Ride on the Zamboni – Friday, November 5th

Note: We’ll have a rundown of the two latest games (Detroit-Edmonton and Pittsburgh-Anaheim) tomorrow morning/afternoon. Enjoy summaries of the night’s first six games.

NY Rangers 3, New Jersey 0

To quote the great prophet Scooby Doo, “Ruh roh.” The Devils are in big, King Kong-sized trouble right now.

Brandon Dubinsky might be on the least-reported hot streak in the NHL at the moment, scoring the Rangers’ first and third goals of the night to bring his total to a staggering 10 goals on the season. His career high is 20 goals, so don’t blame the hockey world for being a little surprised.

Anyway, Henrik Lunqvist continued his strong play with a 33-save shutout to beat Johan Hedberg in this rivalry match.

Washington 5, Boston 3

Well, so much for Tim Thomas being unbeatable. His superhuman streak of incredible games was halted by the reborn Capitals attack to the point that the Bruins decided to let Tuukka Rask play in the third period.

Then again, Michal Neuvirth got yanked from the game after Boston stormed back to make it 3-3, but a John Carlson game-winner and Alex Ovechkin empty-netter cliched it for the Caps.

Montreal 3, Buffalo 2

Much like the Devils, the agony continues for the once-proud Sabres. Benoit Pouliot scored the game-tying and game-winning goals in the second period as the Canadiens continue to play solid hockey. Patrick Lalime is now 0-3 in the Buffalo net, although like injured starter Ryan Miller, it’s certainly not all his fault.

Florida 7, Carolina 4

The Southeast Division might not be the complete joke it once was, but it’s still a little wacky. Normally I’d attribute most Panthers wins to Tomas Vokoun, but he was pulled midway through the first period after allowing two goals on seven shots. The Panthers put together another 50-shot performance … and this time, they received the two-point payoff they deserved.

Minnesota 2, Calgary 1

The Minnesota Wild are building momentum but shouldn’t get too cocky. They’re now 5-3-1 at home – including a 3-1-1 record during a five-game homestand – while playing only three games (1-1-1) on the road so far this season. Niklas Backstrom bested his countryman Miikka Kiprusoff with a 33-save performance, with Martin Havlat earning the game-winner.

Dallas 6, Phoenix 3

After losing the first three games of a six-game homestand, the Stars are absolutely on fire, winning three-straight in dominating fashion. In three games against the Sabres, Penguins and Coyotes, the Stars outscored their opponents 15-5 (and, honestly, most of the goals they allowed were in garbage time). Loui Eriksson has two consecutive two-goal games to his credit.

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    Blackhawks’ Boris Katchouk sidelined by ankle sprain

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    CHICAGO — Blackhawks forward Boris Katchouk will be sidelined for four to six weeks with a left ankle sprain, the team announced.

    The 24-year-old Katchouk played almost 12 minutes during a 3-0 preseason loss to Detroit on Saturday night. He was acquired in a multiplayer trade with Tampa Bay in March.

    The Blackhawks open the season on Oct. 12 at Colorado.

    The team also said forward Jujhar Khaira is day to day with a right ankle injury.

    Ducks’ Urho Vaakanainen crashes into boards, leaves on stretcher

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    ANAHEIM, Calif. — Ducks defenseman Urho Vaakanainen was taken off the Honda Center ice on a stretcher after he crashed into the end boards in the first period of Anaheim’s preseason game against the San Jose Sharks.

    The Finnish defenseman was conscious and alert with full movement in his extremities at UCI Medical Center, the Ducks said.

    The frightening incident occurred midway through the opening period when Vaakanainen smashed into the boards at a dangerous speed behind the Sharks’ net. Vaakanainen appeared to be concentrating on the pass he had just made to Derek Grant, who scored the Ducks’ opening goal on the assist.

    Vaakanainen’s teammates came onto the ice and gathered around him as he was taken away on the stretcher.

    The Ducks acquired the 23-year-old Vaakanainen from Boston last March in the deal that sent longtime Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm to the Bruins. After recording two assists in 14 games for the Ducks last season, Vaakanainen is attempting to win a top-six role on Anaheim’s defense this fall.

    Lightning donate $2 million to Hurricane Ian relief efforts

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    TAMPA, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Lightning and team owner Jeff Vinik are donating $2 million toward Hurricane Ian relief efforts.

    The NHL team announced that $1 million each will be donated by the Tampa Bay Lightning Foundation and the Vinik Family Foundation.

    “This is a tragic situation for many families and communities across the state of Florida, but especially so in the southwest region of the state,” Vinik said in a statement released by the team. “In times like these the most important thing we can do is support one another, and we hope this donation will help families recover and rebuild in the months to come.”

    Ian made landfall Wednesday on Florida’s Gulf Coast, south of the Tampa Bay area. The Lightning postponed two home preseason games and moved the club’s training camp to Nashville, Tennessee, during the storm.

    Maple Leafs sign defenseman Rasmus Sandin to 2-year deal

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    TORONTO — Rasmus Sandin has signed a two-year, $2.8 million contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs, the club announced on Thursday.

    The 22-year-old from Sweden was the 29th overall selection in the 2018 draft. Sandin had 16 points in 51 games with Toronto last season. He’s played in 88 career regular-season games, with six goals and 22 assists, and has one goal in five playoff games.

    “Got a great set of tools,” fellow defenseman Jake Muzzin said. “With experience, I think they’re only going to get better.”

    The signing comes as the Leafs’ blueliners been hit hard by injuries. Muzzin has been dealing with a back issue, and Timothy Liljegren recently had surgery for a hernia.

    Toronto then lost Jamie Benn (groin) and Carl Dahlstrom (shoulder) in Wednesday’s 3-0 preseason victory over the Montreal Canadiens, pressing forwards Calle Jarnkrok and Alexander Kerfoot into defensive roles for two periods.