Recaps of last night’s games involving American NHL teams, updates on NHL realignment, plus the latest on Martin Brodeur and Valtteri Filppula.
BOSTON GLOBE/NEWSDAY: Tuukka Rask made 36 saves while Patrice Bergeron and Tyler Seguin each collected two assists as the Boston Bruins beat the NY Islanders 4-1. The Islanders now have a 2-8-0 home record, the worst in the NHL this season.
THE BUFFALO NEWS/TAMPA TRIBUNE: The Buffalo Sabres got their first win under interim coach Ron Rolston, edging the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1. Ryan Miller made 30 saves for the win, while Cody Hodgson and Tyler Myers scored for the Sabres, who successfully killed off five short-handed situations in this game.
DALLAS MORNING NEWS/COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Loui Eriksson scored in overtime as the Dallas Stars downed the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-4. The win came just hours after the Stars learned teammate Michael Ryder had been dealt to Montreal for Erik Cole. The loss was the sixth in seven games for the floundering Blue Jackets.
SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS/DENVER POST: Patrick Marleau got the winner in a shootout as the San Jose Sharks nipped the Colorado Avalanche 3-2. It was a tough loss for Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov, who made 39 save in regulation and overtime.
MIAMI HERALD/PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Penalties proved costly to the Pittsburgh Penguins as the Florida Panthers converted four of six power-plays on route to a 6-4 victory. Tomas Kopecky led the way for the Panthers with a hat trick.
CBC.CA: Elliotte Friedman reports more details of the NHL’s new realignment proposal have been revealed, in which the league is dropping the “four conference” proposal to stick with two conferences containing four divisions. The top three teams in each division now automatically qualify for the playoffs. “The No. 4 seeds have some potential for crossover. Those spots will be given to the next two teams with the highest point total. (The club with fewer points would play the higher-seeded No. 1.) That is on a conference, not a league-wide, basis.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bear in mind none of this has been officially adopted, but I expect what we’ve seen in this proposal (which also contains details of how the regular season schedule could look depending upon each division) is what we’ll likely see starting next season.
THE GLOBE AND MAIL: A number of NHL players who played in Switzerland during the lockout are trying to get themselves back in sync with the NHL game after playing on the bigger ice overseas.
NORTHJERSEY.COM: The New Jersey Devils have placed goaltender Martin Brodeur on IR (back). He’s expected to be sidelined until at least Monday.
DETROIT FREE PRESS: The good news for the Red Wings is Johan Franzen may be returning from a hip flexor injury. The bad news is Valtteri Filppula is nursing an undisclosed injury (not the knee he sprained in Finland during the lockout).