Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Couture scores twice in Sharks' 5-2 victory over Canadiens

 Logan Couture credited a teammate for scoring his second goal. He took credit for the first one.
Couture scored a pair of goals and the San Jose Sharks extended their dominance of the Montreal Canadiens with a 5-2 victory on Tuesday night.
Joe Pavelski and Tomas Hertl also scored for the Sharks, who have won the past 11 home games against the Canadiens, a streak that dates to Nov. 23, 1999.
On a power play late in the third period, rookie Tim Heed took a shot off a face-off that bounced free in front of the net. Pavelski couldn't get his stick on it but managed to kick it across the net for Couture, who found a huge opening.
"That was pretty special," Couture said. "I don't know if he knew I was there but he kept his balance and kicked it over."
Couture opened the scoring 3:30 into the first period, grabbing a rebound off the back board, skating across the front of the net to get Price to commit and then firing into an open net.
Jonathan Drouin and Shea Weber scored for the Canadiens, who are winless since an opening night victory at the Buffalo Sabres.
"It's a very poor start from our team, from myself, from a lot of individuals," Canadiens' Max Pacioretty said. "It's a good time to look in the mirror and see what we're made of because a lot of people are probably doubting this team right now."
Martin Jones stopped 28 of 30 shots for the Sharks, who finish their season-opening homestand with a 2-3 record.
"The biggest thing is finding that energy for the whole game," Jones said. "We started OK and then we got better as the night went on."
Carey Price, who stopped 31 of 35 shots, fell to 2-7-1 in 10 games against the Sharks.
The Canadiens responded 36 seconds later when Drouin picked up a pass from Artturi Lehkonen close in and fired it over Jones' left shoulder and into the net.
Pavelski gave the Sharks the lead for good when he redirected Kevin Labanc's shot just under a minute into the second period. The shot hit Weber's left shin pad and bounced into the net.
"There were a lot of good things out there," Pavelski said. "We didn't have the homestand we wanted but we can leave on a positive note to take on the road."
Hertl padded the lead midway through the second on a power play. Standing on the right side of the net, he was trying to control a pass from Joe Thornton but the puck fluttered off his stick and got behind Price.
"I'll take it any way I can get it," Hertl said. "There are times I've had great shots that just bounced off the post."
Weber's power-play goal two minutes later kicked off Jones' skates for the score.
The Sharks needed five seconds to score on a power play late in the second period. Tim Heed shot on goal and it bounced off Pavelski's skate. Couture picked it up and found a huge opening.
NOTES: After allowing three power play goals over their first five penalty kills, the Sharks killed off 14 straight until Weber scored in the second period. ... Couture recorded his 24th career multi-goal game. ... Sharks D Tim Heed recorded his first NHL point with an assist on Couture's power-play goal. ... Brendan Gallagher needs one assist for 100 with the Canadiens.
Canadiens: plays at the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday in their second back-to-back of the season.
Sharks: open a five-game road trip on the east coast with a game at the New Jersey Devils on Friday.

