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  • Friday, October 24, 2014
    Quick blanks Sabres, set Kings' shutout record
    By The Sports Xchange

    LOS ANGELES -- Jonathan Quick put his name in the record book again, and the Los Angeles Kings continued their winning ways by shutting out the Buffalo Sabres.

    • Quick became Los Angeles' all-time shutout leader, blanking the Sabres 2-0 Thursday before an announced crowd of 18,230 at Staples Center.

      The 28-year-old goalie surpassed Rogie Vachon's mark of 32 shutouts with Thursday's gem. Quick, who has blanked two of the past three opponents, stopped all 29 shots he faced.

      Instead of taking credit for his achievement, though, he passed it around to current and former teammates.

      "Without a doubt, it's special," Quick said. "Especially a shutout. It takes 20 men to do that, to shut a team out for 60 minutes, so I'm very grateful for my teammates over the years."

      Just another stroll on the ice for Quick, Kings center Anze Kopitar said.

      "The same old thing over and over again," said Kopitar, who scored his second goal of the second in the win. "He's just solid back there."

      Buffalo goalie Jhonas Enroth finished with 37 saves.

      Center Jeff Carter had a goal and an assist for the Kings (5-1-1), who won their fifth in a row and dealt the Sabres (1-7-0) their fourth consecutive loss.

      Buffalo's lone victory was a 4-3 decision over the Carolina Hurricanes on Oct. 14. Since then, the Sabres were shut out three times. They managed a goal in a 4-1 loss to the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday night. They also are 0-for-27 on power plays, failing to score on three occasions against Los Angeles.

      "Our last couple of games, at least our effort has been a lot better," Buffalo coach Ted Nolan said. "We're the type of team that has to work for something that we want, and yet when we get across the blue line, we want to pass the puck versus shooting the puck. Everything starts with work. The first five or six games, the effort wasn't there, and now the last couple of games, the effort is there."

      Effort wasn't enough to slow Los Angeles. It took 29 seconds for the Kings to earn a power-play opportunity and just seven more ticks for them to take advantage of it. After Buffalo defenseman Tyler Myers skated off for hooking, Carter scored a power-play goal moments later for a 1-0 Los Angeles lead. It was Carter's fourth goal of the season.

      The Kings scored another power-play goal late in the second period, when Kopitar worked a perfect give-and-go with Carter. Carter returned a pass to Kopitar as the center slipped a shot past Enroth for a 2-0 advantage with 4:49 remaining. For Carter, it was his 100th point with Los Angeles.

      That was more enough for the Kings, who have scored first in six of their seven games.

      "I think the biggest key was just coming out and playing hard right off the get go," Kopitar said. "They played last night, they lost down in Anaheim, so we just wanted to make sure we came out strong and force our way in to this. I think our start was pretty good because we scored (36) seconds in, so that's obviously a good start."

      Meanwhile, the Sabres are on a run of bad starts.

      "We got enough guys in here that have played a lot of hockey games," Sabres center Torrey Mitchell said. "We're just frustrated. Whether or not we're doing the right things and playing well, at the end of the day, if we're not getting two points, then we didn't do the right things. Again, we're frustrated."

      The matchup featured Kings center Jordan Nolan facing his father for the first time.

      "It was a bit strange," the elder Nolan said.

      Los Angeles defenseman Jake Muzzin, sidelined previously because of an upper-body injury, made his season debut after missing six games.

      NOTES: Sabres C Torrey Mitchell played his 400th career game. ... Kings RW Marian Gaborik missed his fourth consecutive game and C Trevor Lewis sat out his sixth. Both are dealing with upper-body injuries. ... C Sam Reinhart, D Tyson Strachan and C Brian Flynn were scratches for Buffalo. ... The road team hasn't fared well on the opponent's ice in the series, losing each game since Oct. 23, 2003, when the Sabres claimed a 5-1 win in Los Angeles. ... Buffalo wraps up a three-game West Coast swing with a visit to play the San Jose Sharks on Saturday. ... Los Angeles caps a six-game homestand Sunday against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

  • Friday, October 24, 2014
    Blue Jackets edge Sharks on last-minute goal
    By The Sports Xchange

    SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Considering the Columbus Blue Jackets were sitting around in San Jose since Monday, they sure waited to the last possible moment to earn a win.

    • Center Mark Letestu scored his second goal of the game with 20.7 seconds left, giving rested Columbus a 5-4 win over the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center on Thursday.

      Letestu tipped defenseman David Savard's shot from the right point past San Jose goalie Antti Niemi to extend the hosts' losing streak to three games.

      "There were a lot of things that happened in this game that remind me of what this team is," Columbus coach Todd Richards said.

      The Sharks (4-3-1) scored twice in the opening half of the final period to take a 4-3 lead, but they couldn't hold on.

      San Jose defenseman Brent Burns took this third minor penalty of the game, and the Blue Jackets (4-2-0) struck back on the power play. Right winger Nick Foligno potted a goalmouth scramble tally to tie it 4-4 at 11:40.

      "We had a chance to manage the game, but we took another penalty and they scored," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. "We should be able to hold that lead regardless who is on the ice."

      San Jose center Logan Couture added, "We scored that big goal, then we went back to playing scrambly in our own end. We have to be better."

      The Sharks had a late power play of their own when Foligno high-sticked defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic at 13:15. However, after converting their first power play, the Sharks capped a 1-for-5 night with a fourth straight failure.

      That set the stage for Columbus' final-minute dramatics.

      No one in the hosts' room wanted to hear about the fact the Blue Jackets, idle since Saturday, were waiting in San Jose for the Sharks' arrival back on Wednesday from a five-game Eastern swing.

      It was at the end of that trip the Sharks failed to hold one-goal leads against the New York Rangers and Boston Bruins, too.

      "Our defensive play right now is killing us," McLellan said. "It's not just one player or one line, it's all the lines, it's the defense, it's the goaltenders."

      The Sharks led 2-0 after the first period on goals from right winger Adam Burish and center Joe Pavelski. The Blue Jackets responded by scoring three times on five shots during a 5:14 stretch of the second period.

      Center Ryan Johansen scored the first of his two goals at 8:22 when he skated around Sharks defenseman Justin Braun and backhanded a shot in close over San Jose goalie Antti Niemi just under the crossbar.

      Letestu scored his first of the year short-handed by slipping behind Couture on a two-on-two break at 12:13. Johansen capped the rally with a quick wrist shot from the left dot after Columbus left winger Scott Hartnell forced a turnover, leading to one of Hartnell's career-high four assists in the game.

      "Last year our identity was that of a resilient team," Richards said. "And this, tonight, was a resilient win."

      The sentiment was quite different in the other room.

      "In general, we've got to defend better," Burish said. "If you allow four or five goals, you're not going to win.

      "We have plenty of firepower to score goals, a lot of talent and guys who can find the net. It's committing to defending."

      San Jose took a few shifts to find its legs, but Burish swung the momentum in the hosts' favor with one pretty goal in the first period. As if he were running a sweep left, Burish skated from his zone along the boards and let go with a wrist shot that surprised Columbus goalie Sergei Bobrovsky.

      Burish's top-shelf strike at 5:11 was his first goal in two seasons (limited to only 15 games last year) and just his second in 69 career games as a Shark.

      After San Jose killed off the game's first power play, the Sharks needed 66 seconds to convert on their first chance. Couture wound up from just inside the blue line with a low shot that Pavelski redirected between Bobrovsky's pads for a 2-0 lead at 14:44.

      Bobrovsky finished with 33 saves. Niemi stopped 23 shots.

      NOTES: Columbus was without C Marko Dano (undisclosed), C Brandon Dubinsky (lower body), LW Sonny Milano (face), RW Nathan Horton (back), C Boone Jenner (hand) and D Ryan Murray (knee). ... Antti Niemi became the first Sharks goalie to start consecutive games after he and G Alex Stalock alternated San Jose's first six games. ... The Blue Jackets conclude their four-game trip with games at Anaheim on Friday and Los Angeles on Sunday. ... Coach Todd McLellan bristled during the morning skate at the suggestion the Sharks might think of farming out 19-year-old Mirco Mueller because the rookie defenseman was going to be a healthy scratch for a second straight game and third time this season. "He's not going anywhere," McLellan snapped. ... LW John Scott and C Chris Tierney joined Mueller as San Jose's healthy scratches. ... RW Corey Tropp and D Dalton Prout were not in uniform for Columbus.

