<span class="vcard">Cam Tucker</span>


Video: Oshie completely fools Columbus goalie Forsberg with shootout move


T.J. Oshie has been money in the shootout before. If you’ll recall, he had a spectacular performance in the shootout against Russia at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

On Saturday, against the Columbus Blue Jackets, Oshie pulled off another great move, completely fooling goalie Anton Forsberg with a deke to the forehand.

Unfortunately for the Capitals, Oshie was the only Washington player to score in this shootout. The Blue Jackets eventually won the game, defeating the Capitals by a final score of 5-4.

Blue Jackets’ forward Ryan Johansen got the last laugh, as he scored the shootout winner with a nifty move of his own.

Roberto Luongo shuts out Rangers as Panthers win eighth straight

Florida Panthers v New Jersey Devils

The Florida Panthers got some work done off the ice Saturday, announcing head coach Gerard Gallant had signed a contract extension.

A few hours later, they took care of business on the ice.

The Panthers are red hot right now. They’ve won eight in a row. On Saturday, they shut out the New York Rangers by a final score of 3-0 before an announced sold out crowd of 20,289 fans.

And they regain top spot in the Atlantic Division.

Goaltending has been key to the Panthers’ success.

Roberto Luongo, at 36 years old, is giving the Panthers superb goaltending. He made 40 saves versus the Rangers, while his team manufactured only 20 shots on goal against Henrik Lundqvist.

Twice during this streak, Luongo has recorded a shut out, and has allowed only nine goals in his last seven starts.

Even at his age, he continues to put up very good numbers — a .929 save percentage, which is seventh best in the league, and a 2.09 goals-against average, which is also seventh.

Even more impressive is the fact Luongo remains one of the busiest puck stoppers, facing the fourth most shots (916 after Saturday’s game) among NHL goalies.

Report: Virtanen will report to Canucks after world junior loss with Team Canada


Jake Virtanen is returning to the Vancouver Canucks — at least for right now — after a disappointing showing with Team Canada at the world junior hockey championship.

That’s according to a report from The Province newspaper in Vancouver on Saturday:

Virtanen will be reporting back to the Canucks, initially. Whether or not he lasts the rest of the season with the team is a huge question, and it’s one the Canucks will be discussing for the next few days.

The Canucks have set a deadline of Jan. 10 to reach a decision, which is, interestingly, the trade deadline in the WHL.

There are plenty of good reasons for Virtanen to remain a Canuck. You can probably start at the fact that when his WHL season ended last year, he was near 230 pounds, about 15 pounds more than what the Canucks would consider his playing weight should be.

Canada’s tournament came to a disappointing end with a loss to Finland in the quarter-final earlier the same day.

Virtanen had one assist in five games throughout the tournament, but he also took three penalties versus Finland, including two in the same sequence in the third period.

The Canucks selected Virtanen, a potential power forward, sixth overall in the 2014 NHL Draft.

He’s played 19 games for the Canucks as a 19-year-old rookie this season, scoring once with four points. The organization had been hoping that sending Virtanen to the world juniors would help boost his confidence, especially given he was a returning player for Canada.


Nugent-Hopkins, Eberle lift Oilers over Coyotes


EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) The Edmonton Oilers are hoping a new year brings renewed life in the playoff hunt. Saturday was a good start.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored in the third round of the shootout, Jordan Eberle had two goals in regulation and the Edmonton Oilers beat the Arizona Coyotes 4-3 on Saturday to end a four-game losing streak.

Taylor Hall also scored to help the Oilers win for the eighth time in their last 10 home games.

“After Christmas, we didn’t take advantage of the games against teams in our division,” Nugent-Hopkins said. “It was great to see us stick with it after getting down by a goal in the third. We really wanted to come back and get that one and played with some desperation tonight.”

Cam Talbot made 31 saves and stopped two of three attempts in the shootout for Edmonton. He said the Oilers hope the win can bring some momentum for a 2016 playoff push.

“We talked about that after our last game, to let the end of December go and to focus on a new day, a new year here,” he said. “I think we got off to a good start tonight.”

Steve Downie, Brad Richardson and Anthony Duclair scored for the Coyotes, but Arizona has lost two of its past three.

Duclair’s goal put Arizona up 3-2 5:51 into the third period off a beautiful cross-ice saucer pass from Max Domi during a 2-on-1. Duclair smacked the puck just as it fell down to ice level and shot it past Talbot.

Eberle tied it with his second goal with 5:52 left. It was his 300th NHL point.

“It was a tight game, tight game,” Arizona coach Dave Tippett said. “We missed an assignment in our own end and gave them a chance to tie it up, and then it was a tight game. Some chances here and there. Thirteen seconds left we had a real good chance. But you get to the shootout, anything can happen.”

The Oilers had the best chances in overtime, including a post hit by Nugent-Hopkins.

Arizona got on the board 7 minutes into the opening period when Jordan Martinook sent a pass through a defender’s legs from behind the net to Downie, who beat Talbot five-hole.

Edmonton tied it a minute later. Leon Draisaitl sent a no-look backhand feed in front to Hall, and he redirected it past Coyotes starter goalie Louis Domingue for his 16th of the season.

The Oilers went up 2-1 on the power play with 8 minutes left in the first when Mark Letestu found Eberle in a scramble in front and Eberle picked the top corner.

Richardson tied it with 5:30 left in the second by taking a few whacks at a puck in the crease, eventually scooting one under Talbot.

NOTES: Arizona winger John Scott was a healthy scratch the same day it was announced he’d been voted captain for the Pacific Division at the All-Star game despite only recording an assist in 11 games. … The Coyotes beat the Oilers 4-1 in their only previous meeting this season. Arizona swept the five-game series last season and came into the game with an 11-1 record in their previous 12 contests against Edmonton. … The Oilers were still without Connor McDavid (collarbone), Nail Yakupov (ankle), Oscar Klefbom (finger), Andrew Ference (undisclosed) and Iiro Pakarinen (upper body). … Out for the Coyotes were goalie Mike Smith (lower body), Joe Vitale (face), Martin Hanzal (upper body) and Boyd Gordon (head). … Both teams return to the ice on Monday night. The Coyotes travel to Vancouver and the Oilers host Carolina.

Video: Blues, Leafs score goals five seconds apart

Well, that was fast.

The St. Louis Blues and Toronto Maple Leafs exchanged goals just five seconds apart during the second period of Saturday’s game.

It started with Blues’ star forward Vladimir Tarasenko ripping a one-time slap shot for his 23rd goal of the season.

Leafs forward James van Riemsdyk responded off the ensuing faceoff, as he took advantage of a Blues’ turnover and beat Jake Allen with a wrist shot.

First, the Tarasenko goal:

Then, the van Riemsdyk goal: