Recaps of Sunday’s NHL games, plus updates on Lubomir Visnovsky, Vincent Lecavalier, Milan Hejduk, Derek Roy, Douglas Murray and more.
PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW/WASHINGTON TIMES: Chris Kunitz’s hat trick powered the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 6-3 victory over the Washington Capitals. Sidney Crosby (3 assists), Evgeni Malkin (2 assists) and Kris Letang (1G, 1A) had multi-point performances for the Penguins. Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby continues to struggle between the pipes for the Capitals, giving up six goals on 26 shots. Capital star Alexander Ovechkin managed only one assist.
THE GLOBE AND MAIL: David Shoalts writes the decline in Ovechkin’s performance in recent years means he’s no longer a match for Sidney Crosby, taking the shine off their rivalry’s luster.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: As Ovechkin goes, so goes the Capitals. So far this season, they aren’t going very far. The decline in Ovechkin’s production since 2010 is most troubling, for him as well as the Capitals, who based their offensive attack around him.
NORTHJERSEY.COM/NEWSDAY: Johan Hedberg made 22 saves backstopping the New Jersey Devils to a 3-0 shutout of the NY Islanders. Steve Bernier scored twice for the Devils. The Islanders, meanwhile, could soon get some blueline depth, as wayward defenseman Lubmoir Visnovsky is expected to join the team on Wednesday and could see game action as soon as Saturday.
MIAMI HERALD/THE BUFFALO NEWS: Goals by George Parros, Peter Mueller and Brian Campbell rallied the Florida Panthersfrom a 3-1 deficit to down the Buffalo Sabres 4-3. The loss spoiled another big game by Sabres winger Thomas Vanek, who had a goal and two assists in a losing cause.
The recap of the Ottawa Senators-Montreal Canadiens game can be found in “Canadian Corner”.
TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lightning captain Vincent Lecavalier is not expected to miss any playing time after taking a shot off his left foot late in the Lightning-Rangers game on Saturday.
DENVER POST: Milan Hejduk will play in his 1, 000th career NHL game on Monday against the Dallas Stars.
BND.COM: The NHL has rescinded the match penalty levied on St. Louis Blues forward David Backes. He was ejected from Friday’s Blues-Red Wings game after being penalized for a deliberate hit to the head of Wings defenseman Kent Huskins. Replays clearly showed Backes did not strike Huskins in the head.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That penalty was considered the game’s turning point, leading to the Red Wings victory over the Blues.
DALLAS MORNING NEWS: The return of center Derek Roy means the Stars will be shuffling their lineup. Roy had missed the past five games to a groin injury.
CSN BAY AREA: Douglas Murray’s penalty-killing skills helps to keep him in the lineup.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sharks over-crowded blueline has sparked rumors Murray could be the odd man out.
DETROIT FREE PRESS: The Red Wings aren’t getting enough production from their third and fourth lines.