Grubauer, Capitals shut out Red Wings

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If you were looking for a barn-burner, this game wasn’t that.

While the Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Islanders combined for 13 goals, and the Carolina Hurricanes and Arizona Coyotes scored 11 in total, the Washington Capitals and their hosts, the Detroit Red Wings, played 60 minutes with just one goal between them.

It wasn’t nearly as exciting in the goal-scoring department, but the win for the Washington Capitals put a bit of separation between themselves and the Pittsburgh Penguins and Columbus Blue Jackets, who the Caps (93 points) lead by four points now.

Brett Conolly’s third-period marker at 6:41 was all the Capitals needed for their

Andreas Athanasiou appeared to make it 1-0 in the first period on a nice wrister, but a goaltender interference challenge by Washington was successful after Tyler Bertuzzi was judged to have made contact with Grubauer. This one was pretty cut and dry, as far as GI calls go.

The loss for the Red Wings meant they were officially eliminated from playoff contention, something that had been known for a while but hadn’t happened in the mathematical department.

Grubauer was solid, making 39 saves for his third shutout of the season. At the other end of the rink, Jimmy Howard wasn’t too shabby either, stopping 25-of-26. All he needed was a bit of run support.

Prior to puck drop, the Red Wings announced that defenseman Mike Green, who was hampered by a neck injury back in February, will go under the knife, ending his season.


Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck

Poll: Has the Bruins’ Stanley Cup window closed?

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Back in 2013, the last time the Bruins made the Stanley Cup Final, their leading playoff scorers were, in order, David Krejci, Milan Lucic, Nathan Horton, Patrice Bergeron, Zdeno Chara, Brad Marchard, Jaromir Jagr, Daniel Paille, Tyler Seguin, and Johnny Boychuk.

Of those 10 players, only four — Krejci, Bergeron, Chara and Marchand — remain on the roster. And Chara is 38 years old now.

Add to the fact Dougie Hamilton is gone too, plus the fact the Bruins missed the playoffs last year, and it’s no surprise that many feel their Cup window has closed.

But you won’t hear new GM Don Sweeney say that. Not with youngsters like Jimmy Hayes, Brett Connolly, Ryan Spooner, David Pastrnak, and Alex Khokhlachev up front. And not after picking up 27-year-old Matt Beleskey in free agency.

Remember that the NHL is a young man’s league. Teams that aren’t constantly refreshing their lineups are teams that get into trouble.

“I don’t think it’s a rebuild. We didn’t strip this down,” Sweeney said in June, per NHL.com. “We have a tremendous core group of guys that are going to obviously carry an even heavier load here in the short term while these other kids can come in and start to take footing.”

OK, time to vote:

Related: Zach Trotman is looking to make the leap

Bruins sign three — Hayes, Connolly, and DeFazio

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A trio of young forwards have signed with the Boston Bruins.

The B’s announced today that Jimmy Hayes has inked a three-year deal with a cap hit of $2.3 million, while Brett Connolly has agreed to a one-year deal with a cap hit of $1.025 million and Brandon DeFazio has signed a one-year, two-way deal with a cap hit of $575,000 at the NHL level.

Hayes, 25, was acquired last week in a trade with the Florida Panthers. He had 19 goals and 16 assists in 72 games last season.

Connolly, 23, was acquired in March in a trade with Tampa Bay, soon after which he suffered a fractured finger and missed most of the remainder of the season.

Hayes will be an unrestricted free agent when his contract expires, while Connolly will remain an RFA. The latter’s $1.025 million cap hit could be a good bargain for the Bruins next season.

DeFazio was an unrestricted free agent. The 26-year-old spent the last two seasons in the Canucks organization, mostly with AHL Utica.

Related: Chiarelli believes Connolly can ‘help us right away’

PHT Morning Skate: Kesler writes about trade, adjusting to new team

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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Ryan Kesler wrote a column about his first season with the Anaheim Ducks and what it’s been like for him to adjust to a new team after playing with the Vancouver Canucks for roughly a decade. (The Players’ Tribune)

Editor’s Note: Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $30,000 fantasy hockey league for Monday’s NHL games. It’s just $2 to join and first place wins $3,000. Starts Monday at 7:30 p.m. ET. Enter Now!

The Columbus Cottonmouths of the Southern Professional Hockey League came up with a unique jersey design involving fan selfies. (Puck Daddy)

Here are the highlights from the New York Rangers’ 1-0 overtime win against Chicago:

Jaromir Jagr wore a mullet wig in a picture with two young Panthers fans:

Here are the highlights from Boston’s 5-3 victory over Detroit:

The 1995 Stanley Cup champion New Jersey Devils reunited over the weekend. (NHL.com)

Olli Jokinen sustained an upper-body injury in his first game with the St. Louis Blues. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

While we’re on the injury front, Brett Connolly talked to the media after he had finger surgery:

More bad luck for the B’s — Connolly out 6 weeks with fractured finger

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From TSN’s Aaron Ward, on the injury to new Bruins forward Brett Connolly:

From a few hours before that tweet, here’s CSN New England:

Claude Julien said following practice that Connolly was struck on the hand by a fired puck, and was being checked out by team doctors. You just can’t make this kind of stuff up for the bad-luck B’s.

“He got hit in the hand with a puck, so he’s gone to our team doctors to be evaluated,” said Julien. “That’s the only update I have, guys.”

Connolly, of course, was traded to Boston from Tampa Bay on Monday, with Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli saying the 22-year-old winger could “come in and help us right away.”

Unfortunately, “right away” appears to have changed to “in six weeks.”

Update: The Bruins have confirmed that Connolly is out six weeks with “a displaced fracture in his right index finger.”