NHL Morning Skate – Oct. 23, 2013 Ducks grounded by Leafs, Coyotes on a roll

NEW YORK – A big slate of games were featured Tuesday night in the NHL. In Arizona, The Phoenix Coyotes brought the Flames back to earth with a 4-2 win that extends the Coyotes point streak to seven games. Phoenix is now 6-2-2 through 10 games.

“It was one of those games where you feel like you should be winning, and you are winning, but you don’t feel like you’re winning. You just have to hang in there,” Phoenix head coach Dave Tippett said. “Once they got it to 2-2, we jumped up and started playing again. It wasNHLn’t a masterpiece, let’s put it this way.”

Mike Ribeiro had two goals for Phoenix in the win.

“Calgary is not an easy team to play. They make you skate 200 feet all the time, but we stuck together and we got the plays we needed,” said Ribeiro, who now has 12 goals and 27 points in 31 career games against the Flames. “I’m enjoying playing with [Mikkel Boedker and David Moss], and we were able to break them down with the forecheck and open up the ice a little.”

In Montreal, the Edmonton Oilers rallied for a 2-0 deficit to hand the Canadiens a loss and a plate of crow. Prior to the match Montreal’s Lars Eller had been quoted saying the Oilers were more a junior team than anything else.

The Oilers took the comments to heart apparently as they stormed back from the early deficit.

“Its games like that where you don’t really need to go play them,” Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins said after the game. “When you have a player like Lars Eller running his mouth before the game, it makes for great banter in our dressing room and great motivation. So, we thank Lars Eller for his comments before the game. Awesome.”

Eakins was obviously happy to have had the locker room fodder for his bench.

“Loved it,” Eakins said. “He may as well have sent me over a fruit basket and a bottle of wine. I was like, ‘Man, that is just perfect.’ That was a really great present that Mr. Eller laid on us Tuesday.”

In Toronto, the Maple Leafs fell behind early to the Anaheim Ducks, 2-0, before rallying behind Phil Kessel’s hat trick in a 4-2 win for the Leafs. The Ducks were coming in as one of the hottest teams in the NHL. And the Ducks proved early why they earned their one loss record thus far.

“First period we were awful tight,” Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle said. “We couldn’t execute a 20-foot pass. We were putting the pucks in people’s feet. It looked like we were so tense and so wound up, we were tripping over one another for the first period.”

For the Ducks, it was their first loss since an opening night 6-1 drubbing at the hands of the Avalanche in Denver.

In Columbus, the Blue Jackets grabbed a 4-1 win over the Devils. New Jersey’s woes continued as the defense was unable to clear the defensive zone numerous times with the Jackets jumping on two of those miscues to score goals.

“We showed a lot of character in the way we played,” Columbus’ James Wisniewski said after the game. “It took us a little while to get going but we found a way to win.”

Wisniewski had a goal, his first, and two assists to lead the Jackets.

It was interesting to listen to the game call as so much of the team used to represent the heart and soul of the New York Rangers.

TUESDAY’S RESULTS
Toronto 4, Anaheim 2
Vancouver 5, NY Islanders 4 (OT)
Columbus 4, New Jersey 1
Edmonton 4, Montreal 3
Chicago 3, Florida 2 (SO)
Minnesota 2, Nashville 0
Washington 5, Winnipeg 4 (SO)
Phoenix 4, Calgary 2

LIGHTING IT UP

Toronto’s Phil Kessel, Winnipeg’s Bryan Little, NY Islanders’ Matt Moulson, Washington’s Alex Ovechkin and Phoenix’s Mike Ribeiro each recorded multi-goal games Tuesday. Four players – Kessel (3-0—3), NY Islanders’ Frans Nielsen (1-2—3), Columbus’ James Wisniewski (1-2—3) and Winnipeg’s Andrew Ladd (0-3—3) – had three-point performances.

OVECHKIN TAKES GOAL-SCORING LEAD

Captain Alex Ovechkin scored a pair of goals to help the Capitals record a 5-4 shootout victory over the Jets. Ovechkin has scored in seven of Washington’s first nine games this season and leads the League with nine tallies. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he has 31 goals over his last 30 regular-season games (dating to last season), his highest total over any such span during his NHL career (previous high was 29).

Ovechkin now has 40-40—80 in 54 regular-season games versus the Jets/Thrashers franchise, his highest goal and point totals against any NHL opponent.

RIBEIRO, COYOTES STAY HOT

Forward Mike Ribeiro, who signed with the Coyotes as a free agent this offseason, scored two goals (including the game-winner) for the second consecutive contest. Ribeiro now has 5-4—9 during a seven-game point streak, during which the Coyotes are 5-0-2. Phoenix improved to 6-2-2 overall this season, its best start since 2000-01, when the team went 7-1-2 in its first 10 games.

KESSEL, LEAFS END DUCKS’ STREAK

The Maple Leafs scored four unanswered goals, led by Phil Kessel’s fourth career hat trick, to overcome an early two-goal deficit and snap the Ducks’ seven-game winning streak (tied for the longest in franchise history). Toronto improved to 7-0-0 this season when Kessel records a point. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, his hat trick was just the second by a Maple Leafs player on home ice over the past five seasons; Kessel also had the other on Oct. 8, 2011, in a 6-5 victory over the Senators.

