It just isn’t really possible to summarize all of the news and happenings on Thursday into a paragraph, but here goes. The Pittsburgh Penguins overcame a goonish attempt by the New York Islanders to win Game 3. Penguins prospect Nathan Legare scored four goals in a series-clinching game. The Montreal Canadiens asserted their tight style on the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 1, Toronto’s John Tavares left the game on a stretcher, and Marc-Andre Fleury had the best bad save of his career.
Got all of that?
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: If you didn’t see the game, here’s the Penguins recap and PHN’s three stars in the Penguins 5-4 win in Game 3.
Evgeni Malkin played, had two assists, and a few blocks, though his overall effectiveness was limited. Jeff Carter and Brandon Tanev had games to remember.
New York was losing the battle of the hockey game, so…they changed it to a wrestling match. PHN asked Mike Sullivan about the bench and reactions. Sullivan seemed quite pleased, “the players took ownership.”
PHN+: The full report card from the squared circle and Penguins win. Who played well, who didn’t get a good grade, and the Xs and Os (at least when there was hockey).
It looks like this season might last a while longer. If you’re on the fence about PHN+, here’s a special $19.99 offer.
NYI: Here’s from the Islanders’ side of things.
Barry Trotz thought Clutterbuck’s third period penalty was “slight”?
VIDEO: Matt Gajtka and Jesse Marshall spent some time trying to break down that game. It was a lot to digest, but we appreciate those two delivering a solid postgame show.
There is some debate who the Penguins’ top prospect will be once P-O Joseph hits the NHL. Most assume Sam Poulin, but I’m telling you–and have been–Nathan Legare has that chip on his shoulder and some intangibles. Plus that ridiculous shot. He showed it all Thursday night.
QMJHL Video Highlights: Pittsburgh Penguins prospect Nathan Legare scored FOUR goals in Val D-Ors’ series-clinching 6-3 win.
NHL & National Hockey Now
Sportsnet: It was a scary moment that changed Game 1 between Toronto and Montreal. John Tavares took an accidental knee to the head and left on a stretcher.
He did give a thumbs up, but that’s a little gesture for a serious injury.
Montreal asserted its style of play in Game 1 and won with a shorthanded goal.
Vegas: VGK turned frustration into five unanswered goals in a Game 3 win and 2-1 series lead.
Marc-Andre Fleury made either a brilliant save or a bad save look brilliant. I’m not sure. His behind-the-back glove save was…something.
TSN: The Florida Panthers had their backs to the wall. Another loss, and they would be down 3-0 to Tampa Bay. Ryan Lomberg delivered those TPS reports with an OT winner. Florida is back in the series.
San Jose: Read this ugliness. Sheng Peng did a fantastic job exposing the AHL’s abuse of power. Players in the Pacific Division voted 133-8 AGAINST a Divisional playoff (the Pacific Division is the only division with a playoff). No money. No bonuses.
Great reporting Sheng.