James O'Brien

Bob Hartley

Extinguished: Caps clobber Flames 6-2


The Calgary Flames spoke about “getting the ball rolling” on Monday. Instead, they continue to look, well, deflated.

Despite beginning with a 1-0 lead, the Flames were embarrassed by the Washington Capitals tonight via a 6-2 loss.

A quiet Calgary crowd watched its team lose its fourth home game in as many tries while also slipping to 1-5-0 overall.

The second period was where things really started to fall apart. Alex Ovechkin hit the 900-point milestone just 30 seconds into that middle frame, and Washington eventually bumped it up to a 4-1 lead.

It was a big night for Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and Evgeny Kuznetsov, which was bad news for the Flames.

Looking at the score, it’s probably not too surprising to learn that the Flames’ frustrating game of goalie “musical chairs” continued.

Relief may not be in sight anytime soon in that regard (and maybe others).

(That’s not to say that it was all on the netminders; Calgary’s much-hyped defensemen struggled at times, including Mark Giordano and Dougie Hamilton.)

So, the Flames couldn’t get it going for another night. The uncomfortable question for Calgary’s management is: do they have the ability to turn it around?

Ovechkin scores 900th point (of course, on a goal)


Alex Ovechkin has been 30 for just a little bit more than a month, and he’s already hit the 900-point mark.

Really, it only makes sense that he reached such a milestone with a goal, the 479th of his career. You can watch it in the video above.

(So, yeah, he’s awfully close to 500 goals and 1,000 points for his already fantastic career.

/Just about anyone above 30 feels like a slacker now)

Here are some fun nuggets about Ovechkin’s latest accomplishment:

Ovechkin assisted on a T.J. Oshie goal later on in the second period, so he’s already at 901 points (and has more time to add to his gaudy totals).

Canadiens continue to look legit, best Blues


One can imagine a critic saying “Sure, the Montreal Canadiens look hot, but can they beat one of the West’s best teams?”

They answered that question with an emphatic “Yes” on Tuesday, beating the St. Louis Blues by a score of 3-0.

This was already the best start in Montreal’s richly storied history, yet this raised the bar higher, as they’re now 7-0-0.

As Jason Brough and Mike Halford discuss in the video above this post, the Canadiens have been about more than just Carey Price being Carey Price. They generally stood toe-to-toe with St. Louis possession-wise, not an easy task against one of the league’s more relentless squads.

This Alexander Semin goal also ventures the question: “What if Montreal’s supporting cast can get it going?”

Now … as much as Montreal’s not just about Price, he’s still red-hot.

Price dazzled with a 38-save shutout; he’s now allowed just one goal in his past three games. He also owns six of Montreal’s seven wins.

Yep, they sure look hot, but let’s not forget that it’s merely October. If any team can remind the Habs that early success doesn’t guarantee playoff glory, it’s the (very good) team Montreal beat tonight.


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.