Edmonton has agreed to new one-year deals with defenseman Brad Hunt and forward Andrew Miller, the club announced on Monday.
Hunt, 26, appeared in 11 games for the OIlers last season, scoring a goal and three points. Miller, also 26, scored six points in nine games — a pretty good point total in a season which he impressed offensively at the AHL level, having scored 60 points in 63 games with the Oklahoma City Barons.
It’s expected that both will serve as depth options next year, and will spend most of their time with Edmonton’s new AHL affiliate in Bakersfield. That said, it’ll be interesting to see if Miller gets an extended look at the NHL level given how he scored in an admittedly small sample size last season.
Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman had to surrender quite a bit to the Philadelphia Flyers to acquire defenseman Braydon Coburn, but it’s paid off in a big way tonight.
With Game 7 between Tampa Bay and Detroit still scoreless in the third period, Coburn launched a big one-timer after being set up by Ryan Callahan. You can see that potentially decisive goal below:
The Red Wings outshot the Lightning nearly 2-to-1 in the first 40 minutes, but they couldn’t beat Tampa Bay goaltender Ben Bishop. Drew Miller had a golden opportunity though.
With the game scoreless midway through the second period and the series on the line, Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop decided to take a big risk by leaving his net to pursue a loose puck in the middle of the Lightning’s zone. Red Wings forward Drew Miller was also in pursuit, creating an opportunity for him to potentially win the race and score on the now wide open net.
Miller won that race cleanly and was able to flip the puck over a diving Bishop, but it sailed harmlessly wide of the net to keep the contest tied. You can see that opportunity below:
That being said, Bishop is having a great game with 23 saves through 40 minutes to keep this one scoreless.
The Detroit Red Wings didn’t get a shot on goal until 9:03 minutes into Game 1 in their first round series against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Thanks to Pavel Datsyuk’s work in front of Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop, one shot was all Detroit needed to take the early lead.
When Tampa Bay’s Ryan Callahan got sent to the sin bin roughly five minutes later due to a holding call, the Red Wings had an opportunity to give themselves some breathing room. Instead Brian Boyle got a big breakaway opportunity and took full advantage of it, beating netminder Petr Mrazek one-on-one:
Pavel Datsyuk was assessed a minor penalty towards the end of the first period, which led to Red Wings forward Drew Miller getting his own shorthanded breakaway. Bishop managed to turn aside that shot though and the first period ended tied at 1-1.
One of Detroit’s four 20-goal scorers won’t be in the lineup tonight for its series opener against Tampa Bay.
Justin Abdelkader, who scored a career-high 23 times this year, will sit out this evening’s tilt with a hand injury carried over from the regular season. Abdelkader suffered the ailment on April 4 against the Minnesota Wild and missed the final four regular-season games, but did practice this week in the hopes of being ready for Game 1.
Without him in the lineup, the Red Wings will make some adjustments.
The biggest of which might be putting Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg together on a line with Darren Helm. That trio provides plenty of offense — Datsyuk had 65 points in 63 games this year, Zetterberg 66 in 77 — and Helm scored a personal best 15 goals.
As for the rest of the lines…
Gustav Nyquist – Riley Sheahan – Tomas Tatar
Stephen Weiss – Joakim Andersson – Tomas Jurco
Drew Miller – Luke Glendening – Landon Ferraro
While head coach Mike Babcock does have some good depth here and nice options in reserve, Abdelkader will still be missed. He’s blossomed into a good net-front/power forward type and, despite being just 28 years old, has a wealth of postseason experience — 70 career playoff games heading into this spring.