Recaps of the Penguins-Bruins & Capitals-Sabres games, plus the latest on Ryan Suter, Kimmo Timonen, T.J. Brennan and more.
PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW/BOSTON GLOBE: Goals by Sidney Crosby and Joe Vitale and a 31-save performance by Tomas Vokoun lifted the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 2-1 win over the Boston Bruins. The win came at a cost, as Penguins blueliner Kris Letang left the game in the first period with a lower-body injury. Bruins center David Krejci left the game with an apparent knee injury after getting hit with a shot by teammate Johnny Boychuk, but is expected to return to action on Tuesday.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: No word yet on the severity of Letang’s injury, but if it knocks him out of the lineup for a significant period, it’ll send the Penguins into the market for a short-term replacement. Anyone watching this game could see what a difference his absence had upon the Penguins, which should also put to rest those silly rumors they might move him at this year’s trade deadline.
WASHINGTON POST/BUFFALO NEWS.Three goals in a six-minute stretch in the second period carried the Washington Capitals to a 5-3 win over the floundering Buffalo Sabres. Buffalo forward Patrick Kaleta, returning from a five-game suspension, was reportedly furious when he learned he was a healthy scratch for this game.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ryan Miller had a message for his teammate: “Grow up”. Kaleta should heed the advice of his more talented and wiser teammate.
STARTRIBUNE.COM: Ryan Suter is growing more comfortable with the Minnesota Wild and is silencing his critics in the process.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s also a factor in the Wild’s 7-3-0 record of late, vaulting them into first in the Northwest Division.
COURIER POST ONLINE: Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timonen is reluctant to speak about the fact he’ll play his 1,000th NHL career game tonight against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations anyway to Timonen on his milestone.
MIAMI HERALD: T.J. Brennan, acquired from the Buffalo Sabres by the Florida Panthers, should see more playing time with his new team than he saw with the Sabres.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier in the season, I suggested Brennan could be a trade candidate, but a number of Sabres fans contacted me to dismiss this possibility, considering Brennan a key part of their team’s future. I’m not mentioning this to taunt those fans, but to suggest if he thrives in Florida, this trade could haunt the Sabres.
THE GLOBE AND MAIL: David Shoalts reports insurance companies could soon leave NHL players no choice but to accept a mandatory visor rule.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Even if that doesn’t come to pass, with 73 percent of NHL players already wearing visors (up from 26 percent over a decade ago), I believe we’re less than a decade away from the adoption of a mandatory visor rule. The insurance companies could hasten its implementation.
NORTHJERSEY.COM: The NHL lockout had no effect upon the New Jersey Devils attendance, which is up over last season.