Recaps of Thursday’s NHL games. Games involving Canadian teams can be found in “Canadian Corner”.
CHICAGO TRIBUNE/ARIZONA REPUBLIC: After Chicago Blackhawks forward Jamal Mayers extracted a measure of revenge on Phoenix Coyotes forward Raffi Torres for his blindside hit on Marian Hossa in last year’s playoffs, the Blackhawks went on to crush the Coyotes 6-2. Patrick Kane (2 goals) and Patrick Sharp (3 assists) led the way for the Blackhawks.
PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW/WASHINGTON POST: Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin each netted a goal and two assists to down the hapless Washington Capitals 5-2, dropping the latter’s record to a league-w0rst 2-8-1. Michal Neuvirth was chased from the Capitals net after giving up two goals on 11 shots, but Braden Holtby didn’t fare any better, allowing three goals on 17 shots. Alexander Ovechkin and Mike Ribeiro tallied for Washington.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Capitals slide cannot continue much longer without some changes coming, either to the roster or behind the bench. Though only 11 games into the season, the Caps may have dug a hole too deep to climb out of in this shortened season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Of the 2012 Stanley Cup Finalists, the Devils (6-3-1) have the better record, while the defending champion Kings (3-4-2) continue their slow start to this season.
DETROIT FREE PRESS/STLTODAY.COM: Rookie goalie Petr Mrazek made 26 saves in his NHL debut as the Detroit Red Wings dumped the St. Louis Blues 5-1. The Wings also got contributions from their third and fourth lines, with Dan Cleary and Cory Emmerton potting two of the Wings first three goals. Blues coach Ken Hitchcock wasn’t pleased with his club’s performance, accusing his players of cheating themselves.
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS/NEWSDAY: Rookie JT Miller scored his first two NHL goals of his career as the New York Rangers downed the NY Islanders 4-1. Henrik Lundqvist made 27 saves for the Rangers, who also welcomed back Ryan Callahan, returning from a shoulder injury. Earlier in the day, the Islanders acquired goalie Tim Thomas from the Boston Bruins in what was called a salary cap move by Islanders management.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Thomas is not expected to report to the Islanders this season. The club reportedly has no intent of “tolling” his contract forward to next season if Thomas doesn’t report. The move is to ensure they remain cap compliant should Lubomir Visnovsky have to return home to Slovakia, as his son is undergoing surgery this weekend.
SUN-SENTINEL/PHILLY.COM: Jose Theodore made 30 saves in regulation and overtime and Peter Mueller scored in a shootout as the Florida Panthers nipped the Philadelphia Flyers 3-2. Jack Skille and Stephen Weiss also scored for the Panthers, while Jakub Voracek and Matt Read countered for the Flyers.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flyers are another club to keep an eye on in terms of possible changes. Though not in free-fall like the Capitals, their 4-6-1 record has been cause for concern, primarily because their offense is sputtering.