic that underscores how rare it is for Montreal to have an early lead in this series. Here’s how long each team played with a lead this series from a game-by-game perspective:
Game 1: Rangers lead for 55:25; no lead time for Habs
Game 2: Rangers led for 41 minutes and two seconds; Canadiens held a lead for 17 seconds
Game 3: Rangers had a lead for 8:02; Canadiens held lead(s) for 2:33
Game 4: Rangers had lead(s) for 24:46; no lead time for Habs
The first goal hasn’t been everything, but it’s a big deal, particularly for defensive-minded head coach Michel Therrien.
Well, the NHL’s two new initiatives for ’15-16 seem to be going swimmingly.
Not long after Ottawa successfully made the second-ever coach’s challenge, fans got their first look at 3-on-3 overtime.
And what a look it was.
In the span of 137 seconds, the Tampa Bay Lightning and Philadelphia Flyers combined for eight shots on goal, a few breakaways, some tremendous saves — including one on a penalty shot — and, finally, Jason Garrison‘s game-winning goal on a breakaway from center, giving the Bolts a 3-2 win.
It was, in a word, fun.
Lots of fun.
A quick sampling of reviews:
Of course, not everybody was a fan:
Now, to temper things a bit — this was the first time we’ve seen 3-on-3 with something on the line, so there was a novelty factor at play. There’s also no guaranteeing future OT sessions will be as exciting as this.
But none of that takes away from the fact 3-on-3 made for appointment viewing, and immense entertainment value. The prospect of future games like this? That’s pretty exciting.
Didn’t take long for Alex Burmistrov to make his presence felt — though not in a good way.
Burmistrov, playing in his first game for the Jets after a two-year stint in Russia, delivered a questionable elbow to the head of Boston’s Patrice Bergeron late in the first period of Thursday’s season-opener:
Burmistrov received a two-minute minor for an illegal check to the head, while Bergeron received a matching minor for roughing (retaliating for the elbow, specifically).
The Bruins went into the intermission leading 1-0, and have yet to update Bergeron’s status.
Update: Bergeron stayed in the game, but B’s head coach Claude Julien was none too pleased with the hit. Following the game, he called for the NHL’s Department of Player Safety to look at it…