Stanley Cup repeat, not revenge: Predators can’t solve Murray, Penguins

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Pittsburgh Penguins fans were riffing on the “We want the Cup” chant on Saturday, teasing the Nashville Predators with “We got the Cup.”

Perhaps “Can’t beat Matt” or “Murray’s in your head” would cut even deeper?

Carrying over dominance from the 2017 Stanley Cup Final, Matt Murray blanked the Predators as the Penguins won 4-0 in that championship rematch on Saturday. Murray shut out the Predators in Game 5 and 6 of the Stanley Cup Final, too, so this marks three goose eggs in a row for Nashville vs. the quick-learning Pens netminder.

The Penguins have outscored the Predators 12-0 in these past three games. Woof.

Here’s an exact update on that shutout streak:

For better or worse, the Predators get a chance to score a goal against the Penguins – and possibly Murray, depending – when they meet again in Nashville on Nov. 11.

To little surprise, the Predators showed frustration as the game boiled down, prompting Ryan Reaves – who actually scored against Nashville – to drop the gloves more than once. (More on Reaves Sunday.)

(While Reaves drew praise from Mike Sullivan on Saturday night, people note that Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin still received the sort of hard hits many would expect. Anyway, more on Reaves tomorrow.)

Ryan Johansen seems pretty chill about this loss, even as Nashville hasn’t generated a standings point in its first two games of 2017-18. Maybe it’s because he was sidelined during Murray’s first two shutouts against the Preds?

Well, what can you really say, right?

The not-so-good familiar part for the Penguins

As much as this was a great night for the Penguins, the “Groundhog Day” feel of history repeating itself had its negative aspects.

To be specific, the Penguins continue to deal with bad injury luck for their defensemen. It’s easy to think back as Kris Letang as the only loss during that last run, but others either missed time or were limited by ailments. Ian Cole was the latest to suffer a rough break, losing teeth thanks to a gruesome puck to the face:

The Penguins said he’s out indefinitely.

Senators goaltender Cam Talbot out 5-7 weeks with injury

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OTTAWA, Ontario — Ottawa Senators goaltender Cam Talbot is expected to be out five to seven weeks with what the team called an upper-body injury.

The Senators initially called Talbot day to day with what they hoped was a minor injury. Instead he’s now expected to miss at least the first month of the NHL season.

Ottawa claimed goalie Magnus Hellberg off waivers from the Seattle Kraken upon announcing Talbot’s expected absence. Hellberg, who played for Sweden at the Beijing Olympics could split time with countryman Anton Forsberg while Talbot is out.

The Senators acquired Talbot from Minnesota during the offseason to make him their starter after the Wild opted against bringing him back along with Marc-Andre Fleury. Talbot, 35, had a 2.76 goals-against average and .911 save percentage this season.

Losing Talbot is a blow to the Senators, who also acquired winger Alex DeBrincat from Chicago and signed longtime Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux as part of a move toward contending and ending their playoff drought.

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.