Rangers down the Panthers, plus updates on Alexander Ovechkin, Kevin Shattenkirk, David Perron, Kari Lehtonen, Evgeni Nabokov and more.
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: The New York Rangers blew a 3-1 lead but surged in the third period to down the Florida Panthers 6-3. Rick Nash scored twice (one of which was on a shorthanded breakaway) to tie Washington’s Alexander Ovechkin for the goal scoring lead with 31.
NOTE: Games involving Canadian NHL teams are recapped in “Canadian Corner.”
NBC SPORTS: Washington Alexander Ovechkin, New York Islanders John Tavares and Boston’s Tuukka Rask were NHL stars of the month for January 2015.
STLTODAY.COM: Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk will undergo abdominal surgery and is sidelined indefinitely.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is a serious blow to the Blues defense corps, as Shattenkirk became their best rearguard this season.
PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Winger David Perron has no ill will toward his former team, the Edmonton Oilers, but he’s much happier now with the Penguins.
THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen will see a heavy workload as his club battles for a playoff spot in the Western Conference.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It doesn’t help matters that the Stars lack a reliable backup to spell off Lehtonen if he tires or struggles.
CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Blackhawks defenseman Johnny Oduya is eligible for unrestricted free agency this summer but he’s trying to focus on the present instead of his uncertain future.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blackhawks have limited cap space and aren’t expected to re-sign Oduya.
CSNPHILLY.COM: Michael Del Zotto has quietly become one of the Flyers most reliable defensemen this season. Negotiations haven’t begun on a contract extension and could depend on the rookie prospects in their system.
THE BUFFALO NEWS: Sabres defenseman Josh Gorges finds his club’s struggles a draining experience.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hopefully for Gorges, his teammates and Sabres fans, things will improve starting next season.
THE TAMPA TRIBUNE: Lightning goaltender Evgeni Nabokov cleared waivers yesterday. The club will grant Nabokov some time to determine his future.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Nabokov’s had a long NHL career but it’s been obvious over the past three seasons that his best days are behind him. I suspect he’ll soon announce his retirement.
TSN.CA: Bob McKenzie with a thoughtful piece on Stan Mikita and Al Arbour, who are both suffering from dementia. McKenzie wonders if their respective conditions might be tied to injuries suffered during their playing careers.