Recaps of Thursday’s games featuring Canadian NHL teams, plus the latest on the Maple Leafs, Oilers, Flames and Canadiens.
WINNIPEG FREE PRESS/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Ondrej Pavelec made 28 saves and Dustin Byfuglien had two assists as the Winnipeg Jets downed the New York Rangers 3-1 to move ahead of the Blueshirts into eighth overall in the Eastern Conference.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The always creative Jets fans also serenaded Rangers hot-tempered coach John Tortorella by derisively chanting his name, but “Torts” refused to acknowledge the taunt.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Leafs fans are starting to get a little nervous now. Can’t say I blame them. When your favorite team hasn’t made the playoff since 2004, a four-game losing streak midway through even a shortened season is cause for concern.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Oilers center Sam Gagner is having a career year.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gagner has averaged 40-or-more points in each of his previous five NHL seasons. He’s currently on pace for46 points this season, but in 48 games. He’s a restricted free agent with arbitration rights this summer, so don’t be surprised if his agent seeks a $5 million per season contract.
CALGARY HERALD: Much-maligned Flames defenseman Jay Bouwmeester’s improved offensive play this season has been a boost for his club.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Flames coach Bob Hartley is allowing Bouwmeester to open things up offensively, something he wasn’t really allowed to do under Hartley’s more defensive-minded predecessors.
TSN’s Darren Dreger reports via Twitter: Montreal Canadiens expected to announce contract extension for David Dersharnais on Friday.
OTTAWA SUN: Senators new enforcer Matt Kassian touches down in Ottawa.