  • Friday, October 24, 2014
    NHL game roundup: Wings come back to nip Pens
    By The Sports Xchange

    DETROIT -- Justin Abdelkader scored with 43.5 seconds left in the overtime period to complete a comeback from a two-goal deficit in the Detroit Red Wings' 4-3 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday.

    • Niklas Kronwall scored two goals and an assist and left winger Henrik Zetterberg a goal and two assists for Detroit. Goaltender Jimmy Howard stopped 23 shots for the win.

      Right winger Pascal Dupuis, defenseman Olli Maatta and left winger Chris Kunitz scored for Pittsburgh. Left winger Blake Comeau had two assists and goalie Thomas Greiss made 27 saves in his first game of the season.

      Islanders 3, Bruins 2

      BOSTON -- Johnny Boychuk and Chad Johnson returned to Boston with their new team and helped the New York Islanders to a victory.

      Boychuk played a strong game and Johnson stopped 30 shots as New York ended a two-game losing streak.

      Frans Nielsen, Kyle Okposo and Cal Clutterbuck scored for New York while Milan Lucic and Chris Kelly scored for Boston.

      Canucks 4, Blues 1

      ST. LOUIS -- Nick Bonino's goal 4:54 into the third period broke a and sent Vancouver to a win in St. Louis.

      Chris Higgins, Linden Vey and Jannik Hansen also scored for Vancouver while Ryan Miller stopped 31 shots against his former team.

      Kevin Shattenkirk scored the lone goal for St. Louis.

      Predators 3, Blackhawks 2

      NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- James Neal notched the fifth hat trick of his career Thursday night, providing all the offense Nashville would need in a win over Chicago.

      Neal, picked up from Pittsburgh on June 27, scored his three goals in succession.

      Chicago got goals from Andrew Shaw and Ben Smith.

      Wild 2, Coyotes 0

      SAINT PAUL, Minn. -- Minnesota goalie Darcy Kuemper delivered his third shutout in four starts on blanking Arizona to snap a two-game losing streak.

      Charlie Coyle and Jason Pominville scored for Minnesota and Jared Spurgeon assisted on both goals. Kuemper finished with 26 saves.

      Arizona goalie Mike Smith stopped 27 shots in the loss.

      Flames 5, Hurricanes 0

      CALGARY, Alberta -- Matt Stajan scored once and Sean Monahan twice to bust early-season slumps and lead Calgary to a decisive shutout win over Carolina.

      Dennis Wideman and Lance Bouma also scored for Calgary while goalie Jonas Hiller needed just 16 saves to post his first shutout of the season.

      Carolina remains winless in six games this season.

      Kings 2, Sabres 0

      LOS ANGELES -- Jonathan Quick became the all-time leader in shutouts for Los Angeles, blanking Buffalo.

      Quick surpassed Rogie Vachon's mark of 32 shutouts. Quick, who blanked two of the past three opponents, stopped all 29 shots he faced Thursday.

      Buffalo goalie Jhonas Enroth finished with 37 saves, but he allowed goals by Jeff Carter in the first period and Anze Kopitar in the second.

      Blue Jackets 5, Sharks 4

      SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Mark Letestu scored his second goal of the game with 20.7 seconds left to give Columbus a win over San Jose.

      Letestu tipped David Savard's shot from the right point past San Jose goalie Antti Niemi to extend the hosts' losing streak to three games.

      The Sharks scored twice in the opening half of the final period to take a 4-3 lead.

  • Friday, October 24, 2014
    Monahan scores pair in Flames' 5-0 win over Hurricanes
    By The Sports Xchange

    CALGARY, Alberta -- Calgary Flames center Joe Colborne has a little hockey pool advice for all.

    • After seeing center Sean Monahan snap his scoring drought with authority by netting a pair of goals in the 5-0 win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday night, Colborne said to expect more to follow.

      "If I was a fantasy hockey player, I'd have him in the line-up for the next little while, Colborne said. "He's going to get hot."

      Unless they drastically change, the winless Hurricanes will help a lot of teams and players find their mojo.

      Monahan and fellow centers Matt Stajan and Lance Bouma all took advantage of the struggling club at the Scotiabank Saddledome to light the lamp for the first time this season.

      "Obviously it's been quite a few games now," said Monahan, who had a 22-goal rookie campaign in 2013-14. "I want to contribute to help get wins and I think that was a big relief for me tonight.

      "It's always a relief putting the puck in the net but once one goes in, I think your game changes. I guess you're a little more confident in your game. That was a big help for me."

      Everybody in the building noticed it, especially Flames coach Bob Hartley, whose team now sports a 5-3-1 record.

      "I saw a happy young man," Hartley said of Monahan. "He could have had a hat trick. Late in the game he had a great shot go over the net. (Jiri Hudler, Monahan and Colborne), that's the line I saw last year. That's the kind of performance we need from them."

      They weren't alone.

      "I had challenged the players before the game we would like to win the three periods," Hartley said. "We divided the game in three smaller games of 20 minutes. They did it and they did it in a great fashion. I thought we played a very solid game. It's almost a perfect game out there."

      Especially perfect for those needing to bust a slump.

      "It's always nice to get the first one and get the monkey off my back," Bouma said. "It feels good. A lot of us in here got our first tonight. It was a good group effort.

      "We did a lot of great things and that created our offense. If we do that most nights we're going to have success."

      Defenseman Dennis Wideman opened the scoring late in the first period, giving him goals in three consecutive games and four this season, equaling last season's total.

      The capper for the Flames was goalie Jonas Hiller recording his first shutout of the season, a 16-save effort.

      "I think you always have a good chance if you just give up 15 or 16 shots," Hiller said. "We played really well. We spent most of the time in their zone. It was definitely not as tiring as other games I've played this year.

      "You could see out there that everybody was willing to compete, to sacrifice even blocking shots to the end. Even in the third when we were up 5-0 guys were still working hard and blocking shots. That's a nice feeling also for the future."

      Not so nice was the feeling in the Carolina room. Not only is coach Bill Peters' team winless (0-4-2), but the performance was unsettling.

      "Real concerned to be honest with you," Peter said. "Real concerned we didn't stick with it. It looked like we didn't believe."

      The Hurricanes must know they'll eventually win, but a key will be to somehow stay positive.

      "We've got to flip the page as fast as possible," said center Riley Nash. "It's tough to do right now because we haven't gotten any results, but we really haven't deserved any in the last couple of games. It should help if we realize that."

      NOTES: For the first time this season, the Flames skated with the exact same lineup they had the previous outing. ... Carolina C Brody Sutter, the ninth member of the famous hockey family, played his second NHL game and first in the city he grew up in. He is the son of Duane Sutter, who won four Stanley Cup titles with the New York Islanders in the 1980s. ... Hurricanes D Ryan Murphy was back to his familiar point on the blueline after skating as a forward the previous outing. ... Carolina also saw the return of D John-Michael Liles from injury, which made D Jay Harrison and D Brett Bellmore healthy scratches. ... In an effort to ignite some scoring, the Flames moved C Matt Stajan to a line with LW Curtis Glencross and also put C Joe Colborne to a wing with C Sean Monahan. It worked. Colborne now has eight points, all assists.

  • Friday, October 24, 2014
    Bruins' Chara injured in loss to Islanders
    By The Sports Xchange

    Boston Bruins star defenseman and captain Zdeno Chara was injured in the first period of his team's 3-2 loss to the New York Islanders on Thursday.

    • Bruins coach Claude Julien offered no specifics about the defenseman after the game, but it was reported by ESPN and TSN that he will miss 4-to-6 weeks with ligament damage to his left knee, and that surgery is a possibility.

      "We won't know anything until he sees the proper people in the medical staff," Julien said. "Nothing right now."

      Boston defenseman Dennis Seidenberg added, "He's the heart and soul of this team, and whatever it is, hopefully he's back soon."

      Chara left the game after laying a hit on Islanders center John Tavares and appeared to strike knees with the New York captain.

      The former Norris Trophy winner as the league's top defenseman has two goals and an assist so far this season.

  • Friday, October 24, 2014
    Canucks top Blues in Miller's return to St. Louis
    By The Sports Xchange

    ST. LOUIS -- Ryan Miller played the kind of game in goal that the St. Louis Blues expected when they acquired him in a deadline trade from Buffalo last year.

    • The problem for the Blues was Miller wore a Vancouver jersey on Thursday night.

      In his first game against his former team after signing a three-year contract as a free agent during the summer, Miller stopped 31 of 32 shots to lead the Canucks to a 4-1 victory.

