NEW YORK – Let’s get the frustrating game out of the way first. In Boston, the Rangers unraveled in the third period and could not hold a 2-1 lead as they lost 3-2 to the Bruins. Rick Nash got his third of the season and seems to be skating well. From there, the negatives seem to pile on.
“Yeah, I think this one hurts for sure. We worked hard, we really battled in our own zone, we just spent a lot of the game there, too much of the game there,” Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh said. “We couldn’t get any flow going with our lines and couldn’t pin them in their own zone as much as they did to us.”
There is no consistency on any line, either forward or back line. And the goaltending now seems suspect at times. And Henrik Lundqvist now alternates good games with bad games.
“Bad read,” Lundqvist said of Zdeno Chara’s game winner. “For some reason, I was reading a high shot and then just made a bad move. Instead of playing it the way I should, I read his stick, and I thought it was going high. I don’t know if he fell down or kind of missed it, but it definitely fooled me a little bit. Tough one.”
The Red Wings have found their consistency on offense and defense. Friday night they blanked the Islanders who are now spiraling out of control.
The Isles are having their troubles and they seemingly cannot get out of their own way and are making bad choices on the ice. And now even bad teams are making them pay the price.
“You saw our execution tonight,” New York head coach Jack Capuano said. “We made some decisions with the puck that weren’t very good. We can’t do that against that team, or any team, for that matter.
“Tonight, for me, it was about the execution level, and for whatever reason, it wasn’t very good.”
The Islanders have now lost ten of their 12 games.
“We’ve got to play tomorrow [at home against the Washington Capitals], and we’ve got to find some answers,” Islanders captain John Tavares said. “We’re obviously an easy team to play against right now. We’re not hard enough to play against, and you can tell why [Detroit has] had a lot of success for a lot of years now.”
In San Jose, the Sharks cooled off the Blues with a 6-3 win. Brent Burns posted a hat trick in the win.
“Today was a little weird,” Burns said. “Thanksgiving yesterday. A lot of food and then no skate this morning. I had to sweat it out. We skated yesterday, but with the way I eat, I need more than one skate.”
In Anaheim, the Ducks welcomed Saku Koivu back in the lineup and promptly doused the Flames, 5-2.
“I felt, physically, surprisingly good,” Koivu said. “Coming back from a concussion, the first time for me, I was little hesitant in the first period. Then in the second half I felt a little more comfortable … you need a couple of games to see how you feel, but tonight I felt fine.”
The Ducks now face the class of the west this coming week in the Sharks, Kings, Blackhawks and Blues.
“I think the word ‘Looking forward to it’ is not really the right word, quite frankly,” Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau said. “But it is going to let us know where we are the next four games … it will give us a really good barometer of where we’re at.”
Philadelphia 2, Winnipeg 1
Boston 3, NY Rangers 2
Pittsburgh 3, Tampa Bay 0
Detroit 5, NY Islanders 0
Anaheim 5, Calgary 2
San Jose 6, St. Louis 3
Washington 3, Montreal 2 (SO)
Colorado 3, Minnesota 1
New Jersey 5, Carolina 2
Columbus 4, Edmonton 2
Buffalo 3, Toronto 2 (OT)
Chicago 2, Dallas 1 (SO)
CROSBY REACHES 700
Sidney Crosby assisted on all three Pittsburgh goals to surpass 700 career points. Crosby (251-450—701 in 497 GP) is just the third player in Penguins franchise history to reach 700 points, joining Mario Lemieux (1,723 points) and Jaromir Jagr (1,079 points). According to Elias Sports Bureau, Crosby is the sixth player in NHL history to reach 700 points in fewer than 500 games, after only Wayne Gretzky (317), Mario Lemieux (363), Peter Stastny (457), Mike Bossy (469) and Jari Kurri (483). Only three active players besides Crosby have reached the 700-point plateau in fewer than 600 games: Teemu Selanne (541), Jaromir Jagr (557) and Alex Ovechkin (579).
