Game recaps and more in your NHL Canadian Corner.
MONTREAL GAZETTE/TORONTO STAR: Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price made 49 saves backstopping his tired teammates (who played the next before in Buffalo) to a 5-3 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs. The win extends the Canadiens season-opening streak to nine games, one shy of the league record (10) held by the 1993-94 Maple Leafs and 2006-o7 Buffalo Sabres. Max Pacioretty and P.K. Subban each tallied a goal and an assist, while James van Riemsdyk and Leo Komarov each had two-point performances for the Leafs.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Despite some sloppy play and a punchless power play, the Leafs put up a good effort against the Canadiens, who were obviously fatigued following a 7-2 win over the Sabres the previous night. Price, as usual, was the difference maker in this one, in part because he didn’t play in the Buffalo game, but mainly because he’s the best goaltender in the NHL right now.
THE DETROIT NEWS/THE VANCOUVER SUN: Third period goals by Teemu Pulkkinen and Tomas Tatar set the stage for Gustav Nyquist’s overtime winner as the Detroit Red Wings nipped the Vancouver Canucks by a score of 3-2. Goalie Petr Mrazek made 30 saves for the win, while the Canucks blew a two-goal lead and remain winless on home ice this season.
THE ARIZONA REPUBLIC/OTTAWA SUN: Mikkel Boedker’s hat trick carried the Arizona Coyotes to a 4-1 win over the Ottawa Senators. The Coyotes blew open what was a close 1-1 game with three tallies late in the third period. The Senators, playing with three regulars sidelined by injuries (Clarke MacArthur, Mike Hoffman and Marc Methot) lost forward Curtis Lazar in the first period to an upper-body injury.
CALGARY SUN: Among the five burning questions facing the Calgary Flames this week: When will sidelined blueliner T.J. Brodie return? When will the supporting cast (secondary scoring) get going? And was their recent win over the Detroit Red Wings a springboard or a one-off?
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Moving Dennis Wideman alongside Mark Giordano certainly helped the latter’s performance. He no longer had to babysit a struggling Dougie Hamilton, who’s now on the third pairing. Brodie’s return will only improve the situation. It’s the lack of production from the other Flames forwards, however, that’s a more worrisome issue right now. If that doesn’t improve, then that win over the Wings will indeed be a one-off.
WINNIPEG SUN: The Jets are looking forward to renewing their heated rivalry with the Minnesota Wild when the two clubs face off today
SPECTOR’S NOTE: With both clubs improving and playing in the very competitive Central Division, the rivalry between the two could become more intense this season. I’d love to see these two clash in the postseason.
EDMONTON SUN: Having recovered from a shoulder injury, Iiro Pakarinen will be making his Oilers debut when they host the LA Kings tonight.