Cam Tucker

ST PAUL, MN - OCTOBER 15: Eric Staal #12 of the Minnesota Wild controls the puck against Mark Scheifele #55 of the Winnipeg Jets during the third period of the game on October 15, 2016 at Xcel Energy Center in St Paul, Minnesota. The Wild defeated the Jets 4-3. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Getty

Staal and Stewart run Wild over the Jets

3 Comments

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) Eric Staal and Chris Stewart each got their first goal with Minnesota since being acquired in the offseason, helping the Wild overcome a two-goal deficit to beat the Winnipeg Jets 4-3 on Saturday night.

Stewart scored to start the comeback and assisted on Matt Dumba‘s power-play goal that tied it, then Staal made it 3-2 as the Wild erased the 2-0 deficit with a three-goal second period.

Devan Dubnyk made 14 saves for Minnesota, which is now 14-0-2 in its home openers at the Xcel Energy Center. Jonas Brodin added a goal for the Wild.

Nikolaj Ehlers, Blake Wheeler and Mark Schiefele scored for Winnipeg. Michael Hutchinson stopped 27 shots for the Jets.

Minnesota dropped its opener under new coach Bruce Boudreau at St. Louis on Thursday and was booed off the home ice following the first period Saturday after Wheeler tipped home a shot from Dustin Byfuglien with 2.6 seconds left.

The Wild came out stronger in the second and outshot Winnipeg 12-2 in the period.

Stewart was known for his energy when he arrived in Minnesota via trade in 2015 and helped the Wild to the Western Conference semifinals. Stewart played 56 games for Boudreau in Anaheim last season, scoring eight goals with 12 assists.

The big forward’s shot from left of the crease deflected off Ehlers’ skate and crossed the line before Hutchinson swiped the puck away. After a quick review, the officials’ call stood as a good goal.

Schiefele’s goal with 18.7 seconds left stood after a video review determined Mathieu Perrault didn’t cause goaltender interference after crashing into Dubnyk.

Video: Eriksson scores into his own net for Brett Kulak’s first career NHL goal (Update: It’s now Brouwer’s goal)

screen-shot-2016-10-15-at-8-01-19-pm
3 Comments

Loui Eriksson, making his debut for the Vancouver Canucks, put the puck in the net Saturday.

There was only one problem: It was the wrong net.

Eriksson, who signed a six-year, $36 million deal with Vancouver when free agency opened and is expected to help with the Canucks scoring woes, accidentally scored into his own net when he slid the puck back into his own end on a delayed penalty call against the Calgary Flames.

With the delayed penalty, the Canucks had pulled Ryan Miller for the extra attacker.

It was a seemingly harmless play. The Canucks were changing as Eriksson circled with the puck in the neutral zone.

But there was no one in a Canucks jersey ready for the pass when he threw it back to his defense, and the puck slid into the net despite Erik Gudbranson‘s diving attempt to keep it out.

That is so Canucks.

Calgary defenseman Brett Kulak, who played his junior hockey in Vancouver, was initially credited with the goal — what would’ve been the first of his NHL career.

Update: During the intermission, the NHL changed it to Troy Brouwer‘s goal.

Rookie mistake? Islanders’ Barzal penalized for playing the puck while standing in penalty box

2 Comments

It probably wasn’t the debut New York Islanders rookie forward Mathew Barzal was hoping for.

Barzal was penalized twice in the opening 5:06 of Saturday’s game against the Washington Capitals, including one infraction for playing the puck while standing inside the penalty box at the end of his first penalty.

That is … against the rules.

From the NHL rulebook, Rule 56.2 — Interference:

A minor penalty shall be imposed on any identifiable player on the players’ bench or penalty bench who, by means of his stick or his body, interferes with the movements of the puck or any opponent on the ice during the progress of the play. In addition, should a player about to come onto the ice, play the puck while one or both skates are still on the players’ or penalty bench, a minor penalty for interference shall be assessed.

“Never gonna forget that, will he? I told him it’s still hockey, go out and have fun. He rebounded well after that,” said Islanders head coach Jack Capuano, as per Arthur Staple of Newsday.

The Islanders lost by a final score of 2-1.

Reason for optimism: Youthful Maple Leafs bring down the Bruins

8 Comments

Before the puck dropped in Toronto on Saturday, the Maple Leafs paid tribute to historic players from their past.

When the celebration ended, those tasked with bringing a bright future to the franchise, celebrating its 100th season, delivered.

All the hype the last few days has been about Auston Matthews. He scored four goals in his NHL debut on Wednesday — a historic feat.

Against the Boston Bruins on Saturday, as Matthews was making his much anticipated home debut in Toronto, it was clear the future doesn’t just revolve around No. 34, though that’s not to undermine how significant he will be to the potential success of this franchise going forward.

The Leafs had a hot start, ripping three goals past Bruins back-up goalie Anton Khudobin before the game was even 15 minutes old. They cruised to a 4-1 victory, making amends for that overtime loss to Ottawa to begin the season.

Mitch Marner, the fourth overall pick from the 2015 Draft, scored his first NHL goal and what a beauty it was. He had another dominant shift later in the game, leading to a Toronto power play.

Connor Brown, a Leafs sixth-round pick from 2012 and a 22-year-old prospect that has developed with the Marlies in the AHL, also scored in the win.

Frederik Andersen stopped 24 of 25 shots faced for the win, as he made up for a rather shaky debut in the opener.

It’s two games for the Leafs in the Auston Matthews Era. They have three of a possible four points so far. Growing pains are still to be expected with this young group moving forward.

But after years of gloom for Leafs fans, there may be reason to be optimistic about the future.

Coyotes’ Strome scratched versus Flyers, will have to wait for NHL debut

SUNRISE, FL - JUNE 26:  Third overall pick Dylan Strome of the Arizona Coyotes poses for a portrait during the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center on June 26, 2015 in Sunrise, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Getty

On a night when more young players are making their mark in the NHL, Dylan Strome‘s debut for the Arizona Coyotes will wait another day.

Strome, selected third overall in 2015, is officially a healthy scratch for Saturday’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers.

The possibility of this development was raised yesterday, but the decision was made for good prior to puck drop.

“Obviously, it’s disappointing,” Strome told AZCentral.com. “But it’s the NHL. It’s not an easy league, so you just gotta keep working hard and keep doing what they’re asking of you and wait for your chance to get in the lineup and do your best when you get in.”

Meanwhile, Christian Dvorak, Lawson Crouse, and Jakob Chychrun all make their NHL debuts for the Coyotes.