James O'Brien

Kuznetsov’s OT winner, Holtby’s strong work combine for Caps win

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Tonight’s first 3-on-3 OT session only had so much time to sell skeptics on the 2016 NHL All-Star Game’s bold format change.

The reason is simple: Evgeny Kuznetsov only needed 45 seconds of extra time to score a dazzling 2-1 OT winner for the Washington Capitals against the Detroit Red Wings.

That wait wasn’t long … but another wait continues.

Alex Ovechkin didn’t score a goal in this one, so he remains tied with Sergei Fedorov with 483 goals, the most any Russian-born player has ever managed in the NHL.

Petr Mrazek may be the main reason why Ovechkin’s slumping on the precipice of that milestone. The Capitals star fired 15 shots on goal the last time he faced Detroit with a chance to break the tie, and six failed to beat Detroit’s goalie tonight.

That’s far less frustrating for Ovechkin when the Capitals win, which they did this time around.

As much attention as those Russian forwards generated, Braden Holtby has a legitimate claim as the top player of this game. This stick save serves as his resume in a more visceral way than mentioning his 25 out of 26 saves:

The Capitals begin a five-game homestand tomorrow, so they must hope that tonight’s momentum carries to Thursday.

Jets end losing streak at six by beating slumping Canucks

Winnipeg Jets vs Vancouver Canucks
AP

No matter what, one of the Winnipeg Jets or Vancouver Canucks would have ended their troubling slumps on Wednesday night.

It turns out that the Jets were the ones to do it, as they halted a six-game losing streak by beating the Canucks 4-1.

That keeps Vancouver in that funk; they’ve now lost four in a row and have dropped seven of nine games in November.

Not every member of the Canucks is panicking, at least.

It was a nasty game at times, but for the Jets, a win holds its obvious beauty. They’ll need to wait to try to make this win into a winning streak, as they don’t play again until Saturday.

Check out that aforementioned nastiness in this post.

Video: Sbisa hits someone hard, later gets punched hard

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Those who are obsessed with hockey fights could kill some serious time breaking people up into “divisions.”

Tonight provided a pretty good example. Vancouver Canucks defenseman Luca Sbisa put his superior size on display when he delivered a hard hit on rising Winnipeg Jets rookie Nikolaj Ehlers, which you can watch in the video above.

That didn’t sit well with the Jets, apparently, as Anthony Peluso didn’t need much goading to drop the gloves with Sbisa. What happened felt a bit like a middleweight tussling with a heavyweight.

We’re only one period into Canucks – Jets and there have already been plenty of testy, nasty moments.

The good news is that, at least at the moment, it appears as though Ehlers is OK.

Sbisa may not be; he left the game in the second period and did not return.

Olli Maatta’s out of the hospital, may only miss 3-4 weeks

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Losing Olli Maatta for three-to-four weeks isn’t good news in every sense, but all things considered, it’s a promising update.

The Pittsburgh Penguins announced that window of recovery for the blueliner, and better yet, that bit of news also revealed that he’s not longer hospitalized.

It’s labeled as an upper-body injury.

You can see the scary, unlucky fall in the video above. That happened during Tuesday’s game where the Penguins edged the Minnesota Wild 4-3.

Official details for 2016 NHL All-Star Game’s 3-on-3 format

Gary Bettman
AP
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The 2016 NHL All-Star Game’s switch to a bold 3-on-3 format hasn’t been a well-kept secret, yet there are plenty of details to hash out. Now we know the big stuff.

Update: Click here for the full NHL release, which even includes a timeline of All-Star Game format changes.

Sounds like a job for a bulleted list.

/Crowd roars

  • It’s going to be a 3-on-3 tournament pitting the four divisions against each other (West’s Pacific vs. Central, East’s Atlantic vs. Metropolitan, then a final round).
  • The four teams will feature 11 players each: six forwards, three defensemen and two goalies. Captains will be based on top vote-getters, and the winning team divides the $1 million winning prize.
  • The games will be 20 minutes long.

Here are two screens from the NBCSN telecast for your viewing pleasure (with more bullet points).

3on3format1

3on3format2