Recaps of Sunday’s games involving American NHL teams, plus the latest on Viktor Fasth, Brooks Laich, Benoit Pouliot and more.
PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE/BUFFALO NEWS: Paul Martin’s late third period goal snapped a 3-3 tie and gave the Pittsburgh Penguins a 4-3 victory over the Buffalo Sabres. Sidney Crosby and Pascal Dupuis had three-point performances for the Penguins. Thomas Vanek maintained his lead in the NHL scoring race with a goal and assist for the Sabres.
CHICAGO SUN-TIMES/LOS ANGELES TIMES: The Chicago Blackhawks held off a late charge by the Los Angeles Kings to win the game 3-2. Brent Seabrook, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Sharp gave the ‘Hawks a 3-0 lead, while Mike Richards’ two power-play goals in the third drew the Kings to within one. The Blackhawks are now 12-0-3 and are one game away from tying the NHL record for the second-longest point streak to open a season.
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS/WASHINGTON POST: Goals by Carl Hagelin and Derek Stepan rallied the New York Rangers to a 2-1 victory over the Washington Capitals. It was a tough loss for Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby, who made 38 saves but didn’t get much offensive support from his teammates.
STARTRIBUNE.COM/DETROIT NEWS: Goals by Dany Heatley, Jason Zucker and Torey Mitchell rallied the Minnesota Wild from a 2-0 deficit to edge the Detroit Red Wings 3-2. The Wings took a 2-0 lead on goals by Damien Brunner and Pavel Datsyuk, who returned to the lineup after missing the previous game to a shoulder injury.
ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Ducks backup Viktor Fasth has been among the pleasant surprises this season, running up an 8-0 record to start the season while in relief of an injured Jonas Hiller.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hiller remains the Ducks starting goalie, but Fasth’s performance will make it difficult for Hiller to get back into the lineup.
PHILLY.COM: Flyers GM Paul Holmgren and coach Peter Laviolette have received a vote of confidence from team ownership.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: There were rumors Laviolette might be replaced if the Flyers didn’t soon improve, but that would be a mistake. It’s not Laviolette’s fault the club has been whacked by injuries to key players this season. He’s doing the best he can with what he’s got. It’s up to Holmgren to find suitable replacements for the injured guys.
TAMPA TRIBUNE: Benoit Pouliot, who’s bounced around the NHL in recent seasons, appears to have found a home with the Lightning.
WASHINGTON TIMES: A nagging groin injury has kept Brooks Laich out of the Capitals lineup this season.
NEWSOBSERVER.COM: Carolina Hurricanes fourth-line Kevin Westgarth took a lead role for the NHLPA during the lockout.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Westgarth may only play a supporting role as an NHL player, but he impressed league negotiators with his input as part of the NHLPA negotiating team. There could be a future for Westgarth within the NHLPA once his playing career ends.