Ottawa Senators defenseman Jared Cowen needs a time out.
His elbow that concussed Pavel Datsyuk last month was seen by the NHL Department of Player Safety as “a natural reflex for a defenseman” and not a “predator-like elbow.” Essentially, they gave Cowen the benefit of the doubt on a play that injured one of the Red Wings’ star players.
Cowen squandered that reprieve on Tuesday night against the Buffalo Sabres, with a head shot on Buffalo Sabres center Zemgus Girgensons in the third period. Girgensons remained in the game, and there wasn’t a penalty, but Cowen has a Department of Player Safety hearing on Wednesday for this hit (found at 1:15 of the following video, via Kukla’s Korner):
No question that the head is the principle point of contact there.
Meanwhile, the NHL will also have a hearing for Richard Panik of the Tampa Bay Lightning, for crushing Washington Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner along the boards in the Caps’ shootout win. He was given a 5-minute major:
Rather blatant, rather reckless, given Alzner’s distance from the boards.
We’d expect this one to earn Panik two games, as that’s been the going rate for boarding calls. As for Cowen, no less than three games would be a surprise, given the warning we imagine he received after the Datsyuk “reflex.”
No. 1 Star: Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals
Ovechkin finished just about halfway to an Ovechtrick versus the Tampa Bay Lightning, scoring a whopping four goals in the Capitals 6-5 shootout win. Nicklas Backstrom was in on all 5 Capitals' goals, scoring one himself and adding 4 assists. We already shared Ovi's fourth, so here's the hat trick goal:
No. 2 Star: Martin Jones, Los Angeles Kings
The Kings haven't allowed a first-period goal since November 2nd, but they didn't allow a second or third-period goal either in their 6-0 rout of the Montreal Canadiens. Jones made 31 saves for the shutout, his second in a row.
No. 3 Star: Brandon Dubinsky, Columbus Blue Jackets
Dubinsky had a four-point night in the Jackets' 5-4 win over the New Jersey Devils, but after Ovechkin's four-goal game, one goal and 3 assists is like yawn.
Honorable mention: It took 10 shootout rounds, but the Buffalo Sabres got past the Ottawa Senators, 2-1… Rich Clune scored his first of the season as the Nashville Predators beat the New York Rangers, 4-1… The Florida Panthers stormed back from down two versus the Detroit Red Wings to win 3-2 in a shootout… Kevin Shattenkirk scored the powerplay winner as the St. Louis Blues edged the Winnipeg Jets, 2-1… Patrick Sharp scored twice in the Chicago Blackhawks' 6-2 drubbing of the Dallas Stars. His first goal came on an incredible pass from Duncan Keith:
… The Boston Bruins scored twice in the final 7 minutes to come from behind and beat the Calgary Flames 2-1, spoiling Jarome Iginla night… After squandering a three-goal lead versus the Carolina Hurricanes, Jordan Eberle's powerplay goal gave the Edmonton Oilers a 5-4 win and saved the night... … Antoine Vermette scored twice as the Phoenix Coyotes beat the Colorado Avalanche, 3-1. Check out Patrick Roy on Vermette's second:
A lot happened Tuesday night, but Roy's Hulk-mad reaction juxtaposed with another classic Mike Haynes no-sell may be my favourite moment of the evening.
Did You Know? The New York Islanders finally ended their 10-game losing streak, coming from behind to beat the San Jose Sharks 3-2 in a shootout.
Dishonorable mention: Come on, Florida… Carey Price was pulled after allowing 4 goals on 16 shots, but it wasn't really his fault. The Canadiens were bad, bad, bad in this one… The Flames just couldn't hold on to their one-goal lead versus the Bruins. And the night started so well… Fortunately, the Oilers blew an even bigger lead, I think in some sort of show of Albertan solidarity.
Despite outstanding even-strength play, the Lightning had no answer for Alex Ovechkin, who scored 4 goals (two on the power play) en route to a 6-5 win for Washington in the shootout.
Lightning general manager and legendary Detroit Red Wing captain Steve Yzerman told the Detroit Red Wings Tuesday that he would be playing in the 2013 Alumni Showdown against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Tampa Bay and Washington were rivals before realignment took place, but never to expect to see focus on that form the media. Alex Ovechkin is firing on all cylinders, but the Caps are leaving the door open for opponents in the form of shots-allowed.
We take a look behind the scenes at all the work that goes into honoring those recognized by the Tampa Bay Lightning's Community Heroes program.
Syracuse had four players score their first goals of the season, but still lose both games played.
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