Michael Finewax

Hockey Daily Dose

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King Frederik of Toronto

Thursday, February 8, 2018


Minnesota defenseman Jonas Brodin will miss the next three-four weeks after undergoing hand surgery.

 

Tim Heed had a great season in the AHL last year as the defenseman had 56 points in 55 games. He has not played since January 13 as he had been a healthy scratch. The rookie has three goals and 11 points in 27 games.

 

Corey Crawford (vertigo) will not skate for the next couple of days but that was pre-planned by Chicago and not a setback. The netminder has not played since December 23 and his absence is a major reason why the Blackhawk are on the outside looking in at the playoffs.

 

James Reimer could return from a groin injury as early as Friday.

 

A couple of concussed players for the Rangers were on the ice Wednesday skating. Pavel Buchnevich and Jimmy Vesey both skated but did not practice.

 

Alex Burrows of the Senators got 10 games for his kneeing and punching Taylor Hall in the back of the head. He waived his right to an in-person hearing. An in-person hearing usually means more than a five-game suspension. He pleaded his case via telephone but to no avail as he was deemed to be the aggressor as well as partaking in his misdeeds.

 

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TORONTO 3 NASHVILLE 2 (Shootout)

 

Frederik Andersen was absolutely amazing as he stopped 44 shots as well as six-of-seven in the shootout as the Maple Leafs knocked off the Nashville Predators 3-2.

 

Andersen only saw eight shots in the first period but saw 38 over the last 45 minutes as he stole a game for the Maple Leafs.

 

Toronto scored the only goal of the opening period as James van Riemsdyk slapped a 40-footer past Pekka Rinne on a one-timer. It was quite a nice play by Travis Dermott to keep the puck in the Nashville zone and keep the play alive. The Maple Leafs have a nice rookie in Dermott who picked up his fourth assist and fifth point in 13 games. The blueliner is a plus-seven thus far.

 

Kasperi Kapanen scored a beautiful shorthanded goal as he sped in alone on Rinne, stopped, and waited for Rinne to make a move before depositing the puck into the net.

 

But the Predators scored late in the second to cut the lead in half as Colton Sissons scored his eighth of the season and when Viktor Arvidsson scored an unassisted goal just 25 seconds into the third, it looked like the Maple Leafs were back on their heels. But Andersen bailed them out time-and-time again to get the game into overtime and eventually the shootout.

 

Rinne saw his eight-game winning streak come to an end when van Riemsdyk beat him in the shootout and Andersen stopped Arvidsson in the seventh round. Rinne made 30 saves in regulation and the overtime but he allowed two goals in seven attempts during the shootout, and it was not good enough to beat the Maple Leafs.

 

Nikita Zaitsev had six hits in the contest. Both teams could not score on two power play attempts apiece.

 

BOSTON 6 NEW YORK RANGERS 1

 

The Rangers are in big trouble. They were shellacked by the Bruins who are 18-1-3 in their last 22 games after whipping the Rangers 6-1. New York has been horrible since the start of the New Year as they are 4-11-0 and have lost their last four straight.

 

The first two goals of the game were scored by R. Nash as Rick Nash gave the Rangers an early 1-0 lead with his 16th of the season in the first period. Boston’s Riley Nash tied the game at 1 and then Zdeno Chara scored his fifth of the season before the end of the first to give Boston a lead that they would never relinquish.

 

A couple of Patrice Bergeron goals sandwiched a beautiful goal by Tim Schaller and the Bruins led 5-2 after two periods. Bergeron is having a great season with 24 goals thus far.           

 

Schaller’s eighth goal of the season at the 7:25 mark of the second, chased Henrik Lundqvist who gave up four goals on only 16 shots. It was the third time in his last five starts that Lundqvist was pulled. You would think that Mike Keenan or John Tortorella was coaching the Rangers but no, it is Alain Vigneault who pulled Lundqvist.

 

Sean Kuraly scored the lone goal of the third as it was his fifth of the season.

 

Anton Khudobin turned aside 21 shots for the win as he is 11-3-4 with a 2.28 GAA and a .925 save percentage. The Bruins are only one point behind league-leading Tampa Bay and have a game in hand.

 

Ondrej Pavelec who replaced Lundqvist, gave up two goals on 18 shots.

 

Adam McQuaid and Cody McLeod fought each other twice Wednesday with McQuaid also picking up a minor.

 

Every Ranger was either a minus-one or minus-two. Every Bruin was a plus, save for Nash, David Backes and Danton Heinen who all were even.

 

Bergeron had seven shots on goal. David Pastrnak had an assist to extend his points streak to 10 games.

 

LOS ANGELES 5 EDMONTON 2


Paul LaDue's second goal of the season was the winner as the Los Angeles Kings prevailed over the Edmonton Oilers 5-2. Ladue, who played his first game of the season on January 24, scored on the power play with Jesse Puljujarvi in the sin bin. It was only his fourth game of the season.

 

It sure looks like Connor McDavid is ready to win the Art Ross Trophy again. The NHL’s best player (in my opinion) went the last three weeks playing in only four games due to NHL scheduling but has been a stud in his last two games as he had a goal and an assist to go with a four goal, one assist night on Monday to move into sole possession of third place in NHL scoring, three in arrears of Nikita Kucherov and two behind Phil Kessel. He has a game in hand on Kucherov and three on Kessel.

 

The Kings got off to a 1-0 lead in the first when Kyle Clifford scored his second of the season, only 70 seconds into the game. It was the only goal of the first period.

 

Los Angeles made it 2-0 just 58 seconds into the second when Adrian Kempe found the back of the net. The Oilers were having plenty of trouble getting started as Clifford and Kempe showed.

 

But the Oilers quickly tied it up courtesy of McDavid as he assisted on Leon Draisaitl’s power play goal and then scored himself on an assist from Mike Cammalleri just past the midway point of the game.    

 

After LaDue's goal, the Kings scored twice into the empty net with Alex Iafallo scoring as well as Anze Kopitar. For Kopitar, it was his 21st of the season and 57th point as he also assisted on Iafallo's goal. 

 

Christian Folin and Jujhar Khaira fought each other in the first and both had seven minutes each in the sin bin.

 

Darcy Kuemper started his second straight game and fourth in the Kings past five contests. He stopped 25 shots and is 9-1-3 this season, providing the Kings with solid back up goaltending.

 

Cam Talbot gave up three goals on 26 shots for the loss.

 

Drew Doughty had a couple of assists giving him 31 on the season.



Michael Finewax is entering his 14th season as the Senior Hockey Writer and Editor for Rotoworld. You can follow him on Twitter @mfinewaxhockey.
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