Recaps of Tuesday’s games involving NHL Canadian teams, plus Flames defenseman Mark Giordano is fined for a slew foot.
LA PRESSE/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Goals by Max Pacioretty and Alex Galchenyuk lifted the Montreal Canadiens to a 3-1 win over the New York Rangers. Raphael Diaz scored into an empty net to clinch the win for the Habs, who vaulted into first overall in the Eastern Conference. Former Ranger Brandon Prust set up Galchenyuk’s winning goal. Rangers head coach John Tortorella ripped his team post-game for its lackluster play. The Blueshirts also played without Rick Nash, sidelined with an undisclosed injury.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That win is the Canadiens fifth in a row since they were pummeled by the Toronto Maple Leafs nearly two weeks ago. Looks like that loss lit a fire under the Habs, who are atop the Conference for the first time in five years.
CHICAGO TRIBUNE/VANCOUVER PROVINCE: Andrew Shaw’s shootout goal gave the Chicago Blackhawks a 4-3 win over the Vancouver Canucks, tying the NHL record for the best season-opening record. The win was marred by an injury to Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa, who was struck in the back of the head by an elbow from Canucks forward Jannik Hansen. Hossa had scored twice prior to the injury, which knocked him out of the game. He’ll have further tests done today to determine if he suffered another concussion.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It appeared Hansen and Hossa were both trying to knock down the puck when the incident occurred. Hansen has no history of deliberately attempting to injure, so it’ll be interesting to see what the league’s ruling will be. Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said Hossa seemed okay after the game, so hopefully he won’t be sidelined for long.
OTTAWA SUN/NEWSDAY: Craig Anderson made 37 saves backstopping the Ottawa Senators to a 3-1 win over the slumping New York Islanders. Colin Greening, Andre Benoit and Dave Dziurzynski scored for the Senators, chalking up their second straight win. Travis Hamonic tallied for the Isles.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Senators playoff hopes now fully hang upon Craig Anderson. If he stays healthy, the injury-ravaged Sens still have a chance. If he struggles or gets hurt, they’ll be in bigger trouble than they already are.
WINNIPEG SUN/BUFFALO NEWS: Bryan Little and Andrew Ladd scored as the Winnipeg Jets held off a late rally by the Buffalo Sabres for a 2-1 win. Ondrej Pavelec made 29 saves for the win as the Jets snapped a three-game losing streak. It was the fourth loss in five games for the floundering Sabres, who were booed off the ice by their fans.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was a much-needed win for the Jets, who are starting to hear grumbles of discontent from fans and pundits back in Winnipeg. Despite the win, the Jets are in the same boat as the Sabres, struggling to find consistency and running the risk of sliding further out of playoff contention. If things don’t soon turn around for both clubs, changes could be coming to their respective rosters.
TAMPA TRIBUNE/TORONTO STAR: The Tampa Bay Lightning won their second straight game, downing the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-2. Vincent Lecavalier, Steven Stamkos and Matt Carle were among the Lightning’s goalscorers, while Mikhail Grabovski and James van Riemsdyk tallied for the Leafs, who pulled goalie Ben Scrivens after he gave up four goals on thirteen shots.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bit of a deflating loss for Scrivens, who was coming off back-to-back shutouts.
LOS ANGELES TIMES/EDMONTON JOURNAL: Late goals by Jeff Carter and Jarret Stoll lifted the LA Kings to a 3-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers. Sam Gagner scored the Oilers lone goal, while Nikolai Khabibulin made 35 saves in a losing cause.
CALGARY SUN: The NHL fined Flames defenseman Mark Giordano $10, 000 for a slew foot on Antoine Roussel of the Dallas Stars.