James O'Brien

Stars squeak by Flyers, win fourth in a row


Sometimes, it really does come down to your big guns, and the Dallas Stars’ most important players came through on Tuesday.

Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn scored both Stars goals while Antti Niemi held down the fort during the Philadelphia Flyers’ comeback attempt, giving Dallas a 2-1 victory.

With that, the Stars have now won four games in a row, justifying some of the hype they took into this season after yet another splashy summer.

Benn’s game-winner came just 11 seconds into the second period, so the Flyers had plenty of time to come back. The Stars must feel nice about successfully defending a lead, especially considering Philly’s scoring potential with the likes of Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek.

It was actually Sean Couturier who scored Philly’s lone goal, as Niemi was up to the task on Tuesday.

The Flyers fall to 2-2-1 on the season. They’ll be on NBCSN again on Wednesday as they take on the Boston Bruins.

Some controversy in Tuesday’s OT game-winners

Screen from MSG telecast

With 3-on-3 OT in effect, sometimes the action can feel like the Wild West.

Maybe that explains why players may or may not be able to get away with what should be a penalty.

Arizona Coyotes fans were howling over the New Jersey Devils’ 3-2 OT winner, and it’s easy to see why. It sure looked like Adam Larsson got away with a cross-check to the back of Martin Hanzal before eventually scoring a pretty winner (which was reminiscent of Lee Stempniak‘s OT GWG, right down to an over-the-top celebration):

At the moment, Dave Tippett isn’t engaging the subject:

As great a game as Pittsburgh’s 3-2 OT win against Florida was for Sidney Crosby (one goal, two assists), this Evgeni Malkin clincher required a review:

The Panthers had a no-goal earlier in the game, so it wasn’t a great review night for the Cats. Here’s the league explanation for Malkin’s winner standing:

At 1:21 of overtime in the Florida Panthers/Pittsburgh Penguins game, Florida requested a Coach’s Challenge. However, Rule 78.8 explains that “in the final minute of play in the 3rd period and at any point in Overtime (Regular Season and Playoffs), Hockey Operations will initiate the review of any scenario that would otherwise be subject to a Coach’s Challenge.” Hockey Operations had previously confirmed that the Penguins entered the zone legally prior to Evgeni Malkin‘s goal. The call on the ice stands – good goal Pittsburgh Penguins.

Fireable (lack of) offense? Blue Jackets fall to 0-7-0

Screen from Fox Sports Telecast

What else can you say about the Columbus Blue Jackets at this point?

OK, there are a few things that come to mind:

  • “Seriously, how is this happening … how are they this bad?”
  • “Someone’s getting fired tonight, right?”
  • Many wonder if there’s a trade coming, but that isn’t likely to be very easy.

Things only got worse on Tuesday night, as the New York Islanders beat the Blue Jackets 4-0, sending Columbus to an almost unthinkable 0-7-0 record.

The score’s inflated by an empty-net goal, and it’s true that Curtis McElhinney managed to keep things close for a while (things really unraveled in the third period). Columbus also tested Jaroslav Halak often in this one, as he needed to stop 37 shots for tonight’s shutout.

Does any of that really matter at this point?

The Blue Jackets are in a huge hole early this season, even by their slow-starting standards. It keeps feeling like this team is hitting new lows, so is this truly rock bottom?

We’ll keep you informed about reactions, whether that just amounts to sad comments to the media or something a little more drastic.

More: How historically bad Columbus was before tonight’s loss.

Video: Roussel goes after Gagner, doesn’t get fighting major


It cannot be very easy to be an on-ice official in the NHL.

The action’s speedy, making it tough to distinguish embellishments from legitimate reactions, among other situations.

Every now and then you have to wonder what, exactly, was going on.

Take, for instance, the incident in the video above. How exactly did Dallas Stars troublemaker Antoine Roussel not get a fighting major for what he did with Sam Gagner? Was it really all about trying to keep both sides happy when the penalties were handed out?

Even former zebras were perplexed:

Oh well.

Here’s an easier situation to understand: Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin are lethal in 2-on-1 situations, especially with a fresh sheet of ice.

Crosby breaks cold streak, Pens edge Panthers


It was a matter of time, and honestly, even some of Sidney Crosby‘s many haters were probably getting tired of hearing about his struggles.

(Plenty of other people were probably basking in it, mind you.)

Either way, Crosby finally nabbed a point in 2015-16, and it was a power-play goal against the Florida Panthers on Tuesday night. It gave the Pittsburgh Penguins what currently stands as a 1-0 lead.

Perhaps Crosby got a little extra fire going because of his heated exchange with Jaromir Jagr, who still gets booed in Pittsburgh.

The reactions to his first tally are about what you expected.

And so on.

Update: Crosby ended the night with one goal and two assists as the Penguins beat the Panthers 3-2 in OT. Evgeni Malkin‘s winner needed video review.