Consecutive games with a single point, dating to last year, for the Chicago Blackhawks, second-longest streak in history behind the 1979-80 Philadelphia Flyers. Chicago arrived at the midpoint of its season with a 21-0-3 record, having won its past 11 games in a row.
Games missed by Calgary Flames goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff, who was originally scheduled to be out only day-to-day with a minor knee injury. In Kiprusoff’s return, he stopped 25 of 26 shots in a 4-1 victory over his former team, the San Jose Sharks.
THEY SAID IT
“I still have symptoms. There’s a lot of things that have gotten better, but my eye is still troubling. It isn’t working properly. I don’t have peripheral vision. I keep having to get stronger and stronger glasses. I get dizzy and lightheaded. That’s probably the biggest thing that’s posing a lot of problems for me right now.”~ Chris Pronger...Eighteen months after taking a stick in the eye from the Toronto Maple Leafs’ Mikhail Grabovski, the injured Philadelphia Flyers defenceman is still having issues with dizziness, lightheadedness and failing vision.
“We got the band back together.” ~ Ryan Getzlaf...The Anaheim Ducks’ centre notes that, after coach Bruce Boudreau reunited him with Corey Perry and Bobby Ryan for Wednesday’s 2-0 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes, it was the first time all season the team’s big line has been left intact for more than just a handful of shifts.
“We needed this.” ~ Wojtek Wolski...The Washington Capitals’ forward, after his struggling 9-11-1 team rallied from an early three-goal disadvantage to defeat Boston 4-3 and hand the Bruins just their third loss in regulation this season.
AROUND THE RINKS
The Los Angeles Kings’ Jeff Carter is No.2 in the NHL’s overall goal-scoring race with 16, just behind Tampa’s Steve Stamkos. Six of Carter’s goals have been game winners, tops in the NHL. The reason he isn’t getting more notice presumably is that Carter has just two assists on the season, which leaves him 60th overall in the points standings. … The Kings gave up a first-rounder plus defenceman Jack Johnson to Columbus to land Carter, one of three the Blue Jackets have on June 30, when the entry draft takes place on a Sunday afternoon in New Jersey. A couple of weeks ago, with the Kings and New York Rangers struggling, some thought they could end up with three lottery picks. Both the Kings and Rangers have picked it up of late, however, which makes that seem less likely. Depending upon where their own pick falls (right now, it would be no lower than No.2 overall), the Blue Jackets could theoretically package their two extra first-rounders to move up in the draft, and maybe land both Jonathan Drouin (left) and Nathan MacKinnon. Not since Brian Burke performed a little sleight of hand to land the Sedin twins near the top of the 1999 entry draft has a team pulled off such a stunt. It’ll be worth watching as the season unfolds and the new front-office team of president John Davidson and general manager Jarmo Kekalainen plot strategy....With their goals-per-game average dropping below 2.00 this week, the Nashville Predators went to the waiver wires in the hopes of beefing up their feeble attack, adding forwards Bobby Butler from the New Jersey Devils and Zach Boychuk from the Pittsburgh Penguins. This is Boychuk’s third team in the shortened season, after starting out with the Carolina Hurricanes. Butler scored 29 goals in 39 games in his senior year (2009-10) at the University of New Hampshire, while Boychuk – the 14th player chosen overall in the 2008 entry draft – has ripped it up for the past two years with the AHL’s Charlotte Checkers. Gabriel Bourque leads the Predators with six goals. “Right now we can say what we want, but the reality is it’s not working,” said Barry Trotz, the Nashville coach. … Nashville is 30th out of 30 NHL teams offensively, but the Preds are not in imminent danger of establishing records for scoring futility. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, in the NHL’s modern era – or since the centre line was introduced in 1943-44 – only two teams have finished a season averaging fewer than two goals a game: the 1997-98 Tampa Bay Lightning (1.84 a game, 151 goals in 82 games) and the 1953-54 Chicago Blackhawks (1.90 a game, 133 goals in 70 games). … The current edition of the Lightning has a far different problem – keeping the puck out of the net. After a 6-1 start, the Lightning went 4-11-1 in their next 16 games. The Southeast has the dubious distinction of being the only NHL division with four losing teams. … The worst of the bunch is the Florida Panthers, and they received more bad news this week when it was learned that Stephen Weiss, last year’s second-leading scorer, will undergo season-ending wrist surgery on Tuesday. Weiss has played all 654 games of his NHL career for the Panthers, but he is an unrestricted free agent following this season. About the only bright spot for Florida all season is the play of rookie Jonathan Huberdeau, who has taken over the rookie goal-scoring lead with 11 in 23 games. … The Minnesota Wild, a team that benefited last summer by signing unrestricted free agents Zach Parise and Ryan Suter away from the New Jersey Devils and Predators, respectively, have a few free agents of their own to deal with this summer, including Niklas Backstrom, their No.1 goalie, and Matt Cullen, their No.2 centre, and the oft-injured Pierre-Marc Bouchard, all of whom might garner some interest at the trade deadline if the Wild fall out of contention. But as general manager Chuck Fletcher told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, it is unlikely this year’s trade deadline will resemble those of the past, because so few teams will have fallen completely out of contention in the next 26 days. “It’s hard to find trade partners because everybody’s going to be in it for the most part,” Fletcher said. “If you think about it, the trade deadline is going to be the 35- or 36-game mark. In a normal season, how many teams are out of it at the 35- or 36-game mark?” Answer: Usually, only one or two. … The St. Louis Blues have been on the skids lately and as a result, have brought in Jason Arnott on a one-week tryout.