      "It could have been an emotional game," Miller said. "I wanted to get myself ready and I was looking forward to the challenge. We skated well and it felt good."

      Miller, who played 19 regular-season games for the Blues before the team was eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by the Blackhawks, did not have a chance to play against the Sabres last year.

      "It's an intense game, but I formed bonds with those guys and liked them as people," Miller said. "It's going to be fun to continue to compete against them."

      Miller, who was pulled from his last start Tuesday night in Dallas in the second period after allowing five goals on 13 shots, made the save of the game early in the third period with the score tied at 1.

      He got in front of a shot by center Jori Lehtera, and the Canucks then took the puck the other way on an odd-man rush, with center Nick Bonino firing a shot past St. Louis goalie Jake Allen to put Vancouver ahead.

      The Canucks went on to add a power-play goal and an empty-net goal in the period to make the rest of Miller's night easier.

      "The save he made in the third was the game," Vancouver coach Willie Desjardins said. "If they score there, it's 2-1 them. He made the big save, we went down and scored and that changed the game."

      Desjardins was happy that Miller was able to bounce back from his rough game just 48 hours earlier.

      "A couple of minutes after I took him out of the game, I went down the bench and told him he would be starting in St. Louis," Desjardins said. "He said, 'That's the game I want.'"

      The only goal Miller allowed came on a St. Louis power play in the second period when the Canucks were assessed a bench minor for having too many men on the ice. Defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk fired a wrist shot past Miller.

      "He played well," Shattenkirk said of Miller. "He obviously lets in one goal and then we threw some shots at him and he was able to control a lot of his rebounds or kick them away from danger. Listen, things didn't work out here, but he's still Ryan Miller. We don't forget that.

      "He's still a great goalie and one of the great goalies in this league, so he's a hard guy to beat and playing the way we did tonight. We had some good chances; we just have to put some more by him."

      St. Louis coach Ken Hitchcock said the Blues, who have lost three of their last four games, were playing with a recipe for disaster, especially allowing the odd-man rushes like the one that allowed the Canucks to score the winning goal.

      "To give up a two-on-one from that distance, that's not us," Hitchcock said. "We don't give up breakaways. ... We've given up more odd-man rushes in six games than we did in two months last year and you can't win like that.

      "This is a wake up call. The alarm bell is going off. You can't have half the group buying in and the other half not. This is a real good eye-opener for us."

      NOTES: Blues C Paul Stastny missed his second consecutive game with a shoulder injury. Coach Ken Hitchcock has described Stastny's status as week to week. ... Blues C Jori Lehtera returned to the lineup after missing the previous game with the flu. The bug that was still affecting the team did not force St. Louis to scratch anybody for the game against the Canucks. ... Vancouver D Alex Edler played in his 500th career game. ... The Canucks will conclude a three-game road trip Friday in Colorado, the second of eight back-to-back road games on this year's schedule. The Blues play host to the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday.

  • Friday, October 24, 2014
    Neal nets hat trick as Predators edge Blackhawks
    By The Sports Xchange

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- According to Thursday night's No. 1 star, the Nashville Predators haven't played their best hockey yet despite being the only NHL team without a regulation loss.

    • "We've come out with the mindset of being relentless and a tough hockey team," left winger James Neal said. "There's a lot of new faces here and a new coaching staff. The biggest thing for us is we haven't played our best games yet. We're only going to get better."

      Neal's hat trick lifted Nashville to a 3-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks at sold-out Bridgestone Arena, giving the Predators points in each of their first seven games.

      Picked up from the Pittsburgh Penguins on June 27 for right winger Patric Hornqvist and center Nick Spaling, Neal is giving the Predators (5-0-2) the proven goal-scorer they needed. His quick hands were the difference against Chicago (4-1-1).

      After tying the game 1-1 at 19:12 of the first period with a wrist shot that beat goalkeeper Antti Raanta on the stick side, Neal put Nashville ahead for good late in the second period. He gave the Predators a 2-1 lead shortly after Chicago owned possession for the entirety of a power play without capitalizing on it.

      Taking a pass from center Filip Forsberg, Neal ripped a one-timer over Raanta's left shoulder at 16:12.

      Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said Neal's second goal capped a key sequence.

      "We did a lot of good things on that power play without scoring," Quenneville said, "and then he just scored a big goal."

      Capping the fifth hat trick of his career, Neal pushed the rebound of defenseman Ryan Ellis' shot into the net at 1:52 of the third period, inspiring some in the crowd of 17,157 to fling chapeaus on the ice.

      "Any time he shoots the puck, it has a chance of going in," Predators first-year coach Peter Laviolette said of Neal, "He had a great game, and his goals were at the right time, too."

      Center Andrew Shaw drew the Blackhawks within a goal by tapping in the rebound of his shot at 12:36 of the third, but Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne made the lead stand up by making five saves in the last six minutes, including denying Shaw of a tip-in at the goalmouth with 1:19 remaining.

      Rinne (5-0-1) notched 16 of his 30 saves in the third period.

      "Great team win for us," Rinne said. "You want to prove yourself as a player and a team, and so far, we're on the right track. But we're not going to get too happy. We're going to come back and focus on our job."

      Chicago handed Nashville a 2-1 overtime loss Saturday night at the United Center and took a 1-0 lead in this one on a rebound goal by right winger Ben Smith at 12:21 of the first period. However, the Predators controlled play for long stretches, outshooting the Blackhawks 14-6 in the first period and appearing quicker to the puck.

      It was a marked difference from Saturday night, when Nashville managed just six shots on goal through two periods and was outshot 37-20 for the game.

      Chicago held the shot advantage again Thursday, but it was just 32-27.

      "We wanted to do more damage in that game, and the guys felt they had missed a chance," Laviolette said of the Predators' Saturday loss, which occurred 24 hours after a 2-0 win in Winnipeg. "We were on more even ground tonight."

      Raanta (1-1-0) recorded 24 saves on 27 shots. He notched 32 saves Tuesday night in a 4-0 shutout of the Philadelphia Flyers.

      NOTES: Chicago GK Corey Crawford (upper-body injury) didn't travel with the team after missing the Blackhawks' 4-0 win over Philadelphia on Tuesday. Crawford also will miss Saturday night's game in St. Louis. ... The Blackhawks' backup goalie for the time being is former Nashville prospect Scott Darling, who recorded six shutouts in 26 starts last season for the Predators' AHL affiliate in Milwaukee. ... Nashville LW Gabriel Bourque, who didn't score a point in the first six games and posted a minus-3 rating, was a healthy scratch. ... The Predators dressed LW Taylor Beck for just the third time in seven games and put him on the third line, dropping former Chicago LW Viktor Stalberg to the fourth line.

  • Friday, October 24, 2014
    Nothing gets past Kuemper in Wild's 2-0 win
    By The Sports Xchange

    ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Occasionally, Minnesota Wild goalie Darcy Kuemper allows a goal. But so far this season, it hasn't happened often.

    • Kuemper delivered his third shutout in four starts with 26 saves on Thursday night, stopping the Arizona Coyotes 2-0 to snap a two-game losing streak.

      Center Charlie Coyle and right winger Jason Pominville scored for Minnesota (3-2-0) and defenseman Jared Spurgeon assisted on both goals. But Kuemper again was the star of the show.

      "He's been awesome for us, coming up huge on a number of occasions," said Coyle, who scored his second goal of the season a day after signing a five-year contract extension with the Wild.

      For Arizona (2-3-1), goalie Mike Smith stopped 27 shots, but the Coyotes couldn't solve Kuemper and were shut out for the first time this season.

      "We saw a lot of guys try real hard; we just need to find a way to score," Arizona coach Dave Tippett said. "Those are ones where you're just looking for that one opportunity to get yourself back in the game and couldn't find a way to get it done."

      Arizona briefly appeared to have gotten a shot past Kuemper early in the third period when center Kyle Chipchura swatted a loose puck over the goal line. But officials emphatically waved it off, ruling that Coyotes right winger R.J. Crombeen was in the crease and made contact with Kuemper before the puck arrived.

      "I definitely didn't think of something like this happening," said Kuemper, who has blanked the Colorado Avalanche twice and now Arizona once. "It's definitely a good feeling and pretty exciting. I'm fortunate of how the guys are playing in front of me."

      The Wild broke through 2:53 into the second period when Spurgeon's shot was tipped by Coyle between Smith's knees.

      Less than three minutes later, Spurgeon helped set up a shot through traffic by Pominville that eluded Smith, and Minnesota took a 2-0 lead.

