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Sport NHL Rink Wrap: Panthers, Sharks, Oilers stay unbeaten; Blackhawks booed off ice again
Capitals' Alex Ovechkin day-to-day, could play vs. Rangers
Washington Capitals superstar captain Alex Ovechkin suffered a lower-body injury in this past Friday's preseason matchup against the Philadelphia Flyers and missed practice on Sunday and Monday. © Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports According to Tom Gulitti of the NHL's website, Ovechkin is considered day-to-day but could be in the lineup for Wednesday's regular-season opener against the New York Rangers. "It's possible. I'm not sure," Capitals coach Peter Laviolette told reporters about the future Hall of Famer.
Top player from Thursday in the NHL
, Edmonton Oilers
Another night, another dominant performance from Connor McDavid.
He scored two goals (including his 200th career goal, which you can see below) and added an assist in the Oilers’ 5-1 win over the Arizona Coyotes to improve to 4-0 on the season.
With three more points McDavid now has 11 points in the first four games of the season. That comes out to a 225 point pace over 82 games. Is he going to maintain that? No. Well, probably not. But he did have 100-points in a 56-game season so nothing should be off the table with this guy right now offensively.
Which struggling NHL teams need to hit the panic button?
We take a look at five teams around the NHL that are off to slow starts and which ones should be hitting the panic button.This is the opposite end of that spectrum.
Highlights from Thursday in the NHL
Connor McDavid scored his 200th career goal on Thursday night, and it was a vintage McDavid goal where he just makes everybody else on the ice look slow.
. Of course he scored a goal.
The Blue Jackets are one of the early season surprises with wins in three of their first four games. That includes Thursday’s 3-2 overtime win against the New York Islanders that was ended with‘s second overtime goal of the season.
There were always going to be two important keys for Columbus to be competitive this season.
being great in goal (he has been). Also Laine having a bounce back season and playing like a star (he has so far). With Thursday’s goal he nows has two goals and three assists in Columbus’ first four games of the season.
Will Sharks send impressive rookie William Eklund back to Swedish league?
With three assists in four games, Eklund is showing flashes of potential and already demonstrating the value the Sharks got with a seventh overall selection. Yet Eklund was scratched Sunday for their first loss of the season against the Boston Bruins, allowing Alexander Barabanov to draw back into the lineup. Eklund’s spent the season playing on a line with Tomas Hertl and Rudolfs Balcers, but sits as a minus-3 with none of his points coming at even strength.
Three Takeaways from Thursday in the NHL
The Panthers are 4-0 and looking good
All aboard the Florida Panthers bandwagon, because tickets are going to go fast.
With their 4-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday, the Panthers are now 4-0 and looking like a strong contender in the early season. They are not only unbeaten through four games, they have beaten four really good teams in Pittsburgh, New York Islanders, Tampa Bay Lightning, and Colorado. They have not only beaten four quality teams, they have mostly carried the play against them, including Thursday against the Avalanche.
The key stat on Thursday: They heldto zero shots on goal.
This team is going to be a problem.
The Sharks win again
Don’t look now but the San Jose Sharks are 3-0 this season.
They spoiled‘s season debut in Ottawa on Thursday night with a 2-1 win that was highlighted by goals from and , as well as a 30-save effort from in goal. On one hand, the early season schedule has not been all that daunting just yet (games against Montreal and Ottawa are not a huge challenge), but they still managed to collect six out of a possible six points. Given how much the team has struggled in recent seasons and how bleak the outlook seemed at the start of the season, Sharks fans will definitely take that.
NHL Power Rankings: Panthers pounce on top spot behind play of Sergei Bobrovsky between pipes
Bobrovsky has stopped 94.3% of the shots he's faced through four gamesThe Toronto Maple Leafs already have their fans sweating, but the team hasn't had many bounces go their way. On the other hand, teams like the St. Louis Blues and the San Jose Sharks are riding high on unsustainable shooting percentages.
Blackhawks lose again, get booed off the ice again
This is getting ugly.
With their 4-1 loss to Vancouver on Thursday the Chicago Blackhawks are now 0-4-1 on the season.
They have yet to hold the lead in a single game all season.
They have been outscored 15-2 during 5-on-5 play.
In their two home games so far they have been booed off the ice at the end of each game. There is nothing else to say here.
Friday’s big story
It has to be, *checks notes*, the Buffalo Sabres?!
Yes, yes it does. The Sabres are looking to extend their season-opening winning streak to four games when they host the Boston Bruins.
The Sabres have been without question the biggest surprise this season as they have not only managed to win every game they have played so far, they have done it with a shell of an NHL roster that does currently include. Based on preseason expectations them winning three of their first 10 games probably would have been a shock.
Now, to be fair, there is some reason for skepticism here given the early schedule, and things do get dramatically tougher on Friday with a game against Boston. But it is a big opportunity for Buffalo to continue to open some eyes around the league.
Oilers top prospect Dmitri Samorukov medically cleared to return to AHL team
Once Samorukov is back up to game speed, the rookie defender seems primed to finally crack the Edmonton roster at some point this season. Samorukov, 22, was a third-round pick of the Oilers in 2017 out of the OHL and he continued to boost his prospect stock in the years following with continual improvement at the junior level. He turned pro in 2019-20 and recorded 10 points in 47 AHL games. Last year, he spent the season on loan in the KHL and produced eight points and a plus-24 rating in 48 games.
Thursday’s NHL scores
Hurricanes 4, Canadiens 1
Sharks 2, Senators 1
Panthers 4, Avalanche 1
Capitals 4, Devils 1
Blue Jackets 3, Islanders 2 (OT)
Flames 3, Red Wings 0
Rangers 3, Predators 1
Jets 5, Ducks 1
Canucks 4, Blackhawks 1
Oilers 5, Coyotes 1
More NHL News
originally appeared on
NHL Rink Wrap: Blackhawks get first win, league loses off the ice .
What happened in the NHL on Monday, and Tuesday's big story.The past week or so hasn’t just been rough on the Blackhawks as a franchise. Faces of the franchise Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews have given, uh, less-than-ideal statements in the wake of the Blackhawks’ internal investigation, and Kyle Beach’s emotional interview.