NHL Canadian Corner – February 15, 2013.

Recaps of Thursday’s games involving Canadian NHL teams, an update on Erik Karlsson, and the latest on Zach Bogosian, Leland Irving, Ryan Smyth and Manny Malhotra.

Rene Bourque celebrates his OT winner as the Canadiens down the Panthers.

Rene Bourque celebrates his OT winner as the Canadiens down the Panthers.

LA PRESSE/MIAMI HERALD: Rene Bourque scored the game’s only goal as the Montreal Canadiens edged the Florida Panthers 1-0 in overtime. Carey Price made 26 saves for the shutout, while Jose Theodore kicked out 31 shots in a losing cause.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bourque has made substantial improvement over last season, when he managed only 24 points in 76 games split between the Habs and Calgary Flames. This season, he’s on pace for 30 points if he plays the full 48 game schedule.

NEWSOBSERVER.COM/TORONTO SUN: Joe Corvo, Jussi Jokinen and Jordan Staal scored in the second period as the Carolina Hurricanes down the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs 3-1. Jeff Skinner also collected two assists. Nazem Kadri tallied the Leafs only goal.

OTTAWA CITIZEN: Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson faces six months of recovery and rehab following surgery to repair a lacerated left Achilles tendon.  70 percent of the tendon was cut, but surgeons said the cut was clean, making it easier to repair. It does mean Karlsson’s season is over.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Here’s hoping he makes a full recovery and returns strong next season. 

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets defenseman Zach Bogosian could make his season debut tonight against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

CALGARY HERALD: Flames backup Leland Irving has performed admirably filling in for the sidelined Miikka Kiprusoff.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Irving has his critics, but his performance thus far has silenced them. He’s making the most of this opportunity to prove himself an NHL goaltender.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Ryan Smyth is hoping to return to action on Saturday after being made a healthy scratch in the Oilers previous game.

VANCOUVER SUN: The Canucks have placed forward Manny Malhotra on injured reserve for the rest of the season over concern the reduced vision in the eye he injured two years ago was putting him at risk. GM Mike Gillis called it the hardest thing he’s done as Canucks general manager.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gillis wanted to put Malhotra on IR last year but gave the center a chance to prove he could still play. It’s tough for a player who’s suffered a career-ending injury to admit their career is over. I give Gillis credit for giving Malhotra another chance, as well as for having the common sense to put him on IR for his own safety.