Penguins-Bruins game overshadowed by ugly play. The details, as well as other recaps of Saturday’s action, in today’s Morning Coffee Headlines.
NOTE: Games involving Canadian NHL teams are recapped in “Canadian Corner”.
BOSTON HERALD: The Bruins 3-2 overtime win over the Pittsburgh Penguins was overshadowed by ugly incidents in the first period which led to a player from each team injured and two others facing suspensions.
It began with Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik knocking Bruins winger Loui Eriksson from the game with a hard hit. It was later revealed Eriksson suffered a concussion, his second within 45 days. No penalty was called. Soon afterward, Penguins winger James Neal struck Bruins forward Brad Marchand in the head with his knee while Marchand was lying on the ice. Neal was assessed a minor penalty on the play for kneeing. In the scrum which followed, Bruins enforcer Shawn Thornton skated up to Orpik from behind, slew-footed him to the ice, then delivered two punches to Orpik’s head while the blueliner was prone on the ice, knocking him unconscious. Orpik was stretchered from the game and Thornton received a match penalty.
Thornton faces a supplemental discipline hearing with the league’s department of player safety, while Neal received a phone hearing. Orpik was taken to hospital where he was reported conscious and alert. He was schedule to travel with the club back to Pittsburgh, where he will be re-evaluated.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A very ugly scene in Boston last night. Because Neal received a phone hearing, the most he can be suspended is five games. Thornton, however, could be facing a much lengthier suspension, which could be at least ten games. Will this change the culture of the game? Of course not. It’ll be forgotten in a week, until the next ugly scene, then there will be calls again for the league to do something about such nasty incidents. Wash, rinse, repeat.
LOS ANGELES TIMES: Kings backup Martin Jones made 16 saves for a shutout in only his second NHL game, backstopping his club to a 3-0 blanking of the New York Islanders. Anze Kopitar, Dustin Brown and Tyler Toffoli tallied for the Kings.
LOS ANGELES TIMES: Corey Perry,Ryan Getzlaf, Andrew Cogliano, Nick Bonino and Mark Fistric scored and Frederik Andersen made 26 saves as the Anaheim Ducks downed the St. Louis Blues 5-2, handing the Blues their third loss in four games.
DALLAS MORNING NEWS: A hat trick by Tyler Seguin powered the Dallas Stars to a 5-1 thumping of the Philadelphia Flyers, largely thanks to a stupid fighting penalty by Flyers forward Zac Rinaldo, resulting in him getting 27 penalty minutes for his dumb attack on the Stars Antoine Roussel, leaving the Flyers shorthanded for seven minutes.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some say enforcers play a valuable role on a team. Rinaldo’s actions countered that argument.
NJ.COM: Eric Gelina’s power-play goal lifted the New Jersey Devils to a 4-3 overtime win over the New York Rangers, who also lost defenseman Marc Staal to a possible concussion after he was struck on the jaw by a shot from Reid Boucher.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Staal has finally returned to form after missing half of last season to an eye injury, so this could indeed be a bitter blow.
MIAMI HERALD: Tim Thomas made 22 saves backstopping the Florida Panthers to a 2-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings, then engaged in a post-game chat with his idol, former Panthers star John Vanbiesbrouck.
WASHINGTON POST: Alexander Ovechkin scored his league-leading 22nd goal and Braden Holtby made 34 saves as the Capitals defeated the Nashville Predators 5-2.