The Penguins began the month of December in tremendous fashion. Tristan Jarry will certainly remember the way this week started for the Penguins and himself. Pittsburgh kicked off December with a rematch against the Cup champs in Pittsburgh on Wednesday night with Jarry in net. What a difference a week makes as the Penguins had control of the game from the get-go with Teddy Blueger scoring his third goal of the year only 39 seconds into the game. It took some time before another goal was scored, but newly signed Stefan Noesen made an immediate impact with his first goal with the Penguins to make it 2-0 with 40 seconds left in the 2nd period. Alex Galchenyuk scored five minutes into the 3rd period to make it 3-0, his second goal in five games after taking 15 games to get his first goal.
But the story of this game was Tristan Jarry who stopped 28 shots to record his first shutout of the year and third of his career. He wasn’t tested much in the 3rd with only 4 shots on goal, but he was there when called upon to give the Penguins a very much needed 3-0 victory at The Paint Can.
Good pal Phil Kessel made his triumphant return to Pittsburgh next, and Jarry would again get the start. It was quite a goalie duel until the 3rd period when Evgeni Malkin slammed home a rebound to give the Pens the 1-0 lead where it would stay until Brandon Tanev scored into an empty net while short handed to make the final score 2-0 in favor of Pittsburgh. Jarry stopped 33 more shots, however this time with 13 saves coming in the 3rd period and Jarry carrying the Penguins to this 2-0 victory.
The Penguins attempted to make it undefeated this week against Detroit and stretch the Wings’ winless streak to 11 in a row. Jake Guentzel and Malkin continued to wreak havoc on the league with a goal and assist each and Dominik Kahun’s eighth goal of the year 1:38 into the 3rd was the game winner as he put the Penguins up 4-1 early in the 3rd before the Red Wings scored two goals late to give the Penguins a scare. But John Marino would score his first career power play goal into an empty net to give the Penguins the 5-3 victory in Detroit.
Pittsburgh’s undefeated week brings them back into fourth place in the Metro, but only two points behind the Islanders for second in the Metro with the Isles having two games in hand. The Penguins will be in Pittsburgh all week this week as the Canadiens are in the Burgh on Tuesday before the Penguins play the Blue Jackets again on Thursday and the Pens wrap up the home stand on Saturday night against Los Angeles before heading out to western Canada the following week.
The Washington Capitals continue to roll through the NHL by winning in many ways. The Capitals played the three Cali teams last week and swept through them all. They began in San Jose on Tuesday night. The Sharks scored early, but the Capitals responded in a big way with three goals in a three minute span to end the 1st period. The Capitals added two more in the 2nd period to lead 5-1 after two periods. Evander Kane would finally end the scoring for the Capitals, but that was the last of the scoring as the Capitals rolled right through the Sharks by the 5-2 final score.
The Capitals were at the Staples Center in LA the next night. John Carlson continued his torrid start with two goals in the 1st period and the game remained that way until 3:20 into the 3rd when the Kings cut the lead in half. But the Capitals defense played their best in the 3rd period and only allowed five shots on goal and Tom Wilson scored into an empty net to bring the final score to 3-1 in favor of the Capitals.
The Capitals made it a California sweep in Orange County two nights later. Travis Boyd scored in the 1st period and Evgeny Kuznetsov scored early in the 2nd period, but the Ducks answered late in the 2nd period and only 45 seconds into the 3rd period to tie the game at two. Jakub Vrana had the next goal in his stick less than a minute later, with his 15th goal to put the Capitals back ahead by one where the game would stay thanks to 27 saves from Braden Holtby, and the Capitals went undefeated again this week and have now won six games in a row.
The Capitals return home this week with some tough games. The Blue Jackets and Capitals meet in DC on Monday night and the Bruins are next in DC on Wednesday night before the Capitals fly to Florida to take on the Lightning on Saturday night in Tampa.
The Islanders have been up and down since their 17 game point streak ended, but are still never out of a game with their defensive structure and quality goaltending. The Isles began December with a back to back in Detroit and Montreal starting in Detroit on Monday night. The Islanders scored two goals in the 1st period and one more in the 2nd and 3rd as Semyon Varlamov continued his hot streak by stopping 30/31 Red Wing shots to hand Detroit their eighth straight loss with the 4-1 victory for the Isles.