      The first period was scoreless, marking the first time this season the Coyotes blanked an opponent in the opening 20 minutes of a game.

      "It was nice just to get out of the first period and not have the light come on behind me," said Smith, who fell to 1-3-0 despite playing statistically his best game of the season. "It's been a while since that happened."

      Smith, the Coyotes' mainstay in goal for the past three seasons, had allowed six, four and six goals in his previous three starts but said he felt much more confident in Minnesota despite the lack of goal support.

      "There's not too many people in our room worried about him," Coyotes captain Shane Doan said. "He's not happy with the way his season has started, but I've seen how good he is and I know he's going to end up being the MVP of our team. He's our best player and he played great tonight."

      The biggest early scare of the game occurred when a hard shot by Wild defenseman Jonas Brodin hit Minnesota left winger Thomas Vanek in the side of the right knee.

      Vanek, a former University of Minnesota player who signed a three-year, $19.5 million free agent contract with the Wild during the summer, limped to the bench. He later returned and played a regular shift.

      Arizona held the Wild scoreless during three man-advantage situations, and Minnesota fell to 0-for-19 on the power play this season.

      "Our players are frustrated, so it's up to me to not let that frustration affect us," Wild coach Mike Yeo said, pledging more special-teams work in practice. "It's up to me to find the right combinations."

      NOTES: Wild D Keith Ballard, who spent the first three seasons of his career with the Coyotes, missed a chance to face his former employer on Thursday. Ballard and rookie D Christian Folin both fell ill earlier in the day and were scratched from the Minnesota lineup. ... Coyotes C Martin Hanzal, who is day to day with a lower body injury, did not make the trip to Minnesota. He was injured in Arizona's 6-1 home loss to the Blues on Oct. 18. ... After playing just two home games in the season's first two weeks, the Wild stay in St. Paul to face the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday night. The Coyotes return to Arizona to play host to the Florida Panthers on Saturday night.

  • Friday, October 24, 2014
    Red Wings rally late, top Penguins in OT
    By The Sports Xchange

    DETROIT -- After scoring only three goals in almost three games, the Detroit Red Wings got three in less than seven minutes.

    • Left winger Justin Abdelkader scored with 43.5 seconds left in overtime to complete a comeback from a two-goal deficit in the Red Wings' 4-3 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday.

      Pittsburgh led 3-1 until Detroit scored twice after pulling the goalie late in regulation.

      "We just hung around there, and I think we got better as the game went on and found a way," Abdelkader said. "It was the last three minutes to get a couple goals. We don't want to put ourselves in that situation because the chances of (a comeback) are pretty slim. I thought we worked hard, battled back, we had a lot of chances in the game, but we found a way there at the end to push it to overtime and got a win.

      "That was a huge two points. I think those games can kind of bring momentum for your team."

      Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall had two goals and an assist, and left winger Henrik Zetterberg contributed a goal and two assists for Detroit (4-1-2). Goaltender Jimmy Howard stopped 23 shots for the win.

      "We thought we had something going in the third, thought we had to keep going and put the puck in their end and hopefully we'll create some offense," Zetterberg said. "We got two late goals, and it was good."

      Right winger Pascal Dupuis, defenseman Olli Maatta and left winger Chris Kunitz scored for Pittsburgh (3-2-1). Left winger Blake Comeau had two assists, and goalie Thomas Greiss made 27 saves in his first game of the season.

      "Just finding a way," Penguins star center Sidney Crosby said. "You have to expect, when a team's down, they're going to be desperate and you have to be more desperate, especially with the talent and skill that they have."

      Abdelkader scored from the slot in the extra period, putting a shot high past Greiss and off the inside of the goal post. Zetterberg set up the play by separating a Pittsburgh player from the puck.

      "I was towards the end of my shift there," Abdelkader said. "Puck kind of squirted loose, I don't know if it was (center Pavel Datsyuk) or Z that got a stick on it, I think it was Z. I just kind of jumped in front of my guy, I don't think he saw me coming there from behind him. I wanted to get a shot off quick there. Got it up and just off the post and in."

      Zetterberg scored with Howard pulled for a sixth attacker with 2:39 left. Kronwall tied it, on his second goal of the night, with 39 seconds remaining.

      "The last few minutes we were just trying to throw everything we had at them," Kronwall said. "And tonight, (Datsyuk) made a great play there on the third goal, DK (defenseman Dan DeKeyser) a great pass to Hank for the second one, and we were able to find a way to get back. And of course it feels really good to see Abby get that last one."

      Kunitz gave the Penguins a 3-1 lead 8:29 into the second period when he beat Howard with a wrist shot from the top of the left circle. It was Kunitz's third goal of the season.

      The Penguins jumped out to a 2-0 lead and were ahead 2-1 after the first period.

      Dupuis opened the scoring 5:12 into the game when he converted a two-on-one rush with a wrist shot from the bottom of the left circle. It was Dupuis' third goal of the season.

      Maatta made it 2-0 with 8:06 left in the first period when he walked out of the left corner and his backhand shot trickled through Howard for his first goal of the season.

      Kronwall put Detroit on the board with five minutes remaining in the opening period with his first goal of the game and the season. He beat Greiss with a wrist shot from the high slot.

      NOTES: Detroit RW Johan Franzen is on the short-term injured reserve with a sore groin. He missed his third game. ... Pittsburgh LW Chris Kunitz played at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Mich. ... The Red Wings haven't allowed a power-play goal this season, killing off 21 short-handed situations, including three Thursday. ... Detroit assistant coach Tony Granato was formerly an assistant with the Penguins for five seasons. ... C Stephen Weiss, F Dan Cleary and D Brian Lashoff were healthy scratches for Detroit. ... Pittsburgh scratched C Andrew Ebbett, D Scott Harrington and D Robert Bortuzzo.

  • Friday, October 24, 2014
    Isles' Boychuk enjoys winning return to Boston
    By The Sports Xchange

    BOSTON -- Johnny Boychuk was asked after Thursday night's game if he was glad the day was over.

    • "Yeah. Most definitely," he said after he and fellow ex-Bruin Chad Johnson returned to Boston with their new team and helped the New York Islanders earn a 3-2 victory.

      Boychuk, the long-time Bruins defenseman who was traded to New York before the start of the season for salary-cap reasons, played a strong game. Johnson, the Bruins backup goaltender last season, stopped 30 shots as the Islanders (5-2-0) ended a two-game losing streak.

      "It was a tough game. Just seeing across the ice and you're playing against your friends," Boychuk said. "But when you're on the ice, it's obviously business, and I'm just happy we got the two points and look forward to the next game."

      To make things worse for the Bruins, who had a two-game winning streak snapped and fell to 4-5-0, captain Zdeno Chara was lost in the first period to an undisclosed injury. Coach Claude Julien offered no specifics about the defenseman after the game.

      "We won't know anything until he sees the proper people in the medical staff," Julien said. "Nothing right now."

      Boston defenseman Dennis Seidenberg added, "He's the heart and soul of this team, and whatever it is, hopefully he's back soon."

      The Islanders held off a late Bruins charge to escape with the win, with Johnson making some big -- and athletic -- saves.

      "I don't want to have to be that athletic, but when the team came that hard at us, sometimes there's times when you kind of have to be in that situation," Johnson said. "That's sort of my ability is to not have to be making those real outrageous moves. But it was just a good win. I'm happy to be able to get those two points."

      Johnson, who signed a two-year contract as a free agent when it was clear Niklas Svedberg would be Boston's No. 2 goalie this season behind starting netminder Tuukka Rask, improved to 2-0-0 with his new team. He was 17-4-3 with a 2.10 goals-against average for Boston last year.

      Center Frans Nielsen (first goal of the season) and wingers Kyle Okposo (No. 3) and Cal Clutterbuck (No. 1) scored for the Islanders, beating Svedberg, who made 35 saves and fell to 1-2-0.

      "I'm satisfied with the effort, I'm satisfied for sure," Islanders coach Jack Capuano said. "Our guys battled and played hard. That's all that you can ask for."

      Left winger Milan Lucic, coming off a three-assist game, scored his first goal of the season for the Bruins, who came back and made it 3-2 on center Chris Kelly's second goal of the season midway through the third period. The Bruins then turned up the heat but couldn't tie the game.

      "It took us two periods to start playing, and then the third period was the period we all liked," Julien said. "It's unfortunate that it took us that long. You can't win hockey games just by playing a period in this league. Tonight, we tried, guys were really good at coming out in the third and really pushing hard, but unfortunately ran out of time."

