One strong or weak period doesn’t make or break an 82-game season, obviously, but the Los Angeles Kings looked mighty for the first 20 minutes of Saturday’s match against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
With three goals on nine shots, the Kings chased Ben Bishop from the Lightning net.
This 3-0 goal in the waning moments probably did Bishop in:
Andrei Vasilevskiy has been hot lately, so the Lightning likely hope that he can stop the bleeding for a comeback. So far, it’s a good start, as Nikita Kucherov batted in a puck early in the second period to make it 3-1.
Update: The Lightning made things interesting, but a Justin Williams goal sealed the deal for a 4-2 Los Angeles win.
The only concern for the Kings tonight is that Alec Martinez went down with an injury. At the moment, it’s unclear how severe it is, but another defenseman down would be a big problem.
Dull moments are rare when it comes to New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, so why would the normally bland practice of the ceremonial first puck drop be any different?
He put a very “Gronk” spin on the practice Saturday, as he spiked a puck into the crowd before the Boston Bruins took on the New York Islanders.
Gronk’s gonna Gronk.
Update: Apparently he’s going to chow down on some pizza, too.
The Bruins ended up narrowly winning this one 2-1.
This past month seems like an endless stream of the Toronto Maple Leafs’ gaffes blowing up in their faces. The latest example comes tonight, as David Clarkson adds the latest bullet point to his nightmare stay in Toronto: healthy scratch.
The Canadian Press’ Stephen Whyno captures the embarrassment pretty well:
Remember when some were calling Clarkson the next coming of Wendel Clark? Woops.
Hey, at least he has more time for Ping Pong tonight, though:
To a large extent, the story of the Columbus Blue Jackets’ season has been injuries. Sadly, that’s also been the story of defenseman Ryan Murray’s early career.
The unlucky scoring blueliner suffered a high-ankle sprain that will sideline him for four-to-six weeks, the team announced.
A litany of injuries have limited the development of the 21-year-old, who was the second overall pick of the 2012 NHL Draft.
(You may remember him as the player Columbus opted to draft instead of accepting the New York Islanders’ entire draft board to move up one spot.)
It’s a real shame, as the Blue Jackets don’t get much of an idea of what they truly have in Murray. He has one assist in seven games played this season after generating 21 points in 66 games as a rookie in 2013-14.
Colin Wilson hasn’t gotten a ton of credit for the Nashville Predators’ big improvement this season, but he’s really found chemistry alongside Mike Fisher. He faced a setback on Saturday, however, as he suffered an upper-body injury and will not return against the New York Rangers.
Wilson was injured by what was regarded as a clean Daniel Girardi hit.
He wasn’t the only player to get banged up in this one, either, as Jesper Fast suffered a leg injury from an Anton Volchenkov check. He also will not return on Saturday.
The game wasn’t all ugly despite those losses. The pace of the game was often frantic, and there were goals like Ryan McDonagh’s undressing of Eric Nystrom:
Update: Mike Ribeiro scored the game-winner for the 700th point of his NHL career.