James O'Brien

Chris Kreider
AP

Coyotes lose game to Rangers, Vermette to injury

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Remember the big surge of energy the Arizona Coyotes brought into the 2015-16 season? Some of that optimism is already starting to evaporate.

That’s what happens when you drop four in a row (0-3-1), which is the case for the Coyotes after the New York Rangers beat them 4-1 on Thursday.

It wasn’t the only bit of bad news for the Coyotes, either, as they lost Antoine Vermette for the night with a lower-body injury.

There was also a bad gaffe by Mike Smith, who began the season penning some feel-good stories.

(Oh yeah, and former ‘Yote Keith Yandle was one of New York’s goal-scorers. Ouch.)

About the only bit of good news for Arizona is that Max Domi, Anthony Duclair and Martin Hanzal continue to create offense at a nice clip.

Speaking of creating offense, Rick Nash finally “scored” his first goal of 2015-16 in an amusing way. See for yourself:

That’s also the 700th point of his career, by the way.

Stars wallop Penguins (again)

Marc-Andre Fleury
AP
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Here’s some good news for the Pittsburgh Penguins on a bit of a momentum-killing night: they won’t face the Dallas Stars again this season.

(Or, if they will, it would be in the 2016 Stanley Cup Final.)

The Stars humbled the Penguins 3-0 in Dallas to open the season, and a change of scenery didn’t make much of a difference. This time around, the Stars beat the Pens 4-1 in Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh was really starting to pick things up after an 0-3 start to the season, too, winning three in a row before this setback.

The tough night had the Penguins scrambling things up to try to find the right mix.

The Stars, meanwhile, are on a true hot streak.

Tonight’s win marks their fifth in a row, and they have a golden opportunity to collect crucial early points as they begin a four-game homestand on Saturday.

If this game was any indication, the Florida Panthers better ready themselves for a challenge.

Stephen Gionta’s gnarly spear on Mark Borowiecki

giontaboro
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Video is not yet available of Stephen Gionta‘s nasty spear on Mark Borowiecki, but it will be added to this post when it is.

It was a pretty ugly moment, as Borowiecki delivered a questionable blow to start things off and Gionta did … not respond kindly.

Interestingly, the Ottawa Senators are set to get a five-minute power play from the exchange, as the New Jersey Devils were the only ones penalized. That could be a real game-changer in a tight contest.

Stephanie (aka “My Regular Face”) provided two angles of the incident in GIF form:

Generally speaking, spearing infractions draw suspensions rather than fines. How would you handle the situation?

Flyers consider Neuvirth, Couturier day-to-day

Michal Neuvirth
AP

The Philadelphia Flyers showed some resiliency in coming back against the Boston Bruins last night, but they’ll need to do the same to overcome the personnel losses from that contest.

Both Michal Neuvirth and Sean Couturier suffered upper-body injuries in that game (see Neuvirth’s possible injury here and Couturier’s painful moment here), and the latest update is vague.

The team announced that each player is considered day-to-day.

That’s basically an organizational shoulder shrug that implies that the issues may not be too bad … although who really knows?

The Flyers begin a three-game homestand by hosting the New York Rangers on Saturday. They have three games in the next week, so perhaps these injuries won’t make that big of an impact.

Again, it’s touch and go, though.

Derek Stepan toughs it out for Rangers

Derek Stepan
AP
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Derek Stepan looks to be in for the New York Rangers against the Arizona Coyotes tonight. That doesn’t mean he’s necessarily feeling great.

He was previously a game-time decision on Thursday thanks to some painful-sounding dental work.

It’s one thing to get a wisdom tooth/wisdom teeth pulled, but he also got screws removed from a broken jaw. Yeah, that sounds unpleasant.

You know the deal though: he’s a hockey player, and these guys fight through pain. In particular, teeth-related issues are almost stereotypical to what a player goes through.

If he follows the usual narrative, Stepan might have a big night, too.