It wasn’t as easy for Thomas Greiss the following night in Montreal. The Canadiens scored in the final second of the 1st period and scored the only goal of the 2nd to go ahead 2-0 leading into the 3rd period. Montreal scored two minutes into the 3rd to make it 3-0, but the Islanders began their comeback less than a minute later to make it 3-1 before Mathew Barzal scored with less than three minutes remaining to bring the Islanders to within one goal. However, Shea Weber would score into the empty net and the Islanders end up losing in Montreal by a 4-2 final score.
The Islanders returned to Long Island on Thursday when they played the Golden Knights back at Nassau Coliseum. Once again both teams traded goals in the 2nd period before Brock Nelson put the Islanders ahead early in the 3rd, but Jonathan Marchessault would tie it with less than five minutes remaining where the game would stay until Ryan Pulock scored his fourth goal this season on the power play to give the Islanders the victory 3:20 into overtime.
The Islanders closed out the week on the road in Dallas on Saturday night. The Stars cruised out to a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes and added one more in the 2nd period and Ben Bishop put on a show as he stopped 36 shots and shut out New York for the first 55 minutes before conceding a goal to Mathew Barzal to end his shutout bid, but the Islanders would lose the game by a 3-1 final score to even their week out with two wins and two losses.
The Islanders continue on the road in Florida next week with stops in Tampa on Monday and Sunrise on Thursday before returning home to face their cross state rival Buffalo on Saturday afternoon.
Philadelphia continued their stretch of good play again last week with another victorious week. The Flyers began at home against the Maple Leafs on Tuesday night going for their fifth straight win. Scott Laughton broke the stalemate 8:49 into the 2nd period which is where it would stay until 8:38 of the 3rd when Toronto scored to tie the game.
But then the Flyers began a parade of goals at the 10 minute mark of the 3rd when Claude Giroux scored his 9th of the year. The floodgates opened with less than five minutes left as the Flyers added four more goals in a 3:01 span to turn this game into a laugher with a 6-1 final score that was far from how close this game was until the last five minutes.
The Flyers were attempting to make it six wins a row against the Coyotes on Thursday night. However, Phil Kessel had his way with the Flyers yet again. Kessel scored on the power play in the 1st period and again in the 3rd period as the Flyers were held off the board for the first 55 minutes and were shut down by Darcy Kuemper as he made 28 saves and the Coyotes held on for the 3-1 victory to end the Flyers win streak at five games.
The Flyers were looking to start another win streak on Saturday against Ottawa in Philadelphia. It was a back and forth game as both teams traded goals and were tied at two heading into the 3rd period. Ivan Provorov scored his seventh of the season early in the 3rd to put the Flyers ahead. But Anthony Duclair would score with exactly five minutes left to tie it and make it look like the game was heading to overtime. But Scott Laughton would score just 11 seconds later to send the crowd into a frenzy and the score would end that way with the Flyers holding on for the 4-3 win to wrap up their week.
The Flyers only play two games on the road this week, but do have a back to back next weekend on the road. The Flyers will take on the Avalanche in Colorado on Wednesday before the Flyers have a back to back in Minnesota on Saturday and Winnipeg next Sunday evening.
The Hurricanes stumbled out of the gate in November and were attempting to do the opposite in December when they played a very impressive Bruins team in Boston on Tuesday - their first meeting since the Canes were swept by Boston in the Eastern Conference Final last season. The game was still very much in the air as neither team would score for the first 55 minutes, but Charlie Coyle would break the ice to give Boston the 1-0 lead with less than five minutes remaining in the game. David Krejci scored to put the nail in the coffin shortly after and Jaroslav Halak stopped all 24 shots he faced to earn his second shutout this season and 49th of his career. It was also Halak’s 500th career NHL game in net.
Carolina returned home on Thursday to play San Jose at PNC Arena. Both teams traded goals in the 1st and 2nd period, and Joe Thornton and Petr Mrazek traded some not-so-nice words at one point in the game which ended with Thornton basically throat punching Mrazek in one of Thornton’s most unexpected moments in his long career.
