NHL Morning Skate – Dec. 8, 2013 Habs continue hot streak with win over Sabres and Bruins down Pens

NEW YORK – In Detroit, on Saturday, the Panthers edged the Red Wings, 2-1, on a goal from Jonathan Huberdeau early the third period. Florida made the goal stand the rest of the way to get the win.NHL

The Red Wngs had little energy all night and the Panthers capitalized.

“I thought it was lack of energy for sure. You try to fight through it the best you possibly can,” Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said after his team fell to 5-6-6 at Joe Louis Arena. “We had a game last night, they sat in our building, hung out and waited for us. There’s no excuse for anything, you got to find ways to win games.”

In St Louis, the Ducks awoke from their recent slump and upended the Blues, 5-2. Ryan Getzlaf had a goal and an assist in extending his current point streak to 13 games.

On the back end of a two games-in-two nights schedule the Ducks reversed the standard approach and pushed the Blues early.

“That was our mentality,” Getzlaf said. “When we are the team on the back-to-back, we know they are going to make a big push at the start. We consider ourselves an elite team and we need to prove that every night when we are playing great teams.”

The result was a 3-0 lead entering the fist intermission.

“I think it’s the same for every game,” Blues heade coach Ken Hitchcock said. “When you don’t have a mindset of checking, then that affects your competitive level, races for pucks, puck battles, 50-50 pucks. When your mindset is something other than checking to start with, that affects everything. It’s been the same. We went through this last year, and it was, what, a month we went through this where we had to change our attitude towards what was important.

“We’ll score lots if we check better. We’ll get way more offensive-zone time. We’re just chasing the game. We’re chasing the game because we’re not starting with the puck, we’re not keeping the puck, we’re not determined when we’re being checked, and we’re not determined when we’re checking, so you play slow. We look slow and then we speed up as the game goes on. We got more competitive as the game went on, but we’re allowing the other team to dictate the checking tempo and it affects every part of our game.”

In Los Angeles, the Kings’ Martin Jones got his first NHL shutout with a 3-0 win over the Islanders who lost their ninth straight game.

“It’s been a good start, but I’m not here to win two games,” Jones said. “There’s a lot of work ahead. I don’t want to stop now. I want to keep on building off this, and keep continuing to get better.”

The Isles are now 0-7-2 in their last nine and in real danger of becoming also-rans before Christmas.

“We played well for 30 minutes and then kind of shot ourselves in the foot a little bit, but we were right in the game,” forward Kyle Okposo said. “We’ve got to find a way to win because this is unacceptable.”

Smith had to make only 16 saves in the win.

“I know what our record is,” coach Jack Capuano said. “It’s not like we’re getting dominated in these games. They scored on a 1-on-4 that we got beat. They scored on a wraparound, and we had a chance shorthanded that hit a post. If we’re not going to score any goals, it’s going to be tough for us.”

Meanwhile back east, the Rangers coughed up a 2-0 lead in permitting the Devils to score three unanswered goals to take a 3-2 lead deep into the regulation.

Chris Kreider scored on a backhand with 22 seconds left in the match to force overtime. Mats Zuccarello had a goal and an assist for New York and Brad Richards collected his ninth1 goal of the season to stake the Rangers to a 1-0 lead early on.

The Rangers did manage to break one part of their recent routine, while they lost it was not a regulation loss after a win.

SATURDAY’S RESULTS

Dallas 5, Philadelphia 1

Boston 3, Pittsburgh 2

Montreal 3, Buffalo 2

Toronto 4, Ottawa 3 (SO)

Florida 2, Detroit 1

Winnipeg 2, Tampa Bay 1 (OT)

Washington 5, Nashville 2

New Jersey 4, NY Rangers 3 (OT)

Anaheim 5, St. Louis 2

Calgary 2, Edmonton 1 (OT)

Los Angeles 3, NY Islanders 0

 

 

PACIFIC HEIGHTS

Following wins by the Ducks and Kings Saturday, the three California-based clubs rank second through fourth in the League’s overall standings. They boast a combined goal differential of +62 and are a cumulative 30-5-6 in games played in the Golden State.