      Center Josh Bailey, who assisted on Nielsen's goal, joined a growing Islanders injury list when he didn't return for the third period due to a hand injury.

      Chara left the game after laying a heavy hit on Islanders center John Tavares. Earlier in the period, Chara looked shaky and was victimized on New York's opening goal.

      Asked about Chara being out for any length of time, Boychuk said, "It would be tough, (but) eventually it's going to have to (happen). I don't know, maybe 10 years from now (Chara is 37), the way he plays the game, he's going to be around a long time. I just hope he's OK."

      Boychuk, who played a team-high 23:18, was a plus-1, hit a post and had a goal waved off, appreciated the reception from the fans and the video tribute the Bruins gave him in the first period.

      NOTES: Boston coach Claude Julien on Wednesday's Parliament tragedy: "That is home, so it did hit home. Ottawa is home for me, so I spent a good portion of the afternoon looking up at the CNN station ... It's unfortunate." The Bruins held a moment of silence, and both anthems were sung. ... New York D Travis Hamonic (upper body) and RW Michael Grabner (lower body) did not play, but D Lubomir Visnovsky (back spasms) made his season debut. ... Bruins rookie RW Seth Griffith recorded his first NHL assist one game after getting his first goal.

  • Thursday, October 23, 2014
    NHL roundup: Sens-Leafs game rescheduled for Nov. 9
    By The Sports Xchange

    The game between the Ottawa Senators and Toronto Maple Leafs in Ottawa that was postponed Wednesday because of shootings in downtown Ottawa was rescheduled for Sunday, Nov. 9 in Ottawa, the NHL announced Thursday.

    • The shootings on Wednesday resulted in the death of a Canadian soldier who was stationed at the National War Memorial and a gunman at Parliament Hill's Centre Block, according to Ottawa police officials.

      On Wednesday, the Maple Leafs were on lockdown at the team's hotel in downtown Ottawa, a team representative confirmed to ESPN.com.

      ---New York Islanders defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky was cleared for action and made his season debut Thursday night against the Boston Bruins.

      Visnovsky has been sidelined with back spasms and was limited to 24 games last season because of a concussion.

      ---The Tampa Bay Lightning reassigned defenseman Luke Witkowski to the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League today, the team announced. Witkowski was recalled to the Lightning on October 19 but did not see any game action.

      ---Detroit Red Wings right wing Johan Franzen missed his third straight game with a groin injury. He is on the short-term injured reserve

      .

      ---Defenseman Johnny Boychuk, traded by the Boston Bruins to the New York Islanders at the end of training camp for salary cap reasons, made his first return visit Boston Thursday. The fans chanted "Joh-nny Boy-chuk" after the first whistle, and the Bruins showed a video tribute to him in the first period.

  • Thursday, October 23, 2014
    Visnovsky returns for Islanders
    By The Sports Xchange

    New York Islanders defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky was cleared for action and was scheduled to make his season debut Thursday night against the Boston Bruins.

    • Visnovsky has been sidelined with back spasms and was limited to 24 games last season because of a concussion.

      However, Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic will miss the game with an upper-body injury, according to Newsday.

  • Thursday, October 23, 2014
    Lightning send Witkowski to AHL
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Tampa Bay Lightning reassigned defenseman Luke Witkowski to the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League today, the team announced Thursday.

    • Witkowski was recalled to the Lightning on October 19 but did not see any game action.

      He played in all four games this season for Syracuse, recording an assist and 15 penalty minutes.

  • Thursday, October 23, 2014
    Senators-Leafs game rescheduled for Nov. 9
    By The Sports Xchange

    The game between the Ottawa Senators and Toronto Maple Leafs in Ottawa that was postponed Wednesday because of shootings in downtown Ottawa was rescheduled for Sunday, Nov. 9 in Ottawa, the NHL announced Thursday.

    • Starting time will be 6 p.m. ET.

      The shootings on Wednesday resulted in the death of a Canadian soldier who was stationed at the National War Memorial and a gunman at Parliament Hill's Centre Block, according to Ottawa police officials.

      "The National Hockey League wishes to express its sympathy and prayers to all affected by the tragic events in Ottawa," the league said in a statement.

      On Wednesday, the Maple Leafs were on lockdown at the team's hotel in downtown Ottawa, a team representative confirmed to ESPN.com.

      Maple Leafs forward Joffrey Lupul described the scene on Twitter: "Surreal scene outside of our hotel right now. Lot of very brave police officers we should all be very proud of."

  • Thursday, October 23, 2014
    Islanders' goal: Winning sendoff from Long Island
    By The Sports Xchange

    UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Nobody has to explain to Charles Wang how Long Island will have a hard time letting go of its lone major professional sports team next spring.

    • Wang, the longest-tenured owner in the often chaotic 42-year history of the National Hockey League's New York Islanders, officially began the process of weaning himself from his hometown team earlier this month, when he sold the Islanders to the duo of Jon Ledecky and Scott Malkin for a reported $485 million.

      Ledecky and Martin, who appeared with Wang and general manager Garth Snow at a press conference in the basement of aging Nassau Coliseum on Wednesday, will hold a minority stake in the team through the end of the 2015-16 season, the Islanders' first at Brooklyn's Barclays Center. They will then take over majority control for 2016-17, with Wang remaining a minority owner.

      It's an unusual arrangement, to be sure. But as much as being the Islanders' owner has frustrated Wang since he purchased the team with former partner Sanjay Kumar in 2000, he couldn't bear the thought of completely letting go.

      "I wanted to stay on in some way, to help," Wang said following the press conference. "Because this is the Islanders. It's my baby, in many ways. Grew up a little differently than I thought, but that's OK, because it's still the Islanders."

      Wang's last sentence may as well be the rallying cry for the thousands of loyal fans that have continued to root for a long-suffering franchise 31 years removed from the last of its four straight Stanley Cups and 21 years removed from its last playoff series win.

      Since the unlikely run to the Wales Conference finals in 1993, the Islanders have had four owners, including one, John Spano, who ended up in jail when it was revealed he didn't have the money to buy the team.

      They have had four general managers, including Neil Smith, who was fired 42 days after he was hired and long before the Islanders could play a game under his watch. They have had 13 different head coaches, including former general manager Mike Milbury, who coached the team twice.

      Through it all, Nassau and Suffolk County residents have continued to take pride in the Islanders and their unique status as a suburban-based franchise that embraces its locale. In addition to the geographically accurate nickname, the "I" in the Islanders logo is where Nassau Coliseum falls on the Long Island map.

      "I think the following and the passion for the fans and the connection to the community has to be one of the best around the league," Islanders center and captain John Tavares said. "You really do feel like just a part of the people. And I think the people feel really proud of having their own team and having that kind of connection as Long Islanders."

      Thousands of fans turned out Oct. 6, when the Islanders hosted a meet-and-greet for season ticket holders at Adventureland, an amusement park tucked in between big box stores and business parks.

      "There's fans that I've seen more than a couple times and some people that you recognize and you kind of build a little bit of a relationship up with," Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic said.

      Hamonic then greeted a pre-teen girl on crutches who hobbled up to him for a picture.

      "What happened to your foot? You hurt it?" Hamonic said.

      "It happened in ballet but we're telling everyone it's a hockey injury," the girl's father said.

      "Ouch, be careful," Hamonic said.

      Among the people strolling around Adventurerland on Oct. 6 was Wang, a Long Islander since he emigrated from China with his family as an eight-year-old in 1952.

      In 2000, Wang said he embraced the challenges of trying to turn around the Islanders and getting a new arena built -- tasks that his predecessors had tried and failed to achieve since 1986, when then-owner John Pickett declared the Coliseum outdated just three years after the Islanders completed their dynastic run.

      "We love it when people say it's impossible," Wang said at his introductory press conference. "That's what drives us. Just watch us."

      But the same treacherous political climate that kept Nassau Coliseum in various stages of limbo for 10 years before it opened remains well into the 21st century.

      In August 2011, Nassau County residents resoundingly voted against a $400 million proposal to renovate the Coliseum and build an adjacent minor league ballpark. Fourteen months later, Wang announced the Islanders would move to Barclays Center once their Nassau Coliseum lease expires.

      "It was a little bit of hell, but we all lived through it," Wang said. "It's OK. It wasn't like we went in there blind. We knew it was hard. It didn't work. Now let's move on."

      The Islanders will retain their nickname upon moving on to Brooklyn, which is technically part of Long Island. But as any proud Islander will tell you, there's a world of difference between the five boroughs and Nassau and Suffolk Counties.

