James O'Brien

Alex Galchenyuk, Derrick Pouliot
AP

WATCH LIVE: Canadiens at Penguins – Wednesday Night Rivalry

After a jam-packed Tuesday night of action, the league sets its eyes on two games (and net/goalie equipment size debates, apparently).

There’s quality even if there isn’t quantity, especially with the NBCSN contest as the Pittsburgh Penguins host the Montreal Canadiens.

Aside from a hiccup against the Calgary Flames, the Penguins have been hot lately. That’s good for them, as the Habs are currently riding high as the top-ranked team in the NHL, not just the East.

It should be a lot of fun, and you can stream it via the link below.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

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    Maple Leafs end another Stars’ winning streak

    Byron Froese, Antti Niemi
    AP
    8 Comments

    DALLAS (AP) Jake Gardiner scored the tiebreaking goal late in the third period as the Toronto Maple Leafs rallied for a 3-2 win over the Dallas Stars on Tuesday night.

    P.A. Parenteau tied it with just under 7 1/2 minutes left in the third, and Peter Holland scored late in the first period for Toronto. James Reimer finished with 36 saves.

    Patrick Sharp had the tying goal for Dallas in the final minute of the second period, and Vernon Fiddler gave the Stars the lead at 5:37 of the third. Antti Niemi had 27 saves and Jason Demers had two assists.

    On the winning goal, Gardiner sent a slap shot from the right point over Niemi with 3:28 to go.

    Gardiner also assisted on the game’s first goal, by Holland on the power play with 1:22 left in the first.

    Toronto improved to 3-8-4 with its second win in nine days against Central Division-leading Dallas (12-4-0).

    The Maple Leafs scored on the game’s first power play. Dallas’ Johnny Oduya was off for holding when Holland tipped in Gardiner’s shot from the blue line late in the first. With his stick, Holland directed the puck downward off Niemi’s left pad and between his legs.

    Reimer’s toughest saves came early in the period, when he stopped Antoine Roussel and Mattias Janmark. Ales Hemsky shot high on another chance from in front of the net.

    Dallas tied the game with 34 seconds left in the second period ended. Sharp hustled to beat the Leafs’ Matt Hunwick in a race for the puck. It went to Demers behind the net and the Stars’ defenseman passed to Sharp at the left goalpost, and he wristed the puck into the net.

    Sharp’s goal was his seventh, all in the last eight games. He did not score in his first eight games.

    Fiddler skated to a loose puck in the right corner and sent a backhand shot from a severe angle over Reimer’s left shoulder and into the short side of the net to put Dallas up 2-1 .

    NOTES: The Maple Leafs have won four in a row against Dallas, by a combined margin of 16-6. … LW Antoine Roussel returned to Dallas’ lineup after missing two games because of an upper-body injury. … Toronto’s No. 1 goalie, Jonathan Bernier (lower body), made the trip to Dallas and Nashville. He hasn’t played since being injured Oct. 31, but could be close to a return.

    Video: Alex Stalock allows long-distance goal

    4 Comments

    Martin Jones was pulled after allowing two Islanders goals on just three shots, and he might not have had the worst night of a San Jose Sharks goalie.

    OK, Alex Stalock‘s been generally fine on Tuesday, but the Johnny Boychuk goal he allowed may just haunt his dreams.

    Boychuk has a rifle of a shot, yet that won’t make Stalock feel much better about the goal he allowed from above the Sharks’ zone. You can watch it above.

    The Sharks thought that there was a chance that the Islanders might have been offside on the play, allowing that moment to linger. That was an understandable choice by Peter DeBoer, but … ouch.

    If that’s enough discomfort for Sharks fans, there are also Patrick Marleau trade rumors to make the night frostier.

    Update: The Islanders ended up winning 4-2.

    Good news for Stalock specifically? That fourth goal was an empty-netter. The bad news was that means the Boychuk tally was also the game-winner.

    (Sorry Sharks fans.)

    Ovechkin fires away, but Red Wings blank Caps

    13 Comments

    DETROIT (AP) Andreas Athanasiou scored 4:06 into the third period and Petr Mrazek had 38 saves, lifting the Detroit Red Wings to a 1-0 win over the Washington Capitals on Tuesday night.

    Athanasiou scored his first career goal in his second NHL game from an improbable angle. He shot from the goal line near the left corner, getting the puck between goaltender Braden Holtby and the left post.

