The Penguins month of November was going as well as many could hope for with the Penguins being down at least one of Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang in all their games this season. However, it ended on a sour note.
The Penguins began last week at home against the Calgary Flames on Monday night. Calgary would score first, but Alex Galchenyuk finally got the monkey off his back with his first goal with Pittsburgh on the power play 11:48 into the 1st period. The game remained tied until Jared McCann scored his 9th goal 7:14 into the 2nd period, but the Flames would get that back with just under five minutes left in the 2nd period.
The game remained tied throughout the 3rd period and needed overtime to decide the winner. Jake Guentzel scored his 12th of the year 4:04 into overtime to give the Pens the victory, making it five straight games with a point for Pittsburgh.
Vancouver was next on the schedule, and this was a game that had to give Mario Lemieux flashbacks by looking at the box score. Defense was for the birds in this one, as the two teams combined for 14 total goals, with 8 of them coming in the 3rd period. Pittsburgh jumped out to a 2-0 lead with goals from Guentzel and Rust in the 1st period, but J.T. Miller would get the Canucks on the board late in what looked like a normal game at that point.
Vancouver exploded for three goals in the 2nd period, and coach Mike Sullivan replaced Murray after the fourth goal he allowed. Guentzel scored a minute into the 3rd period to bring it to within one goal, but the Canucks again exploded for two quick goals to go ahead by three goals. The Penguins flipped the script with three goals in just over four minutes to tie it at six before Kris Letang scored his fifth of the year to put the Penguins ahead 7-6. Vancouver pulled their goalie and Malkin scored one of the nicest empty net goals you’ll ever see to bring the goal total to 8 in the 3rd period and 8 for the Penguins as they completed an insanely entertaining 8-6 win for the Penguins.
The goaltending woes continued on Friday night when the Penguins took the short trip to Columbus. The Blue Jackets scored three goals in the 2nd period to pull ahead of the Penguins and Columbus never looked back as the Penguins could not pull off another 3rd period come back and fall to the Blue Jackets 5-2, ending the Penguins’ six game point streak.
Saturday marked the first time the Blues hosted the Penguins as Stanley Cup Champions when the two teams met in St. Louis. Again, the Penguins bled goals as the Blues scored three goals in the 3rd period to pull away from the Penguins and defeat Pittsburgh by a 5-2 final score. That makes 16 goals allowed by the Penguins in the final three games of November after the Penguins were one of the better defensive teams in the league that month.
All things considered, it wasn’t a bad month for the Penguins as they went 6-4-4, but there were several games that went awry and some disappointing losses along the way. But considering the man power lost per game, and the way the Penguins are seemingly never out of a game, there are some positives to go along with the negatives.
The Penguins return to action this December with a rematch against the Blues on Wednesday night in Pittsburgh before an old friend makes his triumphant return. Phil Kessel and the Coyotes will be in Pittsburgh on Friday night. It likely won’t be as emotional as Marc-Andre Fleury’s return, but Phil will certainly be getting quite an ovation when he’s announced in that one. The Penguins follow that game up in Detroit the next night to close out the first week of December.
The Capitals just keep chugging along and overpowering any opponent that gets in their way. Last week was just the latest example as the Caps struggled at times but still came out undefeated last week. They began at home on Wednesday night against the Panthers. Alex Ovechkin got things rolling with his 16th of the year late in the 1st period. The Panthers would score two in the 2nd, including Brett Connolly’s 12th for Florida against his former team, but the Capitals scored to take a short lived 2-1 lead that was answered 22 seconds later to tie the game at two.
Lars Eller got the Capitals the lead 5:18 into the 3rd period, and Brendan Leipsic put the Capitals ahead by two with 8 minutes remaining. The Panthers made the ending more dramatic when they scored to make it 4-3 with five minutes left, but Braden Holtby held the fort and the Capitals held on for the regulation win.
The Capitals fans got to see the other Florida team in DC on Friday evening when the Tampa Bay Lightning played at Capital One Arena. The Lightning came out flying and really tilted the ice in the 2nd period and Tampa Bay had a 3-1 advantage after 40 minutes. Washington controlled play in the 3rd period and got goals from Jakub Vrana and Ovechkin to tie the game and force overtime. Dmitry Orlov completed the comeback 3:03 into the extra period to give the Capitals the come from behind 4-3 overtime victory.