SAN JOSE “BURNS” BLUES
Brent Burns had his first career hat trick (3-1—4) to lift the San Jose Sharks to their fourth straight win, a 6-3 victory over the St. Louis Blues. Burns had previously had a two goal game as a member of the Minnesota Wild on Nov. 6, 2010, but had never recorded more than one goal in a game since being traded to San Jose before the 2011-12 season. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Burns scored on each of his three shots on goal. It was the second hat trick in the NHL this season in which the player had a perfect shooting percentage; the first one was by Kings’ forward Dwight King against Phoenix on October 24. Burns is the first Sharks player with three goals in a game in which he had only three shots on goal since Joe Thornton on March 25, 2008 at Phoenix. His opening goal came 35 seconds into the first period, the ninth time this season San Jose has scored in the first two minutes of a game. Joe Thornton (1-2—3) and Logan Couture (0-3—3) pitched in with three-point efforts and Tomas Hertl scored his rookie-leading 13th goal of the season.
DUCKS CONTINUE RECORD START AT HOME
The Anaheim Ducks improved to 10-0-1 at Honda Center this season, marking the club’s best home start in franchise history with a 5-2 win over the Calgary Flames. Anaheim is the only NHL club to remain undefeated at home in regulation this season. The Ducks have now won 18 consecutive home games over the Flames, the longest home win streak versus one opponent in club history. Five different Ducks skaters picked up multi-point games in the win: Andrew Cogliano (1-1—2), Corey Perry (1-1—2), Saku Koivu (0-2—2), Ryan Getzlaf (0-2—2) and Dustin Penner (2-0—2). Getzlaf now has a seven-game point streak (3-5—8) and including two games prior to a three-game absence due to injury has points in the last nine games he has played overall (7-7—14). Penner has tallied five goals over a three-game span for the first time in his NHL career (Elias).
HELM, ALFREDSSON, LEAD WINGS
Darren Helm (2-0—2) and Daniel Alfredsson (2-1—3) each netted a pair of goals to lead the Red Wings to a 5-0 win over the Islanders. Helm scored the first two goals of the game, including this must see shorthanded marker. Alfredsson’s three-point night came in his 1,200th career NHL game. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Alfredsson is the sixth player in Red Wings franchise history to score two or more goals in a regular-season game at age 40 or older. The other 40-something Detroit players with multiple-goal games were Gordie Howe (16 times), Nicklas Lidstrom (twice), Alex Delvecchio, Steve Thomas and Steve Yzerman. Jimmy Howard made 29 saves for his second shutout of the season and the 18th of his career.
GIGUERE’S RECORD START
Veteran goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 27 saves in Colorado’s 3-1 victory over Minnesota to become the first goaltender in franchise history to start a season 6-0-0. Colorado improved to 9-2-0 (18 points) on the road this season, the club’s best record through 11 road games in franchise history. Rookie Nathan MacKinnon (1-1—2) was selected the game’s first star, and finds himself in a three-way tie with Torey Krug (BOS) and Sean Monahan (CGY) for second place in the rookie scoring race with 15 points.
JAGR TIES YZERMAN ON ALL-TIME LIST
The New Jersey Devils scored four unanswered goals in the third period to defeat Carolina 5-2 and earn a split in their home-and-home series with the Hurricanes. Jaromir Jagr had his first three-point game of the season (1-2–3), and registered his 692nd career goal to tie Steve Yzerman for eighth on the all-time list. Jagr is two goals behind Mark Messier (694) for seventh all-time and leads the Devils in scoring with 22 points (11-11–22) this season.
CRAWFORD’S MILESTONE NIGHT
Chicago goaltender Corey Crawford made 28 saves through overtime then stopped 10 of 11 shots in the shootout for his 100th career NHL victory. The win was also his League leading 17th of the season. Crawford stopped a second-period penalty shot attempt by Dallas’ Alex Chiasson and has now stopped 8 of 8 regular-season penalty-shot attempts in his career, the most penalty shots faced by an active goaltender without allowing a goal (Elias). The Blackhawks have won five games in a row and lead the NHL with 42 points.
