Quenneville passes Arbour for second all-time; Blackhawks make it 9

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Coach Q stands alone in second place, and the Chicago Blackhawks continue to look like … well, the Chicago Blackhawks team we’ve come to expect.

It wasn’t easy, mind you, as the Blackhawks beat the Montreal Canadiens by the slim margin of 2-1, with all of the contest’s goals coming in the opening frame.

That’s the Blackhawks ninth consecutive victory, which leaves them a breath behind the Dallas Stars for first place in the Central (the Stars hold a games-in-hand advantage).

Just as impressively, this gives Joel Quenneville the 783rd regular season coaching win of his already-outstanding career. This latest win breaks his tie with New York Islanders legend Al Arbour, so Coach Q is all alone in second place for coaching wins.

Again, that doesn’t mean it was easy.

Corey Crawford continues to demand more notoriety with his outstanding play, stopping 39 out of 40 shots (including all 29 in the final two frames, when the Habs were hoping to tie things up).

It also wasn’t easy for Marian Hossa, another player who bounced back from being bloodied tonight:

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Not that long ago, this match would have been hyped as a potential 2016 Stanley Cup Final preview.

That’s still a possibility, but right now, the Canadiens are really struggling (and sometimes just suffering from bad luck beyond the obvious blow of missing Carey Price).

They really weren’t bad tonight, yet the larger body of work is a little troubling.

The Blackhawks, on the other hand, are more than holding up their end of that bargain.

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.