Author: James O'Brien

Buffalo Sabres v Ottawa Senators

Video: Bobby Ryan’s high-effort hat trick

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Bobby Ryan worked hard and put his body on the line on Monday night, helping the Ottawa Senators even beyond scoring his first hat trick in almost four years.

That hat trick still makes for the best video, of course, so check out his trio of goals in Ottawa’s 5-2 win against the Buffalo Sabres:

This marks the fourth hat trick of Ryan’s career, and as TSN’s Ian Mendes points out, it’s his first since Jan. 12, 2011.

Orpik gets injured in Caps’ OT loss to Isles

orpikhurt
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The Washington Capitals deserve some credit for muscling back from an 0-3 deficit to salvage a point in an eventual 4-3 OT loss to the New York Islanders, yet it was still a tough evening.

That’s especially true for Brooks Orpik, who took a scary spill, as you can see from this video from CSNWashington.com:

Yikes.

On the bright side, head coach Barry Trotz is downplaying the severity of the injury, as the Washington Post’s Alex Prewitt reports.

So, the early outlook seems optimistic, but we’ll see how it goes.

Streaking Stars end Rangers’ run at eight games

New York Rangers v Dallas Stars
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It took a Dallas Stars team that’s just about as hot as the New York Rangers to finally end the Blueshirts’ impressive run at eight straight wins. Dallas won by a slim margin, edging the Rangers 3-2 on Monday.

With this win, the Stars have now won six of their seven games, with Dallas’ only blemish being a 4-0 home loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

If anything, the Stars might look to their opponents as inspiration to keep this going; the Rangers were 7-7-4 on Nov. 17 but have since gone 12-4-0 to improve to 19-11-4. Dallas is 16-14-5, so again … they have a long way to go.

The win must be a confidence-booster for Kari Lehtonen in particular, as he didn’t give up a goal since Kevin Hayes found the net 16:46 into the first period. Antoine Roussel’s 3-2 winner came less than a minute into the middle frame, so Lehtonen didn’t have a significant margin for error.

Neither team is out of the woods yet by any means Рthe Stars dug themselves a big hole while the Rangers face a lot of road games Рbut both are playing closer to the form they showed during their best moments last season.

Wild end skid with 3-2 win against Jets

Mathieu Perreault, Stu Bickel, John Curry
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Earlier today, PHT labeled Monday’s game the biggest of the Winnipeg Jets’ season, but it was pretty important for the Minnesota Wild as well. Ultimately, the Wild took it 3-2, ending a five-game losing streak in the process.

Darcy Kuemper hasn’t been immune to criticisms about Minnesota’s goaltending, yet he came up big today, stopping 28 out of 30 shots. He didn’t give up a single goal at even strength and shut down Winnipeg’s offense after Mathieu Perreault scored 20 seconds into the second period.

From that point on, Minnesota turned a 2-0 deficit into a 3-2 win in large part thanks to hard work.

Head coach Mike Yeo was very happy with his team’s efforts:

“Our guys did a great job staying with it,” Yeo said. “I’m real happy with the way we played the game, the contributions from everybody.”

The win keeps Minnesota within shouting distance of one of the wild card spots out West. While Winnipeg still holds a seven-point advantage in standings points, Minnesota has three games in hand, so a streak one way or the other could swing things considerably.

Swan song paused? Brodeur records 125th shutout

Dallas Stars v St. Louis Blues
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In a way, it would be a fitting end for Martin Brodeur.

The surefire Hall-of-Famer earned the 125th shutout and 691st win of his record-breaking career as the St. Louis Blues beat the Colorado Avalanche 3-0 on Monday. The fact that he beat fellow legend Patrick Roy’s team only sweetens the deal.

Sure, Brodeur only needed to make 16 saves to extend two of his many NHL records tonight, but he left Blues fans chanting “Marty” and only complicated questions about what the Blues might do now that Brian Elliott has been cleared to play.

If this is indeed the end for the 42-year-old (and you get the feeling he might get another shot or two, whether it’s with the Blues or not), he stopped every shot he faced in his final two appearances, as he made 10 relief saves on Dec. 23. He’s currently 3-2-0 with a .904 save percentage with St. Louis.

What would you do if you were calling the shots for the Blues?