PHT Morning Skate: Sharks’ Mueller tossed from game because of lineup card mistake

–The Tampa Bay Lightning will retire Martin St. Louis’ number on Friday night. Even though he hasn’t played for the Lightning in three years, you can still see the impact he had on some of his former teammates. “He was my mentor for sure,” Steven Stamkos said. “Everyone saw the chemistry we had on the ice, but not a lot of people know, just because they don’t get the behind-the-scenes look, of how much he meant to me. Not only as a teammate but as a great friend.” (Tampa Bay Times)

–Rangers rookie Jimmy Vesey has played in 41 games this year, which is already more than the 33 games he played at Harvard last season. How will he hold up? We’ll find out soon. “You think about rookie camp and preseason, I’ve played almost 50 games. So I’m on pace for 100. I’ve thought about it, just trying to take it day by day.” (New York Post)

Sidney Crosby has had some great seasons throughout his career, but 2016-17 might be the best one yet. His stats are even more impressive when you consider he missed the start of the year with a concussion. “It’s not easy with everyone having a full training camp and kind of stepping into that after not skating for a few weeks would have been difficult,” Crosby said. “I was just thankful for that and felt like it was one of those things where it just kept progressing and that if it continued to feel well, it wouldn’t be too long.” (NHL.com)

Alex Ovechkin picked up his 1000th career point (it didn’t take him very long) in last night’s 5-2 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins. You can watch the full highlights by clicking the video at the top of the page.

–Canadiens defenseman Ryan Johnston is about 5’10, 180 pounds, which is small by NHL standards, so making it to “the show” wasn’t a given for him. “Back in Grade 12 in high school, I think I was probably 5-foot-6, growing into what I am now, and I was 140 pounds,” Johnston said. “That just kind of gave me the extra time to develop. I think if I went to major-junior, I probably wouldn’t have got where I am today. I don’t think I would have had the time to develop mentally and physically.” (Montreal Gazette)

–As you may remember, Zack Kassian was involved in a car accident in Montreal back in Oct. 2015. Now, the 21-year-old woman who was driving the car has been charged with driving under the influence causing injuries. To make matters worse, she and Kassian are both involved in a civil suit with the leasing company that loaned them the vehicle that was damaged. (National Post)

–The San Jose Sharks were forced to play with five defensemen in last night’s game against Calgary because of a silly mistake. When Paul Martin was made a last-minute scratch, Mirco Mueller took his spot in the lineup. The only problem is, the Sharks didn’t make the switch on the official game sheet. To make matters worse, the Sharks lost the game. (Yahoo)

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    Talk about a Wild comeback for Minnesota

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    The Minnesota Wild took back sole possession of the lead in the Central Division, thanks to a thrilling comeback win over the Pacific Division-leading Anaheim Ducks on Saturday.

    Minnesota trailed 3-1 early in the second period. Jason Zucker closed the deficit in the middle period, before they took the lead for good thanks to a frenzy of three goals from Erik Haula, Ryan Suter and Zucker in 1:59 late in regulation for a 5-3 victory.

    “When we came in in between the second and third, knowing we were only down a goal, and knowing our history, we didn’t think we were out of it,” said coach Bruce Boudreau, per the Pioneer Press.

    And so the Wild remain one of the hottest teams in the league, leading Chicago by two points.

    While it’s a comeback for them, the Ducks don’t quite see it the same way.

    “It’s not what they did, to be honest. We self-imploded. Gave up too many opportunities, left our goalie out to dry,” said Cam Fowler.

    Additional bad news for the Ducks, however, was that goalie John Gibson left the game in the second period with an upper-body injury, and didn’t return.

     

    Bust a move: Capitals win includes unlikely OT hero and dad’s dancing in Dallas

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    The usual suspects contributed for the Washington Capitals on Saturday. Down a pair of goals entering the third period, Alex Ovechkin and T.J. Oshie helped ignite the comeback on the power play.

    But then an unlikely hero emerged.

    Jay Beagle scored his 10th goal of the season and the overtime winner to give Washington a 4-3 victory over the Dallas Stars. That aforementioned goal total matches his previous career high from two seasons ago.

    He initially accomplished the feat over the course of 62 games. This time, he hits 10 goals in 46 games played.

    Officials needed to review the play, although replays quickly showed the puck over the line from the Beagle shot in the slot.

    The comeback win led to a memorable post-game celebration.

    Disclaimer: Don’t try this at home.

    The Capitals maintain their lead in the Metropolitan Division ahead of the Columbus Blue Jackets.

    This game versus the Stars included some feisty moments, particularly in the first period when tempers boiled over. Tom Wilson and Brett Ritchie dropped the gloves for a lengthy fight. Three seconds later, Daniel Winnik fought Antoine Roussel.

    Ducks goalie Gibson leaves game versus Wild with upper-body injury

    GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 01:  Goaltender John Gibson #36 of the Anaheim Ducks in action during the preseason NHL game against Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena on October 1, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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    ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) Anaheim goaltender John Gibson has left Saturday’s game against Minnesota with an upper-body injury.

    A short-angle shot from Mikko Koivu appeared to hit Gibson in the upper chest with 5:39 to play in the first period. The goaltender immediately went down on one knee and was quickly attended to by a trainer. Gibson gingerly skated to the bench and went straight to the locker room.

    Anaheim announced that Gibson is doubtful to return.

    Gibson is 7-1-1 with two shutouts in his past nine starts. He was replaced by Jonathan Bernier.

    Gibson stopped four of five shots he faced while making his fourth straight start.

    Playoff hopes take a jolt: Coyotes crush Bishop and the Bolts

    NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 01: Ben Bishop #30 of the Tampa Bay Lightning tends net against the New York Islanders during the second period at the Barclays Center on November 1, 2016 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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    Of the surprises in the NHL so far this season, the Tampa Bay Lightning has to be right up there on the list.

    In 2015, they went to the Stanley Cup Final. The future had looked bright, but this signified the Bolts’ arrival into the top tier of teams in the league. Last season, they made it to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final and lost to the eventual champions from Pittsburgh. That was a playoff run that did not include Steven Stamkos until the deciding game of the East final.

    This year? The Bolts are currently not in a playoff position. They’ve had issues defensively. They’ve had issues on offense. They’ve had issues with goaltending. They’ve dealt with injuries or illness to key players like Steven Stamkos and Victor Hedman, and other important members of their lineup.

    Looking to gain ground in the playoff chase, the Bolts had what looked to be the perfect opponent to mend their troubles — at least for one game. On Saturday, Tampa Bay faced the Arizona Coyotes, losers of four in a row and sitting above only Colorado in the Western Conference standings.

    The perfect remedy, right?

    Wrong. So wrong.

    The Bolts lost 5-3, mostly because of a disastrous opening two periods. Ben Bishop started and was pulled after 40 minutes, allowing five goals on 17 shots.

    Down a goal after the first period, things went south for the Bolts in the middle period. The Coyotes — one of only two teams in the entire league still stuck under 100 goals-for entering this game — beat Bishop for three goals on just nine shots in the second.

    The Bolts are dead last in the Atlantic Division, five points back of third-place Boston. They are four points back of Toronto for the final wild card spot, but there are seven teams ahead of Tampa Bay in that race.

    There is still lots of time left in the season. But the Bolts had stressed the importance and urgency needed on this current six-game road trip, and they haven’t delivered.

    A loss to the Coyotes would certainly seem like rock bottom.