Recaps of Thursday’s games involving non-Canadian NHL teams, plus the latest on Jonathan Quick, David Clarkson and more.
THE TENNESSEAN/ARIZONA REPUBLIC: The Nashville Predators broke a scoreless tie with three goals in the third period to blank the Phoenix Coyotes 3-0. Pekka Rinne made 19 saves for the win, while Gabriel Bourque, Nick Spaling and Mike Fisher scored for the Predators. Mike Smith made 26 saves in the loss.
NEWSDAY/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: John Tavares and Frans Nielsen scored in a shootout as the NY Islanders edged the NY Rangers 4-3. The win snapped a five-game losing streak for the Islanders. Tavares also scored in regulation as the Isles overcame a 2-0 deficit to take a 3-2 lead before Carl Hagelin tied the game for the Rangers late in the second period.
WASHINGTON POST/TAMPA TRIBUNE: Eric Fehr scored twice and Mathieu Perreault collected 3 assists as the Washington Capitals won their third straight game with a 4-3 win over the slumping Tampa Bay Lightning, who dropped their sixth straight. Martin St. Louis had a goal and an assist for the Lightning.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Certainly seems like two teams going in different directions. The Capitals are showing signs of turning the corner on their poor start, while the Bolts are in free-fall after a hot start.
DENVER POST/STARTRIBUNE.COM: Milan Hejduk and Matt Duchene scored in a shootout as the Colorado Avalanche nipped the Minnesota Wild 4-3. The duo also scored a goal each in regulation. Zach Parise and Mikko Koivu also scored for the Wild.
LOS ANGELES TIMES: Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick is struggling through an up-and-down season so far.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Can’t help but wonder if off-season back surgery might be affecting Quick’s play.
PHILLY.COM: Flyers young captain Claude Giroux finds himself a veteran leading first-and second-year players this season.
NORTHJERSEY.COM: David Clarkson is working hard to prove last season’s 30-goal performance was no fluke.
MLIVE.COM: Goaltender Jimmy Howard vows not to let his contract talks with the Detroit Red Wings interfere with his play.
BUFFALO NEWS: Drew Stafford struggles to regain his scoring touch.
PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Penguins forward Matt Cooke won’t receive supplemental discipline after his skate accidentally cut the leg of Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I understand some Senators fans are furious, as are some folks within the Senators organization. One Ottawa pundit believes Cooke was somehow “criminally negligent” with his skate. Cooke does have a reputation as a dirty player, but he’s cleaned up his act since 2011, and there was obviously no deliberate intent to injure Karlsson. It was an unfortunate accident. Cooke’s reputation is no justification for suspension, nor is claiming he was reckless with his skate. If he made a deliberate stomping or kicking motion, it would be a different story.