<span class="vcard">Mike Halford</span>

David Backes, Michael Hutchinson

Floundering Jets lose sixth straight, this time to Blues


Prior to tonight’s game in St. Louis, Paul Maurice said the Jets were “not a confident group.”

Wonder what he thinks now.

Winnipeg lost its sixth consecutive game on Monday, dropping a 3-2 decision to the Blues at Scottrade. The loss came after yet another slow start — the Jets allowed St. Louis to score twice within the first 15 minutes — and, once again, the Jets showed an inability to keep pucks out of their net.

Over this current losing skid, Winnipeg has surrendered a whopping 26 goals in six games.

Vladimir Tarasenko and David Backes scored for St. Louis, with the captain putting forth a terrific effort. Backes scored twice, once on the power play, and finished with his first three-point effort of the year.

Jake Allen, who’s been excellent in wrestling away the No. 1 gig from Brian Elliott, stopped 16 of 18 shots for his eighth win of the year.

Bryan Little and Dustin Byfuglien replied for the Jets, who will be glad to see this current road trip come to an end.

Winnipeg failed to secure a single point from dates Minnesota, Dallas, Nashville and St. Louis, with the Nashville game — a 7-0 blowout Maurice called “our worst game of the year” — being a major low point.

The Jets will try to regroup on Wednesday, when they host a Canucks team currently in the midst of its own lousy road swing.

The Blues, meanwhile, will play in Columbus on Tuesday.

Habs rally from three-goal deficit, stun struggling Canucks in OT

David Desharnais

Coming into tonight, the Canucks’ current seven-game road trip had been one to forget.


They’ll probably want to wipe it from their memories entirely.

Vancouver blew a 3-0 lead to Montreal on Monday night, surrendering a late-third period goal before David Desharnais scored in OT to give the Canadiens a stunning 4-3 comeback win.

Adam Cracknell, Jared McCann and Daniel Sedin all scored for Vancouver, who was up 3-0 midway through the game before Lars Eller got the Habs on the board at 8:12 of the second period.

After Eller made it 3-1, Max Pacioretty cut the lead to one at the 10:53 mark. That gave Montreal momentum, which it carried over to the third frame — after some decent pressure, Tomas Fleischmann scored with less than four minutes remaining to send the game into overtime, where Desharnais played the hero.

For Vancouver, the loss dropped them to 1-3-2 over the first six games of their season-long trip, which (mercifully) ends on Wednesday in Winnipeg. The loss also spoiled a second consecutive solid outing for backup goalie Jacob Markstrom who, after making 42 saves in a win over Columbus last week, stopped 32 of 36 tonight.

For Montreal, tonight’s stirring comeback will take away the sting of Saturday’s ugly 6-1 loss to Colorado, the club’s worst home loss of the season.

It was also another terrific effort from Fleischmann.

The veteran winger, who landed in Montreal’s training camp on a PTO and earned himself a one-year contract, now has five goals and 13 points through 19 games this year.

Video: Ekblad scores dramatic late winner as Panthers top Bolts, 1-0


Two nights ago, Florida and Tampa Bay combined to score eight times in regulation — four goals each — before the Panthers captured an exciting shootout victory.

Tonight, there was nowhere near the same amount of offense.

But the finish was just as dramatic.

After 59 minutes of scoreless hockey, Aaron Ekblad scored the game-winning (and only) tally as the Panthers knocked off the Bolts 1-0 at BB&T. The goal, Ekblad’s third in his last four games, came on assists from Jaromir Jagr and Jonathan Huberdeau, and gave Roberto Luongo his first shutout of the season.

The veteran netminder was full credit for the clean sheet, too, stopping all 39 shots faced — including 15 in the final frame.

This was a big win for the Panthers, who’ve now won three of four on the heels of an ugly five-game losing streak. It was also a feather in the cap for Luongo, who matched a season-high for shots faced (he’s seen 39 two other times this season) and managed to stymie Bolts captain Steve Stamkos, who finished with a team-high six shots.

As for the Lightning, tonight was the latest in what’s been an erratic month.

The club is just 3-3-1 in November, flipping back and forth between looking like a team that’s on the verge of breaking out offensively, then one that can’t seem to find the back of the net.

To be fair, the Bolts were extremely undermanned on Monday, without the services of Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat, Jonathan Drouin and Cedric Paquette.

But still — for the highest-scoring team in hockey last year, tonight’s shutout marked the second time in five games the Bolts have been blanked.

Related: The Lightning are ‘frustrated,’ but coach Cooper isn’t worried yet

Oft-injured Grabovski (upper body) exits for Isles, won’t return

New York Islanders v Philadelphia Flyers
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Another tough health development for Mikhail Grabovski?

Could be.

On Monday night, Grabovski lasted just 7:45 before exiting the Islanders’ home date against the Coyotes, and was officially ruled out with an upper-body injury early in the third period.

It’s unclear what’s ailing the 31-year-old, or when it occurred — per Newsday, Grabovski went to the Isles’ bench following a opening-period collision — but the fact he left the game entirely isn’t good.

And given his history, it’s really not good.

Grabovski only appeared in 51 of 82 games last year, missing extensive time with a concussion issues and a lower-body ailment. The year prior, in Washington, he only appeared in 58 of 82 games, missing extensive time with an ankle injury.

Prior to tonight, it looked like the veteran winger may have put his health issues behind him, having appeared in all 18 of New York’s games this season.

Grabovski’s in the second of a four-year, $20 million deal with a $5M average annual cap hit.

Video: ‘Canes rookie Hanifin scores first NHL goal

It took a while — 15 games, to be specific — but Noah Hanifin has scored his first big-league marker.

On Monday, Hanifin scored early in the second period to draw the ‘Canes even with Anaheim, 1-1.

It was a banner moment for the 18-year-old. The fifth overall pick at this year’s draft  — and, accordingly, one of the NHL’s youngest players this season — Hanifin’s had a tough go of things recently, which included some time in the press box as a healthy scratch.

That said, things seem to be coming around for the former Boston College standout.

Hanifin has eclipsed the 20 minutes-played mark in two of his last three games, and had the memorable marker tonight as the ‘Canes look to snap their current three-game losing streak.