Just when it felt like things were starting to change for the Pens, the more things stayed the same. The Pens went 1-2 last week and are sitting in 6th place in the Metro and have lost 15 out of 25 games this season as we are now in December. Spirits were high for the Penguins after a come-from-behind victory over the Jets in Winnipeg on Tuesday night, but those feelings quickly faded less than 24 hours later when the Avalanche spoiled a thrilling effort by Sidney Crosby as he single-handedly tied the game at three with a natural hat trick. The Avalanche would go on to score the final three goals of that game and complete a 6-3 victory in Denver on Wednesday night. The Penguins troubles this season would continue when their longtime rival Philadelphia Flyers were in Pittsburgh last night. The Penguins gave up a short-handed goal - their NHL worst 6th already this season - a minute into the third period and the Flyers held strong to complete a 4-2 victory at PPG Paints Arena last night.
The Penguins will have a chance at redemption against the Avalanche when the Penguins host the Avs on Tuesday night. The Islanders will also be in town this week on Thursday night in another Metropolitan clash. The Penguins wrap this week up north of the border when the Ottawa Senators will host the Penguins on Saturday night. The Penguins usually feast on opponents on home ice, but that hasn’t been the case this year evidenced by the Pens’ 5-6-2 record at home this season. Hopefully the Penguins can get back to their winning ways at home this week.
The Washington Capitals only had two games this week, but made headlines in both of them. First, the Capitals faced the only bench boss in their franchise’s history to ever win the Stanley Cup when they defeated Barry Trotz and the Islanders 4-1 on Monday night in Brooklyn. The Capitals then thrashed the Devils 6-3 at home on Friday in a game that was very much debated and and will be remembered for the hit by Tom Wilson on Brett Seney. Wilson received a match penalty in the game but avoided further discipline by the league for his latest questionable hit. Those two wins last week bring the Capitals win streak to total of 7 straight. The Capitals will host the Ducks at home this afternoon before heading for a quick trip out west that will see them visit Vegas and Arizona before wrapping up their three-game trip in Columbus on Saturday.
Columbus had a winning week last week with a 2-1 record to stay within one point of the Metro-leading Capitals. Columbus played an entertaining game against longtime rival Detroit and held on for a 7-5 victory in Detroit on Monday. Columbus hosted the Wild back at Nationwide Arena on Thursday and sent their home fans happy with a 4-2 victory. The Islanders spoiled a perfect week for the Jackets with a 3-2 regulation loss for Columbus last night. The Calgary Flames will be in Columbus on Tuesday night and the Jackets will be in Philly on Thursday night. Coach John Tortorella must get his troops to focus on those two opponents first and not allow them to worry about an important early season Metro battle when the Capitals will be in town on Saturday night in Columbus. First place in the Metro could very well be on the line in that contest.
The Islanders had an up-and-down week going 1-1-1 last week. The Isles began last week with head coach Barry Trotz facing his former team for the first time. The Capitals spoiled his reunion with a 4-1 victory by the Caps at Barclays Center on Monday. New York then shipped up to Boston on Thursday in a tightly contested game that went to a shootout that didn’t see a goal scored until the game-winner from Ryan Donato in the bottom of the 4th. The Islanders returned to Nassau Coliseum for their first game there since 2015 and erased a 2-0 second period deficit with three consecutive goals to pull off a 3-2 victory over Metro opponent Blue Jackets. The Isles will host the Jets back at Barclays Center on Tuesday before meeting the Pens in Pittsburgh on Thursday night. The Islanders will wrap this week up in Detroit on Saturday night.
Carolina continues to climb in the standings with a 1-0-1 record last week. The Canes have moved on from the Scott Darling experiment for the time being with the emergence of Curtis McElhinney as their starter the last few weeks. He stopped 48 out of 49 shots in a regulation victory in Montreal on Tuesday night before making another 29 saves in a 2-1 overtime loss to Anaheim on Friday. He has started five out of the Canes’ last six games and has a 4-0-1 record with a .961 save percentage while only allowing 7 goals in that span. He has been one of the best backups the last several years and may have finally worked his way into a starting gig with Carolina. Carolina may have found a waiver wire steal with McElhinney. Both McElhinney and the Canes are going to ride this streak as long as it lasts. Carolina will be in California this week starting tonight when the Kings host the Canes before Carolina takes on the Sharks and Ducks on Wednesday and Friday night. The schedule gets much easier for Carolina after this week with only one road game from now until after their Christmas break.