Perron leads Vegas past the Sabres in overtime, 5-4

They may carry the label of an expansion team, but the Vegas Golden Knights certainly aren't playing like one.
In fact, they're the best team in the Western Conference.
David Perron scored two goals, including the game-winner with 1:08 left in overtime, to lead the Vegas Golden Knights to a 5-4 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday night.
And with the win, Vegas (5-1-0) is the first Western Conference team to 10 points.
"I think it's a better team than people expected," Vegas coach Gerard Gallant said. "The guys are working hard and chipping in, we've got some good hockey players. They're scoring goals and tonight we needed every one of them. They found a way in overtime after giving up three goals and found a way to win."
The Golden Knights are tied with three other teams that have 10 points, sitting just behind Tampa Bay, which has 11.
Vegas is the second team in league history to win five of their first six games in their first season, joining the 1917-18 Montreal Canadiens.
But Tuesday's win didn't come easy, as the Sabres scored three third-period goals - two on a power play - in less than 10 minutes, including Evander Kane's game-tying goal with 8.9 seconds left in regulation.
"When we go back and look at the last 10 minutes when they scored three goals, they got a couple lucky goals, they got some power play goals," Gallant said. "We took too many penalties in the last period. I gotta give the other team credit too."
Reilly Smith had a goal and an assist for Golden Knights, while goalie Malcolm Subban, who was appearing in just his second game for the Golden Knights in place of Marc Andre Fleury, and making his fourth-ever NHL start, stopped 34 of 38 shots.
"You don't wanna over exert yourself, but at the same time you've got to be ready," Subban said. "They got a lot of traffic to the net. The team helped me out a lot. It's a great team effort and we're just happy to get the win."
Buffalo opened the scoring in the first period, taking a 1-0 lead with 13:36 left in the first period, when Ryan O'Reilly's shot from the circle was blocked by Subban, but continued its momentum and trickled into the net.
The Golden Knights capitalized on a turnover and tied the game when Smith found Oscar Lindberg for an easy goal past Buffalo netminder Chad Johnson with 5:45 left in the first period.
Alex Tuch, who was called up from the American Hockey League's Chicago Wolves prior to Sunday's game against the Boston Bruins, scored his second goal in as many games when he tipped Deryk Engelland's shot past Johnson to give the Golden Knights a 2-1 lead.
Smith wrist shot late in the second period pushed Vegas' lead to 3-1, while Perron's first goal extended the advantage to 4-1 early in the third.
Buffalo wouldn't go away, however, as O'Reilly cut Vegas' lead in half with a wrist shot past Subban, in the upper right corner, eight seconds into a two-man advantage.
With 1:58, on the power play again, Rasmus Ristolainen's wrist shot found its way past Subban to cut Vegas' lead to one, 4-3.
"The disappointing part is we didn't play that way for 60 minutes," Kane said. "You can't wait `til it's 3-1 or 4-1 to get grittier. It's frustrating because I know we can play like that. We've proven it, we've showed it. You can't take periods off or you can't take shifts off. You gotta work."
The Sabres (1-4-2) finished a four-game road trip that spanned six days, going 1-3 against Pacific Division foes.
NOTES: The Golden Knights continued to struggle with power-play opportunities, scoring on just 1 of 5 attempts in the game. They are 2 for 26 this season on the power play. ... Vegas selected William Carrier from the Sabres in the Expansion Draft. ... Since 1970, the Buffalo Sabres are now 14-3-1 all-time in their first game against teams that joined the league via expansion. ... The Sabres are 10-4-4 all-time when visiting a new expansion team. ... Buffalo dropped to 9-15-1 all-time on Oct. 17. ... Sabres right wing Kyle Okposo will celebrate his 600th career game his next time on the ice.
Buffalo: hosts Vancouver on Friday.
Vegas: hosts St. Louis on Saturday.

