Solid Week of NHL Action
TORONTO – The first week of the new National Hockey League season is in the record books.
Winnipeg Jets in Action Against LA Kings
The Winnipeg Jets dropped a game to the Los Angeles Kings over the weekend.
Toronto Maple Leafs Play New York Rangers
The New York Rangers spent the first part of the game celebrating their success of last season. Then the Rangers were left trying to figure out what they left behind from last season in a 6-3 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Phil Kessel, James van Riemsdyk and the Toronto Maple Leafs broke out of their scoring slumber with five goals in the second period against Henrik Lundqvist and spoiled the Rangers’ home opener.
“Obviously, there are things we need to work on, stated said Lundqvist, who watched the third period from the bench with a baseball cap on. “They’re a good team … we just made it a little too easy for them to score”.
The Rangers were outscored a combined 11-5 in a pair of weekend losses on consecutive days.
“We’ve got to look at each other here and look at our team and figure out what we need to do to be successful,” new captain Ryan McDonagh said. “When things aren’t going as well as we want them to, we have to learn to pull back and just simplify instead of trying to force too much”.
The NHL has named their first three stars of the week.
FIRST STAR – TOMAS PLEKANEC, C, MONTREAL CANADIENS
Plekanec tied for the League lead with four goals (4-1—5), helping the Canadiens pick up a trio of road wins to open the season with a 3-0-0 record for the first time since 2005-06. He began the season with two goals, including the game-winner with 42.9 seconds remaining in regulation, in a 4-3 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs Oct. 8. Plekanec then scored Montreal’s lone regulation goal in a 2-1 shootout win over the Washington Capitals Oct. 9. He closed the week with 1-1—2 in a 4-3 shootout victory over the Philadelphia Flyers Oct. 11, marking his first three-game goal streak since Oct. 25-29, 2010 (3-1—4). The 31-year-old Kladno, Czech Republic, native is playing in his 10th full NHL season and has compiled 180 264—444 over 682 regular-season games.
SECOND STAR – DARCY KUEMPER, G, MINNESOTA WILD
Kuemper stopped all 46 shots he faced in helping the Wild become the fifth team since 1943-44 to begin a season with consecutive shutouts (a feat also accomplished last week by the San Jose Sharks). He recorded 16 saves in a 5-0 triumph over the Colorado Avalanche Oct. 9 and then completed the home-and-home sweep with 30 stops in a 3-0 win Oct. 11. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the 24-year-old Saskatoon, Sask., native is the youngest goaltender in NHL history to post shutouts in each of his team’s first two games of a season. A sixth-round pick (161st overall) by the Wild in the 2009 NHL Draft, Kuemper has a 15-10-4 record with a 2.22 goals-against average, .919 save percentage and four shutouts in 34 career regular-season appearances.
THIRD STAR – SIDNEY CROSBY, C, PITTSBURGH PENGUINS
Crosby shared the League lead with six points (3-3—6) and four power-play points (2 2—4) in lifting the Penguins to a pair of victories to open the season. He posted 2-1—3 in a 6-4 win over the Anaheim Ducks Oct. 9, marking his third consecutive home opener with a goal and stretching his career totals in home openers to 7-6—13 (9 GP). Crosby then added 1-2—3 in a 5-2 triumph over the Toronto Maple Leafs Oct. 11. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he is the first Penguins player to record at least three points in each of the team’s first two games of a season since 1995-96, when Ron Francis, Jaromir Jagr and Mario Lemieux each did so. The reigning Hart and Art Ross Trophy winner, Crosby has compiled 277-498—775 in 552 regular-season games since being selected first overall by the Penguins in the 2005 NHL Draft.
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