      And once the Islanders' season ends -- a rebuilt roster is off to a 4-2-0 start, which has the locals hoping for one more playoff run at the boisterous Coliseum -- the more than 2.8 million people in Nassau and Suffolk will no longer have a professional sports team to call their own, even though Long Island has a larger population than multi-team metro areas such as Tampa, Baltimore and Pittsburgh.

      The task of trying to replicate in Brooklyn what the Islanders had in the suburbs will fall to the new owners. Ledecky, in particular, sounded Wednesday as if he realized the scope of the challenge that awaits management less than 30 miles to the west.

      "I think that a team is the fabric of a community," Ledecky said. "You can do things through a sports team that are difficult to do otherwise. There's so much that a team can do to forward the community's agenda. It's a place where fans of all different economic strata can get together and come together.

      "In the world of the Internet, we're instantly connected with each other, but we're not connected in a community. I think coming to Nassau Coliseum, you get the real sense of what the community is here."

      Whatever the new Islanders community is, Wang will be a part of it -- even if it seems part of him still wishes he could have found a way to make it work on Long Island.

      "A lot of things, maybe we would have done differently could have done differently," Wang said. "But the would haves, the could haves and the should haves shouldn't govern our lives, right?"

  • Thursday, October 23, 2014
    Perry hat trick leads Ducks past Sabres
    By The Sports Xchange

    ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The Anaheim Ducks and Buffalo Sabres continued moving swiftly in opposite directions.

    • On Wednesday, the Ducks earned a 4-1 win over the Sabres with 16,067 on hand at Honda Center.

      Anaheim won its sixth consecutive game since dropping its season opener while Buffalo lost its third straight since its first victory of the season, a 4-3 overtime win against Carolina on Oct. 14.

      "It's all a feeling-out process at the start of the season," right winger Corey Perry said. "The team that can come together the quickest is going to get off to the best start and that's what we're trying to do."

      The Ducks' top players dominated the game as center Ryan Getzlaf assisted on two of Perry's three goals. Perry added a third goal into the empty net for his eighth tally of the season. The duo leads the Ducks in points with 10 apiece and Perry's second hat trick of the season moved him into a tie with the Rangers' Rick Nash for the league lead in goals.

      "When you're a natural goal-scorer like he is, the puck follows you and good things happen," Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau said.

      Goalie Frederik Andersen nearly recorded his second straight shutout. He had not allowed a goal in nearly 153 minutes on ice dating back to Friday's victory over Minnesota before he gave up a goal to Buffalo forward Tyler Ennis with 5:06 to play Wednesday.

      "It's huge when you put a guy back there and he's making saves like he's making," Perry said. "On 2-on-0s and some of the stuff that we're giving up, it relieves a lot of pressure."

      Perry opened the scoring 8:50 into the game. A touch pass from center Getzlaf sprung him for a partial breakaway that he finished to the far side past Sabres goaltender Michal Neuvirth's stick.

      Later in the period, Anaheim would pin the Sabres down in their zone for three full shifts, although they were unable to add another goal.

      In the second period, following another stretch of sustained pressure, the Ducks regrouped to score off the rush on their next possession. Right winger Andrew Cogliano's drop pass set up center Ryan Kesler, who trailed the play and finished it with a rising wrist shot 9:20 into the middle frame. Kesler now has three goals and six points in his first campaign with Anaheim.

      "It's a great addition to our team. When you have depth and scoring on all four lines, you're going to pin some teams in and really go after them," Perry said.

      Seconds later, Sabres defenseman Andrej Meszaros dinged the post to the left of Andersen, one of a handful of near misses for Buffalo.

      Center Zemgus Girgensons had a sterling chance nullified by the lunging left pad of Andersen early in the second period. Andersen's right pad denied a pivoting backhand bid from Ennis in the first stanza. The Danish netminder also reached behind him to snag a puck on the goal line earlier in the first period when right winger Drew Stafford nearly scored on a breakaway which came off defenseman Mark Fistric's turnover.

      "You have to give Andersen credit, that's why he's one of the stars of the game here tonight," said Buffalo coach Ted Nolan, who was more satisfied with his team's effort than in their 5-1 loss to Anaheim in Buffalo on Oct. 13.

      "We had our chances, we just didn't bury them," Nolan said.

      Buffalo got on the scoreboard with just over five minutes to play. Anaheim center Nate Thompson turned the puck over in the corner of the Ducks zone to left winger Matt Moulson. Moulson put the puck on net and Ennis swooped in to score on the rebound.

      "The goal got us right back in the game," Ennis said. "It felt good but then we got back down 3-1. It's tough, but there are positives to take away from tonight."

      Boudreau was critical of the Ducks' carelessness in their own zone as they coughed up the puck repeatedly in dangerous situations.

      "With the giveaways we had tonight, if this were the Chicago Blackhawks, the score wouldn't have been 4-1 for us," Boudreau said.

      Anaheim quelled any aspirations of a Buffalo comeback with 2:43 to play when Getzlaf dished the puck to Perry for a one-timer from just inside the blue line.

      With 1:25 to play, Perry completed his hat trick with an empty-net goal.

      NOTES: G Frederik Andersen became the first goalie in NHL history to win 26 of his first 31 career decisions. ... D Bryan Allen (lower body), LW Dany Heatley (groin) and RW Kyle Palmieri (ankle) each missed their seventh straight game for Anaheim, while LW Patrick Maroon (knee) missed his fourth consecutive contest. ... D Mark Fistric dressed in place of D Clayton Stoner for the Ducks. ... No. 2 overall draft selection C Sam Reinhart was inserted into the Buffalo lineup in place of C Brian Flynn. ... Sabres RW Patrick Kaleta has yet to make his season debut because of a facial injury.

  • Thursday, October 23, 2014
    Scrivens, Oilers hang on to beat Capitals
    By The Sports Xchange

    EDMONTON, Alberta -- The Washington Capitals outplayed the Edmonton Oilers so badly in stretches Wednesday night it should have counted for two wins, never mind one.

    • However, since the NHL only cares about final scores, the Capitals left Edmonton with nothing.

      Despite outshooting the Oilers 23-10 over the final 40 minutes (including 12-1 through the first 10 minutes of a third-period siege), the Capitals dropped a 3-2 decision to goaltender Ben Scrivens and the bullet-dodging Oilers.

      "(Scrivens) was unbelievable," said Edmonton defenseman Justin Schultz as the 2-4-1 Oilers savored their second consecutive victory. "It wasn't our best effort tonight, that's for sure, a little sloppy in the third period, but we found a way to hold on and get the two points, and that's all that matters in this league."

      Which is unfortunate for a Capitals team that insists it deserved better.

      "For the last two periods we played great," Washington center Marcus Johansson said. "We had enough chances to score, we just didn't bury them. It is the small details that can cost you a game, and tonight it did. It was a tough one to lose, but that's hockey sometimes."

      The Capitals (3-1-2) took their first regulation loss of the season.

      "We did a lot of good things, we just didn't seem to be able to get a bounce," said Capitals goalie Braden Holtby. "Our team played well enough to get a win. In the end, they won a goaltending battle. Their second goal had no business going in and that was the difference in the game."

      The Oilers opened the scoring for the first time in three games when Schultz pinched in from the point at 6:53 and buried a one-timer made possible by a pass from right winger Ted Purcell, who had two assists for 22 points in 23 career games against Washington.

      The Capitals tied it at 1 five minutes later on the power play, when defenseman John Carlson stepped in from the point and ripped a slap shot that Scrivens had no chance on.

      Scrivens, coming off a pair of great starts, made several big saves to keep it 1-1 after 20 minutes.

      The Capitals scored first in the second period, on a wrist shot from defenseman Mike Green that went through a little traffic at 4:50. But the Oilers needed just 20 seconds to tie it back up. Center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored his second goal in as many games, picking the far corner on Holtby.

      "It just shows that we have a lot more confidence this year," said Nugent-Hopkins. "In the past couple of years, those types of situations deflated our bench. But these guys don't have to say much on the bench, it's an automatic reaction that we're going to go out there and get that next one."

      The Oilers took back the lead on a power play of their own when defenseman Nikita Nikitin scored his first goal as an Oiler, threading the needle with a slap shot at 16:08 to make it 3-2.

      Despite furious attempts to net the equalizer, the Capitals couldn't solve Scrivens.

