Montreal Canadiens

Video: Clarkson slams Gonchar from behind, fights twice over 2:31 mins of ice time


David Clarkson’s penalty minute to playing time ratio against the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday was more than 10:1 and that’s where it will stay as he was booted after one period and 2:31 minutes of official work.

The Maple Leafs forward got off to an eventful start by picking a fight with Brandon Prust just 3:35 minutes into the contest.

Clarkson got five minutes for fighting and another two for unsportsmanlike conduct. Of course, this isn’t the first time that Prust and Clarkson have traded blows.

“You know, coming up, I really hated David Clarkson,” Prust previously admitted on Hockey Confidential, per TSN’s Bob McKenzie. “Our fights were personal…I think we’ve both matured now; we maybe don’t have same hatred…but as teenagers in London and Kitchener, and (in NHL), it was personal.”

After Clarkson finished serving his time, he delivered a big and potentially suspension-worthy hit against Canadiens defenseman Sergei Gonchar. Nathan Beaulieu rushed to the defense of his fallen teammate.

Clarkson got major penalties for fighting and interference as well as a game misconduct.

Update: Gonchar is out with an upper-body injury, per TVA Sports’ Renaud Lavoie.

Goalie Nods: Howard returns for Detroit


Howard returns from groin injury

Jimmy Howard will make his first start since Jan. 10 tonight when the Detroit Red Wings play host to the Winnipeg Jets. Howard missed 10 games with a groin injury. He made four saves in relief of Petr Mrazec on Wednesday night in Pittsburgh. Howard is 16-7-7 with a 2.09 G.A.A. and a .920 save percentage this season.

Michael Hutchinson is expected to start for the Jets.


Maple Leafs at Canadiens: Jonathan Bernier vs. Carey Price

Blue Jackets at Islanders: Anton Forsberg vs. Jaroslav Halak

Rangers at Coyotes: Cam Talbot vs. Mike Smith

Hurricanes at Wild: Anton Khudobin vs. Devan Dubnyk

Devils at Predators: Cory Schneider vs. Pekka Rinne

Stars at Avalanche: Jhonas Enroth vs. Semyon Varlamov

Canucks at Flames: Ryan Miller vs. Karri Ramo

Capitals at Kings: Braden Holtby vs. Jonathan Quick

Flyers’ Couturier on loss to Jackets: ‘It’s pretty embarrassing’


Wayne Simmonds’ power play goal at 5:04 of the third period gave Philadelphia a 3-1 lead Friday night.

The Flyers appeared headed for a win.

However, Jared Boll and Cam Atkinson scored to tie it 3-3 forcing overtime and Artem Anisimov netted the winner at 2:17 of the extra period.

It was the second time in as many meetings Columbus edged Philly in overtime.

The Jackets have now won three of four meetings between the two clubs.

“It’s pretty embarrassing,” said Sean Couturier per “We’re in the playoff hunt. You can’t have an effort like that. We’re not gonna go far if we play like that.

“If we want to, we can be one of the best teams in the league. We gotta play our game and start putting pressure and pucks on net and tight defense. The last two games have been pretty embarrassing the way we lose these games.”

It was the second time this week the Flyers have squandered a third period lead and lost in overtime.

On Tuesday night Philly was up 1-0 in the third on the Montreal Canadiens. Tomas Plekanec scored with less than eight minutes remaining and David Desharnais won it in overtime.

“There’s something wrong with losing these games the way we’re losing them,” Couturier said. “We got to fix what’s wrong and play better for 60 minutes. It’s not a 40- or 45-minute game.”

The Flyers are currently seven points back of Boston for the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.

Philadelphia will look to avoid a third straight loss Sunday when they visit Buffalo. The Flyers won the only other meeting between the two clubs 4-3 on Jan. 17.

Video: Alexei Emelin’s big hit on Nail Yakupov


While Nail Yakupov and the Edmonton Oilers got the last laugh, they likely weren’t happy after this hit by Montreal Canadiens defenseman Alexei Emelin:

There was no penalty on the play, but does that mean it was a legal check?

For what it’s worth, Yakupov returned to action and assisted on Anton Lander’s overtime game-winner. Emelin is a hard-hitting player, yet he hasn’t been suspended in his young NHL career.

The good news is that either way, the early word seems to be that Yakupov was able to shake it off. PHT will note if that changes, however.

Therrien steams after blown lead, says Habs didn’t deserve a point


No one likes blowing leads, particularly in the third period. The Edmonton Oilers served up a bitter 4-3 OT loss to the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday, and head coach Michel Therrien clearly wasn’t happy about it.

“We didn’t deserve a point tonight,” Therrien said, according to TVA’s Renaud Lavoie.’s Arpon Basu notes that it’s rare for the occasionally grumpy bench boss to be so frank with his criticisms of the team at large:

There are a few reasons why one would assume that it was an especially irritating loss.

For one thing, the Oilers obviously aren’t the type of opponent who fill you with fear. Beyond that, it certainly seemed like Edmonton brought more effort to the table; the Oilers generated a 38-26 shot advantage in the game.

Then again, maybe it was just the way the game ended.

Tomas Plekanec had a chance to ice it with an empty-net goal, yet he hesitated at first in looking to set up a teammate for that gimme, ultimately getting his shot blocked. Moments later, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored his second of the night with less than 30 seconds remaining to send it to OT.

Anton Lander scored the OT winner as Dustin Tokarski looked rather baffled, and just like that, the Habs saw a regulation win turn into an overtime defeat.

Montreal had a chance to improve its situation in a tight race for the Atlantic Division crown. Instead, they unraveled in the closing moments and left their prickly coach fuming.