    Holtby had 26 saves for the Capitals and appeared to get away with scooping a puck out of the net with his glove in the first period. The play was reviewed, but the no-goal call on the ice was upheld.

    The Capitals started a power play with 5:08 left in the game, but couldn’t take advantage even with some Alex Ovechkin‘s slap shots.

    Ovechkin was on the ice for almost the entire 2-minute man advantage and had chances to score a milestone goal, but was denied by Mrazek. Ovechkin has 483 career goals, tying him with Sergei Fedorov for the most goals in the NHL by a Russian-born player.

    Fedorov dropped the ceremonial first puck and embraced Red Wings star Henrik Zetterberg and Ovechkin, both of whom are former teammates, as he was honored a day after being inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Fedorov was given a rousing, standing ovation before the game and was cheered again in the third period when highlights of his career were shown and he acknowledged the fans by waving from the owner’s suite.

    The Capitals pulled Holtby with 1:15 left to add an extra skater and called timeout 12 seconds later, hoping to come up with a plan to tie the game and send it to overtime.

    Detroit didn’t let Washington get a puck past Mrazek, who had his first shutout of the season and the sixth of his career.

    The Red Wings have won four of their last five games despite scoring two or fewer goals in three of those victories.

    Washington had won two straight, scoring a total of seven goals in those games, and was shut out for the first time in nearly a month.

    NOTES: Fedorov lamented before the game that he didn’t stay in Detroit for his entire career. He left to sign with Anaheim as a free agent and later played for Columbus and Washington. “I’m going to blame the agents,” he said. … Red Wings D Mike Green played against his former team for the first time. The Capitals drafted him in 2004 and he had 113 goals, tying for third among defensemen on the franchise’s all-time list with Calle Johansson.

    Lundqvist breaks another Richter record, Rangers stay hot

    Henrik Lundqvist
    AP
    1 Comment

    NEW YORK (AP) Henrik Lundqvist made 33 saves for his first shutout this season and 56th of his career, leading the New York Rangers to a 3-0 win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday night.

    Jesper Fast, Rick Nash and Ryan McDonagh scored for New York, which improved to 11-2-2 with its sixth straight win. The Rangers improved to 17-1-0 against Carolina since Feb. 22, 2011.

    Fast and Nash scored 11 seconds apart in the first to give the Rangers the lead even though Carolina controlled play for much of the period.

    Fast scored his third of the year following a sequence in which New York was able to maintain extended possession of the puck in the offensive zone, leading to the right winger taking a shot from the right circle.

    Nash’s goal was aided by a giveaway, and Cam Ward‘s over-aggressiveness. The Carolina goaltender slid far to his left, leaving Nash with essentially an empty net to put the puck into.

    Ward stopped 20 of 23 shots for the Hurricanes, who fell to 6-9-0.

    On a night in which Lundqvist passed Mike Richter for most appearances for a goaltender in franchise history and became New York’s record holder for combined regular season and postseason saves, New York’s netminder was strong throughout. Never more so than in the second period, where he made 14 saves to help the Rangers maintain their two-goal lead.

    Arguably his toughest save came with 8:03 left in regulation, when he grabbed Victor Rask‘s drive from the circle after Dan Girardi turned the puck over in the defensive zone.

    Lundqvist also benefited from good fortune as Jeff Skinner‘s shot hit the crossbar and caromed out.

    McDonagh’s goal 13 seconds into the third ended the scoring.

    NOTES: New York scratched Dylan McIlrath and Dominic Moore. When asked why he held out Moore following the optional skate, New York coach Alain Vigneault said he was “just trying to piece all our lines,” and later added, “any time you’re faced with decisions like that, it’s not easy. Especially a guy like Dom and what he’s done for our team. But I’m looking at the big picture and I’m trying to see if we can’t come up with a combination.” . Carolina scratched Noah Hanifin, Andrej Nestrasil and Brad Malone. Hanifin, the fifth overall pick in the draft, has been scratched three times in 15 games. Still, Hurricanes coach Bill Peters said Hanifin’s development has “been good. It’s a big step from where he was three years ago. We were talking about it at the ceremony last night: Three years ago, he’s playing high school hockey, so it’s a big step over a 36 month period. He’s handled it well.”