Teravainen's 2 goals lift Hurricanes to 5-3 win over Oilers

 Milan Lucic wants to stem the tide for the Edmonton Oilers before they rack up too many losses and it becomes a lost season.
Teuvo Teravainen had a pair of goals and Jordan Staal a goal and three assists as the Carolina Hurricanes scored early and didn't look back in a 5-3 victory over the Oilers on Tuesday.
Mark LetestuRyan Strome and Milan Lucic replied for the Oilers (1-4-0), who have now lost four in a row.
"Sixteen goals allowed in our last three games, that's not going to do it," Lucic said. "It doesn't matter who we have in net. We have to get better at not making stupid mistakes.
"You have to stop the bleeding before it gets really bad and you dig yourself too big of a hole that you can't get out of. There is 77 games left, and we can keep saying that, but as long as the losses keep piling up, it is going to be a long year."
Oilers captain Connor McDavid said nobody should be freaking out about their start yet.
"It's five games in and nobody's on the panic button here," he said. "I'm sure there will be doubters now but we still believe in this room, obviously. It's a little bit magnified because it's the first five games. If we go through the season with a 1-of-5 stretch in February, it's not good but it's not as talked about as it is now."
Elias Lindholm and Jaccob Slavin also scored for the Hurricanes (2-1-1), who snapped a two-game losing skid.
"Coming out with 3-0 lead after the first is always nice, Staal said. "We made it interesting again, but we'll continue to learn from those ones. They're a very dangerous team so they can make a push back and they did a good job of trying to climb back into it. But I thought (goalie Cam Ward) ended up finishing them off at the end."
Teravainen elected to shoot on a two-on-one break, beating Oilers backup Laurent Brossoit stick-side for the first goal of the game just 20 seconds into the period.
He staked his team to a 2-0 lead five minutes later on the power play, blasting a shot from the top of the circle up high and past Brossoit.
Carolina took a three-goal lead on another power play with 1:20 remaining in the opening period. Staal made a nice feed across the crease to Lindholm, who had a wide-open net to deposit the puck into.
Letestu banged in a rebound in tight past Ward, who was making his first appearance in net this season, to make it 3-1.
The Hurricanes regained their three-goal edge four minutes into the third period as Staal picked off a pass and scored on a short-handed breakaway.
Strome tipped in his first goal as an Oiler past Ward to make it 4-2. The power-play goal came a minute after Staal's.
The Oilers pulled to within a goal eight minutes into the third as Lucic beat Ward with a slapshot.
Carolina ended the comeback bid two minutes later as Slavin undressed Brossoit with a deke. Staal picked up his fourth point of the night and of the season on the play.
Ward was credited with 48 saves in the win, as the Oilers outshot Carolina 51-21.
"We certainly scored enough to win and fortunately I was seeing the puck real well and held the fort," Ward said.
NOTES: Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl remained out with an eye injury/concussion symptoms. ... Center Martin Necas, selected by 12th in the 2017 NHL Draft by Carolina, made his NHL debut.
Hurricanes: visit Calgary on Thursday.
Oilers: play at Chicago on Thursday.

Bishop makes 27 saves, Stars beat winless Coyotes 3-1

 Ken Hitchcock had been looking for scoring from somewhere besides the Dallas Stars' top line.
The third-winningest coach in NHL history got what he wanted Tuesday night, when Radek FaksaDan Hamhuisand Alexander Radulov each scored their first goal of the season in a 3-1 victory over the winless Arizona Coyotes.
The first two goals came with the line centered by Faksa on the ice.
"Faksa's line was great," Hitchcock said. "They created a lot of scoring chances. Faksa's line was on the same page from start to finish."
Coming into the game, Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn from the first line had scored five of Dallas' 11 goals.
Arizona (0-5-1) remained the only NHL team without a win. The Coyotes tried to rally from a 2-0 deficit, beginning with a second-period goal by Jason Demers. They outshot Dallas 15-9 in the third, but goalie Ben Bishop stopped all 15 shots for his third win.
Three of those saves came during the Coyotes' only two power plays, early in the third. They had a 5-on-3 advantage for 17 seconds, but Bishop saved both shots on goal during that stretch.
"The penalty kill was huge there in the third period," Bishop said. "The guys did a good job, and obviously you can't rest after killing off the 5-on-3. We killed off the 5-on-4 after that."
Adin Hill made his NHL debut in goal for the Coyotes and had 31 saves to keep them in the game.
"I thought Adin Hill did a nice job for us, was solid in the net," coach Rick Tocchet said. "The guys worked hard and just couldn't score."
Radulov, who skates with Seguin and Benn, scored into an empty net with 52 seconds left. It was Dallas' third empty-net goal of the season.
The Stars (3-3) have won two straight for the first time this season. They can equal their longest winning streak of 2016-17 with a victory Thursday at Arizona.
Bishop finished with 27 saves.
Faksa scored 5:17 into the first period. Mattias Janmark skated from the left side around the net and tried for a wraparound goal. Hill stopped the shot, but Faksa backhanded the rebound over the prone goalie.
"It's a goal in the NHL, right?" Hill said. "There are goals nearly every game. Just got to focus on the next shot. That's all it is, wipe it from your memory."
Dallas' lead grew to 2-0 at 10:48 of the second, when Tyler Pitlick found Hamhuis low in the left circle and fed him a pass from the right corner. Hill couldn't react fast enough to stop the defenseman's slap shot. Faksa received an assist on the play.
"We wanted to be strong on the puck," Faksa said. "We had the rebound, and a great pass by (Pitlick) and an even better shot by (Hamhuis). It was a nice goal."
Demers scored for Arizona at 14:40. He picked up the puck from teammate Max Domi, skated to the middle of the left circle and lifted a wrist shot inside the right post.
NOTES: With goalie Antti Raanta out because of a lower-body injury, the 21-year-old Hill was recalled from Tucson of the AHL. His parents and 9-year-old brother traveled from Western Canada for the game. ... The Stars have won their last 10 home games against Arizona dating to Feb. 7, 2012. ... Coyotes D Oliver Ekman-Larsson played in his 500th NHL game. ... Dallas' Antoine Roussel and Arizona's Luke Schenn fought just 1:26 into the game. ... The Stars have not been outshot in a game this season. ... Demers is one of three Coyotes defensemen, along with Alex Goligoski and Kevin Connauton, who played for Dallas.
Coyotes: Return home for another game against Dallas on Thursday night.
Stars: Complete the home-and-home set at Arizona on Thursday night.