Maple Leafs head coach Randy Carlyle faced the Ducks, the team he coached for parts of seven seasons, for the first time since the club fired him on Dec. 1, 2011. Carlyle posted a 273-182-61 record with Anaheim, leading the team to its first Stanley Cup in 2007.

BLACKHAWKS CONTINUE IMPRESSIVE START

The Blackhawks surrendered a two-goal lead, but Jonathan Toews and Patrick Sharp each scored in the shootout to push the team’s point streak to six games (5-0-1). Through nine games this season, Chicago has trailed for a total of 4:57, or 0.88% of the time (560:00 of total playing time).

With the win, the Blackhawks improved to 6-0-1 versus Eastern Conference teams this season; they have secured at least one point in 59 of their last 79 regular-season meetings with Eastern Conference opponents dating to 2008-09 (47-20-12).

HARDING HELPS SUTER DEFEAT OLD TEAM

Josh Harding made 16 saves to record his first shutout of 2013-14 and the eighth of his career. Harding has allowed one goal or fewer in seven of his eight appearances this season, posting a 4-2-1 record with a 0.96 goals-against average and .953 save percentage. He also improved to 25-9-2 all-time when starting at Xcel Energy Center.

 

Wild defenseman Ryan Suter, who spent the first seven seasons of his NHL career with the Predators, played in his 600th NHL contest and logged a game-high 28:52 of ice-time. Suter leads the League in average time on ice this season (29:19), having topped all skaters (both on the Wild and opponents) in ice-time during every game so far in 2013-14. He also led the NHL in TOI/game last season, setting a franchise record with an average of 27:16.

 

ARCOBELLO JOINS DISTINGUISHED LIST

Oilers rookie Mark Arcobello recorded two assists, giving him a total of 10 helpers through Edmonton’s first 10 games this season. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, only two other rookies in the last 20 seasons have collected 10 or more assists in their team’s first 10 games: Sidney Crosby (12 in 2005-06) and Patrick Kane (10 in 2007-08).

 

GARBUTT HEARING

Stars forward Ryan Garbutt will have an in-person hearing today with the Department of Player Safety for an incident during Sunday’s game versus the Ducks. Garbutt was offered the opportunity for an in-person hearing as required by provisions of the CBA for any suspension that can exceed five games.

At approximately 5:28 of the second period, Garbutt hit Ducks forward Dustin Penner as Penner made a pass in the Dallas zone. There was no penalty called. Penner was helped to the dressing room and did not return. The Ducks announced via Twitter that Penner was being evaluated, but had full mobility and was walking under his own power.

The following grounds are being considered for supplemental discipline: charging and illegal check to the head. However, the Department of Player Safety retains the right to make adjustments to the infraction upon review.

LOOSE PUCKS

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Image courtesy of NHL

Devils forward Jaromir Jagr became the 32nd player in NHL history to appear in 1,400 games . . . Flames forward Jiri Hudler picked up an assist to remain the only player who has recorded at least one point in each of his team’s games this season (4-8—12 in 9 GP) . . . Playing in his 300th NHL game, Islanders captain John Tavares collected an assist to extend his point streak to eight games (4-7—11) . . . Blue Jackets defenseman James Wisniewski tied a career high with three points (1-2—3) . . . Twins Daniel and Henrik Sedin both scored in the same game for the 41st time . . . Coyotes forward Radim Vrbata netted his 200th NHL goal . . . Wild forward Justin Fontaine scored his first career game-winning goal . . . Islanders forward Brock Nelson tallied his first NHL goal . . . Canucks forward Mike Santorelli assisted on Brad Richardson’s overtime winner and now has recorded a point on each of the team’s overtime goals this season (2-1—3) . . . The Coyotes improved to 119-13-20 when scoring first since the start of the 2009-10 season . . . Re-live the top-five plays from Tuesday’s games . . . Four children who have battled cancer dropped the ceremonial opening puck before the Capitals-Jets game, while Jets forward Evander Kane donned a special suit in honor of the team’s Awareness Night.

SNEAK PEEK AT WEDNESDAY’S ACTION

All Times Eastern
Ottawa @ Detroit, 7:30 p.m., TSN, TVA, FS-D
Boston @ Buffalo, 8:00 p.m., NBCSN, TSN2, RDS2

ALFREDSSON FACES SENS

Daniel Alfredsson plays his first game against the Senators, the team he spent the first 17 seasons of his NHL career with, when they visit the Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena. The 40-year-old Swede is Ottawa’s all-time leader in goals (426), assists (682), points (1,108) and games played (1,178), and captained the team from 1999-2013. “I have a lot of good friends on the other side,” Alfredsson told the Canadian Press. “I think it will be a relief once the puck drops. There will be a lot of emotion going into the game.”

WEDNESDAY NIGHT RIVALRY

Atlantic Division foes Boston and Buffalo play the first of five regular-season meetings on NBCSN’s “Wednesday Night Rivalry” telecast. The Sabres have faced the Bruins more times (268) than any other NHL team, compiling a 117-111-40 record (BOS: 122-108-38). “I loved every second of it,” said former Sabre Brad May of the Boston-Buffalo rivalry. “There were uncomfortable moments and times when I was afraid, but I absolutely loved it. It was so easy to get up for those games. You couldn’t sleep in the afternoon, or you’d sleep with the lights on.”

With NHL press release

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