      "I thought we played well enough to win, but I don't think we managed the situations," said Capitals coach Barry Trotz. "We had the lead and the momentum and then the next shift we give up a goal and give them the momentum back.

      "They had a little bit of fortune and we couldn't find the back of the net. We dictated much of the play in the second and third. They just came out ahead. They had a group that was blocking shots and doing all those things and we couldn't find the back of the net."

      NOTES: After giving up 14 goals on 70 shots in his first three appearances, Oilers G Ben Scrivens stopped 82 of the last 87. ... The Capitals made the first stop on a three-game Western road swing. ... Washington C Brooks Laich is out with a shoulder injury and didn't make the trip. ... RW Nail Yakupov began the night averaging 12:46 of ice time per game, which ranked 19th out of 20 Oilers with two or more games. ... The Capitals' fourth line of LW Chris Brown, C Evgeny Kuznetsov and RW Liam O'Brien has a combined total of 50 NHL games after Wednesday. ... Oilers D Mark Fayne needs one more game for 250 in his NHL career. ... Wednesday was the seventh game on Oilers rookie C Leon Draisaitl's nine-game NHL audition. If he plays Game No. 10 instead of returning to junior hockey, 2014-15 counts as the first year of his contract.

  • Thursday, October 23, 2014
    NHL game roundup: Flyers feel at home in Pittsburgh
    By The Sports Xchange

    PITTSBURGH -- The Philadelphia Flyers have felt at home at Pittsburgh's Consol Energy Center since the building opened in 2010.

    • Their latest visit to the Steel City proved no different, only this time the struggling Flyers got a boost from a hometown guy for the latest road win against their rivals. Matt Read and Pittsburgh native R.J. Umberger scored third-period goals, carrying the Flyers past the Penguins 5-3 Wednesday in Pittsburgh.

      Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, Mark Streit and Sean Couturier also scored for Philadelphia while Nick Spaling, Pascal Dupuis and Marcel Goc scored for Pittsburgh.

      Oilers 3, Capitals 2

      EDMONTON, Alberta -- Ben Scrivens was sensational, making 32 saves to preserve Edmonton's victory over Washington.

      The Captials suffered their first regulation loss of the season.

      Justin Schultz, Nikita Nikitin and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored for Edmonton while John Carlson and Mike Green scored for Washington.

      Ducks 4, Sabres 1

      ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry dominated as Anaheim topped Buffalo

      The duo leads the Ducks in points with 10 and Perry scored a hat trick to move him into a tie with the Rangers' Rick Nash for the league lead in goals.

      Ryan Kesler also scored for Anaheim while Getzlaf added two assists. Tyler Ennis scored the lone goal for Buffalo.

  • Thursday, October 23, 2014
    Flyers make themselves at home in Pittsburgh again
    By The Sports Xchange

    PITTSBURGH -- The Philadelphia Flyers have always felt at home at Pittsburgh's Consol Energy Center since the building opened in 2010.

    • Their latest visit to the Steel City proved no different, only this time the struggling Flyers got a boost from a hometown guy for the latest road win against their rivals.

      Matt Read and Pittsburgh native R.J. Umberger scored third-period goals, carrying the Flyers past the Penguins 5-3 during a nationally-televised game between the rivals Wednesday in Pittsburgh.

      "Coming in here tonight and beating a good team on their ice to finish off a road trip, to me it shows a lot of character," said Umberger, who grew up 20 minutes East of Pittsburgh.

      Center Umberger and right winger Read netted their first of the season, while left winger Pierre-Edouard Bellemare scored the first goal of his career for Philadelphia, which completed a three-game road trip with two wins.

      "You're not happy about certain things, but you look at the big picture and we got two wins on the road, so we'll take it and go home," said Flyers' coach Craig Berube.

      Defenseman Mark Streit scored his second for the Flyers, who avoided their sixth loss in seven games, winning for the fifth straight time in Pittsburgh. Center Sean Couturier added an empty-netter and two assists, while right wingers Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek both added a pair of helpers for Philadelphia, which is 10-1-1 in 12 regular-season games at Consol Energy Center, winning 12 of 15 overall, including playoffs.

      "I think playing against the Penguins, it's no secret we have a good rivalry," Flyers' goaltender Ray Emery said. "The elite players they have on their team is easy for guys to get up against. It's a good measuring stick playing against guys like (Evgeni) Malkin and (Sidney) Crosby."

      Center Nick Spaling scored his first for the Penguins, who failed to score a power-play goal for the first time in five games. Right winger Pascal Dupuis and center Marcel Goc also scored for Pittsburgh, which plays seven of its next 10 away from home.

      "Our second period wasn't good," Penguins center Sidney Crosby said. "We still found a way to get ourselves back in the game, but we didn't set ourselves up for the third the way we wanted. We had a bad third period."

      Emery stopped 22 shot for the Flyers, holding off a late charge after Pittsburgh pulled within a goal. Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury made 28 saves in defeat.

      About seven minutes into the third period, officials reviewed forward Malkin's shot that hit Emery's pad, but never crossed the goal-line.

      Seconds later, Umberger gave the Flyers the lead off the rush when he one-timed Giroux's saucer pass past Fleury.

      Read gave the Flyers a two-goal lead two minutes later. He took a pass from Couturier on the rush and switched to his backhand to avoid Fleury's diving pokecheck, making it 4-2 from the top of the crease.

      Goc scored with less than three minutes left, finishing a give-and-go from Spaling to cut the Flyers' lead to a goal, but it wasn't enough.

      "I think it was one of those games where their energy caught fire and ours took a step back," Penguins' coach Mike Johnston said.

      Slow starts have been the norm for Philadelphia this season, but not on Wednesday. The Flyers, who allowed nine first-period goals in seven games, including three in a 4-0 loss against Chicago on Tuesday, held a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes on goals from Streit and Bellemare.

      Pittsburgh, however, opened the scoring less than four minutes into the game and seven seconds after an early power-play expired.

      Spaling grabbed defenseman Christian Ehrhoff's blocked attempt at the left faceoff dot and fired a shot that beat Emery on the blocker side.

      Philadelphia got it back a little more than five minutes later, tying the game on Streit's twice-deflected blast from the right point that got past Fleury.

      The Flyers took the lead 14 seconds after a Penguins' power play expired as Bellemare re-directed Couturier's shot over Fleury's glove during a three-on-one.

      Pittsburgh tied it nine minutes into the second when defenseman Paul Martin's shot from the point, following Malkin's faceoff win, deflected off Dupuis and in.

      "We played back-to-back games, but we felt like, after the second period, they were the ones who were tired," Umberger said. "We jumped on them in the third."

      NOTES: Philadelphia's scratches were D Braydon Coburn (lower body), C Vincent Lecavalier (lower body) and C Blair Jones. Pittsburgh sat D Robert Bortuzzo (lower body), D Scott Harrington and C Andrew Ebbett. ... The Canadian national anthem was played along with the U.S. national anthem prior to the game as a gesture acknowledging the tragedy in Ottawa. ... The Penguins wore their third jersey for the first time, a throwback to black and yellow-gold color scheme from when they won their first two Stanley Cups in 1991 and '92. ... Flyers C Brayden Schenn is a game shy of 200 for his career. ... The Flyers won the season series against the Penguins three of the past four years.

  • Wednesday, October 22, 2014
    Caps' Erskine has neck surgery
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Washington Capitals placed defenseman John Erskine on injured reserve Wednesday after surgery to repair a disk in his neck.

    • The team said Erskine is scheduled to rehabilitation in the next few weeks, but there was no indication when he might return. He has not played this season.

      The 6-foot-4 Erskine entered the NHL during the 2001-02 season and has played for three teams. He has spent the last nine seasons with the Capitals and is in the final year of a two-year, $3.925 million contract.

      The 34-year-old has 15 career goals, 39 assists and 865 penalty minutes in 491 career games.

  • Wednesday, October 22, 2014
    NHL roundup: Senators-Leafs postponed after shootings
    By The Sports Xchange

    The NHL postponed the game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators after a series of shootings in downtown Ottawa on Wednesday.

    • The shootings resulted in the death of a Canadian soldier who was stationed at the National War Memorial and a gunman at Parliament Hill's Centre Block, according to Ottawa police officials.

      The Leafs were scheduled to play the Senators on Wednesday night at Canadian Tire Centre in nearby Kanata, Ontario. The date and time of the rescheduled game will be announced at a later date.

      The Maple Leafs were on lockdown at the team's hotel in downtown Ottawa, a team representative confirmed to ESPN.com.