 

NHL Overall Standings:

 

1. Chicago, 20-6-5, 45 points (Central Division)

2. Anaheim, 20-7-5, 45 points (Pacific Division)

3. San Jose, 19-5-5, 43 points (Pacific Division)

4. Los Angeles, 19-7-4, 42 points (Pacific Division)

 

DUCKS ATTACK BLUES EARLY

The Ducks scored three goals in the game’s first eight minutes in handing the Blues just their second regulation loss at Scottrade Center in 16 starts (12-2-2).

 

* Ryan Getzlaf (1-1—2) tallied his League-leading sixth game-winning goal of the season. Getzlaf has recorded points in each of his past 11 games, the longest active streak in the League (6-8—14).

 

* Corey Perry scored a goal for the fifth straight game. Perry owns the NHL’s longest active goal streak, one shy of the season-best, six-game streaks recorded by St. Louis’ Alexander Steen and Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos. Perry also has an active seven-game point streak, tallying 6-3—9 in that span.

 

* Getzlaf and Perry tallied goals in the same game for the eighth time this season, tied with the Blues’ tandem of Alexander Steen and David Backes for the highest total among a pair of NHL teammates (Elias Sports Bureau).

 

* Nick Bonino (1-1—2) continued his breakout season with his second multiple-point effort in his past four games. Bonino ranks fourth on the Ducks in scoring with 8-14—22, already a career-high for single-season.

 

* Rookie goaltender Frederik Andersen improved to 8-1-0 in nine starts this season. Andersen has posted a 1.74 goals-against average and .938 save percentage.

 

KINGS CONTINUE RED-HOT RUN; JONES NOTCHES MILESTONE SHUTOUT

With their shutout win over the Islanders, the Kings closed within three points of the League-leading Blackhawks. The Kings have earned points in 14 of their past 15 games (10-1-4) since Nov. 7. Kings rookie goaltender Martin Jones collected his second win in as many NHL starts and notched his first shutout. In his League debut on Tuesday he stopped 26 of 28 shots and all nine shootout attempts in a 3-2 win over the Ducks.

 

SEGUIN’S A NATURAL

Tyler Seguin (3-1—4) scored a natural hat trick on “Hat Day” and the Stars scored three goals in a span of 62 seconds late in the second period in the win over Philadelphia. Seguin’s natural hat trick was the third by a Stars player since the club moved to Dallas in 1993, joining Brett Hull, on March 18, 2001 vs. Ottawa, and Mike Ribeiro, on Jan. 21, 2009 at Florida. In addition, Seguin joins Jussi Jokinen (Nov. 16, 2007 vs. Colorado) as the second Dallas player to score three goals in one period (Elias Sports Bureau).

 

The line of Seguin, Valeri Nichushkin (1-3—4) and captain Jamie Benn (0-1—1) combined for nine points and a +11 rating. The 18-year-old Nichushkin became the first Stars rookie to score four points in a game since February 16, 1996, when Jere Lehtinen registered four assists against the Oilers (Elias Sports Bureau).

 

LATE HEROICS AROUND THE LEAGUE

* Two goals in the final 1:29 of the third period erased a one-goal deficit and gave the Bruins a dramatic 3-2 regulation win over Pittsburgh. David Krejci tied the game at 18:31 and Zdeno Chara scored just 13 seconds before the final horn. The Bruins posted a regulation win in a game they trailed in the last two minutes for the first time since Dec. 4, 1986, when Tom McCarthy (19:42) and Ray Bourque (19:59) scored the tying and winning goals in a 3-2 victory against Quebec at Boston Garden (Elias Sports Bureau).

 

Chara’s tally was the 10th final-minute, go-ahead goal in the NHL this season and the fourth such goal scored with fewer than 20 seconds remaining. Previously, Pittsburgh’s Matt Niskanen scored at 19:41 in a 5-4 win over Tampa Bay on Oct. 12; Boston’s David Krejci scored at 19:59 in a 2-1 win over San Jose on Oct. 24 and Chicago’s Patrick Kane scored at 19:42 in a 3-2 win over Calgary on Nov. 27.