Hayward suffers gruesome injury, Celtics lose opener 102-99

 Gordon Hayward's face was etched in pain and shock.
Of all the juicy subplots for this hyped homecoming and a season opener between heated rivals, a serious injury to Hayward wasn't on the list.
Boston's season changed in a gruesome instant Tuesday night.
Hayward, one of the new Celtics who was going to help them close the gap on Cleveland, broke his left ankle just five minutes into his debut, and Boston was beaten 102-99 on Tuesday night by LeBron James and the Cavaliers.
Hayward's horrific injury overshadowed Kyrie Irving's return to Cleveland and re-directed Boston's immediate future and potential.
After the 27-year-old was wheeled from Quicken Loans Arena on a stretcher , offering a thumbs-up on his way to the ambulance, the Celtics rallied but came up short.
The outcome, though, hardly mattered.
"You hurt for him," Celtics coach Brad Stevens said of Hayward, his former star at Butler. "It's a tough, tough deal, but I guess that's part of the risk of injury. I really feel for him."
James scored 29 points - 13 in the fourth quarter - in his most extensive action in three weeks because of a sprained left ankle. The superstar also fed Kevin Love for a critical 3-pointer with 46.3 seconds left to put the Cavs up 102-98.
Irving, who asked to be traded this summer after six seasons in Cleveland, had a chance to tie it with a 3-pointer at the horn but his shot was short. As the crowd exhaled, Irving shared a warm handshake and embrace with James, his teammate for three seasons and the one he wanted to get away from by demanding a trade this summer.
Jaylen Brown scored 25 and Irving 22 and 10 assists for the Celtics, who overcame an 18-point deficit in the third and led with 2:04 left.
Hayward, who signed a four-year, $128 million free agent contract with the Celtics this summer, was bumped by James while trying to catch an alley-oop pass with 6:45 left in the first quarter. The forward's leg got twisted underneath him as he came back to the floor and snapped his ankle grotesquely, his foot pointing awkwardly to one side.
The 27-year-old sat up, looked at his foot and yelled while some players covered their mouths and others turned their heads.
James said seeing Hayward get hurt reminded him of grisly injuries to Paul George, Shaun Livingston and Louisville's Kevin Ware.
"My thoughts and prayers go out to Gordon's family. Hope for a speedy recovery, a healthy recovery," James said. "Those are the injuries that you never see coming, you never want to happen, no matter who it is, no matter what the stature, no matter how much competitive nature that you have. It's just very unfortunate."
Hayward's injury changed the tenor of the highly anticipated matchup, and will alter the direction of Boston's season. Hayward will require surgery and need months to recover. Stevens said Hayward will be taken directly to the hospital in Boston once the Celtics' plane lands
The Celtics were understandably shaken at halftime, and went to the locker room down 16.
However, they battled back and were still leading 98-97 when James, who only played in one exhibition after spraining his ankle on Sept. 27, spun in the lane and made a layup to put Cleveland up by one. On Boston's next possession, James cut off Marcus Smart and deflected the ball off the guard's leg and out of bounds.
James then made a crosscourt pass to a wide-open Love, who drained his 3 to give the Cavs a four-point cushion.
"I just found a familiar face and Kevin was in the right place at the right time," James said.
Irving's free throw made it 102-99, and the Celtics had two late chances but both Brown and Irving missed late 3s.
Love had 15 and Derrick Rose 14 in his debut for the Cavs, who are trying to blend new faces and big egos quickly.
"We've got some things we need to figure out," James said. "It's a work in progress, for sure."
After the final horn, James and Irving, who spent part of the summer making subtle jabs at each other following the blockbuster trade, completed their signature handshake and the All-Star point guard greeted several former teammates.
He may still have a ways to go with Cleveland's crowd, which booed him every time he touched the ball.
Irving heard it from the moment he took the floor as Cleveland fans got their first chance to voice their displeasure toward him for demanding to be traded this summer despite three consecutive trips to the NBA Finals and one title.
"It's a really hard game for a guy to play, especially the first game of the season with all the emotion you have to go through," Stevens said. "How he can play at that level is beyond me."
At halftime, Stevens tried to calm his players.
"I don't have any magic words for that," he said. "We're all feeling for him. I'm not going to try to take the human element out of it."
In his Cleveland debut, Dwyane Wade scored eight points on 3 of 10 shooting in 28 minutes.
Boston rookie Jayson Tatum had 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Celtics: Stevens has been impressed with Irving's basketball acumen and how quickly he has picked up Boston's system. "He's spent a lot of time watching film, a lot of extra time talking about it. He has good insights," Stevens said. "Guys like that can fit in anywhere. It's about how do we all put our strengths together." ... Marcus Morris (sore right knee) took part in pregame drills but is out for a week or more.
Cavaliers: James (28,816) passed numerous Hall of Famers while jumping to No. 7 on the career scoring list last season. He came in nearly 1,500 points behind Dirk Nowitzki at No. 6. ... Although it may take some time for the Cavs to find their on-court chemistry, coach Tyronn Lue said that doesn't change his early expectations. "We still expect to win," he said. "We still expect to play hard and play the right way."
Celtics: Host Milwaukee on Wednesday.
Cavaliers: At Milwaukee on Friday.