The Capitals wrapped up their week against a team headed in the opposite direction in Detroit. The Red Wings scored on the power play in the 1st period and held the lead until T.J. Oshie and Ovechkin teamed up for two 2nd period goals. The Capitals pulled away with three goals in the 3rd, and Oveckin was gifted two empty net goals to give him one of the easiest hat tricks of his career and bring his goal total to 20 already this season and give the Capitals the 5-2 win to go undefeated in the last week of November.
The Capitals are the cream of the crop in the NHL this year, and have been leading the league basically since the first puck dropped this season. Washington went 10-2-2 in November and find themselves comfortably perched atop the Metro. The Capitals will be in California this week, starting in San Jose on Tuesday before playing in Los Angeles the following night. The Caps are in Anaheim on Friday for their third game in four days before returning home the following week.
The Islanders historic points streak finally came to an end, and the Islanders had a slow and losing week. The Islanders were coming into this week going 15-0-2, but had dropped their most recent decision against the Sharks. The Ducks were next on the schedule as the Islanders attempted to make it 18 straight games with a point. However, John Gibson would have none of it. Gibson stopped all 26 shots he faced and the Ducks added goals in the 2nd and 3rd period to end the Islanders streak at 15-0-2 and give the Islanders their second loss in a row with the 3-0 shutout in Anaheim.
California was not kind to the Islanders, as the Kings also had their way with the Islanders on Wednesday to wrap up a winless California trip for the Isles. The Islanders scored first 8:42 into the game, but the Kings responded a minute later to tie the game after the first period. The Kings would add one more in the 2nd period and two more in the 3rd as Jonathan Quick stopped 24/25 shots he faced and the Kings made it three straight losses for the Islanders with the 4-1 victory at Staples Center.
New York had two days off before returning to action in Brooklyn against the Blue Jackets on Saturday night. Thomas Greiss got the start and stopped all 9 shots he faced in 14 minutes before falling ill and being replaced by Semyon Varlamov. Varlamov was as ready as can be and stopped 30 shots the rest of the way to combine for the tag team shutout with Greiss who remained on the bench. Anders Lee’s goal 1:18 into the 1st period was all the scoring the Isles needed but Mathew Barzal added his 10th in the 2nd period to give the Islanders some breathing room as the Blue Jackets went down despite putting up a good fight and the Isles held on for the 2-0 win.
Despite getting swept in California, it was a record setting month for the Islanders. They went 9-2-2 and continue to lead the league in goals against. They pick up play in December with a back to back on the road in Detroit on Monday and in Montreal on Tuesday before returning home to play Vegas on Thursday. The Islanders then fly to Dallas on Saturday before heading to Florida the following week.
The Flyers are confusing. One week they look like a playoff caliber team, the next week they look like a lottery team. November was a good month for the Flyers and last week, the Flyers looked like a contender again as they went undefeated in four games. They began against Vancouver at the Wells Fargo Center on Monday night. Vancouver would break the ice in the 1st period but the Flyers got goals from Sean Couturier in the 2nd and Jakub Voracek in the 3rd. Vancouver looked lost in the game as they only managed 17 shots on goal, and the Flyers had 17 in the 2nd period alone. Carter Hart wasn’t tested very much but stopped the Canucks when called upon and the Flyers came away with the 2-1 victory.
The Flyers then did something they, surprisingly, haven’t done since December of 2005, and that’s defeat the Blue Jackets in Columbus in regulation. That’s not a typo - December of 2005. Philadelphia was 1-6-7, with their only victory coming last year in overtime.
Columbus scored two in the 1st period, but the Flyers managed to get one late but it was quickly answered by the Jackets to regain the 2-1 advantage after 20 minutes. The Flyers got the equalizer 3:19 into the 2nd period and Claude Giroux put the Flyers up for good on the power play with less than five minutes remaining in the 2nd period. Brian Elliott would stand on his head in the 3rd period and turn aside all 15 shots he faced and the Flyers held on for their first regulation win in Columbus in nearly 14 years.