Joe Thornton jabs at the puck after Petr Mrazek has it covered.— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) December 6, 2019
Mrazek tries to take a whack at Thornton and misses.
Thornton... punches Mrazek square in the mask.
Chaos ensues. pic.twitter.com/4FDuUVfEBZ
Neither team would score for the duration of the game or overtime, and the game went to a shootout. Andrei Svechnikov scored the only goal of the skills competition as the Hurricanes came away with the 3-2 shootout victory.
The Minnesota Wild were next for the Hurricanes in Raleigh on Saturday night. The Wild scored early, but it was the Hurricanes who would score often - Sebastian Aho in particular. Aho would score three goals and two assists and capped it off with a short handed goal to make it 6-2 into an empty net as the Hurricanes finished the week with a feel good victory over the Wild.
Despite a winning record last week, the Hurricanes dropped a position to fifth in the Metro this week. They are beginning an extended five game road trip that will last the next 12 days and will go from western Canada into Colorado. They begin in Edmonton on Tuesday before heading to Vancouver on Thursday and wrapping up with week in Calgary on Saturday afternoon.
The Rangers have been exceeding expectations heading into December, but had a bit of a step back with a losing week last week. The Rangers began at home against Vegas on Monday night. Alex Tuch scored two goals in the first 3:50 in the 1st period and Vegas added two more in the 2nd period before the Rangers finally scored late in the 2nd to make it 4-1, but the Rangers couldn’t muster another goal and the Golden Knights finished strong as the Rangers lost 4-1 in front of their home fans to begin the month of December.
Artemi Panarin returned to Columbus in a different sweater for the first time on Friday night in the Rangers next game. The Blue Jackets scored first, but the Rangers answered late in the 1st period before adding two more goals in the 2nd period with Panarin scoring the third goal for the Rangers to give them the 3-1 lead after 40 minutes. The Blue Jackets came out flying in the 3rd period and outshot the Rangers 18-2 but only managed to get one goal past Alexandar Georgiev as he ended the night with 45 saves in the Rangers’ 3-2 regulation victory in Columbus.
The Rangers returned home to MSG the following night to take on the Montreal Canadiens. It was a goalie duel with Carey Price against Georgiev as he got the start again after Henrik Lundqvist wasn’t good to go but was still the backup for the game. The score was tied at one late in the 3rd period before Nate Thompson put the Canadiens up with a goal with just over a minute remaining and the Rangers could not put one past Price as they lost by a final score of 2-1 in regulation.
The Rangers have a busy week this week and will be logging lots of miles as they make stops in Las Vegas on Sunday night, Los Angles on Tuesday night, San Jose on Thursday and Anaheim on Saturday before returning home to play again next Monday. This will be a good measuring stick for what kind of team the Rangers are as they have a tough stretch far from home to sink or swim.
It’s far from over and the Blue Jackets aren’t waving the white flag yet, but the season is slipping away from Columbus more every week. It started at Nationwide Arena on Tuesday night when the Arizona Coyotes were in town. Dean Kukan would score his first regular season goal in 65 games with Columbus, but the Coyotes led 3-1 after 40 minutes and have been one of the best defensive teams in the league while Columbus has struggled to score all season long. Alexandre Texier scored early in the 3rd period to make it 3-2, but Darcy Kuemper stopped every other shot he faced and the Coyotes added an empty netter to bring the final score to 4-2.
One of their major departing free agent class returned two nights later when Artemi Panarin and the New York Rangers met in Columbus on Thursday night. Cam Atkinson got Columbus the first goal of the game, but the Rangers responded with three goals capped off by Panarin’s 13th goal this season with under five minutes in the 2nd period to make it 3-1 heading into the 3rd. Seth Jones scored 3:33 into the 3rd, but Alexandar Georgiev stopped the other 17 shots he faced as the Rangers held off the Jackets with Panarin’s goal turning into the game winner as the Rangers won 3-2.
It was their other key free agent departure next on the list, as the Blue Jackets flew to Florida to kick off a four game road trip against Sergei Bobrovsky and the Panthers on Saturday night. The Panthers would score in each period and lead 3-0 before Columbus got one past Bobrovsky and the Panthers would add an empty net goal to bring the final score to 4-1 as Bob stopped 33/34 shots against the Jackets in his first game against his former team, handing the Jackets a winless week to begin December.
