NHL Morning After: Flames Lose Kipprusoff, Sharks Stumble

A busy night in the NHL last night with ten games on the schedule so let’s jump right in to the morning after edition.

Just when you think the New York Rangers have it figured out and turned the corner, they stumble, losing 3-1 to the impressive New Jersey Devils.  This Devils team is one to keep an eye on as they appear to be flying under the radar and not taking much of the spotlight.  They’ve quietly amassed a record of 5-1-3 and are one of only four teams with one regulation loss or fewer.

The Pittsburgh Penguins held on for a 4-2 win over the New York Islanders.  After building up a comfortable 3-0 lead the Isles tried to rally coming within a goal in the third, but an empty netter late sealed their fate.  Pittsburgh moves to the top of the Eastern Conference with 14 points while the Islanders sit in 8th.  Could this Isles team be a playoff bound club?

In Washington, the Toronto Maple Leafs were the victor of a 3-2 game that leaves the Capitals at the bottom of the Eastern Conference. With just two wins in their first ten games the Caps have to do something to turn their season around.  Adam Oates has to be feeling the pressure now.

Don’t look now but the Los Angeles Kings are quietly playing better hockey after a 4-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets last night.  The win gives the defending champs a .500 record and are lurking around that 8th spot like they did last year.  This team will be dangerous down the stretch.

In what has to be one of the biggest upsets on the night, the Philadelphia Flyers beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1.  Tom Sestito had both goals for the Flyers and Ilya Bryzgalov made 21 saves for the win.

The Ottawa Senators are finding ways to win without Jason Spezza and last night it was four different goal scorers that paced the Sens past the Buffalo Sabres 4-3. Spezza is expected to be out for two months leaves a hole in the Senators lineup and could force GM Bryan Murray to trade for a legitimate point producer.

The Sabres meanwhile are struggling to find their groove as they fell to 3-6-1 and sit in 14th place.

The Winnipeg Jets snapped a three-game losing streak and picked up a much needed divisional win with a 3-2 overtime win over the Florida Panthers.  The cats have picked up points in three straight games and are the beneficiaries of having both Stephen Weiss and Kris Versteeg back in the lineup.

In Detroit, it was the visiting Calgary Flames who stole the show with a 4-1 win.  But it was a costly win as goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff left the game with a lower-body injury.  The timetable for his return is uncertain but the Flames were dealt a huge blow with the injury.  Can they compete without Kipper?

The Nashville Predators made a statement Tuesday night, hammering the St. Louis Blues at home, 6-1.  The Preds scored early and often, lighting the lamp three times in the first and two more in the second to take a 5-0 lead.  The Blues were never in this one despite outshooting Nashville 32-19 and it’s the first real hiccup from St. Louis this season, a team that is predicted to compete for the Stanley Cup.

Finally, the Chicago Blackhawks have yet to lose in regulation this season as they skated past the San Jose Sharks 5-3.  The Sharks have now lost three in a row, albeit one was in a shootout.  The Hawks improve to 8-0-2 and sit alone in first place in the West.

It’s a quiet night tonight in the NHL with just three games but it does feature one of the greatest rivalries in hockey as the Boston Bruins visit the Montreal Canadiens.

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