Recaps of last night’s Washington-Toronto, San Jose-Edmonton, Winnipeg-Florida and Colorado-Calgary games, plus updates on Jason Spezza, Roberto Luongo and P.K. Subban.
TORONTO STAR/WASHINGTON POST: The Toronto Maple Leafs overcame a 2-1 deficit by scoring two unanswered third period goals to down the struggling Washington Capitals 3-2. James van Riemsdyk scored his fourth goal of the season for the Maple Leafs, and Alexander Ovechkin got his second of the season for the Capitals. Still, all the talk post-game was over Toronto forward Phil Kessel remaining goalless seven games into this season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s not for lack of effort on Kessel’s part, as he also has four assists on the season. Of greater interest to me is the ongoing decline of the once-dominant Ovechkin and the Capitals. While there’s still plenty of time for the Capitals to rally back, they look nothing like the powerhouse they used to be.
MERCURYNEWS.COM/EDMONTON JOURNAL: The San Jose Sharks remain the NHL’s only unbeaten team, stretching their season-opening winning streak to 7 games with a 3-2 shoot-out win over the Edmonton Oilers. The Oilers rallied from a 2-0 deficit on goals by Sam Gagner and Taylor Hall to force overtime and the shootout.
SUNSENTINEL.COM/WINNIPEG SUN: The Florida Panthers snapped a five-game losing skid with a 6-3 win over the Winnipeg Jets. The Jets blew two one-goal leads and the Panthers put the game away with four straight goals in the second half of a wild third period. Tomas Fleischmann collected three assists for the Panthers, while Grant Clitsome, Olli Jokinen and Tobias Enstrom tallied for the Jets.
DENVER POST/CALGARY HERALD: The Colorado Avalanche scored three unanswered third period goals to down the Calgary Flames 6-3. Paul Stastny, P.A. Parenteau and John Mitchell each scored twice for the Avs, while Jiri Hudler scored two goals in a losing cause for the Flames.
OTTAWA SUN: Senators star Jason Spezza has been sidelined indefinitely by back surgery. The Senators hope to have him back in time for the playoffs.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This will represent a big challenge for the Senators, who are off to a good start to this season. Spezza was key to their offensive attack, and that’ll put pressure upon young Kyle Turris to step up and fill the void.
VANCOUVER PROVINCE: Cory Schneider isn’t troubled by Roberto Luongo getting more starts in recent games.
SPECTOR’ S NOTE: Headlines, meanwhile, will scream “Goaltending Controversy”. There isn’t, of course, as Schneider and Luongo have a good working relationship and neither will rock the boat over this situation.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Newly re-signed Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban will have to quickly learn the defensive system of new Habs coach Michel Therrien.