Recaps of the Penguins-Islanders and Red Wings-Ducks games, plus the latest on Rick Nash, Eric & Jordan Staal, Devin Setoguchi, P.A. Parenteau and more.
PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW/NEWSDAY: The Pittsburgh Penguins overcame a slow start to win their 11th straight by downing the NY Islanders 4-2. Thomas Vokoun made 33 saves and Sidney Crosby collected two assists for the Penguins.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: As impressive as the Penguins win streak is, what’s more noteworthy to me is how the Islanders keep finding ways to lose games in the third period. As noted by Newsday, this was the 25th game this season they’ve entered the third period tied or in the lead, and have dropped 11 of them. If they miss the playoffs, those games will be the reason.
DETROIT NEWS/ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Justin Abdelkader’s hat trick lifted the Detroit Red Wings to a 5-1 victory over the Anaheim Ducks. It was the Ducks first regulation loss at home since February 25.
NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: The NHL has decided against supplemental discipline against NY Rangers forward Rick Nash for his blindside elbow to the head of Florida’s Tomas Kopecky in Thursday’s Rangers-Panthers game.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Did league disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan get it wrong? Yes, I believe he did, as do a number of pundits, bloggers and fans. Is this some sort of conspiracy on Shanahan’s part, showing favoritism to the Rangers, one of his former teams? Put away the tin foil hat and smarten up, especially if you’re a pundit espousing this nonsense. It was a bad call, nothing more.
Toronto Maple Leafs forward Joffrey Lupul has every right to be upset for getting a two-game suspension for a similar call, and Kopecky was fortunate to escape serious injury, but again, I don’t believe this was favoritism toward Nash or the Rangers. I suspect Shanahan will be following Nash’s play more closely over the rest of the season.
NEWSOBSERVER.COM: With NY Rangers defenseman Marc Staal recovering from an eye injury, brothers Eric and Jordan have decided to wear visors from now on.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I wonder how much influence Staal’s injury could have upon other NHLPA members when the issue of mandatory visors is put to a vote this summer?
STARTRIBUNE.COM: After a slow start to this season, Minnesota Wild winger Devin Setoguchi has rediscovered his scoring touch.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: In his first fifteen games this season, Setoguchi only had five points, was toiling on the fourth line and dogged by trade rumors. In his last fourteen games, however, Setoguchi has fifteen points, and now has 20 points in 29 games. His improvement is one reason the Wild are first in the Northwest Division
DENVER POST: Not everything has gone badly for the Colorado Avalanche this season. Last summer’s free agent signings P.A. Parenteau and John Mitchell have played very well.
PHILLY.COM: The Philadelphia Flyers need to find a scoring center.
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: The Rangers have placed veteran forward Jeff Halpern on waivers.