The Flyers made it three in a row on Friday at home against the Red Wings. The Red Wings came into this game losers of seven in a row, and the Flyers made it apparent quickly that streak would reach eight. The Flyers scored two in the 1st and pulled away late in the 2nd period before adding three in the 3rd period for the exclamation point on a 6-1 beat down over the Red Wings. Carter Hart stopped 32/33 shots and the Flyers made no doubt about it to make it three in a row.
The Flyers then flew to Montreal to take on the Canadiens the following night. Montreal scored 19 seconds into the game and it took nearly half the game before the Flyers finally woke up with two goals to even the score at two after 40 minutes. Travis Konecny scored to give the Flyers the 3-2 lead, but Tomas Tatar scored his second of the game to even the score at three and force overtime. Ivan Provorov was the hero only 31 seconds in when he scored his sixth of the year to give the Flyers the overtime win, making it four in a row for the Flyers.
Their undefeated week propelled the Flyers all the way to third place in the Metro this week. Philadelphia went 10-2-3 in November and are riding high heading into December. They’ll be in Philly all week with games against Toronto on Tuesday, Arizona on Thursday and Ottawa on Saturday afternoon before heading to the Central Division the following week.
Carolina had a bit of a rough November, and ended it with another up and down week. They began last week in Detroit on the back end of a back to back last Sunday. Carolina controlled the game and outshot the Red Wings 36-19 and James Reimer stopped all 19 of them for his 22nd career shutout and first with the Hurricanes. Sebastian Aho would score midway through the 2nd period and Teuvo Teravainen scored into an empty net while shorthanded to give the Canes the 2-0 victory.
The Hurricanes were in the Big Apple on Wednesday night, and the Canes got off to a very rough start. The Rangers scored three goals in the 1st period, but Carolina answered with two goals by Ryan Dzingel and Warren Foegele 1:29 apart late in the 2nd period to make things interesting going into the 3rd period. However, Henrik Lundqvist was his vintage self and stopped all 17 shots the Hurricanes threw at him and the Rangers held on for the 3-2 victory.
That cold streak carried over into their next game when the Hurricanes returned home to play the Predators on Friday night. Pekka Rinne stopped all 31 shots he faced and the Predators scored three goals in the first 23:28 of the game, which turned out to be all the scoring in the game as the Preds shut out the Hurricanes 3-0 in front of the home fans in Raleigh.
It was a much better night the next night, despite Carolina traveling to Tampa to play on the back end of a back to back. The Lightning were traveling too, however, as they played in DC on Friday. Carolina’s offense came to life with three goals in the 1st period, and James Reimer made some incredible saves and held off a ferocious comeback bid from Tampa Bay by stopping 27/29 shots in the 2nd and 3rd period and 36 total in the game as the Hurricanes held on for the 3-2 regulation victory, and ending November on a positive note.
Carolina stumbled out of the gate in November but rebounded in the middle before an up and down ending this week, finishing November in fourth in the Metro. The Canes went 8-7 last month and begin December against one of the best teams in the league in Boston on Tuesday night. They will then return home for two games against San Jose on Thursday before wrapping up this week against the Minnesota Wild on Saturday. The Hurricanes will then begin a western Canada swing that will last for nearly two weeks after the game against the Wild.
The New York Rangers had quite a Thanksgiving week and are looking like one of the most improved teams in the NHL so far this season. They returned home on Monday night to battle the Wild at The Garden. The game was tied at one heading into the 3rd period before Minnesota would strike at the midway point to go ahead. But Chris Kreider would score on the power play with less than three minutes remaining and the game went to overtime. Tony DeAngelo ended the game 32 seconds in with his seventh goal of the season to give the Rangers the 3-2 victory. The victory was Henrik Lundqvist’s 455th career victory, leaving him alone in fifth place all time.