Johnson helps Blue Jackets extend win streak to four

The Columbus Blue Jackets kept it simple according to their coach John Tortorella. They checked well and were rewarded with their fourth straight win of the young NHL season.
"You could tell we had really good energy when the game started," Tortorella said after the Blue Jackets downed the Winnipeg Jets 5-2 on Tuesday night. "I thought it was the best checking we've done all year long and I think that helped us create offense. I thought we were quick I thought we were simple. But to me it comes from our legs. I thought we checked with our legs. We always had people above the puck. That caused a lot of problems in the neutral zone for them and we were able to counter."
The Jets struggled early but escaped serious harm until the second period, when Columbus scored four of its five goals.
Winnipeg coach Paul Maurice dissected the game in much the same terms as Tortorella, but from a different vantage point, as the Jets (3-3-0) had their three-game winning streak get snuffed.
"The game is really simple but it's really hard," he said. "And if you're not going to play it simply, then you really gotta play hard. And if you don't do either, then you're going to have a night that looks just like that.'
Cam Atkinson broke open a scoreless game just 36 seconds into the second period for the Blue Jackets (5-1-0), powering ahead of Winnipeg defenseman Jacob Trouba and muscling the puck past Winnipeg goalie Steve MasonNick FolignoJack JohnsonLukas Sedlak and Zach Werenski had the other goals for Columbus, while Jonas Korpisalo made 24 saves for the win.
"It felt good to get the first one out of the way," Foligno said of his first goal this season goal and added the win, early though it may be, is still important.
"Any game you have a chance to get points you've got to find a way to do it."
Johnson agreed.
"You can't make the playoffs early in the season but you can dig yourself right out of them," he said.
"From my experience, at Thanksgiving, teams that are at the top are usually in the playoffs at the end of the year."
Steve Mason returned to Winnipeg's net, after watching the kid who was supposed to back him up this season, Connor Hellebuyck, earn those three wins.
"Anytime you give up four in one period, it's usually not a good sign," said a dejected Mason after the loss. "It wasn't good."
Maurice sympathized with his goalie.
"I feel for the guy because I think he kept it right for as long as he could," said Maurice. "We didn't have enough going for us in this game, just too darn slow to give him a chance to win us a game."
Forward Kyle Connor, called up just this week from the American Hockey League's Manitoba Moose to replace an injured Mathieu Perreault, scored first for Winnipeg. It looked like it might be their only goal until Joel Armiaadded a second goal, shorthanded, in the final minutes.
After Atkinson opened the scoring, the goals came quickly. Foligno swept past the left side of the net to poke his first of the season in past Mason's stick arm at 10:50 to make it 2-0.
Jets fans finally had something to cheer about at 12:30 when Mark Scheifele fed Connor a pass from behind the net and he slammed it past Korpisalo.
But just over a minute later Johnson scored his first of the season on a wrister to the top of the Winnipeg net. Sedlak scored unassisted at 18:11 to make it 4-1 by the end of the second.
Werenski flicked his wristshot past Mason at 12:15 of the third period to finish the rout for Columbus.
NOTES: One bright spot for the Jets was their ability to avoid some of the penalties which have cost them dearly this season already. They gave up one power play early and managed to kill it. ... Nikolaj Ehlers, an NHL first star this week for his seven points and five goals so far this season, took another late in the third that killed Winnipeg's only chance for a power play since it matched another taken by Columbus forward Pierre-Luc Dubois.