The Rangers slipped one spot this week in the Metro with a 1-2 record last week. The Rangers have the second most home wins in the NHL, but are struggling on the road this season and lost both their road games last week. The Rangers and Senators split a home-and-home with the home team coming away victorious in both games. The Rangers were blown out last night in Montreal in a game that featured Shea Weber’s first two goals since last December. The schedule gets a little weird for the Rangers after they host the Jets this evening in New York City. The Rangers will only play two games in 11 days after today, both on the road against Florida this Saturday and Tampa Bay next Monday. Their next game will be December 14th against Arizona at MSG. The Rangers will likely enjoy healing and resting during this break in the schedule, but so few games could result in rust and possibly losing the momentum they have going for them right now.
The Flyers made a massive and mostly unexpected move last Monday when they relieved General Manager Ron Hextall of his duties with the team. Team president, and former GM, Paul Homgren cited philosophical differences as the reason for Hextall’s departure. The Flyers ushered in another new era for their franchise by allowing three 3rd period goals in a 4-3 regulation loss to Ottawa in Philadelphia the day after Hextall’s firing. They then flew into Pittsburgh for another match in this storied rivalry on Saturday night. The Flyers handled business in Pittsburgh and will be looking to build off the momentum that winning against a hated rival can bring. The Flyers will get four days of rest before hosting the Jackets on Thursday night. Things will then get much more difficult for the Flyers starting Saturday afternoon when they begin a 5 game road trip in 8 days that will go from Buffalo to Vancouver. The Flyers have been interviewing potential new General Managers, so keep an eye out for when they name the replacement for Ron Hextall likely sometime this week.
The Devils hold down last place in the Metro for the second week in a row with an abysmal winless record in their four games last week. Their loss on Saturday night was their 7th loss in their last 8 games. Four of those seven losses were overtime or shootout losses, however, which is keeping the Devils within striking distance. The Devils began last week with another loss in Tampa, and have been outscored 13-5 in two games at Amalie Arena. The Devils will most likely be happy to finish that season series this week when the Lightning fly into Newark to play on Monday night. The Devils blew a one goal lead with less than two minutes in regulation the following night against the Panthers before losing that tilt in overtime. New Jersey then was blown out in DC in the Tom Wilson hit from behind game mentioned above. The Devils wrapped this week up with a great effort to tie the game against Winnipeg with two goals in the final five minutes in regulation before losing in overtime with 17 seconds left.
New Jersey owns a 2-10-1 record on the road, and after they host Tampa Bay in New Jersey on Monday, they will be hitting the road to California with the Kings first this Thursday before taking care of the Ducks and Sharks on Saturday and Sunday. This season hasn’t gone as well as many expected for the Devils after their unexpected success last season. They will certainly be looking to change their road troubles in California this week.
Another week in the books for the Metropolitans. As always, thanks for stopping by this week and don’t forget to vote for game of the week!
10-10-5; 23 pts; 83 Goals For (T-11th in the NHL; T-14th last week); 84 Goals Against (T-20th in the NHL; T-17th last week)
1-2 record last week
Penguins’ bottom six key in 3rd period comeback over the Jets
Avalanche overcome Sidney Crosby’s hat trick to beat Penguins
Pens give up too many breakaways, lose to Flyers
Tuesday, December 4 - vs COL, 7 p.m. ET
Thursday, December 6 - vs NYI, 7 p.m.
Saturday, December 8 - @ OTT, 7 p.m.
- 10/13/18, D Justin Schultz - IR; fractured leg
- 11/18/18, C Matt Cullen - IR; Lower-body injury
- 11/21/18, G Matt Murray - IR, Lower-body injury
15-7-3, 33 pts; 90 GF (T-5th; 5th); 77 GA (13th; T-20th)
2-0 record last week
Two Goals From Tom Wilson Extends Winning Streak To Six Games
Backstrom Bags Hat Trick, Tom Wilson Ejected as Washington Rolls 6-3
Sunday, December 2 - vs ANA, 3 p.m.
Tuesday, December 4 - @ VGK, 10 p.m.
Thursday, December 6 - @ ARI, 9 p.m.
