The relationship between Jonathan Drouin and the Tampa Bay Lightning seemed to reach a boiling point Wednesday, and with no hope for a reconciliation.
The NHL team suspended the 20-year-old forward without pay for failure to report to tonight’s AHL game between the Syracuse Crunch and Toronto Marlies.
Drouin’s request for a trade out of Tampa Bay has long since been made public, but the drama hit a new level prior to tonight’s minor league game, as hockey insider Bob McKenzie further broke down the details of this saga during Rivalry Night on NBCSN.
The St. Louis Blues, in search of their third straight win, were down to five defensemen, including 22-year-old blue liner Joel Edmundson and 32-year-old journeyman Andre Benoit, against the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday.
Yet despite being short a player on the blue line, the Blues came away with the victory, thanks to a brilliant goal from Dmitrij Jaskin and a solid performance from goalie Brian Elliott.
Injuries, adversity, obstacles — Blues’ captain David Backes, following Wednesday’s result, summed up his team’s ability to pick up wins despite what they have been facing.
Colorado Avalanche forward Blake Comeau didn’t waste any time trying to set a physical tone against the Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday.
Comeau leveled Jamie McGinn with a huge hit along the boards just 18 seconds into the first period, sending the Sabres’ forward sprawling to the ice.
Dmitrij Jaskin played the hero in the third period for the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday.
With his team holding a precarious lead over the Detroit Red Wings, the 22-year-old forward powered his way through the neutral zone, then beat defenseman Mike Green to the net before scoring a beauty on a determined effort to give the Blues a two-goal cushion at a critical point in the game.
The Blues did give up a late goal to Henrik Zetterberg, making for a hectic finish, but held on for the 2-1 victory despite being short a defenseman for the entire game. Brian Elliott made 29 saves on 30 shots faced for St. Louis.
The Blues, who relied heavily on defensemen Kevin Shattenkirk (28:14 of ice time) and Alex Pietrangelo (28:28 of ice time) Wednesday, have now won three in a row and are tied in points (63) with the struggling Dallas Stars in the Central Division.
Meanwhile, the Red Wings missed out on a chance to close the three-point gap between them and the Atlantic Division-leading Florida Panthers.
The Minnesota Wild and Anaheim Ducks, two teams battling for a playoff position in the Western Conference, meet Wednesday at the Honda Center. You can watch the game on NBCSN at 10:30 p.m. ET, or online with NBC Sports’ Live Extra.
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The Wild enter this contest on a four-game losing streak that includes being shut out in back-to-back games. The last time a Minnesota player scored? Thomas Vanek at the 19:08 mark of the third period against the Buffalo Sabres on Jan. 12.
Meanwhile, the Ducks continue to chase when it comes to the playoff race in the West.
Despite wins in six of their last 10 games, the Ducks are four points back of the Arizona Coyotes for third in the Pacific Division and four points back of the Colorado Avalanche for the final Wild Card spot.
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