Blue Jackets: hosts Tampa Bay on Thursday.
Jets: hosts Minnesota on Friday.

Arvidsson and Josi lift Predators over Avalanche 4-1

After a brief stint out of the lineup, Nashville captain Roman Josi was glad to be back.
Josi and Viktor Arvidsson each scored a goal and added an assist to lead the Nashville Predators to a 4-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday night.
"Anytime you're hurt, you miss playing with the guys, being on the ice for games," Josi said. "It felt good to be back, and more importantly, we got the win."
The Swiss defenseman returned to the lineup after missing three games with a lower-body injury. Colton Sissons and Austin Watson also scored for Nashville, which has won three of their last four.
Filip Forsberg and Alexei Emelin each had two assists and Pekka Rinne made 20 saves to earn his third victory of the season.
Nathan MacKinnon had the lone goal for Colorado, losers of two straight.
"The first five games, it was good," Colorado coach Jared Bednar said. "We were a hard-working group. We were really competitive in those first five game and I feel like it has kind of slacked off a little bit here in the last couple. We've got to find a way to rebound."
MacKinnon scored the game's first goal at 4:09 of the second.
With the Avalanche on a power play, MacKinnon's wrist shot from the top of the left faceoff circle deflected off of Josi's right skate in the low slot and by a helpless Rinne.
Arvidsson evened the game at 1 at 7:07 of the second.
Forsberg led Nashville into the Avalanche zone on a 4-on-1 rush. From the left faceoff dot, Forsberg sent a pass over sliding Colorado defenseman Nikita Zadorov to Arvidsson on the right side. Arvidsson cut to the middle and beat Semyon Varlamov with a nice move in front before finishing with a backhand.
"That's just the great thing about him," Forsberg said of Arvidsson, his Swedish countryman. "He passes to you and you look up and he's ahead of you and you pass it back. He's playing well."
Emelin started the rush from inside Nashville's defensive zone. The secondary assist was his first point as a Predator.
Varlamov finished with 30 saves.
Josi made it 2-1 at 13:30 of the second.
With Nashville on a two-man advantage, Josi slid down to the right side and collected the rebound of an Arvidsson shot and beat Varlamov for his first of the season.
"To get that opportunity with the two-man is always important," Nashville coach Peter Laviolette said. "If you kill it, the momentum could swing their way. If you can cash in, you can swing it your way, so those opportunities are big."
The Predators entered Tuesday with the NHL's third best power play with a 29.2% success rate. They were 1-5 with the man advantage against the Avalanche.
Sissons made it 3-1 at 19:15 of the second with the teams skating four aside in a goal scored in similar fashion to Arvidsson's.
Craig Smith sent a pass from the left circle to Sissons in the slot, where he slipped a backhand between Varlamov's pads.
Watson scored the only goal of the third at 4:08 after collecting the rebound of an Emelin shot.
Colorado's 21 shots were a season low. Six of those shots came on the power play.
"We just weren't getting set up tonight," Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog said. "We just couldn't find a way to get in with control and set it up. That's a matter of just outworking the PK unit, so we've got to get better at that."
NOTES: Nashville is 3-0-0 at home this season. Forsberg, who has at least one point in four consecutive games, recorded his 200th career NHL point. ... Colorado C Colin Wilson played his first-ever game against Nashville. The former 2008 first round draft pick played the first 502 games of his NHL career for the Predators. Rinne is 21-7-2 lifetime against the Avalanche.
Avalanche: Hosts St. Louis on Thursday.
Predators: At Philadelphia on Thursday.

