Author: James O'Brien

Suter keeps ironman streak alive with Wild


It looked like Ryan Suter might miss his first game (at least because of an injury) with the Minnesota Wild on Sunday, but he opted to fight through it against the Vancouver Canucks, instead.

Not missing a game due to an ailment since joining Minnesota before the 2012-13 season would be an accomplishment out of context. When you consider the fact that the 30-year-old blueliner sees unparalleled ice time – his 29:29 TOI average once again tops all skaters – his durability is that much more remarkable.

Of course, sometimes ironman streaks come down to being willing to grit your teeth through pain, and it looks like Suter is one of those guys.

Let’s face it … the Wild need Suter, too, so one wonders if he feels like he has to play hurt (and possibly borderline injured).

David Backes ejected after boarding, bloodying Karl Alzner


It might be a Sunday matinee, but the Washington Capitals and the St. Louis Blues aren’t playing a sleepy game. At least not physically.

Kevin Shattenkirk was injured after a collision with Alex Ovechkin and now David Backes’ night is over early after he received a game misconduct and five-minute boarding major for this hit on Karl Alzner:

The Blues might have made that the turning point of the season period instead of the Capitals taking advantage, as St. Louis killed the major power-play opportunity. In fact, Washington only managed two shots on goal on that man advantage.

Not that much later, Alexander Steen scored his second goal so far to give St. Louis a 2-1 lead. We’ll see if there are more fireworks going forward.

Here’s a shot of the hit:


The aftermath:


It may take some time to find out if Backes, 30, will be fined or suspended.

Video: Shattenkirk injured, won’t return after collision with Ovechkin

Kevin Shattenkirk

The St. Louis Blues have been red-hot lately, and Kevin Shattenkirk has been a big part of their success, but Sunday showed how quickly such things can change.

Shattenkirk took an ugly spill after a collision with Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin in the first period. He won’t return.

It’s currently labeled a lower-body injury, which might be the best news for St. Louis:

Just moments ago, David Backes was ejected for boarding Karl Alzner, so it’s been a physical contest so far. Tune in on NBCSN.

Ovechkin becomes fifth player to start career with 10 straight 30+ goal seasons

Alex Ovechkin

As Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin approaches 30, the milestones are starting to really come.

He hit a very impressive one on Sunday, as he scored his 30th goal of 2014-15, giving him at least that many tallies in 10 straight seasons. As’s Adam Vingan notes, Ovechkin is just the fifth player in NHL history to accomplish that feat to start a career, joining Mike Bossy, Wayne Gretzky, Jari Kurri and Mike Gartner.

Ovechkin deserves some bonus points for managing this feat even with the 48-game, lockout-shortened 2012-13 campaign, when he scored 32 goals. This represents his 452nd career regular season tally, so one assumes it might not be long before he hits the big 500 plateau. He tied Rod Brind’Amour for 56th all-time in goals as of this writing.

The 29-year-old found the net today in a familiar way: from the faceoff dot area on the power play (with assists by Mike Green and Nicklas Backstrom):

Update: Ovechkin scored his second goal in the second period, giving him 31 on the season and 453 career regular-season tallies.

WATCH LIVE: Blues at Capitals

Washington Capitals v St. Louis Blues

The St. Louis Blues are looking pretty super. The Washington Capitals aren’t exactly bowling over opponents lately.

In case it wasn’t too obvious, the two teams are playing before a certain big game kicks off, so you can watch some high-octane action before football and ludicrously expensive advertisements get in gear later on today. The Blues and Capitals lock horns on NBCSN; you can also watch the game online via NBC Sports Live Extra:


Check out this preview to get revved up a bit more.