The Buzzer: Korpisalo outstanding for Blue Jackets; updated NWHL schedule

korpisalo
Getty Images
1 Comment

THREE STARS

1. Joonas Korpisalo, Blue Jackets

The Columbus netminder was outstanding Friday night. Korpisalo made 31 saves in their 2-1 win over the Blackhawks; 18 of those stops came in the second period. The Blue Jackets are now 4-0-3 in their last seven games and helped John Tortorella get a win in his 400th game behind the Columbus bench.

2. Oliver Bjorkstrand, Blue Jackets

His first-period power play goal opened the scoring. His second-period assist helped create Eric Robinson‘s game-winning goal. According to the NHL, Bjorkstrand now has 14 multi-point games since the start of the 2019-20 NHL season — the most among all Blue Jackets players.

3. Dylan Strome, Blackhawks

The Chicago forward scored their lone goal of the night, a power play marker midway through the second period. It was his third of the season. Strome was also 10-for-16 in the face-off circle.

MORE NHL NEWS:
Kevin Fiala suspended 3 games for hit on Kings’ Matt Roy
Two Golden Knights – Sharks games postponed due to COVID-19

——————————————————————————————-

UPDATED NWHL SCHEDULE

The NHWL resumes on Saturday as we get closer to the Isobel Cup Playoffs. The Boston Pride and Buffalo Beauts will play a best-of-three series to determine the fourth seed in the playoffs. The teams have been seeded based on their winning percentage in the first week of the season in Lake Placid. The Minnesota Whitecaps earned the top seed, followed by the Connecticut Whale at No. 2, and the Toronto Six at No. 3.

Here is the remaining schedule (all times Eastern):

Saturday, Jan. 30
3 p.m. – Buffalo Beauts at Boston Pride (Game 1 of best-of-3 series)
6 p.m. – Toronto Six at Minnesota Whitecaps

Sunday, Jan. 31
3 p.m. – Boston Pride at Buffalo Beauts (Game 2)
6 p.m. – Toronto Six at Connecticut Whale

Monday, Feb. 1
5:30 p.m. – Connecticut Whale at Minnesota Whitecaps
8:30 p.m. – Buffalo Beauts at Boston Pride (Game 3, if necessary)

Thursday, Feb. 4 – Isobel Cup Semifinals
5:30 p.m. – No. 4 Seed vs. No. 1 Seed
8 p.m. – No. 3 Seed vs. No. 2 Seed

Friday, Feb. 5 – Isobel Cup Final
7 p.m. – Winners of the Semifinals

All games can be streamed on the league’s Twitch channel.

1. Whitecaps – 6 points (3-0-0; +3 goal differential)
2. Six– 5 points (2-1-1; even goal differential)
3. Whale – 4 points (2-1-0; +3 goal differential)
4. Pride – 2 point (1-3-0; -2 goal differential)
5. Beauts – 1 point (0-2-1; -6 goal differential)

Riveters – 4 points (2-1-0; +3 goal differential) (withdrawn)

The single-elimination Isobel Cup Semifinals will be shown live on Thursday, Feb. 4 at 5:30 p.m. ET and 8:30 p.m. ET. The winners of the semifinals will advance to the Isobel Cup Final on Friday, Feb. 5 at 7 p.m. ET. In addition to coverage on NBCSN, live coverage will stream exclusively on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.

——————————————————————————————-

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NIGHT

Kevin Lankinen was not going to stop this Bjorkstrand rocket:

• Clinging to a one-goal lead, Korpisalo remained on his game for Columbus:

• Good attempt, Patrick

• Some nice giddy-up by Robinson after taking Bjorkstrand’s pass:

STAT OF THE NIGHT

SCORES

Blue Jackets 2, Blackhawks 1

————

Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

Blackhawks’ Boris Katchouk sidelined by ankle sprain

blackhawks
Harry How/Getty Images
13 Comments

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

Getty Images
3 Comments

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

tampa bay lightning
Scott Audette/Getty Images
2 Comments

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

Rasmus Sandin
Julian Avram/Getty Images
2 Comments

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.