NHL Morning Skate – Dec. 13, 2013 Rangers continue mission of futility on home ice

NEW YORK – The Detroit Red Wings went to Tampa Thursday and could not hold their slim 1-0 lead to get a win in regulation. Kyle Quincey scored for Detroit at 15:04 of the first to grab the lead.

Nikita Kucherov tied things up with less than a minute to go in the second period. From there, neither team was able to break through in regulation forcing the match to extra time.NHL

“We went to overtime with them in our last game against Detroit but I thought we could have won that game in regulation,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. “Tonight, you could argue that we were lucky to tie in regulation. Bishop made some huge saves for us to push us to overtime.”

The overtime settled nothing and the clubs went to a shootout to solve the impasse.

Martin St Louis scored in the sixth round of the shootout to get the win for the Bolts. St Louis’ goal was the only score in the shootout.

“I thought it was a good game,” Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. “I thought our team played real hard. They might have been more off the rush. We did more off the cycle and grind. Both goalies are as big as a house. There’s no room and both played really well.”

In St Louis, the Blues broke out the whipping stick and pasted the Maple Leafs. Five different Blues scored to build a 5-1 lead midway through the third. That included a three-goal first period that buried Toronto early.

“I would say [puck pursuit] was the same in Winnipeg [Tuesday],” Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. “I thought we pursued it a little bit harder in Winnipeg, but it’s very similar.

“We created turnovers, got [the Maple Leafs] standing still. We gave them tired legs early because of it and took advantage of it.”

Alexander Steen picked up his 22nd of the year in the third.

“For our hockey club, tonight looked like we were totally brain-dead in a lot of areas,” Leafs head coach Randy Carlyle said. “I don’t know any other way to describe it. We didn’t win enough of the down-low confrontations, they had a lot of freedom … look where they scored the goals from.”

Nazem Kadri and Nikolai Kulemin scored for the Leafs in the loss. James van Riemsdyk scored with 3_08 left in the game to cut the lead to 5-3 but Davis Backes scored his 15th of the year (the sixth Blues player to score) with 30 seconds left to seal with the win.

“The first two periods are how you really draw it up,” Backes said. “We played a good game. The third, we get a little over zealous and start leaning on the offense and they make us pay for two. … Having four lines going, we were all on the same page, making their defensemen go pick it off the end wall and go forecheck them and check the puck back. We did a really good job for two periods.”

In Ottawa, the Senators needed a win, badly. They had lost to the Sabres in the front end of a home-and-home with Buffalo and a loss Thursday night would have been disastrous. Craig Anderson did his part for the Sens in stopping 40 shots for the win.

“It’s always fun and you feel good when you win,” said Anderson, who faced five shots over the final two minutes of the third after denying Drew Stafford on a partial breakaway earlier in the period. “It’s a bonus that we were able to do it in a 2-1 fashion.

“We put on the work boots. We didn’t know how many we were going to get tonight, but we were hard to play against, so it’s a satisfying reward for us to win 2-1, and it’s a credit to the guys in front of me, a credit to the hard work we’ve been putting in in practice and the way we battle. Everything kind of lined up tonight and we played together as a group.”

The Sabres made every effort to sweep the brace of games of could not get the tying goal. Bobby Ryan had a goal and assist for the Senators in the win.

The Boston Bruins went into Edmonton and broke out in the first period with three-goal effort heading into the first intermission.

“We had a great start, we wanted to focus on that and make sure we had that,” Jarome Iginla said. “Give the Oilers credit; they’re a young team and they can create lots of chances, and when they start feeling it, they can get it going.

“They played well. But we also didn’t have the same legs that we’ve had at different times and we got ourselves into some penalty trouble. Finding a way to just win the game, that’s the most important thing.”

Iginla scored twice for Boston in the win.

“I don’t know if we won a battle in the first period,” Oilers coach Dallas Eakins said. “I don’t know if we were, ‘The Bruins are in town. They’re one of the best teams in the League and we need to play cautious.’ You can’t play cautious against anybody. You’ll get killed if you give them too much time and space. But even though we weren’t winning the battles, I didn’t think the first period was as bad as the shot clock showed or the score was. I still felt we had a chance if we could get a goal.”

