After getting smoked by Sabres, Carter calls Kings ‘a fragile team’

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The Los Angeles Kings have been an up-and-down team so far this season, falling to 14-12-2 after the Buffalo Sabres blew them out 6-3 on Tuesday.

Jeff Carter isn’t very happy with this “one step forward, two steps back”-type pattern.

“You don’t make playoffs winning at home and then going on the road and [expletive] the bed,” Carter said, according to Helene Elliott of the Los Angeles Times. ” … We’re fragile. We’re a fragile team.”

Wow, Jeff, could you get to the point? Always beating around the bush, that Jeff Carter.

Carter scored a goal in each of the second and third period, standing out as Buffalo rattled off four goals in the second and two in the final frame. It’s no shock that Anze Kopitar didn’t seem too focused on finally getting a goal after this one.

Anyway, it’s possible that the Kings could use this sort of jolt. This game begins what could be a withering nine-game road trip for the Kings:

Dec. 15: at Red Wings
Dec. 16: at Penguins
Dec. 18: at Bruins
Dec. 20: at Blue Jackets
Dec. 22: at Predators
Dec. 23: at Stars
Dec. 28: at Canucks
Dec. 29: at Oilers

That includes three back-to-back sets and some serious opponents, so the Kings can’t afford to … you know, blank the bed.

Auston Matthews’ 33rd goal includes a dash of comedy (Video)

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This wouldn’t have been worth a chuckle if not for the correction. (Well, maybe a chuckle at Auston Matthews‘ expense.)

On the 33rd goal of his brilliant rookie season, Auston Matthews made it 2-0 for Toronto on the power play. Crusty “act like you’ve been there” types might grumble that he actually celebrated before a goal really happened, only to tap it in for real the second time around. The rest of us, again, get a mild chuckle.

William Nylander‘s pass was nothing to laugh at, however. That one just gets a big thumbs up.

Hnnngmgghh indeed.

That goal could end up being key as the Blue Jackets quickly scored to start the second period, shrinking Toronto’s lead to 2-1 on Wednesday.

Video: Leafs’ Carrick delivers thunderous hit on Blue Jackets’ Anderson

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Both the Columbus Blue Jackets and Toronto Maple Leafs have motivation to win their Wednesday game, but the Maple Leafs need it more.

So far, it shows, too.

The Maple Leafs have raced off to a 2-0 lead, with Auston Matthews scoring his 33rd goal of the season. If generating such offense didn’t highlight the urgency, Connor Carrick‘s huge hit on Josh Anderson makes a compelling argument. Witness that big impact in the video above.

There was also another high-impact moment when Nick Foligno went crashing into the boards:

Ouch, Blues consider Paul Stastny out week-to-week

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The St. Louis Blues announced that Paul Stastny is out week-to-week with a lower-body injury.

Stastny was limited to less than four minutes of ice time during last night’s 4-2 win against the Colorado Avalanche. Initially, head coach Mike Yeo indicated that the issue wasn’t serious.

There are only about three weeks left in the regular season, so it’s tough to tell if “week-to-week” would mean that the Blues will be without Stastny for any playoff time.

With Stastny out for an expended period of time and other injuries affecting Blues forwards, it sounds like Nail Yakupov gets another chance to prove himself:

Stastny generated 18 goals and 40 points in 66 games so far this season. He has played more of a defensive role this season (46.2 offensive zone start percentage after being closer to 50 earlier in his Blues days) and has been impressive in the dot, winning 53.8 of his faceoffs.

WATCH LIVE: Islanders at Rangers – Wednesday Night Rivalry

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A night after a feisty matcuhup with the Devils, the Rangers host an even bigger rival in the Islanders at Madison Square Garden for Wednesday Night Rivalry on NBCSN.

As nasty as Tuesday’s contest got at times, this one means more.

While the Rangers seem pretty safely seated as the East’s first wild card, the Islanders stand three points behind the Maple Leafs for the final spot in the conference. They’ve seen other bubble teams stumble, so this is their chance to close in on Toronto in what might be a shrinking field of contenders.

Spiting the Islanders might just give the Rangers a little extra life on back-to-back nights … especially since their fans would probably let them have it if they sleepwalk through this one.

It should be a fun, physical and dramatic one on NBCSN. You can also watch online and via the NBC Sports App.

Click here for the livestream.