Crawford earns shutout, Toews stunning in OT as ‘Hawks take reunion vs. Lightning


The Tampa Bay Lightning put forth a good effort Saturday night, but it wasn’t enough to get some measure of revenge against the team that bested them in the Stanley Cup Final.

In their first game against Chicago since the playoffs, Tampa Bay took the defending champions to overtime, but the Lightning could do nothing to stop Jonathan Toews as the captain powered his way to a stunning overtime goal in the Blackhawks’ 1-0 overtime victory.

Kristers Gudlevskis, making his first start of the season, still had a strong game with 31 saves to his credit. However, Corey Crawford is the one with the shutout after turning aside all 21 Lightning shots. It’s a bit of deja vu for Tampa Bay, which saw its playoff run end on the strength of a Crawford shutout.

Chicago has improved to 5-3-0 ahead of Monday’s contest against the struggling Anaheim Ducks. Tampa Bay is still 5-2-2 and has gotten four of a possible six points so far in its road trip. The Lightning will wrap it up in St. Louis on Tuesday before heading home for a game against Colorado Thursday night.

Kessel scores overtime winner versus Predators


The Pittsburgh Penguins’ offense still isn’t as productive as expected, but they’ve been good enough lately.

Chris Kunitz netted his first goal of the season and Phil Kessel scored in overtime in a 2-1 victory against the Nashville Predators tonight.

Although Kessel’s marker wasn’t without its controversy as it appeared that Nashville wanted a tripping call against the Penguins:

It’s the Penguins’ fourth victory in five games. Due to their still somewhat anemic offensive showing — they have 13 goals in eight games — three of those wins have been by just one goal. That’s been accomplished by leaning on goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, as the Penguins did again on Saturday.

Fleury turned aside 31 of 32 shots in his eighth straight start of the campaign. Former teammate James Neal, who has gotten off to a hot start, was the only one to beat him tonight.

Pittsburgh is still a modest 4-4-0 going into Wednesday’s game against the Washington Capitals. By contrast, Nashville is a commanding 6-1-1 this season. The Predators will look to shake this loss off Wednesday night versus San Jose.

Price makes incredible 49 saves vs. Leafs as Habs set NHL record


The Montreal Canadiens’ amazing start to the NHL season continued tonight as Carey Price simply refused to let their winning streak end.

Toronto outshot Montreal in every period and tripled the Habs in the final frame, but Price turned aside 49 of 52 shots en route to a 5-3 victory.

Thanks in large part to their star goaltender, the Canadiens set an NHL record by opening the season with nine straight wins in regulation time, per TSN. If they improve to 10-0-0 with a victory against Vancouver on Tuesday, then they will match the record for the best opening, regardless of how those wins were achieved.

While Price led the charge as he so often does, there is plenty of credit to go around. Montreal’s offense has been deep so far this season and that was on display again tonight as P.K. Subban, Lars Eller, David Desharnais, Max Pacioretty, and Brendan Gallagher each found the back of the net.

Devante Smith-Pelly is the only Canadiens forward that has played in at least one game this season to still be looking for his first goal. Six different Canadiens already have three markers.

Toronto has fallen to 1-4-2 this season, but its three goals is still the most any team has scored against Montreal this season. The Leafs will try to bounce back on Monday against Arizona.

Streaking Devils add to Sabres woes


Even with a revamped roster, the Buffalo Sabres are struggling to establish themselves this season.

Ryan O'Reilly had a strong game and Jack Eichel netted his third career goal, but it wasn’t enough to stem the tide as New Jersey earned a 4-3 victory over the Sabres tonight.

That dropped the Sabres to 2-6-0 this season, which is a mere win better than they were at this time in 2014-15 when they finished with the worst record in the NHL. To be fair to Buffalo though, injuries have played a role in the team’s early season struggles.

Buffalo’s top goaltender, Robin Lehner, hasn’t played since Oct. 8 due to a high ankle sprain and that led to 22-year-old Linus Ullmark getting his first career start tonight. Up against a Devils squad that was coming into this contest on a three-game winning streak, Ullmark ultimately surrendered four goals on 28 shots.

The decisive blow came at the hands of forward Adam Henrique, who scored on a breakaway while the Devils were shorthanded:

To make matters worse, Evander Kane missed the final 9:31 minutes of tonight’s game with a possible leg injury.

There was no update on Kane’s status immediately following the game, per the Sabres’ Twitter feed.

Things won’t get any easier for Buffalo as it is set to play in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh on Tuesday and Thursday respectively. New Jersey will attempt to continue its winning streak on Tuesday against Columbus.

Raffl collapses on bench, won’t return tonight


The New York Rangers were beginning their power-play early in the second period when the game abruptly stopped at the urging of those on the Philadelphia Flyers’ bench.

Michael Raffl had collapsed and, after play had stopped, had to be helped to the locker room. It appears that Raffl might have been accidentally struck in the head by Rangers forward Jarret Stoll. You can see video of what happened at CSN Philly.

Philadelphia has listed him as sidelined with an upper-body injury and ruled him out for the remainder of the contest.

As previously reported, the Flyers entered this game without forward Sean Couturier or goalie Michal Neuvirth due to upper-body problems.