THURSDAY’S RESULTS

Columbus 4, NY Rangers 2

Philadelphia 2, Montreal 1

Ottawa 2, Buffalo 1

Tampa Bay 2, Detroit 1 (SO)

St. Louis 6, Toronto 3

Nashville 3, Dallas 1

Colorado 4, Winnipeg 3 (SO)

Calgary 2, Carolina 1 (OT)

Phoenix 6, NY Islanders 3

Boston 4, Edmonton 2

San Jose 3, Minnesota 1

 SHARKS FEEL THE POWER

The Sharks scored three power-play goals en route to snapping a four-game losing streak (0-3-1). They have scored three or more power-play goals in a game three times this season (32 GP); they did so twice during the entire 2012-13 campaign. 

* Joe Pavelski scored a pair of goals, marking the 21st multi-goal game of his career. He is tied for the team lead with six power-play tallies this season (also Patrick Marleau).

 * Tomas Hertl scored his team-leading 15th goal of the season and third game-winner (tied). He leads NHL rookies in goals, points (24) and shots on goal (90).

 * Captain Joe Thornton recorded a pair of assists. He places second in the NHL with 29 helpers in 32 games this season. 

* The Sharks held a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes. They have outscored their opponents by a 42-14 margin (+28) in the first period this season. 

* The Sharks improved to 11-1-3 this season at SAP Center, including a 6-0-1 mark in their past seven contests. They also improved to 12-1-1 in their last 14 home games versus the Wild. 

DUCHENE KEEPS AVALANCHE ROLLING

Matt Duchene (2-1—3) posted his second three-point game of the season and added the shootout winner to help the Avalanche overcome an early two-goal deficit. Duchene has recorded 14 career games with three or more points, eight of which have come over the past two seasons. 

* At 21-9-0, the Avalanche have matched their franchise record for wins through the first 30 games of a season (also, 1994-95 and 2000-01). 

* The team also improved to 11-4-0 (22 points) as visitors, its best record through 15 road games in club history. 

* The Avalanche are the only team that has yet to suffer an overtime/shootout loss this season (5-0, including two wins via the shootout). 

SCHWARTZ HELPS BLUES STAY HOT AT HOME

Jaden Schwartz (1-2—3) recorded his second career three-point game and Brian Elliott made 19 saves to help the Blues improve to 13-2-2 at Scottrade Center, tied for the most home-ice victories in the NHL this season (with the Bruins, Penguins and Wild).

 * Schwartz has 8-14—22 in 30 games this season, all career highs, including 5-7—12 over his past 11 contests.

 * Alexander Steen posted 1-1—2, moving back into sole possession of second place in the NHL with his 22nd goal of the season. Steen has 35 points in 30 games, his highest point total since 2010-11 (20-31—51 in 72 GP). His single-season high in goals was set in 2009-10, when he found the back of the net 24 times in 68 outings. 

* Captain David Backes scored his 14th and 15th goals of the season. He has 29 points in 30 games, surpassing his total from the entire 2012-13 campaign (6-22—28 in 48 GP).

 * The Blues improved to 33-9-5 versus the Eastern Conference since the start of the 2010-11 season, the League’s best inter-conference record. That includes a six-game winning streak at home and 18-3-3 mark overall at Scottrade Center. 

NICE TO SEE YOU AGAIN

* Blue Jackets forward Artem Anisimov scored in his first visit to Madison Square Garden since being traded by the Rangers in July 2012. Anisimov played the first four seasons of his NHL career for the Rangers, posting 46-62—108 in 244 regular-season games and 4-7—11 in 26 postseason contests. 

* Teammate Brandon Dubinsky also made his return to Madison Square Garden, logging 14:47 of ice-time, two shots on goal and four penalty minutes. Dubinsky spent the first six seasons of his NHL career with the Rangers, compiling 81-132—213 in 393 regular-season games and 7-10—17 in 31 playoff appearances. 

* Canadiens forward Daniel Briere recorded three shots on goal in 14:13 of ice-time in his first visit to Philadelphia since being bought out by the team over the summer. Briere played the past six seasons for the Flyers, totaling 124-129—283 in 364 regular-season games and 37-35—72 in 68 postseason contests. 

