Mike Smith is known for his ability to play the puck as a goaltender. On Saturday, well, that backfired.
Smith’s clearing attempt from behind his own net up the middle hit off the backside of Pittsburgh Penguins forward Brandon Sutter and in for a Pittsburgh goal. That got the Penguins on the board, after they trailed Smith and the Arizona Coyotes following the first period.
In that opening 20 minutes, the Penguins managed three shots on goal. They took over after that.
In the end, the Penguins recorded a 3-1 victory, snapping a four-game losing streak that included a pair of shutout losses.
Hammond looks to remain unbeaten in regulation
Andrew Hammond and the Ottawa Senators will look for a sixth straight win tonight when they play host to the lowly Toronto Maple Leafs. Hammond enters the game with a 12-0-1 record to go along with a 1.55 goals-against average since getting called up from Binghamton.
The Sens enter tonight’s action two points back of the Boston Bruins for the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference. Since the last meeting between the Leafs and Senators (Jan. 21), Ottawa is 17-6-2 while Toronto has gone 5-17-3.
James Reimer gets the nod for the Leafs.
Blue Jackets at Flames: Sergei Bobrovsky vs. Karri Ramo
Canucks at Kings: Eddie Lack vs. Jonathan Quick
Capitals at Jets: Braden Holtby vs. Ondrej Pavelec
Rangers at Hurricanes: Cam Talbot vs. Anton Khudobin
Islanders at Devils: Jaroslav Halak vs. Cory Schneider
Bruins at Panthers: Tuukka Rask vs. Roberto Luongo
Sharks at Canadiens: Antti Niemi vs. Carey Price
Sabres at Predators: Matt Hackett vs. Pekka Rinne
Blackhawks at Stars: Corey Crawford vs. Kari Lehtonen
Penguins at Coyotes: Marc-Andre Fleury vs. Mike Smith
Flyers at Oilers: Steve Mason vs. Ben Scrivens
Sounds as though Andrew Shaw has avoided a date with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety.
Per Sportsnet, Shaw won’t face any supplemental discipline after headbutting the Islanders’ Brock Nelson during the second period of Chicago’s 4-1 win over the Isles on Tuesday night.
Shaw was given a five-minute major and game misconduct for the incident. Nelson appeared no worse for wear and took regular shifts for the remainder of the contest, finishing with 17:11 TOI.
Shaw, 23, does have a disciplinary history — he was suspended three games in April 2012 for charging Coyotes’ goaltender Mike Smith — and Chicago has been punished twice already this season; Dan Carcillo was given a six-game suspension for cross-checking Mathieu Perreault, and Joakim Nordstrom was given two games for boarding Oliver Ekman-Larsson last week.
As for why Shaw didn’t get suspended…
Chicago Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw was assessed a five-minute major and a game misconduct for head butting Islanders’ Brock Nelson during the second period tonight.
Here’s a look at the play:
Shaw, who is no stranger to supplemental discipline, could be hearing from the NHL’s Department of Player Safety for Tuesday’s incident.
The 23-year-old was suspended three games in April 2012 for charging Coyotes’ goaltender Mike Smith.
By shutting out the Arizona Coyotes 1-0 on Monday, the Los Angeles Kings end the night back in the West’s final wild card spot.
They had to grind this one out as Jonathan Quick made all 25 saves while Andy Andreoff scored the only goal on an increasingly spry Mike Smith (beaten just once on 35 shots). Los Angeles carried much of the play, but much like Washington out East, it wasn’t an easy night despite facing a “tanking” opponent.
Here is a quick look at the West wild card race after this one:
Minnesota (first wild card spot): 83 points, 35 regulation/overtime wins in 69 games played
Los Angeles (second wild card spot): 81 points, 32 ROW in 69 GP
Winnipeg: 80 points, 28 ROW in 69 GP
San Jose: 76 points, 31 ROW in 69 GP
Colorado: 75 points, 23 ROW in 69 GP
Dallas: 74 points, 29 ROW in 70 GP
It’s important to mention that the Kings could conceivably catch thee Calgary Flames (who have 81 points but two more ROW) and Vancouver Canucks (82 points, one game in hand on Los Angeles, plus three more ROW than the Kings) in the Pacific Division, too.
At this point, almost every win and loss could be framed as crucial. Regardless, the Kings would likely have some serious regrets if they dropped this one, but they managed to grit this one out. The West’s top teams probably aren’t happy, either.
Of course, a lot can still change in a month.