Buffalo Sabres

Lupul on Kadri: ‘This stuff happens — it happened in Winnipeg’

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Toronto winger Joffrey Lupul was front and center today in the wake of the Nazem Kadri situation, and offered up an interesting parallel when discussing Kadri with reporters.

“This stuff happens — it happened in Winnipeg,” Lupul explained, per TSN. “They were able to get away from it just fine, and control it.”

Lupul is, of course, referencing the Evander Kane situation in Winnipeg, which is a dicey example to throw out. Kane was alleged to have gotten in a dispute with teammates — specifically, Dustin Byfuglien — before reportedly no-showing for a game in Vancouver. That was followed by Kane’s decision to have season-ending shoulder surgery, which was then followed by the Jets shipping him to Buffalo.

Kadri’s situation in Toronto sounds a lot different.

The Leafs forward was made a healthy scratch on Monday after oversleeping and missing Sunday’s team meeting. That was followed by today’s announcement, in which team president Brendan Shanahan tacked on two more games to Kadri’s punishment, saying “there’s more to this, obviously” than just a missed meeting.

Unlike Kane, Kadri looks as though he’ll return to the Toronto lineup this season. And also unlike Kane, Kadri seems to have the backing of teammates, at least publicly — in addition to Lupul, Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf also vowed his support.

Winnipeg hardly showed similar unity in the aftermath of shower-gate; Byfuglien and Blake Wheeler were pretty outspoken in stressing the need for professionalism and following rules, but never said anything about welcoming Kane back, or how good a guy he was.

Based on today’s comments, Lupul and the Leafs genuinely like Kadri.

“Just so the story’s not blown out of proportion, he’s a good guy and a good teammate,” Lupul explained. “It’s not like he’s ever created any problems in here or anything.

“He’s a good guy and one of my good friends, and everyone in here will say the same thing.”

Goalie nods: Neuvirth starts second straight for Isles

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All the latest from the blue paint…

Don’t call it a controversy

The Islanders will start Michal Neuvirth for the second straight game tonight against the Leafs — but it isn’t a sign of potential goalie drama.

Tonight is the first of the Isles’ back-to-back set, which culminates tomorrow with a crucial tilt against the Rangers. Jaroslav Halak will face the Blueshirts, a team he’s fared well against this season, going 3-1-0 with a 2.51 GAA and .935 save percentage. Tomorrow’s game also represents the fifth and final meeting of the season between the two New York-based clubs, and a chance for the Isles (and Halak) to beat the Rangers in four of the five meetings.

As for Neuvirth, tonight’s game gives him a chance to make up for his debut — a shootout loss to the Panthers on Saturday, in which he allowed three goals on just 18 shots.

For Toronto, Jonathan Bernier will be in goal.

Elsewhere…

Oilers at Red Wings: Ben Scrivens vs. (no Detroit starter yet)

Ducks at Canucks: (no Anaheim starter yet) vs. Eddie Lack

Preds at Coyotes: (no Nashville starter yet) vs. Louis Domingue

Pens at Sharks: (no Pittsburgh starter yet) vs. Antti Niemi

Avs’ marked man McLeod scores vs. Wild, fights Stewart

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Patrick Roy vented on a Minnesota sportswriter for discussing Cody McLeod’s agitating presence against the Minnesota Wild, yet it didn’t take long for the tough Colorado Avalanche forward to operate as expected.

It’s obviously been a catalyst for Colorado tonight, too, as they’re off to a 3-0 lead in part thanks to McLeod’s efforts.

Less than a minute into the game, he fought his old pal Chris Stewart:

Later in the first period, he scored the Avs’ first goal:

If these two teams meet in the playoffs again anytime soon, fans of chaos would probably want McLeod involved.

Video: Caps’ Chimera blindly fights Mike Weber with jersey over his head

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Washington Capitals forward Jason Chimera was determined to fight Buffalo Sabres defenseman Mike Weber early in the third period and he wasn’t going to let the fact that his jersey was over his head stop him.

Chimera managed to do pretty well despite the handicap, as you can see below:

That was Chimera’s third fight of the season with them all occurring over his last seven games, per hockeyfights.com.

Washington earned a 6-1 victory, giving Buffalo its fourth straight loss. The Sabres and Capitals will play again on March 16.

Goalie Nods: Hutchinson gets a sixth straight start

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Michael Hutchinson gets the nod in Nashville

Michael Hutchinson will look to right the ship tonight in Nashville. The Jets’ goaltender allowed three goals on 17 shots in a loss to the Senators on Wednesday. Hutchinson has lost three of his last five games while posting a 2.57 GAA and .906 save percentage. The Jets have not won in Nashville this season and will look to avoid a third straight loss to the Preds.

Pekka Rinne, who has lost four in a row, gets the nod for Nashville.

Elsewhere…

Blues at Leafs: Brian Elliott vs. Jonathan Bernier

Stars at Lightning: Jhonas Enroth vs. Andrei Vasilevskiy

Islanders at Panthers: Michal Neuvirth vs. Dan Ellis

Sabres at Capitals: Anders Lindback (unconfirmed) vs. Braden Holtby

Avalanche at Blue Jackets: Semyon Varlamov vs. Curtis McElhinney

Canadiens at Coyotes: Carey Price vs. Mike Smith

Penguins at Kings: Marc-Andre Fleury (unconfirmed) vs. Jonathan Quick (unconfirmed).

Canucks at Sharks: Eddie Lack vs. Antti Niemi