Riding the Zamboni – November 24 (early edition)

It’s been an awfully busy night of action, so we’ll summarize the first 11 of tonight’s 13 games. We’ll discuss the other two contests later on.

Atlanta 5, Detroit 1

How do you respond to a tongue-lashing from your coach (in this case, Craig Ramsay)? Well, by beating two of the NHL’s best teams – Washington and Detroit- by 5-0 and 5-1 scores respectively. The Thrashers are now on a three game winning streak as they also be the woeful NY Islanders, while the Red Wings are going through some rare struggles.

Washington 3, Carolina 2

The Capitals got things back together in this one, on the strength of Nicklas Backstrom’s two goals and Alex Ovechkin’s three assists. Perhaps best of all, Semyon Varlamov stopped 30 out of 32 shots for his first win of the season while Justin Peters played well (35 out of 38) in defeat.

Pittsburgh 1, Buffalo 0

The Penguins won this game with a rare 1-0 shutout thanks to Marc-Andre Fleury’s 30 saves. Jhonas Enoth was strong in his own right, stopping all but one shot by Pascal Dupuis 15 minutes into the first period. Pittsburgh is now on a four game winning streak.

Columbus 4, NY Islanders 3 (OT)

Read the full recap here.

Boston 3, Florida 1

Both Tim Thomas (31 saves) and Tomas Vokoun (34) made more than 30 stops, but Thomas came away with the win. The ageless Mark Recchi scored two goals while David Krejci earned two assists.

Tampa Bay 5, NY Rangers 3

Steve Stamkos progressed to a two point lead over Sidney Crosby in the points race for the 2010-11 season thanks to a one goal, two assist performance (and the Lightning actually have a game in hand on the Penguins right now). The Rangers scored three third period goals after going down 5-0 but Tampa Bay ultimately held them off.

New Jersey 2, Calgary 1 (SO)

It might not be much, but at least the Devils aren’t as bad as the Islanders.

Philadelphia 6, Minnesota 1

Perhaps that broken pane of glass actually symbolized the Wild’s efforts and/or spirits in this game? Either way, the Flyers outclassed their opponents by getting six goals from six different players while Sergei Bobrovsky had a leisurely day in net, only needing to stop 15 out of 16 shots for the win.

Montreal 4, Los Angeles 1

It turned out to be a less than ideal homecoming for Kings goalie Jonathan Bernier, as he allowed four goals on 33 shots while Carey Price only allowed one goal in 25 Los Angeles attempts. The Habs solidified their Northeast Division lead while the Kings are just a little bit further behind the Coyotes in the Pacific.

Dallas 2, Ottawa 1

The score was closer than the play on the ice, as the Stars missed a few golden opportunities but still managed to win the game. That being said, Dallas must be worried about one disturbing stat: their road power play only has one measly goal so far this season.

St. Louis 2, Nashville 1 (SO)

This score seems about right for two Central Division teams who make their hay thanks to strong, stifling defense. Ultimately, it came down to Andy McDonald, the only player who could manage to score a goal during the two team’s shootout.

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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.