Columbus continues on the road this week with two games against the Metro in DC on Monday and Pittsburgh on Thursday before completing the trip in Ottawa on Saturday afternoon.
This season has been a complete train wreck for the Devils, and last week was just another example of how bad things are on and off the ice. The Devils had two sets of back to back games last week, and began the first set in Buffalo on Monday night. Things got out of hand quickly and the rout was on before the end of the 1st period as Buffalo had scored five goals and that would be four goals more than they needed as the Devils didn’t score until midway through the game to make it 6-1 before Buffalo added the extra point shortly after which turned out to be the 7-1 final score.
The Devils returned to New Jersey 24 hours later, but coach John Hynes was mercifully let go by General Manager Ray Shero hours before the game against the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday night. Former Penguins player Alain Nasreddine was tagged the interim head coach and didn’t have much time to prepare for his first game against Vegas, but things were looking promising as the Devils led 2-1 after the 2nd period and were outshooting Vegas 28-17 after 40 minutes.
But just as things have gone all year, the Devils collapsed in the 3rd. Jonathan Marchessault would score 1:05 into the 3rd period to tie the game before adding two more to complete a natural hat trick at 9:40 of the 3rd period and put the Knights up 4-2. Nice Hischier would get one back 20 seconds after Marchessault’s third goal, but Malcolm Subban - P.K. Subban’s brother - would not allow the Devils to even the game and the Knights ruined Nasreddine’s coaching debut as the Devils lose 4-3 in regulation.
New Jersey had two days off for the players to readjust to the new normal with Nasreddine as their coach before hosting Chicago on Friday night. Taylor Hall scored on the power play 13:31 into the 1st period and the Blackhawks answered with a power play goal 9:35 into the 2nd period which turned out to be all the scoring in regulation. The Devils and their fans appreciated the defensive turnaround in this game, but Kirby Dach’s goal in the fifth round of the shootout would be the deciding goal as the Hawks keep Nasreddine’s two game coaching career without a victory as the Hawks won 2-1 in the shootout.
P.K. Subban made his much anticipated return to Nashville the following night. It was another game to forget in a season to forget for P.K. as he finished the game -3 and did not register a point. Both teams would strike twice in the 1st period and Nashville would add two more in the 2nd to lead 4-3 heading into the 3rd period. Nick Bonino’s 11th goal of the year gave the Predators some breathing room before Taylor Hall score with less than 10 minutes to bring it to within one goal again, but the Predators scored again quickly after Hall’s goal which is where the score stayed as the Devils stayed winless last week drop this match by a final of 6-4 in Subban’s return to Nashville.
The Devils will remain on the road for the rest of this week when they play in Dallas on Tuesday before wrapping up the road trip with a back to back in Denver on Friday and Glendale on Saturday night to finish up the week for the Metropolitan Division.
17-9-4; 38 pts; 103 Goals For (T-4th in the NHL; T-5th in the NHL last week); 81 Goals Against (7th; T-9th)
3-0 record last week
Pens follow their Blue-print, get bounce-back 3-0 win
Jarry shines and Malkin’s goal sends Pens to win
Pens roll to a 5-3 win
Tuesday, December 10 - vs MTL, 7 p.m. ET
Thursday, December 12 - vs CBJ, 7 p.m.
Saturday, December 14 - vs LAK, 7 p.m.
- 11/9/19, C Sidney Crosby - IR; Core muscle surgery
- 11/14/19, C Nick Bjugstad - IR; Core muscle injury
- 12/1/19, D Brian Dumoulin - IR; Lacerated ankle tendons
- 12/1/19, RW Patric Hornqvist - IR; Lower body injury
22-4-5, 49 pts; 115 GF (1st); 88 GA (T-13th; T-19th)
3-0 record last week
Carlson Notches Three Points in 5-2 Win Over San Jose
Caps Grab Victors’ Crown in 3-1 Win
Caps Sweep Cali Trip With 3-2 Win In Anaheim
Monday, December 9 - vs CBJ, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, December 11 - vs BOS, 7 p.m.
Saturday, December 14 - @ TBL, 7 p.m.
