Kings crown the Blues, Wild blank the Flyers, plus updates on Tuukka Rask, Kris Versteeg, Semyon Varlamov, Tomas Fleischmann, Kyle Okposo, Brooks Laich and more.
LOS ANGELES TIMES: Tyler Toffoli scored twice as the LA Kings downed the St. Louis Blues 3-2, marking their seventh win over the Blues in their last eight regular season meetings.
TWINCITIES.COM: Josh Harding made 21 saves for his third shutout of the season as he backstopped the Minnesota Wild to a 2-0 blanking of the Philadelphia Flyers, snapping the Wild’s four-game losing skid.
CSNNE.COM: Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask is among the NHL’s busiest goalies this season, so he’s enjoying a four-day break in the schedule.
CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Nearly a month after he was traded by the Florida Panthers back to the Chicago Blackhawks, winger Kris Versteeg is starting to feel at home again.
DENVER POST: Colorado Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov made a court appearance yesterday for an advisement hearing regarding his misdemeanor assault charge for attacking his girlfriend. Varlamov’s next court date is January 22, when he’s expected to enter a plea.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Though Varlamov could face deportation if found guilty, it’s expected he’ll make a plea bargain to avoid that possibility.
SUN-SENTINEL.COM: Florida Panthers forward Tomas Fleischmann is struggling through a ten-game scoring drought.
NEW YORK POST: NY Islanders forward Kyle Okposo is also struggling to regain his scoring touch.
WASHINGTON POST: A groin injury will sidelined Capitals forward Brooks Laich for a third straight game.
THE TENNESSEAN: The Nashville Predators are getting solid goaltending from rookie Marek Mazanec, who’s filling in for sidelined starter Pekka Rinne.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Predators were rumored shopping for goaltending help in case Rinne is sidelined longer than expected, but Mazanenc’s performance could take them out of the trade market.
TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins backup Jeff Zatkoff has played well filling in for the sidelined Tomas Vokoun.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: There were concerns starting this season over how well the untested Zatkoff would perform. So far he’s looked quite comfortable backing up Marc-Andre Fleury.
DETROIT FREE PRESS: USA Today hockey columnist Kevin Allen was awarded the Lester Patrick award for outstanding services to U.S. hockey.