Game recaps plus updates on Semyon Varlamov, Alexander Ovechkin, Marian Gaborik, Johan Franzen, Steve Downie, John Scott and more.
BOSTON HERALD: Zdeno Chara’s late game-tying goal propelled the Boston Bruins toward a 3-2 shootout win over the Anaheim Ducks. Jarome Iginla netted the winning goal.
ARIZONA REPUBLIC: The Phoenix Coyotes overcame an early 3-0 deficit to defeat the Nashville Predators 5-4 in a shootout. The Predators also lost forward Matt Hendricks to injury after he came out on the wrong end of an open-ice collision with Coyotes blueliner Derek Morris.
NEW YORK POST: Henrik Lundqvist made 29 saves backstopping the NY Rangers to a 2-0 victory over the Buffalo Sabres.
DENVER POST: The Colorado Avalanche as a team are remaining tight-lipped over the arrest of teammate Semyon Varlamov on domestic violence charges. The NHL is also staying quiet on the matter. Varlamov was released yesterday on $5,000.00 bond and can travel with the team to Dallas for their game Saturday against the Stars.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It remains to be seen if Varlamov will actually play in that game, and if he does I suspect he’ll be the target of fan derision. Lots of opinion flying around about Varlamov’s alleged actions, but we must refrain from passing judgement until all the facts are known. If it goes to trial it’s up to a court to decide his guilt or innocence. In the meantime, I expect this will be a significant early challenge for he and his teammates in dealing with the media fallout, the possible effect upon his performance, and the club’s handling of this situation.
PHILLY.COM: Flyers GM Paul Holmgren explained his re-acquisition of Steve Downie as a way of shaking things up for his roster. Downie, meanwhile, is excited about returning to where his NHL career began.
WASHINGTON POST: Capitals captain Alexander Ovechkin will miss tonight’s game against the Flyers with a shoulder injury.
COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen is pleased with the performance of Marian Gaborik so far, but is looking for him to take on more of a leadership role. Gaborik is in the final year of his contract and the Jackets are hoping to re-sign him.
DETROIT NEWS: Red Wings forward Johan Franzen is optimistic he’ll snap out of his recent scoring slump soon.
CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Blackhawks backup Nikolai Khabibulin acknowledged his performance must improve. He currently has a 4.73 goals-against average and .818 save percentage.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If he doesn’t the ‘Hawks could be forced to either call up someone or go into the trade market for an affordable backup.
NHL.COM: Buffalo Sabres forward John Scott has been suspended seven games for his illegal hit to the head of Boston Bruins forward Loui Eriksson. He’s already served three games of that suspension while he was awaiting his hearing.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Scott won’t get off so lucky next time. For his sake, he should stick to what he does best, fighting his fellow goons.
NBC SPORTS: Former Canucks Manny Malhotra has signed a one-year, tw0-way contract with the Carolina Hurricanes.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Remains to be seen if he’ll make the Hurricanes roster, but kudos nevertheless for earning himself a new contract after it was assumed an eye injury had finished his career.