For the first time in more than two months, Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby was in the net for a regulation loss.
Prior to Saturday, his last regulation loss was against the Detroit Red Wings on Nov. 10. Over that span, he had a record of 20-0-2 and worked his way into contention for the Vezina Trophy.
Against the Buffalo Sabres, however, the Capitals fell behind 4-0 by the end of the second period and Holtby was pulled in the second period after allowing three goals on 16 shots.
The Capitals, the NHL’s top team in the standings, surrendered a 4-1 loss to the Sabres.
“I knew Buffalo would come out with a much better effort,” said Capitals head coach Barry Trotz, as per NHL.com.
“We didn’t invest enough to win a hockey game. I thought we were really easy on them in the first period. No one touched anybody. I was a little disappointed in the investment of our group, the first half of the game for sure.”
Now, it will be interesting to see if Trotz goes back to his No. 1 in Holtby in a back-to-back situation, or if Philipp Grubauer gets that start. The Capitals host the New York Rangers on Sunday.
The Boston Bruins have won two in a row, as they defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs by a final score of 3-2 on Saturday, courtesy a Brad Marchand winner with 47 seconds remaining in regulation.
Marchand didn’t waste any time. With overtime looming, he one-timed an ill-advised pass up the boards from Toronto defenseman Martin Marincin while Leafs goalie Jonathan Bernier was caught below the goal line.
The Bruins are back to third in the Atlantic Division. The Maple Leafs, on the other hand, have lost five in a row.
The Marchand goal followed a strange sequence of events involving Toronto defenseman Morgan Rielly, who had his helmet knocked off, then went to the bench and couldn’t get back onto the ice.
Earlier in the period, with Tuukka Rask caught below the goal line, Boston’s Torey Krug made what could’ve been a game-saving stop right in front of his own net.
Did you feel that?
In what is likely to be one of the biggest hits of the NHL season, Montreal Canadiens defenseman Alexei Emelin absolutely crushed St. Louis Blues forward Paul Stastny with a massive check near the boards in the neutral zone.
That hit garnered an immediate reaction from the Blues and a scuffle ensued during what was a physical and heated second period.
It’s the All-Star saga that doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon.
On Friday, the Arizona Coyotes traded John Scott, voted to the 2016 NHL All-Star Game as the captain for the Pacific Division, to the Montreal Canadiens. The Habs have declared their intentions for Scott to join their AHL team in St. John’s, which puts the enforcer’s status for the upcoming All-Star Game in Nashville in jeopardy.
Naturally, this latest development has drawn the ire of fans and members of the media who wanted to see Scott compete in the three-on-three event. It was reported on Twitter by TSN’s Bob McKenzie that both the Coyotes and NHL talked to Scott about bowing out of the event, but he refused.
On Saturday, Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet spoke with Coyotes general manager Don Maloney, who shed light on the situation.
“We have (the maximum) 23 players on our roster,” Maloney told Sportsnet. “Someone had to go. When you look at our lineup, he made the most sense. To suggest that this was part of us not wanting him in All-Star, or to be working in the NHL…I’m dumbfounded by that.
“We wanted Tinordi, we think our coaching staff can work with him.”
Darryl Sutter can be blunt sometimes.
Such was the case Saturday, after his L.A. Kings coughed up a two-goal lead in the third period in what turned into a 5-3 Ottawa Senators victory.
On the same day they locked up Anze Kopitar to an eight-year, $80 million deal, the Kings gave up four unanswered goals in the third period on their way to defeat.
And despite seven wins in their last 10 games and a sizable lead in the Pacific Division standings, Sutter wasn’t letting his team off the hook at all for recent performances he clearly hasn’t liked.
“We had lots of guys just playing shinny out there,” said Sutter, as per LA Kings Insider.
“We’ve been playing sloppy for quite a few games now. I think we’ve used fatigue as an excuse the last three or four games, and … we didn’t get much from top to bottom today.”