CHARA LEADS BRUINS TO THANKSGIVING SHOWDOWN VICTORY
Bruins captain Zdeno Chara (1-1—2) scored the game-winning goal at 11:05 of the third period of the Thanksgiving Showdown game on NBC to rally his team to a 3-2 win over the Rangers. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Chara has scored in each of the Bruins’ last three home games, the first Boston defenseman to score goals in each of three consecutive team home games in one season since Bryan Berard in November 2002. The bounce-back win came a game after Boston suffered their worst loss of the season, a 6-1 defeat to Detroit. The Bruins win also put an end to the Rangers’ streak of 101 consecutive regular season games recording at least one point when leading after the second period (95-0-6 over the span).
BOBROVSKY BESTS BRYZGALOV
Columbus goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 25 of 27 shots to out-perform Edmonton’s Ilya Bryzgalov, who was making his second start in as many nights for the Oilers. Bryzgalov stopped 19 of 23 shots before being replaced for the third period. The goalies, teammates on the Philadelphia Flyers in 2011-12, may also contend for a spot on Russia’s Olympic team in 2014.
The Jets lost to Philly, 2-1 – Image by Lewis Bleiman
The Flyers improved to 10-3-1 when they score first and won a regular-season game in which every goal they scored was unassisted for the first time in franchise history (Elias).…Winnipeg forward Mark Scheifele picked up an assist to extend his current point streak to a career high four games (1-3–4), the longest active streak among NHL rookies … Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin picked up an assist to extend his point/assist streak to seven games (3-10—13) and Marc-Andre Fleury made 21 saves for his 26th career shutout, third of the season… St. Louis forward Jaden Schwartz had a goal and assist to extend his career high point streak to six games (3-4–7)… Edmonton forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins recorded an assist to extend his point streak to five games (1-7-8)… Columbus forward Boone Jenner recorded his first NHL assist on Nick Foligno’s eventual game-winner…. Buffalo’s Christian Ehrhoff became the seventh defenseman to record an overtime winner this season when he scored 38 seconds into the extra period against Toronto. With the 3-2 overtime win, the Sabres improved to 13-1-1 in their last 15 home games against the Maple Leafs (64-25-8 all-time).
SNEAK PEEK AT SATURDAY’S ACTION
All Times Eastern
Vancouver @ NY Rangers, 2:00 p.m., NHL Network-US, SNET-P, MSG
Columbus @ Boston, 7:00 p.m., FS-O, NESN
Toronto @ Montreal, 7:00 p.m., CBC, RDS, NHL Network-US
Pittsburgh @ Florida, 7:00 p.m., ROOT, FS-F
Buffalo @ New Jersey, 7:00 p.m., MSG-B, MSG
Washington @ NY Islanders, 7:00 p.m., CSN-DC+, MSG PLUS
Philadelphia @ Nashville, 8:00 p.m., CSN-PH, FS-TN
Chicago @ Phoenix, 8:00 p.m., CSN-CH, FS-A PLUS
Minnesota @ Colorado, 9:00 p.m., FS-N+, ALT
Calgary @ Los Angeles, 10:00 p.m., CBC, FS-W
Anaheim @ San Jose, 10:30 p.m., PRIME, CSN-CA
RANGERS AND CANUCKS FACE FORMER COACHES
The Vancouver Canucks and New York Rangers will both face their former coaches for the first time in the regular season when they face-off this afternoon. Canucks head coach John Tortorella spent parts of five seasons behind the Rangers bench, compiling a 171-115-29 record. Under Tortorella in 2011-12, the Rangers posted their second most wins all-time in a single season with 51, and tied for second in franchise history with 109 points. Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault is the Canucks’ all-time winningest coach in franchise history with a 313-170-57 record, including a trip to the 2010-11 Stanley Cup Final and a Jack Adams Award in 2006-07.
HISTORIC RIVALS MEET ON HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA
Original Six rivals, the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens will meet in for the 720th time in the regular season, and first since Toronto’s 4-3 victory on opening night. Both teams enter the game with an identical record of 14-9-3 (31 points).