The Rangers then hosted the Hurricanes in their last home game in November, and they also got Mika Zibanejad back for the first time in a month. He made an impact early with a power play goal 2:54 into the 1st period and the Rangers would add two more before the period was over to go ahead 3-0. Carolina got two quick goals late in the 2nd period, but Lundqvist stopped all 17 Hurricane shots in the 3rd period, giving him 41 saves as the Rangers held off the Hurricanes with a 3-2 regulation win.
The Rangers then faced another Original Six team in the “Thanksgiving Showdown” on Friday afternoon in Boston. New York would score the first two goals but Boston would score late in the 2nd and early in the 3rd period to tie the game and force overtime. David Krejci would score 1:40 into overtime to complete the comeback on the only shot in overtime as the Bruins came away with the 3-2 overtime victory, ending the Rangers three game win streak.
The Rangers were then in Newark the following afternoon to face the Devils, and their special teams made a bold statement. Rookie defenseman Adam Fox continued his strong campaign with his fifth goal of the season on the power play in the 1st period, and Zibanejad scored a goal shorthanded and set up another shorty minutes later to give the Rangers a 3-0 lead that seemed impossible to overcome from New Jersey, and then Brady Skjei buried one into an empty net to crush any Devils fans remaining to make it 4-0. Alexandar Georgiev stopped all 33 shots he faced and the Rangers denied eight power play chances from New Jersey while adding two goals short handed. It was a great way to finish off a great month of November for the Rangers.
The Rangers went 9-4-2 last month and currently find themselves on the outside looking in in the Metro, but the Rangers have to be happy with the way the team is playing currently and over the last month. New York begins December on Monday night at home against the Golden Knights before beginning a back to back in Columbus on Thursday and wrap up their week on Friday at home against Montreal. The Rangers then begin a road trip out west the following week.
The Blue Jackets are rounding back into shape after a rocky start, but still have a long way to go as they remain in seventh place in the Metro this week. Columbus returned home against Ottawa after a one game road trip, and their offense had a rough night as they only mustered 19 shots on goal and only one went past Craig Anderson, but it was enough as Joonas Korpisalo was perfect for his first shutout of the season in the 1-0 victory.
Columbus then hosted a Metropolitan rival when Philadelphia made the trip to Ohio on Wednesday. Columbus got off to a fast start with goals from Nick Foligno in the 1st period, but Brian Elliott made 22 saves the rest of the way and the Flyers got two 2nd period goals go ahead and the Blue Jackets could not tie the game. Elliott turned aside 15 shots in the 3rd period to deny the Blue Jackets a comeback and the Flyers held on for the 3-2 regulation victory at Nationwide Arena.
Columbus then hosted their other Metropolitan rival from Pennsylvania when the Penguins came to town on Friday night. The Blue Jackets pulled away in the 2nd period with two power play goals and Gustav Nyquist put on a show for the Blue Jacket fans with his first hat trick with Columbus and the Blue Jackets won easily by a 5-2 final score.
The Islanders made it three Metro opponents in a row for the Jackets, with this game taking place in Brooklyn on Saturday night. Thomas Greiss became ill 14 minutes into the game after stopping all 9 shots he faced, and Semyon Varlamov finished the job by making 30 more the rest of the way as the Islanders put on another defensive clinic with the combined 39 save 2-0 shutout victory over the Jackets to end Columbus’ week.
The Jackets finish November in seventh place with a record of 6-6-2 last month. They start off December with two home games against Arizona on Tuesday night and the Rangers on Thursday night before flying to Florida to take on the Panthers on Saturday night. That begins a four game road trip for Columbus.
New Jersey’s season of disappointment continued again this week, but it wasn’t all bad. However, it started off with a bad taste as their former captain Zach Parise scored on the power play 5:30 into the game to get the scoring for the Minnesota Wild at The Rock on Tuesday night. It was a great moment for the Devils minutes later as 21 year old rookie Jesper Boqvist answered with his first career NHL goal, a positive sight for Devils fans from the 36th overall pick in the 2017 Draft.
The game remained tied until the midpoint of the 2nd period when Minnesota struck to go ahead by one. New Jersey answered to even the game once again on the power play by Kyle Palmieri and the game would be even at two heading into the 3rd period. Ryan Suter would score only three minutes into the 3rd period and the Devils couldn’t get any of their 10 shots behind Kaapo Kahkonen who was playing in his first career NHL game, resulting in the 3-2 regulation loss for the Devils.
