It’s a rare treat to watch some great hockey on NBCSN on a Friday, at least at this time of year.
Even better: you get to see a rare matchup between two strong teams in the Pittsburgh Penguins and Los Angeles Kings, to boot.
The cores of both of these teams produced two Stanley Cups,* yet their styles are quite different. On one hand, you have the fast-and-furious Penguins, led by Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. On the other, you have the big-and-stingy Kings (who nonetheless boast huge talent in players like Anze Kopitar and Drew Doughty).
Overall, it should be an intriguing bout between two teams who are fighting for positioning in their respective divisions. You can watch on NBCSN, online or via the NBC Sports App.
The NHL rendered its verdict on that controversial hit from Thursday: Dallas Stars forward Cody Eakin will sit four games for his “intentional, forceful” check on New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist.
Sitting out four games without pay will cost Eakin $85,555.56.
As you can see from the explanation video below, the league believed that he didn’t make a reasonable effort to avoid contact with Lundqvist, instead “loading up” and “bracing for” the collision. They consider this charging.
On the other hand, Lundqvist returning to the game and Eakin’s lack of a suspension history helped to limit the punishment:
Measure of revenge: Lundqvist shuts out Stars after controversial hit
In sports, the best revenge usually comes down to winning the game.
Henrik Lundqvist took a huge, polarizing hit from Cody Eakin during tonight’s Dallas Stars – New York Rangers game, briefly leaving the contest. Luckily for the Rangers – and unluckily for the Stars – Lundqvist returned to the action and gave his opponents nothing.
Rick Nash and Mats Zuccarello scored two goals in the third period of what was a pretty nice goalie duel, all things considered. And it’s little surprise that Lundqvist (particularly a possibly angry Lundqvist) ended up winning that duel.
You may look at that 5-2 score and believe that it was a blowout, but that final score is deceptive thanks to two empty-netters by the Wild. Minnesota was actually up 3-1 at the end of the first period and leaned pretty heavily upon Dubnyk, who only allowed one more Predators goal.
Beating the Predators in a game where Nashville carried much of the play holds extra meaning for Dubnyk, as some of the darkest days of his NHL career came during his very brief time in that country music hotbed.
Dubnyk joked that it's good to show Nashville that he's not a bad goalie. Tough time in his career when he played for Preds #mnwild