Sidney Crosby gives Pens another quick lead

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Sidney Crosby scored the first goal of the 2012 playoffs on Wednesday night as he fired a backhand shot over Ilya Bryzgalov’s glove less than four minutes into Game 1. The Pittsburgh Penguins’ captain didn’t even wait that long to make it 1-0 against the Philadelphia Flyers in Game 2, as he fired home a bombastic one-timer just 15 seconds in.This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!

Crosby’s lightning-fast goal ties Greg Malone (Ryan’s dad, by the way) as the fastest in team playoff history, by the way.

Naturally, the other half of the story is the natural questions that will come about Bryzgalov’s state of mind – even if it’s kind of tough to fault him for that tally. (And just as this post was about to publish, Chris Kunitz deflected a puck by Bryzgalov, making it 2-0.)

Then again, many of the Detroit Red Wings’ goals were of the variety that not many human netminders could stop, but that didn’t stop from Breezy looking awful at times in the last two playoff series. His Phoenix Coyotes teams had a tendency to fall behind – particularly in last year’s ugly sweep – but the only bit of good news is that the Flyers obviously have more firepower to make comebacks. They’re also flat-out used to coming from behind; Sam Carchidi points out that this is the ninth time the Flyers have been down 2-0 in the last 14 games.

To give you a little perspective on Crosby’s already-impressive body of work in the playoffs, try this on for size: his 32 career postseason goals ties Ron Francis for fourth all-time in Penguins franchise history.

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.