New Jersey and Montreal were the only two teams in action on Thanksgiving, as the two teams met in Montreal on Thursday. Blake Coleman and Travis Zajac scored 58 seconds apart, but the Canadiens managed to get one in between as both teams scored three goals in 58 seconds, which was all the scoring in the 1st period. Montreal got the equalizer 1:40 into the 2nd period, and Miles Wood would score quickly after to give the Devils the lead once again. However, Montreal would not be denied with another goal, but that again was quickly answered by Jesper Boqvist who scored in consecutive games after getting his first goal in the previous game.
It was a wild game for both teams, as the Devils led 4-3 after 40 minutes and the two teams combined for 57 shots on goal. Neither team buttoned up defensively in the 3rd, and Damon Severson doubled the Devils lead to make it 5-3, but as the answer again came just seconds after when Montreal scored 16 seconds after to make it 5-4. Montreal would pull Carey Price late in the game and Blake Coleman would get the last goal of the game after getting the first to go along with two assists, bringing the final score to 6-4 and a Happy Thanksgiving for New Jersey.
New Jersey was one of the few teams off on Friday, but were back in action against the Rangers on Saturday afternoon. Adam Fox scored on the power play, and the Rangers special teams would add two short handed goals in the 3rd period and deny all eight New Jersey power plays as the Devils played one of their worst games of the season. Alexandar Georgiev stopped all 33 saves the Devils threw his direction, and the Rangers shut out the Devils 4-0 to wrap up the week for the Devils as they remain in last place in the Metro once again.
The Devils finish the month of November with a record of 7-7-1 and begin December with a back to back in Buffalo on Monday before returning home on Tuesday to play the Vegas Golden Knights. New Jersey returns to action on Friday with another back to back at home against Chicago on Friday before heading to Nashville to play the Predators on Saturday night to wrap up this week for the Metro.
14-9-4; 32 pts; 93 Goals For (T-5th in the NHL; T-9th in the NHL last week); 78 Goals Against (T-9th; T-4th)
2-2 record last week
PIT: 3 OT
Guentzel’s OT goal lifts Pittsburgh to 3-2 win
Wednesday night dynamite - Pens score 5 in third period to win!
Cannon fodder. Pens fall in Columbus
Pens trip and fall against St. Louis
Wednesday, December 4 - vs STL, 8 p.m.
Friday, December 6 - vs ARI, 7 p.m.
Saturday, December 7 - @ DET, 7 p.m.
- 11/9/19, C Sidney Crosby - IR; Core muscle surgery
- 11/14/19, C Nick Bjugstad - IR; Undisclosed injury
- 11/19/19, D Justin Schultz - IR; Lower-body injury
- 11/28/19, RW Bryan Rust - Day-to-day; Lower-body injury
- 12/1/19, D Brian Dumoulin - IR; Ankle surgery
19-4-5, 43 pts; 104 GF (1st); 83 GA (T-19th)
3-0 record last week
Ovi and Company Make Bobrovsky a Turkey
WSH: 4 OT
Orlov Stuffs Tampa in OT, Washington Has a 4-3 Win for Dessert
Washington Win Wraps Up Wow Month
Tuesday, December 3 - @ SJS, 10:30 p.m.
Wednesday, December 4 - @ LAK, 10 p.m.
Friday, December 6 - @ ANA, 10 p.m.
- 11/8/19, LW Carl Hagelin - IR; Upper-body injury
- 11/19/19, C Nicklas Backstrom - Day-to-day; Upper-body injury
17-5-2, 36 pts; 71 GF (T-25th; T-18th); 58 GA (1st)
1-2 record last week
Point streak snapped as Gibson stones Isles
Another California clunker
Varlamov subs in and shuts out Columbus
Monday, December 2 - @ DET, 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, December 3 - @ MTL, 7 p.m.
Thursday, December 5 - vs VGK, 7 p.m.
Saturday, December 7 - @ DAL, 9 p.m.
