Steve Downie

Brotherly Shove: Downie signs with Pittsburgh


Oh, this should be good.

Steve Downie, the noted agitator who’s spent three of his seven NHL seasons in Philadelphia, has agreed to join the Flyers’ bitter rival Pittsburgh on a one-year, $1 million deal, per TSN.

Downie, 27, struggled through last season and missed a number of games due to a concussion suffered in a fight with Washington’s Aaron Volpatti. Acquired by Philadelphia from Colorado early in the year, Downie had just three goals and 17 points in 51 games for the Flyers — this after a stellar six-points-in-11-games start with the Avs — and was shut down on Apr. 10, failing to appear in any of Philly’s opening-round playoff games against the Rangers.

When healthy, Downie can be an effective player, something he showed in Tampa Bay during the 2009-10 campaign when he had 22 goals and 46 points in 79 games…along with 208 penalty minutes, third-most in the NHL. That last statistic is telling, though, as a penchant for taking undisciplined penalties dogged Downie in his second go-round with the Flyers.

In Pittsburgh, Downie is likely play in the bottom-six forward group, one that new GM Jim Rutherford has made several additions to since taking the helm from Ray Shero. Nick Spaling was acquired in the James Neal trade, and yesterday the club ainked former Blue Jacket Blake Comeau to a one-year deal as free agency opened.

Rutherford also resigned depth center Marcel Goc, acquired from Florida at last year’s trade deadline.

Fabbri’s first spoils McDavid’s debut as Blues down Oilers

Robby Fabbri, Justin Schultz
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ST. LOUIS (AP) — Rookie Robby Fabbri scored the tiebreaking goal midway through the third period to help the St. Louis Blues beat Edmonton 3-1 Thursday night, spoiling Oilers rookie Connor McDavid‘s NHL debut.

Vladimir Tarasenko had the tying goal for the Blues near the midpoint of the second period, and Troy Brouwer added an empty-netter with 18 seconds remaining in the third. Brian Elliott finished with 23 saves.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored in the first period for Edmonton and Cam Talbot had 28 saves.

McDavid, the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s draft, took 22 shifts, played 18:07 and was on the ice for Brouwer’s goal. He had two shots on goal, and struggled on faceoffs – winning only three of 13.

Fabbri, a 19-year-old forward — and McDavid’s childhood friend — was also playing in his first NHL game. The Blues’ first-round pick in 2014 was one of three rookies in the St. Louis lineup, joining defensemen Colton Parayko and Joel Edmundson.

Nugent-Hopkins gave the Oilers a 1-0 lead late in the first period with a fluke power-play goal. He lost a face-off but when Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo tried to clear the puck it bounced off Alexander Steen and past Brian Elliott. Nugent-Hopkins was credited with the unassisted power-play goal with 2:38 remaining in the period.

Tarasenko tied it a 9:10 of the second after getting loose on a breakaway with a stretch pass from Alex Pietrangelo and beating Talbot through his legs.

Tarasenko, who signed an eight-year, $60 million extension in the offseason, was the last Blues player to score in his debut.

NOTES: McDavid and F Anton Slepyshev made their NHL debuts for the Oilers. … St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina dropped the ceremonial first puck. … The attendance was announced as standing room-only 19,327.

Video: Wild score four in 5:07 for shock win in Colorado


Everything was going great for the Avs in their season-opener against Minnesota on Thursday night.

Great until the third period, anyway.

In a stunning and dramatic comeback, the Wild erased a 4-1 deficit in just over five minutes — 5:07 to be exact — scoring four times to steal a 5-4 win at the Pepsi Center.

They were the fastest four goals in Wild franchise history.

The comeback started early in the final frame, when captain Zach Parise scored his second of the night at the 5:07 mark. Just over two minutes later, Nino Niederreiter snapped one past Semyon Varlamov to make it 4-3 and then, two minutes after that, Thomas Vanek scored to make it 4-4.

But the Wild weren’t done there.

Parise completed his hat-trick — the third of his career — with a power play marker at the 10:14 mark, an unassisted tally. When the dust finally settled on the 5:07 flurry, the Wild had combined to rack up nine points from eight different skaters.

Prior to the comeback, Colorado dominated proceedings with a goalscoring flurry of its own.

The Avs scored three times in the final seven minutes of the first period — including a pair of power play goals from Jarome Iginla and Erik Johnson — to race out to a (seemingly) commanding 3-0 lead.