Recaps of Thursday’s games featuring American NHL teams, Alex Kovalev retires, plus the latest on Jaroslav Halak, Anders Lindback, Jordin Tootoo and more.
NORTHJERSEY.COM/NEWSOBSERVER.COM: Martin Brodeur was credited with a goal in his return from a back injury, plus he made 17 saves backstopping the New Jersey Devils to a 4-1 victory over the slumping Carolina Hurricanes. It was the third goal of Brodeur’s career.
DALLAS MORNING NEWS/LOS ANGELES TIMES: Third period goals by forty-somethings Jaromir Jagr and Ray Whitney, combined with a forty-save performance by Kari Lehtonen, lifted the Dallas Stars to a 2-0 win over the Los Angeles Kings.
MIAMI HERALD/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: The Florida Panthers won their second in a row and knocked the NY Rangers into ninth overall in the Eastern Conference with a 3-1 victory. Earlier in the day, Panthers forward Alex Kovalev quietly announced his retirement.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Panthers are now one of those most dangerous NHL teams: an injury-ravaged, non-playoff club with nothing left to lose. As for Kovalev, it’s no surprise he was finally forced to retire, though I wouldn’t rule out his continuing his playing career overseas. His NHL numbers will one day put him into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
STLTODAY.COM: Blues goalie Jaroslav Halak is anxious to regain his starter’s role. Injuries have limited his performance this season, providing call-up Jake Allen an opportunity to prove himself as a capable starter.
TAMPA TRIBUNE: Lightning goalie Anders Lindback (ankle sprain) has been placed on injured reserve, joining Vincent Lecavalier, Ryan Malone and Benoit Pouliot.
DETROIT NEWS: “Jordin Tootoo’s fights ignites Red Wings” is the headline, but the story actually reveals there’s much more to his role than beating the shit out of people.
DENVER POST: Chuck Kobasew’s performance as a depth winger has made him one of the few positives in an otherwise crappy season for the Avalanche.
NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: 49 days after Zach Boychuk left the Carolina Hurricanes when he was claimed off waivers by the Pittsburgh Penguins, then claimed off waivers by the Nashville Predators, he’s returned to the Hurricanes, who – you guessed it – claimed him off waivers from the Predators.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cherish this wacky tale, you don’t see this sort of thing happen very often, though Boychuk probably preferred a little more stability in his professional life.