      ---Forward Charlie Coyle and the Minnesota Wild reached agreement Wednesday in a five-year contract extension reported to be worth $16 million.

      The 22-year-old Coyle has one goal, one assist, a plus-3 rating and 10 penalty minutes in four games this season.

      In 111 career games with the Wild, Coyle has 46 points (21 goals, 25 assists) and 71 penalty minutes. Last season, he collected 30 points in 70 games.

      ---The New York Islanders placed forward Mikhail Grabovski on injured reserve retroactive to Oct. 16 and waived forward Colin McDonald on Wednesday.

      Grabovski, 30, sustained a concussion in a victory against the San Jose Sharks on Oct. 16. He would be eligible to return to the ice Friday. Grabovski has two goals and three points in four games this season.

      In two games this season, McDonald had three shots on goal. He had been a healthy scratch in the first four games. The 30-year-old has 16 goals and 36 points in 124 games with the Edmonton Oilers, Pittsburgh Penguins and Islanders.

  • Wednesday, October 22, 2014
    Wild's Coyle receives five-year extension
    By The Sports Xchange

    Forward Charlie Coyle and the Minnesota Wild reached agreement Wednesday in a five-year contract extension, the team announced.

    • Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed by the team, but the deal was worth a reported $16 million with an annual average of $3.2 million.

      The 22-year-old Coyle has one goal, one assist, a plus-3 rating and 10 penalty minutes in four games this season.

      In 111 career games with the Wild, Coyle has 46 points (21 goals, 25 assists) and 71 penalty minutes. Last season, he collected 30 points in 70 games.

      "We're very excited to get Charlie Coyle signed through the 2019-20 season," Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher said. "Charlie's size, overall skill set and character give him a chance to emerge as a top power forward in the game and we're happy he will be doing that in the 'State of Hockey' for years to come."

      Coyle, a former first-round draft pick, came to the Wild in a deal with the San Jose Sharks that included Devin Setoguchi and a 2011 first-round selection (Zack Phillips) in exchange for Brent Burns and a 2012 second-round selection (Pontus Aberg) in June 2011.

  • Wednesday, October 22, 2014
    Leafs-Sens game postponed after Ottawa shootings
    By The Sports Xchange

    The NHL postponed the game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators after a series of shootings in downtown Ottawa on Wednesday.

    • The shootings resulted in the death of a Canadian soldier who was stationed at the National War Memorial and a gunman at Parliament Hill's Centre Block, according to Ottawa police officials.

      "The National Hockey League wishes to express its sympathy and prayers to all affected by the tragic events in Ottawa," the league said in a statement.

      The Leafs were scheduled to play the Senators on Wednesday night at Canadian Tire Centre in nearby Kanata, Ontario. The date and time of the rescheduled game will be announced at a later date.

      "We are shocked and deeply saddened by today's tragic events on Parliament Hill and in downtown Ottawa," Senators owner Eugene Melnyk said in a statement. "Our collective thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims as well as with all Members of Parliament and staff who have had to manage through today's difficult circumstances. Hockey is certainly secondary to these type of tragic events and we know our fans stand alongside us with the league's decision to postpone tonight's game."

      The Maple Leafs were on lockdown at the team's hotel in downtown Ottawa, a team representative confirmed to ESPN.com.

      "The Toronto Maple Leaf Hockey Club extends its deepest condolences to the family and friends of all affected by the tragic events in downtown Ottawa today," the team said in a statement. "The club supports the National Hockey League's decision to postpone tonight's scheduled meeting with the Ottawa Senators. We have been witness today to some terrible events but are thankful to those brave men and women for their tireless service in protecting everyone's safety."

      Maple Leafs forward Joffrey Lupul described the scene on Twitter:

      "Surreal scene outside of our hotel right now. Lot of very brave police officers we should all be very proud of."

  • Wednesday, October 22, 2014
    Isles' Grabovski on IR; McDonald waived
    By The Sports Xchange

    The New York Islanders placed forward Mikhail Grabovski on injured reserve retroactive to Oct. 16 and waived forward Colin McDonald on Wednesday.

    • Grabovski, 30, sustained a concussion in a victory against the San Jose Sharks on Oct. 16. He would be eligible to return to the ice Friday. Grabovski has two goals and three points in four games this season.

      In two games this season McDonald had three shots on goal. He had been a healthy scratch in the first four games.

      McDonald, 30, has 16 goals and 36 points in 124 games with the Edmonton Oilers, Pittsburgh Penguins and Islanders.

  • Wednesday, October 22, 2014
    Palat makes amends with OT winner for Lightning
    By The Sports Xchange

    CALGARY, Alberta -- Tampa Bay Lightning left winger Ondrej Palat blamed himself for Monday's loss.

    • He quickly made amends.

      Palat buried the game-winner in Tuesday's 2-1 overtime triumph over the Calgary Flames, a nice way to erase the memories of a giveaway that had cost the Lightning a point only 24 hours earlier in Edmonton.

      "I knew I owed the team something -- a goal or a game-winning goal ... something," Palat said. "I'm really happy I could score for the guys."

      He might owe a thank-you to Lightning center Valtteri Filppula for setting the stage for his overtime heroics.

      The Lightning (4-2-1) were in danger of being swept in a two-games-in-two-nights swing through Alberta, but Filppula scored from inside the blue paint with just 2:16 remaining Tuesday to tie it up and spoil Karri Ramo's shutout bid.

      Palat would seal the victory with just two minutes to go in the extra period, sliding a backhander behind Ramo after Anton Stralman's initial shot.

      "I think he's such an unnoticed player in this league, but so good," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said of Palat. "I don't know if there'd be a coach in the league that would sit here and not want to take an Ondrej Palat or have a guy like that on his team. He earns his breaks, and he deserved that one tonight."

      Down the hall, the Flames (4-3-1) felt like they deserved Tuesday's win, too.

      "I think we played solidly," said Flames defenseman Dennis Wideman, who had the lone goal for the hosts. "We got great goaltending again. We had the lead, we just couldn't stretch it and get the insurance goal. Then we had a little breakdown late, and against a team like that, you have that one breakdown and they make you pay.

      "We ended up getting the point. It's unfortunate we didn't get the two, but it's a lesson learned for us."

      Most of the sellout crowd of 19,289 at the Scotiabank Saddledome likely headed home Tuesday talking about Flames rookie left winger Johnny Gaudreau, the 2014 Hobey Baker Award winner who split two defensemen before setting up Wideman for a power-play goal early in the third period of Tuesday's loss to the Lightning.

      The 21-year-old Gaudreau, who was a fourth-round selection of the Flames in the 2011 draft and starred for three seasons at Boston College, was a healthy scratch last Friday in Columbus but has a goal and two assists in a pair of games since his one-game sit-down.

      "I think we all knew Johnny could be a great gamebreaker. That's no secret," Wideman said. "Whenever he has the puck in the offensive zone, he can control the play and control the game. He made a great play on that goal, but the end result is we didn't get what we wanted."

      It seemed that Wideman's tally -- his third in a span of four games -- would stand up as the winner, but Ramo didn't get all of defenseman Jason Garrison's shot from the blueline and Filppula had an easy finish from inside the crease.

      Ramo robbed Lightning rookie Jonathan Drouin in overtime but couldn't stop Palat. It was still a nice night for Drouin, who had his first NHL point with an assist on Filppula's goal.

      "Maybe it's not the right time to get my first (goal)," Drouin said. "It was nice for (Palat) to cover that for me. It was an unbelievable save by Ramo. I thought I had him. He made a great save."

      Lightning goalie Evgeni Nabokov made 21 saves, while Ramo made 20 stops at the other end.

      The Flames continue their five-game homestand Thursday, when they welcome the Carolina Hurricanes to the Scotiabank Saddledome. The next stop for the Lightning on their western swing is Friday's date with the Winnipeg Jets.

      NOTES: Lightning RW Ryan Callahan missed a second consecutive game due to a lower-body injury. Coach Jon Cooper said the first-line forward is week-to-week. Tampa Bay also was without D Radko Gudas (lower body), D Victor Hedman (finger) and C Alex Killorn (upper-body). ... Flames D Deryk Engelland returned to the lineup after missing three games with a lower-body issue, while RW Josh Jooris made his second NHL appearance after a one-game absence due to an upper-body ailment. Flames RW David Jones (upper-body) is skating but remains out. ... Tampa Bay recalled LW Mike Blunden from AHL Syracuse. The 27-year-old, already with 102 games of NHL experience, made his Lightning debut against the Flames.