Need to know: Flyers win, Kings don't
January, 25, 2013
By Scott Burnside | ESPN.com
--It was an absolutely huge win for the Philadelphia Flyers Thursday night -- their first of the season -- as they edged the New York Rangers 2-1. The Flyers have been ravaged by injury and signed veteran Mike Knuble Thursday to plug a hole in their lineup, pending Knuble's passing a physical. But it was a gutsy effort from a team that needed to help stem some of the panic around Philly as they limited the Rangers to 19 shots on goal while Wayne Simmonds and Jakub Voracek scored their first goals of the season. Must admit it was a bit curious to see New York Ranger head coach John Tortorella go back to Henrik Lundqvist again in goal a night after a big win over Boston. Both teams are tied at the bottom of the Atlantic Division with 1-3-0 records.
--The Washington Capitals have taken over the "How deep is this hole I am digging for myself?" honors after being hammered at home 4-1 by the Montreal Canadiens. The Caps are 0-3-0 and have been outscored 14-6. Hard times for rookie head coach Adam Oates, who started Michal Neuvirth for the first time this season and got the same result. Another good night for the Habs’ Andrei Markov, who had a goal and an assist. P.K. who?
--After scoring just twice in their first two games, the Carolina Hurricanes took advantage of Buffalo backup Jhonas Enroth’s first start to break out offensively, beating the Sabres 6-3. The Sabres move to 2-1-0. Eric Staal scored the final three goals of the game for the goal-starved Canes, who moved to 1-2-0.
--Now that’s more like the Leafs that we know and love. After taking a 3-1 first-period lead, the Leafs allowed the New York Islanders to outscore them 6-1 the rest of the way en route to a 7-4 Islanders win. The collapse came at home, just 24 hours after the Leafs had manhandled the Penguins in Pittsburgh 5-2. The Isles moved to 2-1-0 on the season while the Leafs took a step back to 2-2-0. Michael Grabner and Matt Moulson each had a pair for the Isles.
--Those folks waiting for the Ottawa Senators to take a step back after their surprise run to the playoffs last season are waiting a while longer as they moved to 3-0-0 with their second win over the Florida Panthers. The Sens were again solid defensively in a 3-1 win and have allowed just two goals on the season. The Panthers, meanwhile, have dropped three straight and have managed just two goals in those three losses.
--The St. Louis Blues got back on the winning track with in typical style, this one by a 3-0 count over visiting Nashville. Jaroslav Halak stopped 13 Predators shots en route to the shutout and super rookie Vladimir Tarasenko notched his fourth goal of the season for the Blues, who moved to 3-1-0. The Preds, in the middle of a seven-game road trip, have managed just eight goals, which explains their 1-1-2 record.
--Without the injured Mike Smith, the Phoenix Coyotes let one get away in San Jose, blowing a 3-1 lead and losing 5-3 to the unbeaten Sharks. Patrick Marleau scored twice for the third straight game and leads the league with six goals. Linemate Joe Thornton leads all players with nine points as the Sharks have jumped out to a 3-0 start.
--The good news is that the Dallas Stars got top forward Jamie Benn under contract Thursday after the restricted free agent signed a five-year deal. The bad news is that the Stars blew a 2-0 lead in Chicago and lost 3-2 in overtime to the unbeaten Hawks. Patrick Sharp had three assists, including a helper on Marian Hossa’s overtime winner. It was Hossa’s fifth goal for the 4-0-0 Blackhawks. Kari Lehtonen was outstanding for the 2-1-1 Stars, stopping 38 of 41 shots.
--The Colorado Avalanche got another night of strong goaltending from Semyon Varlamov, who stopped all 33 Columbus shots he faced en route to a 4-0 victory. The win was the second in a row for the 2-1 Avs while the Blue Jackets, who looked good in games against Detroit and Nashville, have been outscored 9-1 in back-to-back losses to Phoenix and Colorado. Columbus is 1-2-1.
--After being shelled by San Jose in his previous start, Devan Dubnyk rallied mightily Thursday against the defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings, stopping 30 of 31 shots as the Oilers edged the Kings 2-1 in overtime. Rookie Nail Yakupov tied the game in dramatic fashion with 4.7 seconds left in regulation, setting the stage for Sam Gagner’s overtime power-play winner. Rookie defenseman Justin Schultz had two assists for the Oilers to keep the 0-2-1 Kings winless. The Kings have scored four goals in three games.