- 10/24/19, RW Tom Kuhnhackl - IR; Leg
- 10/29/19, G Thomas Greiss - Day-to-day; Illness
15-7-5, 35 pts; 85 GF (14th; 16th); 78 GA (T-9th; T-14th)
4-0 record last week
Voracek, Couturier lead Flyers rally in 2-1 win over Canucks
Elliott stars in Flyers’ 3-2 win over Blue Jackets
Flyers win third straight in dominating effort vs. Red Wings
PHI: 4 OT
Flyers down Canadiens in overtime to finish a memorable November
Tuesday, December 3 - vs TOR, 7 p.m.
Thursday, December 5 - vs ARI, 7 p.m.
Saturday, December 7 - vs OTT, 1 p.m.
- 9/12/19, C Nolan Patrick - IR; Migraine disorder
- 11/6/19, D Samuel Morin - IR; Torn right ACL
16-10-1, 33 pts; 88 GF (T-8th; T-4th); 76 GA (T-7th; 9th)
2-2 record last week
Reimer, Hurricanes shut out Red Wings
Lundqvist, Rangers thwart Canes comeback
Rinne, Preds cruise through easy shutout
Canes hold off Lightning 3-2
Tuesday, December 3 - @ BOS, 7 p.m.
Thursday, December 5 - vs SJS, 7 p.m.
Saturday, December 7 - vs MIN, 7 p.m.
- 11/17/19, C Erik Haula - Day-to-day; Knee
- 11/29/19, RW Martin Necas - Day-to-day; Lower-body injury
13-9-3, 29 pts; 83 GF (15th); 83 GA (T-19th; T-22nd)
3-0-1 record last week
NYR: 3 OT
Rangers Tie it Late, Score Early in Overtime Against Minnesota
Rangers Make It Three in A Row With 3-2 Win
BOS: 3 OT
Rangers’ Power Play Fails in Boston
Special Teams Comes Through for Blueshirts in 4-0 Victory over New Jersey
Monday, December 2 - vs VGK, 7 p.m.
Thursday, December 5 - @ CBJ, 7 p.m.
Friday, December 6 - vs MTL, 7 p.m.
- 9/30/19, D Yegor Rykov - IR; Undisclosed injury
- 11/8/19, D Marc Staal - Day-to-day; Ankle infection
- 11/22/19, C Greg McKegg - Day-to-day; Lower-body injury
11-11-4, 26 pts; 66 GF (29th; 30th); 80 GA (12th; T-16th)
2-2 record last week
Blue Jackets fall short to Flyers, 3-2
Jackets secure an encouraging win vs. the Penguins
Opportunistic Isles shut out Blue Jackets
Tuesday, December 3 - vs ARI, 7 p.m.
Thursday, December 5 - vs NYR, 7 p.m.
Saturday, December 7 - @ FLA, 7 p.m.
- 9/24/19, C Brandon Dubinsky - IR; Wrist
- 11/4/19, D Markus Nutivaara - IR; Upper-body injury
- 11/13/19, RW Kole Sherwood - IR; Torn oblique
- 11/29/19, D Zach Werenski - Day-to-day; Upper-body injury
9-12-4, 22 pts; 65 GF (30th; 31st); 90 GA (26th; T-25th)
1-2 record last week
Devils lose frustrating game to Minnesota Wild
Monday, December 2 - @ BUF, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, December 3 - vs VGK, 7 p.m.
Friday, December 6 - vs CHI, 7 p.m.
Saturday, December 7 - @ NSH, 8 p.m.
- 9/30/19, D Brian Strait - IR; Concussion
- 10/14/19, D Connor Carrick - IR; Fractured finger
- 11/28/19, C Jack Hughes - Day-to-day; Lower-body injury
Which Metropolitan game is the most intriguing?
This poll is closed
12.3.19 - TOR @ PHI, 7 p.m. ET
12.3.19 - CAR @ BOS, 7 p.m.
12.4.19 - STL @ PIT, 8 p.m.
12.5.19 - NYR @ CBJ, 7 p.m.
12.6.19 - ARI @ PIT, 7 p.m.