 

* Edmonton’s Taylor Hall tied the game with 11 seconds remaining in the third period to send the Oilers and Flames to overtime in the Battle of Alberta. Calgary’s Jiri Hudler potted his first game-winner of the season 3:14 into overtime to give the Flames the victory.

 

* The Rangers pulled even against New Jersey when Chris Kreider scored with 21.3 seconds left in regulation at Madison Square Garden. The Devils answered in overtime when rookie defenseman Eric Gelinas notched his first NHL game-winner.

 

REIMER REIGNS IN CANADA’S CAPITAL

Two nights after Jonathan Bernier survived a 50-shot barrage in a 3-2 overtime win against the Stars, Toronto goaltender James Reimer saw 50 more against the Ottawa Senators. He stopped 47 and denied two more in the shootout to give the Maple Leafs the win. Reimer has now faced 49 or more shots four times in his career and has won each, three of which played in Ottawa. Reimer is 7-0-0 in his career at Canadian Tire Centre.

 

* The Maple Leafs have surrendered at least 50 shots three times in the past eight games and have won each contest.

 

LOOSE PUCKS

The Panthers recorded their first in regulation in Detroit since Dec. 1, 1996… Montreal goaltender Carey Price earned his seventh consecutive win in the Canadiens’ win over Buffalo. Price has allowed two or fewer goals in each of the last 10 starts, going 8-1-1 over that span with a .949 save percentage. The Canadiens are 9-0-1 in their last 10 games and are tied in points with Pittsburgh atop the Eastern Conference… Washington’s Alex Ovechkin scored his League-leading 22nd goal, a power-play marker, in the win over Nashville. Ovechkin has 136 career power-play goals, two shy of passing Peter Bondra (137) for first place on the Capitals’ all-time list. In a night of firsts on the Capitals blueline, rookie Patrick Wey (4th round, 2009) made his NHL debut; rookie Nate Schmidt scored his first career NHL goal; and Karl Alzner tallied his first goal of the season… Ryan McDonagh tallied an assist vs. New Jersey to extend his career-high point streak to six games (one goal, six assists over the span). According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he is the first Rangers defenseman to post a six-game point streak since Brian Leetch registered a point in seven straight games during the 2003-04 season (Nov. 23 – Dec. 4)… Pittsburgh’s Chris Kunitz extended his point streak to seven games with a goal against the Bruins (6-4—10) and Edmonton’s David Perron is on a five-game point streak after earning an assist against the Flames (4-3—7)… Flyers forward Scott Hartnell skated in his 900th career NHL game and Wayne Simmonds recorded his 100th career NHL assist… Detroit’s Jonas Gustavsson suffered his first regulation loss of the season in his 10th start, losing 2-1 to Florida… Winnipeg’s Blake Wheeler scored his 100th career NHL goal and added an assist on Mark Scheifele’s first NHL overtime goal in the Jets’ 2-1 win… The Devils’ Travis Zajac scored a goal in his 500th NHL game.

 

TWO DISCIPLINARY HEARINGS SCHEDULED

* Bruins left wing Shawn Thornton will have a hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety on a date to be determined for an incident with Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik on Saturday at TD Garden in Boston. 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.

* Penguins left wing James Neal will have a phone hearing with the Department of Player Safety on Monday for a hit on Bruins left wing Brad Marchand.

 

SNEAK PEEK AT SUNDAY’S ACTION

All Times Eastern

San Jose @ Minnesota, 6:00 p.m., CSN-CA, FS-N

Boston @ Toronto, 7:00 p.m., RDS2, NESN, LEAFS TV

Washington @ NY Rangers, 7:00 p.m., CSN-DC, MSG

Florida @ Chicago, 7:00 p.m., FS-F, WGN

Colorado @ Vancouver, 8:00 p.m., ALT, SNET-P

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