Apparently the NHL celebrates Election Day by making sure that most of the teams from the United States have the night off so their fans can get out and vote. Isn’t that patriotic? Anyhow, here’s the change you can believe in from the NHL tonight.
Ottawa 3 – Toronto 2
The good news for the Leafs is that they broke their goalless streak that stretched over more than 160 minutes played. The bad news is, despite a spirited final few minutes of play, they looked pretty rough and the Sens pulled off the win. Oh, and Dion Phaneuf wasn’t just booed but he also left the game with a deep cut on his leg. The Leafs might want to knock off the penalties if they want to win. Sergei Gonchar and Erik Karlsson scored on the power play, meanwhile Mike Fisher scored Ottawa’s first goal on a penalty shot. Brian Elliott made 33 saves in the win for Ottawa.
Columbus 3 – Montreal 0
A bit of a baffler in Columbus as the Jackets started backup goalie Mathieu Garon and he ends up with a 29 save shutout over the Canadiens. Rick Nash, Derick Brassard, and Kyle Wilson each had a goal for the Blue Jackets as they were able to play perhaps their best game of the year. As for the Habs, well, at least Carey Price seemed motivated despite taking the loss. Tough to say that anyone else for Montreal really came out to play. That brand of inconsistency will make a fan pull their hair out.
Minnesota 1 – San Jose 0
It was Niklas Backstrom’s world and the San Jose Sharks just had to deal with living in it for the night. The Wild netminder stopped all 36 shots he saw while Andrew Brunette’s second period power play goal held up as the difference maker in the Minnesota win. The Sharks did all they could bringing the kind of offensive heat they did, but Backstrom was strong all game long. Meanwhile, Antero Niittymaki could’ve passed out from boredom making just 15 saves in the loss.
Vancouver 4 – Edmonton 3
What started off looking like a trouncing for the Canucks over the Oilers turned into a tight game, but ultimately it was former Oiler Raffi Torres stealing the show. Torres notched a hat trick, including ultimately the game-winning goal in the third period after the Oilers stormed back from 3-0 down to tie the game in the third. Dustin Penner, Ryan Jones, and Gilbert Brule had Edmonton’s goals, but Nikolai Khabibulin couldn’t keep Torres or the Sedin twins off the board enough to get the decision.
VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Vancouver Canucks right wing Ilya Mikheyev is set to have season-ending surgery on his left knee.
Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin said Friday night the 28-year-old Russian forward tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in the team’s first preseason game Sept. 25. Mikheyev will undergo surgery next week and is expected to be ready for training camp in the fall.
Mikheyev was originally listed as week-to-week with the injury and played 45 regular-season games, finishing with 13 goals and 15 assists. He scored in his final appearance Friday night, a 5-2 home victory over Columbus.
Mikheyev signed a four-year, $19 million contract as a free agent last summer.
Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews will miss at least three weeks with a sprained knee.
The team announced the reigning MVP’s anticipated absence Friday, two days after Matthews was injured in Toronto’s victory against the New York Rangers.
Matthews is expected to miss at least six games and could be out for a few more. The timing of the injury coinciding with the NHL All-Star break and the Maple Leafs bye week prevents this from costing Matthews more time out of the lineup.
After being voted an All-Star by fans, Matthews is now out of the event scheduled for Feb. 3-4 in Sunrise, Florida. The league announced Aleskander Barkov from the host Florida Panthers will take Matthews’ place on the Atlantic Division All-Star roster.
Matthews, who won the Hart Trophy last season after leading the NHL with 60 goals, has 53 points in 47 games this season.
MONTREAL — Montreal Canadiens winger Cole Caufield said Friday he wouldn’t be having season-ending surgery on his right shoulder if the team were in playoff contention.
But with the Canadiens near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings, the 22-year-old Caufield said he decided to have the surgery to protect his long-term health. The procedure is scheduled to be performed by Dr. Peter Millett on Wednesday.
“I didn’t want to stop playing,” Caufield said. “I had a couple tests done to look at it more clearly but, in the end, like it could’ve been one more fall and it could have been even worse.”
Caufield, who leads the Canadiens with 26 goals in 46 games, had three different medical opinions on his shoulder before concluding that his season was over.
“I think they’ve seen a lot more than I have and they know the differences and what they like or don’t like about it,” he said about the medical opinions. “Long term, I think this is what’s best but for sure it was tough to sit out that game against Toronto on Saturday night.”
Caufield initially felt the injury in an awkward fall during Montreal’s 4-2 loss at Dallas on Dec. 23. He said his right shoulder popped, and he replaced it himself.
Caufield felt it again in the Habs’ 4-3 loss at Nashville on Jan. 12. The club announced on Jan. 21 that Caufield would miss the rest of the season.
Caufield is nearing the end of his three-year, entry-level contract and will be a restricted free agent this summer.
SEATTLE — Seattle Kraken rookie All-Star Matty Beniers will miss the team’s final two games before the All-Star break after taking a big hit from Vancouver’s Tyler Myers earlier this week.
Seattle coach Dave Hakstol said after morning skate Friday that Beniers would not play Friday night against Calgary or Saturday against Columbus. Hakstol did not speculate on Beniers’ availability for next weekend’s All-Star Game in Florida.
The team has not specified what kind of injury Beniers sustained from the hit. He was barreled over by Myers away from the play early in the second period in Wednesday’s 6-1 victory over Vancouver. Myers was penalized for interference on the play. Beniers returned briefly for one shift later in the period but did not play in the third period.
Beniers is Seattle’s lone All-Star selection this season. He leads all rookies in goals (17) and points (36), and is fifth in total ice time for rookies.
Seattle also placed defenseman Justin Schultz on injured reserve and recalled forward Max McCormick from Coachella Valley of the AHL. Hakstol said Schultz is improving but there’s no timeline on his return.