Saturday, December 8 - @ CBJ, 7 p.m.
- 10/30/18, D Brooks Orpik - IR; Lower-body injury
- 11/13/18, RW TJ Oshie - Day-to-day; Upper-body injury
15-9-2, 32 pts; 90 GF (5th; 6th); 83 GA (19th; T-20th)
2-1 record last week
Columbus Blue Jackets at Detroit Red Wings
Three-goal Second Period Lifts Blue Jackets Past Wild
Tuesday, December 4 - vs CGY, 7 p.m.
Thursday, December 6 - @ PHI, 7 p.m.
Saturday, December 8 - vs WSH, 7 p.m.
- 11/27/18, RW Anthony Duclair - Day-to-day; Undisclosed injury
13-9-3, 29 pts; 76 GF (T-20th; 16th); 72 GA (7th)
1-1-1 record last week
Special teams loss
BOS: 2 SO
We’ll take the point, thanks
Coliseum reopens to ‘electric’ comeback win
Tuesday, December 4 - vs WPG, 7 p.m.
Thursday, December 6 - @ PIT, 7 p.m.
Saturday, December 8 - @ DET, 7 p.m.
- 10/2/18, C John Stevens - IR; Undisclosed
- 10/2/18, LW Matt Lorito - IR; Undisclosed
- 11/13/18, LW Andrew Ladd - IR; Right leg
12-9-4, 28 pts; 66 GF (T-28th; T-25th); 69 GA (4th; T-9th)
1-0-1 record last week
McElhinney shines as Canes edge Canadiens
ANA: 2 OT
Gibson stymies Canes in overtime loss
Sunday, December 2 - @ LAK, 10:30 p.m.
Wednesday, December 5 - @ SJS, 10:30 p.m.
Friday, December 7 - @ ANA, 10 p.m.
- 11/29/18, LW Michael Ferland - Day-to-day; Concussion
13-12-2, 28 pts; 77 GF (18th; T-16th); 84 GA (T-20th; T-24th)
1-2 record last week
Back To Winning Ways
Rangers Shutout by Senators on the Road
Rangers Lose Second Straight to the Canadiens 5-3
Sunday, December 2 - vs WPG, 6 p.m.
Saturday, December 8 - @ FLA, 7 p.m.
- 10/24/18, D Adam McQuaid - IR; Lower-body injury
- 11/11/18, RW Pavel Buchnevich - IR; Broken Thumb
- 11/20/18, LW Cody McLeod - IR; Fractured left hand
- 11/23/18, RW Mats Zuccarello - Day-to-day; Groin
- 11/27/18, LW Vladislav Namestnikov - Day-to-day; Concussion
11-12-2, 24 pts; 76 GF (T-19th; T-18th); 88 GA (T-26th; T-28th)
1-1 record last week
Flyers complete third-period collapse in 4-3 loss to Senators
It’s good to own land
Thursday, December 6 - vs CBJ, 7 p.m.
Saturday, December 8 - @ BUF, 1 p.m.
- 9/27/18, C Pascal Laberge - IR; Hip
- 10/1/18, D Samuel Morin - IR; Knee
- 10/26/18, C Corban Knight - IR; Dislocated collarbone
- 11/15/18, G Brian Elliott - IR; Lower-body injury
9-11-5, 23 pts; 74 GF (T-25th; T-23rd); 86 GA (25th; 13th)
0-2-2 record last week
Bad Again in Tampa: New Jersey Devils Lost 2-5 to the Tampa Bay Lightning
FLA: 4 OT
New Jersey Devils Squander Another Game in 3-4 Overtime Loss to Florida Panthers
WPG: 4 OT
Great Equalizer, Bad Overtime: New Jersey Devils Grounded 3-4 by Winnipeg Jets
Monday, Decemer 3 - vs TBL, 7 p.m.
Thursday, December 6 - @ LAK, 10:30 p.m.
- 11/22/18, RW Joey Anderson - IR; Lower-body injury
Which Metropolitan game is the most intriguing?
This poll is closed
12.4.18 - WSH @ VGK, 10 p.m. ET
12.6.18 - NYI @ PIT, 7 p.m.
12.6.18 - CBJ @ PHI, 7 p.m.
12.8.18 - WSH @ CBJ, 7 p.m.