Boeser, Burmistrov score to lift Canucks over Senators 3-0

Thomas Vanek made the 700th point of his 13-season NHL career sound average. He was much more excited about helping his Vancouver Canucks get a win.
Vanek scored in the third period to add some insurance in Vancouver's 3-0 shutout of the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday night. Vanek took a slapshot from the face-off circle while on a breakaway and beat Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson high to the far corner.
"Once I crossed the blue line I thought I saw a little spot there that I feel like I've hit before and I can hit and this time it went in," Vanek said, adding the outcome was more important than the milestone goal.
"It's a win. We've played for the most part pretty good hockey, but pretty good hockey and losing doesn't add up. Tonight we played a sound game and got the win."
A fire alarm at Canadian Tire Centre took out the public address system just prior to puck drop. There was no music for the warmup and the crowd had to sing the national anthem.
The sound eventually came back on but the Senators offence was missing in action.
Brock Boeser and Alexander Burmistrov had a goal and an assist each for the Canucks (2-2-1), while Anders Nilsson made 32 saves for a shutout in his first start of the season.
Anderson turned aside 21 of 24 in net for Ottawa (3-1-2).
The win snapped a three-game losing skid for the Canucks that started with a 3-2 shootout loss to Ottawa in Vancouver one week ago.
That game also started the Senators on a three-game winning streak that came to an end Tuesday as captain Erik Karlsson made his regular-season debut following off-season foot surgery.
"A little rusty but overall OK. I think we played a well enough game for me to get back into the groove of things. I still need to fine tune a few things and it's going to take some time, but overall I felt pretty decent," Karlsson said of his return.
Despite being soundly outplayed and outshot 17-4 in the first period, Vancouver had the only goal of the period as Boeser scored on the power play 15:29 into the game.
The lead was eventually pushed to 2-0 at 16:29 of the second period when Burmistrov tipped a shot past Anderson. Boeser picked up the primary assist as he took the puck towards the point then spun and shot quickly towards the goal.
"Them getting that first goal after such a good period on our part could have been frustrating," said Senators coach Guy Boucher. "I didn't feel the frustration to be honest with you, but I felt a real strong push on their part in the second and we didn't have the same push."
Boucher added that they were unable to get second and third opportunities on Nilsson.
"He's a big man and we knew that was pretty much going to stop all our first shots because of his size, and we knew we had to work hard around him to get secondary and third chances," said Boucher. "We didn't do enough of that, that's for sure."
Nilsson gave most of the credit to his teammates saying they picked things up after a strong Ottawa push to start the game.
"I felt pretty good all night. Ottawa came out and pushed us back in the first period and I got to make some saves early and get in the game right away," Nilsson said.
"In the second and third we took over the game and were the better team so in the second and third I didn't have that much work. The guys did a great job in front of me and we deserved the two points."
NOTES: Logan Brown was the lone scratch for the Senators on Tuesday while Michael Chaput and Alex Biegawere scratches for the Canucks. ... Senators defenseman Chris Wideman led all NHLers at his position with three goals heading into play Tuesday. ... The Senators became the last NHL team to allow a power-play goal against as they had killed off all 15 short-handed opportunities through their first five games before allowing one Tuesday. ... Canucks winger Derek Dorsett played in his 500th NHL game.
Canucks: visit Boston on Thursday.
Senators: host New Jersey on Thursday.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Palmieri, Stafford help Devils top Lightning 5-4 in shootout

