Game recaps, plus updates on Henrik Lundqvist, David Clarkson, Brett Connolly, Tim Jackman, the lack of NHL scoring and more.
MLIVE.COM: Newly-acquired Detroit Red Wings defenseman Marek Zidlicky scored in overtime to give his team a 2-1 victory over the New York Rangers. Wings goalie Jimmy Howard made 39 saves for the win.
THE DENVER POST: Jarome Iginla reached the 20-goal mark for the 16th time in his career as the Colorado Avalanche downed the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-1. It was also his 580th career NHL goal.
NEW YORK POST: The Rangers still have no timetable for the return of starting goalie Henrik Lundqvist, who is sidelined due to a vascular injury to his neck. The team is denying a report from TSN’s Bob McKenzie claiming Lundqvist could return within the next 10-14 days.
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Blue Jackets winger David Clarkson could miss the remainder of this season with a torn oblique muscle. He’s listed as being sidelined four-to-six weeks. Clarkson was acquired only last week from the Toronto Maple Leafs.
THE BOSTON GLOBE: Bruins winger Brett Connolly suffered a displaced fracture of his right index finger during practice yesterday and will be sidelined up to six weeks. Connolly was acquired on Monday from the Tampa Bay Lightning.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s been that kind of season for the Bruins. If it weren’t for bad luck they’d have no luck at all.
ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Recently-resigned Anaheim Ducks forward Tim Jackman is out four-to-six weeks with a lower-body injury.
MIAMI HERALD: The Florida Panthers have called up veteran goalie Dan Ellis from their AHL farm team in San Antonio and rookie Sam Brittain from their ECHL affiliate in in Cincinnati. Their regular tandem of Roberto Luongo and Al Montoya were both injured in a recent game against Toronto. Luongo (shoulder) appears day-to-day, while Montoya appeared to suffer a groin injury.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: These injuries to Luongo and Montoya could spell the end of the Panthers playoff hopes if they’re sidelined for length periods.
NEWSDAY: New York Islanders forward Matt Martin received a one-game suspension for his kneeing major on Dallas Stars’ defenseman Trevor Daley.
POSTMEDIA: Cam Cole explores NHL scoring is down this season to potentially its lowest levels since 1954-55.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cole note its the rise of improved penalty killing and shot blocking has contributed to the decline in offense. He claims the “dead puck era” is back. I wouldn’t go that far, as that era saw uncalled obstruction masquerading as defensive hockey. Coaches have found a better way to reduce power-play goals, which involves clogging up the shooting lanes and more aggressive shot blocking. Perhaps a way to adjust to this is to return to the old rule whereby a two- or five-minute penalty doesn’t end when a power-play goal is scored. It could increase offense, as well as lead to better-disciplined play. Perhaps a player won’t be as willing to commit a foul if they know they’re in the box for a full two or five minutes. Just a thought. Remains to be seen if the NHL will do anything to address this.
NATIONAL POST: NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said if Las Vegas gets an NHL franchise it will be an expansion team and not a relocated club. Bettman reiterates that the league has no plans to move any of its existing franchises.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s as may be, but keep an eye on the Florida Panthers and Arizona Coyotes. The Panthers could face losing its lease on its current arena if Broward County declines to give the club $78 million in concessions, while the Coyotes ownership has an escape clause in its current lease agreement if the club sees $50 million or more in cumulative losses over a five-season period dating back to the start of 2013-14. If one or the other occurs, the NHL could end up with a franchise in need of a new home in a hurry.