Cam Tucker

Video: Oilers defeat the Jets — thanks to a Patrik Laine own goal

3 Comments

As this season has progressed, we’ve brought you clips of spectacular Patrik Laine goals during his rookie campaign. (See here and here as examples.)

There is no doubt that he’s in the early running for rookie of the year with 17 goals in 32 games. Only two players in the league right now — Sidney Crosby and David Pastrnak — have more goals so far this season. Laine scored Sunday — just into the wrong net.

And his gaffe, unfortunately, was a costly one, as the Jets lost 3-2 to the Edmonton Oilers.

Just past the halfway mark of the third period, Edmonton defenseman Mark Letestu ripped a shot from the faceoff circle, the puck easily stopped by Connor Hellebuyck. The rebound kicked right out to Laine, who fired the puck right into his own net, giving the Oilers their first lead of the night.

These things happen. Laine isn’t the first NHL player to score into his own net. He certainly won’t be the last.

Laine, appearing dejected, could be seen at the bench being consoled by captain Blake Wheeler after it all transpired.

“He’s 18-years-old and he feels terrible. These things happen. I’ve done it many times, it’s just a bad bounce,” said Wheeler, per Ken Wiebe of the Winnipeg Sun.

After back-to-back shutouts, does Antti Raanta get a fourth straight start for the Rangers?

Getty
7 Comments

Within the span of four days, the New York Rangers goaltending situation has really become one to keep an eye on.

On Sunday, Antti Raanta made his third consecutive start in place of Henrik Lundqvist, the usual No. 1 goalie for the Rangers. In those three games, Raanta has been almost completely unbeatable, with shutouts in back-to-back games, capped with a 19-save effort against the rival New Jersey Devils.

He has allowed only one goal in that time and the Rangers have been victorious. They thoroughly beat the Devils 5-0 on Sunday.

Raanta is the first Rangers goalie since Mike Dunham in 2003 to post back-to-back shutouts. Alain Vigneault has, over these last few days, gone with the hot hand and the decision has paid off.

Lundqvist is, of course, taking the team-first approach to this whole development.

“It’s hard to argue, he’s playing well. It’s about what’s best for the team, not about me,” Lundqvist said, per NorthJersey.com. “I’m going to focus on what I can control here. If he wasn’t playing well and I was still sitting, then it would be hard to accept.”

Now, the question becomes: Who will Vigneault — a coach with plenty of experience in dealing with goalie controversy in Vancouver — start at home against Chicago on Tuesday? Does Raanta get the fourth straight start, or will he relinquish the crease to Lundqvist?

Per reports, Vigneault knows who he is starting. He just hasn’t informed his goalies yet.

The Rangers have a busy portion of their schedule coming up. Beginning Tuesday, they will have five games in seven days, including a back-to-back with travel from Nashville to New York. If Lundqvist doesn’t get a start immediately this week, it’s likely he would get back in the net at some point soon, given the rigors of the schedule.

Again, something to keep an eye on.

Video: MacKinnon takes a stick to the face, then dangles through Maple Leafs for winning goal

AP
2 Comments

The deciding goal in Sunday’s game between the Colorado Avalanche and Toronto Maple Leafs was a beauty from Nathan MacKinnon.

It occurred in the third period, giving the Avalanche a two-goal lead. After Saturday’s embarrassment in Montreal, the Avs rebounded — sort of? — for a 3-1 win over the Maple Leafs, despite giving up 52 shots on goal.

Semyon Varlamov‘s performance was crucial to the win.

MacKinnon’s goal was decisive. He took the puck in the neutral zone, then took a stick to the face from Leo Komarov and proceeded to deke his way through the Maple Leafs before beating Antoine Bibeau under the blocker.

Certainly not Morgan Rielly‘s finest moment defending. MacKinnon could be seen with blood dripping from his lip following the goal — a result of the high stick.

Truth is, though, that Varlamov completely stole this game for the Avalanche — a day after a shockingly brutal performance from the entire Colorado team. Winning isn’t sustainable when you allow such a high amount of shots on goal.

But Varlamov gave them every opportunity to remain in this game, allowing for that critical second goal for MacKinnon and his team.

‘It was a no show’ — Boucher rips Senators after loss to Ducks

Getty
1 Comment

That was hardly a dream road trip to California for the Ottawa Senators.

After a loss to the L.A. Kings on Saturday and a suspension handed down to defenseman Mark Borowiecki the following day, the Senators went up against the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday and lost 5-1, ending this four-game road trip with just a single win.

In three of those games, Ottawa was exposed for four or more goals against, including an eight-spot to Pittsburgh at the beginning of the week.

The Ducks managed three power play goals on four opportunities Sunday, with Corey Perry scoring the winner. Sens goalie Mike Condon was pulled after giving up three goals on 13 shots in the first period. Ottawa was only able to get 22 shots on net.

It all left Senators coach Guy Boucher a little miffed afterwards.

“It was a no show, all around,” said Boucher, per the Ottawa Sun.

“Not good. Not good. We wanted to rebound from (Saturday). They out-competed us, they out-muscled us on the boards, they were first on puck, they had more of a shooting mentality than we did, they did a better job in front of our goalie’s net than we did in front of theirs.”

The Senators, still second in the Atlantic Division, return home to face the Sharks on Wednesday.

Flying high: Philly wins its ninth straight game

2 Comments

Make that nine in a row.

The Philadelphia Flyers are the hottest team in the National Hockey League, as they won their ninth consecutive game thanks to a 1-0 overtime decision over the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday.

It was hardly pretty, and Philly needed its penalty kill to be perfect on this day. Ditto goes for recalled goalie Anthony Stolarz, who made 28 saves for the shut out — the first of his NHL career.

Philly is now in a three-way tie for first place in the Metropolitan Division with the rival Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Rangers. There are a few impressive streaks going on in the league right now, but what the Flyers have done in the past few weeks stands right up there, especially considering all the questions about their goaltending when Michal Neuvirth went down to injury.

Brayden Schenn scored the winner, capping off a nifty little give-and-go with Ivan Provorov.

Tempers flared late in the third period after Michael Raffl popped Steve Ott with a late hit, well away from the puck.

Ott’s teammate Xavier Ouellet jumped in immediately to fight Raffl, landing a number of heavy shots before they were separated. There was no call on Raffl for his hit on Ott. Ouellet was given an instigator, fighting major and a misconduct.