Tuesday NHL scores, standings, highlights, fights: Rangers blow it, Kucherov stays hot
Here's what you might have missed across the NHL on Tuesday night
Miss any of Tuesday night's action across the NHL? Here are some notes, highlights and oddities from around the league.
It's been a nightmare start to the season for the New York Rangers and it didn't get much better on Tuesday night. After falling into an early 2-0 hole to the Penguins, the Rangers fought back and seized the lead about halfway through the third period. They took that one-goal lead into the final minute of regulation, but then Sidney Crosby happened.
That play right there is a pretty shining example of Crosby's hockey IQ at work. After a teammate makes a hand pass, Crosby recognizes that if he touches the puck first the play will be blown dead in the offensive zone. Instead, the Penguins' captain looks for body position and waits for a Rangers defender to touch the puck first, then Crosby immediately puts the puck towards net hoping good things will happen. Henrik Lundqvist sure helped him out with that one.
But the Rangers still had a chance to win it in ove---aaaaaand they gave it away.
That absolutely miserable turnover by Rangers' captain Ryan McDonagh put the game on a platter for Phil Kessel and Evgeni Malkin, who combined for an easy goal to seal the win. It capped off a tough night for McDonagh, who also served up this brutal turnover to Crosby earlier in the game, only to be bailed out by a great save by Lundqvist.
The Rangers are now 1-5-1 to start the season, putting them at the very bottom of the barrel in the Eastern Conference. Alain Vigneault might be running out of leash pretty soon.
Nikita Kucherov continues historic start
If it was somehow still a secret, it's not anymore: Nikita Kucherov is one of the NHL's most elite scorers in the game today. The 24-year-old Lightning forward can't stop putting the puck in the net, as he made it seven straight games with a goal to start the season on Tuesday night. That puts him in very elite company.
Speaking of making significant history...
The Golden Knights are still winning
Vegas got a bit of a scare on Tuesday night when the Golden Knights blew a three-goal lead in the final 10 minutes of regulation against the Sabres. Buffalo's Evander Kane showed off some sick hand-eye coordination to score the tying goal with less than 10 seconds remaining in the third period, forcing overtime.
But Vegas kept it together and ultimately redeemed themselves in OT thanks to a nice snipe from David Perron.
That win means the Golden Knights now sit alone atop the Western Conference with 10 points through the first six games of the season. They're also the first team to start an inaugural season 5-1-0 since the Montreal Canadiens did it 100 years ago in the NHL's very first year of existence.
Yes, Vegas' strength of competition hasn't been very tough to start the season. The Golden Knights have faced the Stars, the Coyotes twice, the Red Wings, Bruins and Sabres -- but what they've been able to accomplish through the first six games is still impressive for a team built via the expansion draft over the summer. They've also won the last two games with a goalie they acquired on waivers (Malcolm Subban). They've got a couple tough tests coming up as they get ready to face the Blues and Blackhawks next.
Now on to some other notables...
The best faceoff Valtteri Filppula ever lost
Flyers' center Valtteri Filppula scored in his third straight game on Tuesday night, though he didn't have to do much to get on the board. Filppula was credited with a goal after the Panthers' Nick Bjugstand won a faceoff cleanly and accidentally sent the puck back into his team's own empty net at the other end of the ice. Being rewarded for putting in minimal effort is the new American Dream, so congratulations to Filppula.
Goal of the night
While Filppula's goal may have been the most humorous of the night, there was nothing funny about this nasty goal scored by Nick Foligno in Winnipeg -- especially if you're the Jets. A costly turnover by Winnipeg gave Foligno the opportunity to stickhandle his way through the zone before tucking it home for a beauty. It certainly wasn't the most admirable display of defensive prowess by the Jets, but Foligno's puck control and calm under pressure is worth appreciating here.
Funniest fight of the night
Antoine Roussel and Luke Schenn dropped the gloves in Dallas, but there weren't a whole lot of punches landed in the tilt. Instead, the scrap ended up looking more like two guys attempting to power an invisible hand car down a railroad. Whiplash is better than CTE, I suppose.
Worst officiating of the night
Tampa Bay's Jake Dotchin got away with one late in Tuesday's matchup against the Devils in New Jersey. With the game tied 4-4 and only a few minutes left in regulation, Dotchin clocked Brian Gibbons right in the face as they battled near the Lightning net. It should have resulted in a roughing call that would have given the Devils a crucial power play, but there was no ref in position to make -- oh wait.
Yep, that's a whoopsies right there. This blown call would have hurt a lot more had the Devils not ultimately gone in to win in OT anyway.
Best officiating of the night
Only in Canada can you be declared a gentleman even as you're being punished for breaking the rules.
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