Friday, September 26, 2014

Last Night's Preseason Performers (Sep 26)

The Philadelphia Flyers seem to be ready to roll this year, as they topped the New Jersey Devils at home, 4-0, on Thursday night. The Flyers got off to a slow start this season, but with some reasonable output tonight, they look to be well on their way to avoid that this time around.

Rookie forward Scott Laughton had a goal and 2 assists to lead the way, while Jakub Voracek had a pair of assists to help out.

The Flyers have some space on their projected roster and Laughton was one of the favourites going in to fill one of those gaps.  A 3-point night tonight may have just earned him a small boost in his projections.

It was overtime in Pittsburgh, as the Penguins topped the Wild in action on Thursday night. The Penguins still working without a number of their big stars, seem to be managing just fine through the preseason schedule, winning 3-2 in the extra frame.

Brandon Sutter scored a pair of goals, including the overtime winner, while Simon Despres added a pair of assists from the blueline.  Both players are expected to be part of the opening night line-up for the Pens.

The Blackhawks and Red Wings didn't get started on time on Thursday, as the Blackhawks had airplane troubles heading to Detroit, so there was a slight delay getting started.  The home team didn't seem to mind, as they came away with a 3-2 win over the tardy visitors.

Potential Wings rookie Tomas Nosek had a goal and an assist in the win, as did another rookie Andrej Nestrasil and veteran forward Justin Abdelkader had a couple of assists.  Jimmy Howard also got the complete game on Thursday, making 26 saves for the win.

With Pavel Datsyuk hurt, potential rookie Anthony Mantha hurt and potential for more injuries, there are always spots open with the Red Wings, so Nosek and Nestrasil did well to get their names to the forefront for the discussion.

It's the closest we'll come to the Battle of Quebec at the moment, but we may not be waiting too much longer, if the these expansion conspiracies have their way. The Colorado Avalanche, formerly the Nordiques, were in Montreal to face the Canadiens and the battle was so important to them, they played a little bit more, going to overtime in this one.

In the end, the battle was won by the team still in Quebec, as the Habs won 3-2 in the extra frame, keeping bragging rights in the province.  P.K. Subban had a piece of every goal, scoring one and adding a couple helpers for a 3-point night, leading the way.

Last year's Calder Trophy winner, Nathan MacKinnon, was not to be outdone, picking up a couple helpers of his own on the night.  The sophomore jinx doesn't appear to gripping him yet.

The Nashville Predators celebrated the re-signing of defenseman Ryan Ellis with a 1-0 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning, but in doing so, didn't make any new friends on the blog.  The goaltending performance was split and there are no bonus points for game-winners, so we're stuck with a great big naught on the board.

How the heck am I going to fill space for this game?

No shortage of goals in St. Louis, as ex-Central Division foes went head-to-head in the preseason, watching the Blue Jackets hold on for a 5-4 win over the Blues.

The Blue Jackets received contributions from Mark Letestu (goal & assist), Simon Hjalmarsson (2 assists) and Marko Dano (2 assists) in the offensive category.  Hjalmarsson and Dano are vying for a number of spots in the forward ranks, with Ryan Johansen unsigned and Nathan Horton nowhere near physically ready.

The Blues saw contributions of their own from forward Vladimir Tarasenko and defenseman Ian Cole, with a pair of goals and assists, respectively.

In Calgary, it was the start of back-to-back nights for the training camps of the Flames and the Canucks and it was the visitors that had the answers in night number one. The Flames outshot the Canucks, but the Canucks led where it counted, 3-1 on the scoreboard.

Hunter Shinkaruk makes another appearance on these posts with a goal and an assist for the visitors, while another newcomer Nick Bonino had a couple of assists to help lead the way.

Shinkaruk is battling hard for one of the remaining spots on the roster, while Bonino should be on the 2nd line, if all things go to plan.  The Canucks are benefiting well from their newcomers in this preseason, so far.

Finally, it was another Pacific Division encounter, as the Anaheim Ducks invaded Los Angeles to take on the Kings and it was the hometown team that came out ahead, 4-3 in the shootout.

Projected back-up Martin Jones played the whole game for the Kings, stopping 25 pucks in regulation and overtime, then stopped two of three in the shootout for the outright win.  Kings forward Tyler Toffoli was the only other player to get multiple points, scoring a goal and an assist in the contest.

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