Ottawa Senators

Video: Bobby Ryan with a goal of the year candidate

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Bobby Ryan may be battling a broken finger, but it sure didn’t slow him down Thursday night.

The Sens’ forward dangled Kings’ defenseman Brayden McNabb before beating Jonathan Quick for his sixth of the season.

You know its’ good when the opposing team is voting it goal of the year.

Video: Sens’ Alex Chiasson robbed by the glove of Quick

Ottawa Senators Alex Chiasson had a glorious chance to open the scoring Thursday night against the L.A. Kings, but was robbed by the glove hand of Jonathan Quick.

Here’s a look at the play:

It was reviewed, but ruled no goal.

Here is the official explanation from the league:

At 15:15 of the first period in the Los Angeles Kings/Ottawa Senators game, the Situation Room initiated a video review to further examine Alex Chiasson’s shot at 14:32. Video review supported the referee’s call on the ice that the puck did not cross the Los Angeles goal line. No goal Ottawa.

Onus now on Sens to prove MacLean was the problem

The Ottawa Senators fired Paul MacLean because he was too hard on his players.

OK, it wasn’t just that. The losses might have had something to do with it as well.

But the “too hard on his players” narrative is the main one that’s emerged since Monday’s announcement that the 2013 Jack Adams Award winner had been let go — a message that was pushed by GM Bryan Murray, who felt that “very definitely” MacLean had become “more demanding of some of the players, and more critical of some of the players.”

While MacLean has since expressed disappointment with that notion — “Did I push them too hard? At the end of the day, that must be what they’re saying….But I think it has more to do with me not winning games than anything else,” he told ESPN.com — the Senators now find themselves in the position of having to prove that the coaching change was the right move.

If, on the other hand, they don’t turn things around, you can imagine what people will say. Oh, the coach was too hard on you? Boo-hoo. Seems by the way you’re playing he was right to be.

The Sens host the Los Angeles Kings tonight, then hit the road for three games in Boston, Buffalo, and New Jersey.

Forward Zack Smith is hoping the change in bench bosses, from MacLean to Dave Cameron, might “spark” the team.

“It’s unfortunate to say — and I want to word this right — sometimes coaches are hired to be fired,” Smith told the Ottawa Citizen.

“It’s a tough job. If you’re not winning, you’re not going to be there long. When a new coach comes in, everyone’s trying to prove themselves and fight for a spot, and prove to that coach that they can play or deserve to be there. I think that might have slipped a bit over the last year-and-a-half.

“It’s not to put it on him, but that’s what happened. I don’t think guys were playing to their abilities. That’s what led to the poor start we’ve had so far.”

That’s the theory.

Will the Sens prove it?

Or, will their play debunk it?

Goalie nods: Darling starts third straight for Chicago

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All the latest from the blue paint…

Darling goes again

Scott Darling will make his third consecutive start tonight when Chicago takes on the B’s at TD Garden.

Darling, who has spent the majority of this season in AHL Rockford, has been tremendous when called upon — especially in his latest stint with Corey Crawford (ankle) sidelined. The 25-year-old has gone 4-1-0 with a 1.76 GAA and .939 save percentage in five games this season and emerged the victor in each of his previous two starts: a 3-1 win over Nashville (32 saves) and a 3-2 shootout win over the Devils (22 saves).

For the Bruins, Tuukka Rask will get the nod in goal.

Elsewhere…

Flames at Sabres: Karri Ramo vs. Jhonas Enroth

Devils at Flyers: Cory Schneider vs. Ray Emery

Jackets at Caps: Sergei Bobrovsky vs. Braden Holtby

‘Canes at Lightning: Evgeni Nabokov for Tampa Bay, Cam Ward likely for Carolina.

Kings at Sens: Craig Anderson for Ottawa, Jonathan Quick likely for L.A.

Isles at Blues: Jaroslav Halak vs. Jake Allen

Jets at Avs: Calvin Pickard for Colorado, no word yet on a Winnipeg starter.

PHT Morning Skate: (Video) Ducks reunite soldier, family live

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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

The Anaheim Ducks arranged a great surprise for the wife of Sergeant First Class Robert Vandenberg Jr.:

While goaltender Semyon Varlamov is injured, it looks like the Avalanche plan to lean on Calvin Pickard instead of Varlamov’s understudy, Reto Berra. Berra inked a three-year contract with Colorado, but he’s struggled mightily this season. (Denver Post)

The Ottawa Senators probably won’t loan Curtis Lazar to Team Canada for the World Juniors. (Ottawa Sun)

Here are the highlights from Toronto’s 2-1 shootout win over Detroit:

Here’s a look at the life of bubble player and what it’s like to frequently bounce between the minors and NHL. (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)

Andrew Hirsh argues that Paul MacLean wasn’t the person to blame for the Senators’ woes. (SB Nation)

San Jose has put Matt Nieto on the injured reserve list, but Marc-Edouard Vlasic is close to returning. (San Jose Mercury News)