Author: Cam Tucker

Ducks’ Boudreau: ‘We better pull our heads out of our butts’


On Friday, the Anaheim Ducks face the L.A. Kings, who, in case you haven’t noticed, are kind of on a roll right now.

And that roll would very likely continue for the Kings if the Ducks put forward another effort like the one they had Wednesday against the Ottawa Senators.

The Ducks were shut out 3-0 on home ice, ending their brief winning streak at three games. They remain atop the Pacific Division. But the Kings have won eight in a row, made a big trade earlier Wednesday, and appear like they could threaten to go on another lengthy playoff run.

Prior to their small three-game winning streak, the Ducks had been beaten in five of six games.

Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau had a pretty direct message to his team after the loss to Ottawa.

“We can’t wait until the third period to play. We’re capable of doing a lot more than that. It’s maddening,” he said, as per the club’s Twitter account.

“We face a super test Friday [against LA]. We better pull our heads out of our butts or it’s not going to be pretty,” he added.

The Ducks tested Ottawa’s goalie Andrew Hammond with 25 shots on goal, and 15 in the final 40 minutes.

Giordano hurt late in Flames win against Devils


There was good news and potentially bad news for the Calgary Flames on Wednesday.

The good news: They moved back into a Western Conference Wild Card position — one point up on the Minnesota Wild and two up on the San Jose Sharks — by defeating the New Jersey Devils 3-1. It’s a precarious hold on a playoff position, but it’s back in the top eight with 21 games remaining in their season.

OK, more good news: The Flames once again got solid offensive production from the blue line. TJ Brodie scored into an empty net, giving him 10 goals on the season. Mark Giordano and Dennis Wideman each had an assist, too.

The potentially bad news: Giordano, the Flames’ captain and stud defenseman, suffered an injury late in the third period after getting tangled up with Steve Bernier, according to Sportsnet. Giordano went right to the dressing room, and the injury has not been disclosed.

According to Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun, Flames head coach Bob Hartley said Giordano will be evaluated tomorrow.

That would be a huge loss for the Flames.

The veteran 31-year-old blue liner has 11 goals and 48 points in 61 games, but he also plays an average of 25:10 per game, which leads his team.

Video: Potential No. 1 overall pick Connor McDavid goes end-to-end, top shelf

Connor McDavid

Here’s a little something special for those keeping tabs on the Connor McDavid sweepstakes. The young phenom could be the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s NHL Draft.

On Wednesday, McDavid recorded six points, including four goals in a win over Guelph. That gives him 36 goals and 98 points in 37 games played this season. Yeah. He has 11 points in his last two games.

Below is a video highlight of one of his four goals from the evening. McDavid goes coast to coast, capping off the rush by going top shelf.

Video: Penguins hold on to beat Capitals for first time this season

Patric Hornqvist, Sidney Crosby

The Washington Capitals could not complete the regular season sweep of the rival Pittsburgh Penguins, as these two clubs finished their season series on Wednesday.

After losing the three previous meetings with the Capitals this season, the Penguins finally prevailed, holding on for a 4-3 victory to move three points up on Washington in the Metropolitan Division standings.

Washington remains in the top Wild Card spot of the Eastern Conference. Pittsburgh, which acquired Daniel Winnik earlier in the day, is now only three back of the New York Islanders for the top spot in the division.

Given the time of year, and the history between these two clubs, it’s not surprising that tempers reached a boiling point in the first period. A heated melee broke out between the two teams with a fight occurring inside the Pittsburgh bench.

Both teams went one-for-six on the power play. With his Capitals behind a pair of goals late in the third period, Alex Ovechkin blasted home a one-time slap shot — typical Ovechkin — to narrow Pittsburgh’s lead.

But Ovechkin’s league-leading 39th goal of the season wasn’t enough.

Chris Kunitz scored what would be the winning goal before the midway point of the third period.

Pittsburgh defenseman Rob Scuderi blocked a shot earlier in the game and appeared in discomfort afterwards. He did not play the final 12 minutes of the third period, according to the Time On Ice report.

Canucks GM Benning confirms Miller out 4-6 weeks with sprained knee

Vancouver Canucks v New York Islanders

Vancouver Canucks head coach Willie Desjardins noted the other day this is now Eddie Lack’s team, with the injury to Ryan Miller.

There is now an official diagnosis and timetable for how long Miller will be out of action.

Canucks general manager Jim Benning confirmed to TSN 1040 radio that the veteran starting goalie is expected to miss four to six weeks — which had been previously reported — with a sprained knee

Miller suffered the injury Sunday, when his teammate Jannik Hansen slid hard into the net on the backcheck, and underwent an MRI done earlier in the week. Lack was forced to enter that game against the Islanders and made 27 saves as the Canucks came away with a shutout victory.

“We’ll just keep looking at it as we go through the process here,” said Benning on the Vancouver sports radio station Wednesday evening.

“But we won’t bring him back and he won’t be playing until he’s 100 per cent healthy. Right now it looks like it’s going to be that long, so we’ll see where it goes.”

The Canucks are facing Miller’s old team, the Buffalo Sabres, on Thursday.

Now the debate is whether the Canucks will go back to Lack, who was also sensational in Boston, or give Jacob Markstrom, called up from the AHL, the start.