Kyle Palmieri scored the lone goal in a shootout, lifting the New Jersey Devils to a 5-4 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday night.
Drew Stafford scored twice in regulation as New Jersey improved to 5-1-0. Palmieri and Brian Gibbons each had a goal in the first period, and Cory Schneider made 33 saves.
Vladimir Namestnikov, Ondrej PalatNikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos scored for Tampa Bay, which had its four-game winning streak snapped and fell to 5-1-1.
Kucherov's goal was his eighth in seven games. He has scored at least once in every game this season, and the 24-year-old right wing became the sixth player in modern NHL history to score at least one goal in the first seven games of a season.
Mario Lemieux, Mike Bossy, Wayne Gretzky, Ken Hodge and Tony Tanti are the others. Lemieux holds the record with at least one goal in the first 12 games of the 1992-93 season.
Peter Budaj made his first start of the season for the Lightning and had 30 saves.
Entering the nationally televised game, New Jersey's 4.20 goals per game were tied for second-best in the NHL, and Tampa Bay's mark of 3.83 ranked fifth. So befitting two of the league's highest-scoring teams, it didn't take long for the Lightning and the Devils to trade goals.
Stafford opened the scoring at 2:45 of the first period with a shot from the right side off the rush that Budaj appeared to misplay.
Tampa Bay drew even when Namestnikov flipped an in-tight forehand over Schneider's stick at 7:33, and took the lead on Palat's power-play goal at 12:21.
New Jersey equalized on Palmieri's rocket from the right side at 16:19, and Gibbons' goalmouth tap-in sent the Devils into the first intermission with a 3-2 lead.
The Devils scored all three of their first-period goals on 15 shots, while allowing Tampa Bay to fire 11. For the game, the Lightning finished with a 37-34 advantage in shots.
If the first period resembled a 100-meter dash, the second period was akin to a marathon. Both teams had scoring chances, but the defenses tightened up as Tampa Bay held an 11-9 advantage in shots.
Still, it took just two to send the Lightning into the second intermission with a lead. Kucherov tied the game 3-all by ripping a slap shot under Schneider's glove at 14:02.
Tampa Bay regained the lead 3:21 later when Stamkos pounced on a loose puck in the slot before beating Schneider with a backhand.
Stafford's power-play goal with 4:06 left in regulation tied it at 4.
The Devils were 2 for 4 on the power play, while Tampa Bay went 1 for 5.
NOTES: During his pregame media availability, Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper was effusive in his praise of defenseman Dan Girardi. The Lightning signed the former Ranger to a two-year, $6 million contract on July 1, a few weeks after New York announced it had bought out the final three years of the six-year, $33 million deal he agreed to in February 2014. "You appreciate guys more when you have them with you," Cooper said. "You really appreciate him being in your locker room. When you have a guy like (rookie defenseman Mikhail) Sergachev ... he can go to guys like Girardi, but Girardi goes to him. The other thing is his willingness to sacrifice his body for the betterment of the team." Cooper later added Girardi was "everything our team needed." . During a stoppage in play in the second period, the 13,176 in attendance cheered and began a "Let's go Yankees!" chant after the final score from Game 4 of the AL Championship Series was posted on the video board. ... New Jersey scratched D Dalton Prout, D Ben Lovejoy and RW Stefan Noesen. ... RW J.T. Brown, D Slater Koekkoek and C Gabriel Dumont were scratched by the Lightning.
Lightning: Finish a three-game road trip Thursday at Columbus.
Devils: At the Ottawa Senators on Thursday.