Recaps of last night’s NHL games, reaction to Tomas Hertl’s trick shot goal, a call for a change in Capitals management, an high number of players sidelined early this season, more statistical analysis of fighting in hockey and more.

Steven Stamkos celebrates his hat trick against the Florida Panthers.

Steven Stamkos celebrates his hat trick against the Florida Panthers.

TAMPA TRIBUNE: Steven Stamkos netted a hat trick as the Lightning trounced the Florida Panthers 7-2.

ARIZONA REPUBLIC: Derek Morris and Antoine Vermette each had a goal and an assist as the Phoenix Coyotes doubled up the Detroit Red Wings 4-2.

DENVER POST: J.S. Giguere made 29 saves as the Colorado Avalanche blanked the Boston Bruins 2-0. Avs captain Gabriel Landeskog’s decision not to fight with Bruins forward Milan Lucic resulted in the latter spending most of the third period in the penalty box.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Avs coach Patrick Roy was pleased by Landeskog’s restraint, but it didn’t sit well with the Bruins, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Don Cherry has something to say about it on Saturday’s Hockey Night in Canada telecast.

LOS ANGELES TIMES: Jakob Silfverberg’s two goals powered the Anaheim Ducks to a 6-0 thrashing of the struggling NY Rangers, who were without Rick Nash, sidelined for at least two games with concussion symptoms.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If there wasn’t panic in Blueshirt Nation before this game, there could be now. That’s the second time in as many games the Rangers have been badly beaten by a California-based team.

NEWSOBSERVER.COM: A late goal by Nathan Gerbe lifted the Carolina Hurricanes to a 3-2 win over the Washington Capitals. Alexander Ovechkin scored his fifth goal of the season in a losing cause for the Caps.

THE BUFFALO NEWS: Sabres fans hit the exits early as their club fell 4-1 to the visiting Columbus Blue Jackets. The sole high point of the game for the Sabres was Thomas Vanek’s through-the-legs goal.

MERCURYNEWS.COM: San Jose Sharks captain Joe Thornton’s lewd description in a dressing room media scrum of how he’d celebrate a four-goal performance  had the hockey world abuzz yesterday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unusual that Thornton would stroke a rooster to celebrate a four-goal performance, but to each his own. Oh, that’s not what he meant? Well, typical Thornton, believing he’s cock of the walk.  Seriously, I think Thornton was trying to be a good captain to take some heat off young teammate Tomas Hertl, who’s experiencing some backlash around the league for his trick-shot goal earlier in the week. 

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Adam Proteau believes the Washington Capitals are overdue for a management change.

OTTAWA CITIZEN: Wayne Scanlan on the surprisingly high number of NHL players sidelined early this season.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Bruce McCurdy provides more statistical evidence disputing the opinion that frequent fighters help their teams win.

NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: Former NHL player Kyle Wellwood announced his retirement.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cue the unimaginative fat jokes about Wellwood, who had some conditioning issues early in his NHL career.  He played nine NHL seasons, which is pretty good for a supposed “fat guy”.

NOTE: Games involving Canadian teams will appear in Canadian Corner.