James O'Brien

Evgeny Kuznetsov, Alex Ovechkin

Ovechkin ties Fedorov’s Russian goal mark; record-breaker gets reversed


On Hall of Fame weekend, the hockey world is saving one of the true trailblazers for Russian scorers in the NHL with Sergei Fedorov’s induction.

Quite a weekend for Alex Ovechkin to join his name in the record books.

Ovechkin scored the 483rd goal of his NHL career on Saturday, tying Fedorov for the most goals ever scored by a Russian-born player. Let’s just say he has a lot of time to pass Fedorov (who was briefly his teammate), as Ovechkin is barely 30.

Here’s video of that milestone moment:

Wondering about other home country-specific records that Ovechkin has in his sights? Chew on this.

Update: Quite a finish in Washington. It looked like Ovechkin broke Fedorov’s record with another goal, but it was nullified after a review.

Here’s the league explanation via its Situation Room Blog.

At 17:21 of the third period in the Toronto Maple Leafs/Washington Capitals game, Toronto requested a Coach’s Challenge to review whether Capitals forward Justin Williams interfered with Maple Leafs goaltender James Reimer before the puck crossed the goal line.

The Referee determined that Williams interfered with Reimer before the puck entered the net. According to Rule 78.7, “The standard for overturning the call in the event of a ‘GOAL’ call on the ice is that the Referee, after reviewing any and all available replays and consulting with the Toronto Video Room, determines that the goal should have been disallowed due to ‘Interference on the Goalkeeper,’ as described in Rules 69.1, 69.3 and 69.4.”

Therefore the original call is overturned – no goal Washington Capitals.

Jonathan Drouin draws back into Lightning lineup

Jonathan Drouin

It might be an uphill battle for him to make a mark, but Jonathan Drouin is back in the mix for the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday.

The Bolts seemed excited to confirm as much heading into their game against the Minnesota Wild. Erik Condra gets lost in the shuffle with Drouin returning.

According to sources such as Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune, Drouin will begin on the fourth line:

We’re not that far removed from Drouin generating early chemistry with Steven Stamkos, yet it might take him some time to get back on that line.

Still no Rick Nash for the Rangers tonight

Rick Nash

The New York Rangers kept their winning ways going without Rick Nash on Friday. They’ll need to do the same again tonight.

They close off a back-to-back set against the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday after grinding out a 2-1 win against Colorado.

New York carries a four-game winning streak into this one. They’ve won in a variety of different ways, although Henrik Lundqvist‘s been one of the consistent factors. Lundqvist is out tonight, too, so this is indeed a challenge.

The Rangers have no reason to leave extra gas in the tank, as they won’t play again until they face the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday.

It’s unclear if Nash’s aching back will be healed up enough by then.

It sounds like he’s close, at least.

Royally relentless: Kings exert will over Panthers

Tyler Toffoli, Jeff Carter

With a record now at 9-5-0, it’s not easy to argue that the Los Angeles Kings are the NHL’s best team at the moment.

There are spans where they looks like they might be the most overwhelming, however.

The second period of their eventual 4-1 win against the Florida Panthers on Saturday was quite the display of the many things that make the Kings a squad that intimidates opponents when the games get bigger.

Los Angeles survived a lengthy 5-on-3 opportunity – including a great stop by Jonathan Quick, which sent Jaromir Jagr looking at the ceiling – and really took off from there.

The Kings went from being down 1-0 to up 3-1 during about a four-minute span, a time in which it seemed like Los Angeles could score at will. The shots on goal tell a story, too, especially considering that 5-on-3: the Kings generated a towering 20-4 shot on goal advantage in the second period.

(This came after being down 1-0 despite a 10-5 shot advantage in the opening frame.)

Does this all mean that the Kings are the West’s best? No, and it’s glaringly early.

They might be the scariest when they really get roaring, though.

(Naturally, they’re among the top possession teams too, if you’re into that kind of thing.)

Boon for Blues: Kevin Shattenkirk returns

The St. Louis Blues are becoming progressively less black-and-blue.

They’ve enjoyed the rise of enormous rookie defenseman Colton Parayko, but even so, Kevin Shattenkirk‘s return is a sight for sore eyes (and bodies, really).

Shattenkirk missed the past 10 games with a groin injury that still might limit him, at least to start things off. The Blues take on a challenging Central Division opponent in the Nashville Predators on Saturday.

You won’t see many better matchups between defensemen who can score in this one, and Shattenkirk gives the Blues a chance to keep up with Roman Josi, Shea Weber, Seth Jones and the rest of the Predators’ dangerous D-men.