- 11/19/19, C Nicklas Backstrom - Day-to-day; Upper-body injury
19-7-2, 40 pts; 81 GF (T-23rd; T-25th); 68 GA (1st)
2-2 record last week
Eberle gets his first two of season in win
No points and none deserved
NYI: 3 OT
Pulock wins it as Isles stop home for two points
Too little, too late
Monday, December 9 - @ TBL, 7 p.m.
Thursday, December 12 - @ FLA, 7 p.m.
Saturday, December 14 - vs BUF, 1 p.m.
- 10/24/19, RW Tom Kuhnhackl - IR; Leg
17-8-5, 39 pts; 96 GF (T-11th; 14th); 85 GA (10th; T-9th)
2-1 record last week
Flyers turn on afterburners in 6-1 win over Maple Leafs
Flyers fall to Coyotes, have their win streak snapped
Flyers battle to win 4-3 vs. Senators in a wild one
Wednesday, December 11 - @ COL, 9:30 p.m.
Saturday, December 14 - @ MIN, 7 p.m.
- 9/12/19, C Nolan Patrick - IR; Migraine disorder
- 11/6/19, D Samuel Morin - IR; Torn right ACL
- 12/2/19, C Michael Raffl - IR; Fractured finger
- 12/6/19, RW Travis Konecny - Day-to-day; Upper-body injury
18-11-1, 37 pts; 97 GF (T-9th; T-8th); 82 GA (8th; T-7th)
2-1 record last week
Two late goals cost Canes
CAR: 3 SO
Svech Leads Canes to Shootout Win
All hail our Finnish overlords
Tuesday, December 10 - @ EDM, 9 p.m.
Thursday, December 12 - @ VAN, 10 p.m.
Saturday, December 14 - @ CGY, 4 p.m.
- 11/17/19, C Erik Haula - Day-to-day; Knee
- 11/29/19, RW Martin Necas - Day-to-day; Lower-body injury
14-11-3, 31 pts; 88 GF (18th; 15th); 91 GA (T-17th; T-19th)
1-2 record last week
Rangers Go Down Early and Fall 4-1 to Vegas
Alexandar Georgiev Steals a Win in Columbus
Rangers Give Up Late Goal, Lose 2-1
Sunday, December 8 - @ VGK, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, December 10 - @ LAK, 10:30 p.m.
Thursday, December 12 - @ SJS, 10:30 p.m.
Friday, December 14 - @ ANA, 4 p.m.
- 12/4/19, D Libor Hajek - Day-to-day; Sprained knee
11-14-4, 26 pts; 71 GF (30th; 29th); 91 GA (T-17th; 12th)
0-3 record last week
Scott Harrington leads Blue Jackets to defeat
Near misses, Panarin do Blue Jackets in
Bobrovsky was on the case. Panthers cruise past Blue Jackets.
Monday, December 9 - @ WSH, 7 p.m.
Thursday, December 12 - @ PIT, 7 p.m.
Saturday, December 14 - @ OTT, 1 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 - IR; Upper-body injury
9-15-5, 23 pts; 74 GF (29th; 30th); 109 GA (30th; 26th)
0-3-1 record last week
The Devils Implode in Buffalo, Lose 7-1
CHI: 2 SO
Blah: The New Jersey Devils Edged in a 1-2 Shootout Loss to Chicago Blackhawks
Devils Rally and Put up a Fight but Fall to the Predators 6-4
Tuesday, December 10 - @ DAL, 8:30 p.m.
Friday, December 13 - @ COL, 9 p.m.
Saturday, December 14 - ARI, 8 p.m.
- 9/30/19, D Brian Strait - IR; Concussion
- 10/14/19, D Connor Carrick - IR; Fractured finger
- 12/2/19, D Matt Tennyson - IR: Upper-body injury
- 12/5/19, C Nico Hischier - Day-to-day; Illness
Which Metropolitan game is the most intriguing?
This poll is closed
12.9.19 - CBJ @ WSH, 7 p.m. ET
12.9.19 - NYI @ TBL, 7 p.m.
12.11.19 - BOS @ WSH, 7 p.m.
12.12.19 - CBJ @ PIT, 7 p.m.
12.14.19 - WSH @ TBL, 7 p.m.