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Edmonton’s dream: McDavid rises, each first pick scores as Oilers beat rival Flames


This is the team the Edmonton Oilers have been hoping to show their fans.

After starting the season with a 0-4-0 record everything clicked for them in a 5-2 victory against the Calgary Flames.

Connor McDavid played like the superstar in the making that the Edmonton Oilers hope he is. As part of a strong showing by him, McDavid netted two goals and collected an assist. However, it was the goal he didn’t score that was arguably his most impressive moment of the night:

This game was about more than McDavid though. For the first time, all four of Edmonton’s recent first overall picks (Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Nail Yakupov, McDavid) found the back of the net in the same game. The eldest of them, Hall, netted the game-winner.

The question now is if this flash of the Oilers’ promise will grow into something more or if it was just a blip in what will otherwise be another painful season. Vancouver is waiting to host the Edmonton tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Calgary has fallen to 1-4-0 despite the optimism that was surrounding this squad after reaching the second round last season and adding defenseman Dougie Hamilton over the summer. The Flames will have to wait until Tuesday against Washington for their next chance to turn things around.

Jackets bore Crawford in Saad’s return to Chicago, descend to 0-6


Last season the Columbus Blue Jackets were battered by injuries. This time around they’re just hurting.

In Brandon Saad‘s return to Chicago following a summer trade, the Blue Jackets came up flat in a 4-1 loss to the Blackhawks. That’s the sixth straight game that Columbus has allowed at least four goals, but the Blue Jackets’ offense was certainly a problem tonight too.

After getting through 20 minutes with the game locked in a scoreless tie, Columbus only managed three shots on goal in the second period.

“It felt, uh, boring in the second, a little bit,” goaltender Corey Crawford said of the second period, per NHL.com’s Brian Hedger.

Curtis McElhinney, making his first start of the season, likely didn’t feel the same. He was bombarded with 15 shots in that frame and surrendered goals to Artem Anisimov and Teuvo Teravainen.

Columbus did at least manage to make Crawford work in the third period and prevent the shutout, but it was too little, too late.

The Blue Jackets are now 0-6-0 and this could get even uglier given their schedule. They’ll face the New York Islanders on Tuesday before starting a stretch where they’ll play seven of eight games on the road.

Avs’ Barrie suspended three games for ‘late, high hit’ on Despres


The NHL has handed Colorado Avalanche blueliner Tyson Barrie a three-game suspension for what it felt was both charging and interference against Anaheim Ducks defenseman Simon Depres.

The incident occurred during Colorado’s 3-0 win on Friday and has left Depres with an upper-body injury. While Anaheim isn’t calling it a concussion, he “felt off” and has already been placed on the injured reserve list. He’ll be re-evaluated on Monday.

Depres’ injury was likely a factor in the NHL’s decision, but Barrie might have also been given a degree of leniency because this was his first fine or suspension in 190 games.

Barrie is eligible to return on Oct. 27 against the Florida Panthers. Colorado won’t play against Anaheim again until March 9.

Anaheim has called up Shea Theodore and Korbinian Holzer while also placing Clayton Stoner on the IR.

Without Jones or Martin, Sharks can’t contain Isles

AP Photo

Who knows if San Jose would have won tonight with defenseman Paul Martin and goaltender Martin Jones in the game. What we can say is that the Sharks are now 4-0 with them and 0-1 when they don’t play.

Although San Jose took three one-goal leads over the course of the game, New York blew the contest open in the third period en route to a 6-3 victory.

Martin has been Brent Burns‘ defensive partner this season, but the 34-year-old blueliner wasn’t available tonight due to a lower-body injury. That led to Brenden Dillon playing alongside Burns instead and the two finished the game with a minus-two and minus-three rating respectively.

That change was particularly noteworthy during the turning point of tonight’s contest as Islanders forward Josh Bailey created a turnover off of Burns’ attempted pass and fed the puck to Kyle Okposo, who then beat Dillon one-on-one before besting goalie Alex Stalock up close:

Stalock finished with 28 saves on 33 shots. Johnny Boychuk, Anders Lee, Bailey, and Brock Nelson were the other Islanders to get the puck past him while Frans Nielsen collected the empty-netter.

Jones has a 0.49 GAA and .982 save percentage this season, but he had already played on Friday. After tonight’s contest, he’ll likely be called upon to start against the New York Rangers on Monday.

Habs best Wings, extending historic opening win streak to six

The Canadian Press via AP

The Montreal Canadiens set a franchise record on Thursday with their 5-0-0 start. Now they’re running up the score.

Although Detroit became the first team to secure a lead against Montreal when rookie Dylan Larkin scored the opening goal of the game, the Canadiens bounced back quickly en route to a 4-1 victory.

Coming off of his Vezina and Hart Trophy-winning campaign, Carey Price continued to dominate tonight by turning aside 21 of 22 shots. He’s been a major part of Montreal’s early success with his 1.20 GAA and .957 save percentage.

Montreal’s depth has been another big factor as 10 of its forwards have already found the back of the net. Brendan Gallagher and Brian Flynn each scored tonight to become the newest members of that club. That leaves Alexander Semin and Devante Smith-Pelly as the only two Canadiens forwards still searching for their first goal of 2015-16.

Montreal will try to keep this streak alive Tuesday against St. Louis. Detroit, which has now lost two games in as many days, will get a breather before facing Edmonton Wednesday night.