* Oilers captain Andrew Ference posted one shot on goal and a +1 rating in his first game against the Bruins since leaving the team as a free agent this summer. Ference spent the past seven seasons in Boston, compiling 16-78—94 and 278 penalty minutes in 373 regular-season games. He also totaled 5-16—21 in 69 playoff appearances, helping the team capture the Stanley Cup in 2011. 

FLAMES MAKE MANAGEMENT CHANGES

The Flames announced that general manager Jay Feaster and assistant general manager John Weisbrod have been relieved of their duties. 

Feaster joined the organization in June 2010 as assistant general manager. He was named acting general manager on Dec. 28, 2010, and on May 16, 2011, was named the general manager of the team. Feaster previously won the Stanley Cup as the general manager of the Lightning in 2004. 

“My plan would be to be patient until we see how long it takes to get the guy that we want in here,” said Brian Burke, president of hockey operations. “In the meantime, if we can do something to improve the team, I’ll do it.”

 

THORNTON HEARING

Bruins forward Shawn Thornton will have an in-person hearing today with the Department of Player Safety for an incident with Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik on Saturday at TD Garden.

 

Thornton was offered the opportunity for an in-person hearing as required by provisions of the Collective Bargaining Agreement for any suspension that can exceed five games.

 

At 11:06 of the first period, Thornton confronted Orpik in a scrum, pulling him to the ice and throwing punches. Orpik was removed from the ice on a stretcher. The Penguins announced after the game that he traveled with the team back to Pittsburgh; Orpik had been taken to a local hospital, where he was alert and conscious.

 

Thornton was assessed a match penalty on the play.

 

The following grounds are being considered for supplemental discipline: Rule 46.2 (aggressor) and Rule 46.15 (match penalty). However, the Department of Player Safety retains the right to make adjustments to the infraction upon review.

 

LOOSE PUCKS

Chris Butler scored the winning goal with 3.6 seconds remaining in overtime to help the Flames improve to 8-2-1 in their past 11 home games versus the Hurricanes . . . Rob Klinkhammer (2-1—3) and Mike Ribeiro (1-2—3) each recorded three points to lead the Coyotes to their first win on home ice since Nov. 16 . . . Senators forward Bobby Ryan (1-1—2) posted his 10th multi-point game of the season. The Senators are 7-0-3 when he tallies two or more points, versus 6-14-3 when he fails to do so (Elias) . . . Jarome Iginla recorded his 95th career multi-goal game, and first since being traded by the Flames last season, to help the Bruins win their 11th consecutive game versus the Oilers . . . Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop made 28 saves, plus another six in the shootout, to improve to 11-2-0 with a 1.90 goals-against average, .937 save percentage and one shutout in 13 home games this season . . . The Predators improved to 13-0-1 when recording three or more goals this season . . . Blue Jackets forward Ryan Johansen scored to stretch his point streak to a career-long seven games (3-6—9) . . . Coyotes forward Antoine Vermette posted an assist to extend his point streak to five games (3-3—6) . . . Senators defenseman Joe Corvo played in his 700th NHL game . . . Islanders forward Frans Nielsen skated in his 400th career game . . . Hurricanes forward Patrick Dwyer, Red Wings defenseman Jonathan Ericsson and Maple Leafs defenseman Paul Ranger each played in their 300th NHL games . . . Flames forward Mikael Backlund skated in his 200th career game . . . ICYMI: Wild forward Charlie Coyle made a young fan’s day . . . The Flyers helped a soldier make a surprise homecoming . . . Senators defenseman and Ottawa native Cody Ceci made his NHL debut, logging 20:40 of ice-time and a +2 rating. Prior to the game, Ceci’s mother

SNEAK PEEK AT FRIDAY’S ACTION

All Times Eastern

New Jersey @ Pittsburgh, 7:00 p.m., RDS, MSG PLUS, ROOT

Washington @ Florida, 7:30 p.m., CSN-DC, FS-F

Edmonton @ Vancouver, 9:00 p.m., CBC (@67sHockeyMom) tweeted the below photo of him standing next to Mike Fisher at a Senators game 10 years ago.

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