Recaps of games involving Canadian NHL teams, plus updates on Tobias Enstrom, Keith Ballard and the Flames goalie carousel.
TORONTO STAR/OTTAWA CITIZEN: Ben Scrivens made 34 saves for his first career NHL shutout as the Toronto Maple Leafs blanked the Ottawa Senators, who are still reeling from the season-ending injury to superstar defenseman Erik Karlsson. Frazer McLaren, Tyler Bozak and John-Michael Liles scored for the Leafs.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The loss of
Eriksson Karlsson was a huge blow for a Senators team struggling to adjust to the loss of Jason Spezza for the rest of the regular season to a back injury. It remains to be seen if they’ll be able to recover.
LA PRESSE/PHILLY.COM: Peter Budaj won the battle of the backup goalies over Brian Boucher as the Montreal Canadiens downed the Philadelphia Flyers 4-1. It may have been a costly win for the Canadiens, as Brendan Gallagher (who had a goal and an assist in the game) and Max Pacioretty (2 assists) both left the game with injuries. It’s fear Gallagher may have suffered a concussion, while Pacioretty may have a rib injury.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pacioretty returned earlier than expected from an emergency appendectomy so he should quickly shake off this injury. Gallagher’s injury, on the other hand, could be more serious. The rookie was off to a hot start and it would be a shame to see him sidelined by concussion.
EDMONTON SUN/DENVER POST: The Edmonton Oilers broke a team record with 56 shots as they rallied from a 4-1 deficit to defeat the Colorado Avalanche 6-4. Ales Hemsky (2 goals), Jordan Eberle (2G, 1A) and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (1 goal) led the way for the Oilers, who pulled goalie Devan Dubnyk in favor of Nikolai Khabibulin following the first period. Matt Duchene and Jamie McGinn has 3 point nights for the slumping Avs, who’ve won only 3 of their last ten games.
WINNIPEG SUN: Jets defenseman Tobias Enstrom (shoulder) will be out of the lineup when the Jets face off today against the Boston Bruins.
VANCOUVER PROVINCE: A resurgent Keith Ballard is why the Canucks are going with six defensemen.
CALGARY SUN: The Flames goalie carousel continues, as they demoted Leland Irving and recalled Danny Taylor.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I was surprised by this move. While Irving was at times shaky, he earned praise from coach Bob Hartley in the Flames recent wins over the Blue Jackets and Wild. Media opinion in Calgary was Irving was doing better than expected. Evidently, his lousy start on Friday convinced them to go with Joey MacDonald as their interim starter and give Taylor a look-see. Starter Miikka Kiprusoff, meanwhile, is expected to be at least another week away from returning to action.