Anaheim Ducks fans are used to forward Rickard Rakell lighting the lamp at the Honda Center with regularity. However, they’re not used to seeing him do so for the visiting squad. Well, that’s exactly what happened last night when the Ducks took on the visiting Colorado Avalanche after a bizarre sequence stemming from a defensive zone faceoff.
Early in the the scoreless opening frame, Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf was waved out of the face-off dot by the linesman so winger Rakell stepped in to take over. He won the draw… and boy did he ever. Rackell won the draw with such force that he effectively backhanded the puck past goaltender John Gibson and into his own net for the game’s opening goal.
Check it out:
Wow… you don’t see that everyday! Rakell wins it clean off of teammate Corey Perry’s skate and just past Gibson’s outstretched pad. Avs rookie Alexander Kerfoot was credited with the goal, simply by virtue of the fact that he was the centerman lined up against Rakell. Kerfoot never touched the puck… but he gets the goal. Go figure.
UPDATE: The NHL has officially re-awarded the goal from Kerfoot to Avs forward Blake Comeau. Despite being on the bench at the time of the face-off, Comeau was the last Avs player to touch the puck during play, therefore he's credited as the goal scorer. He was not, however, awarded a +1 in plus/minus for the tally. Interesting.
Luckily for Rakell, his team would get the last laugh on the evening as the Ducks were spurred on by two late third period goals before Ondrej Kase won the game in overtime with a beautiful individual effort.
Check it out:
All's well that ends well, right Ducks fans?
Malkin tosses Oshie’s stick into the bench, has to be wrestled off the ice by officials
If you missed last night’s matchup between the Division leading Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins, you missed another absolute beauty in this decade plus long rivalry.
While it may have been Alex Ovechkin’s 1,000th NHL game, it was another Russian superstar, the Penguins’ Evgeni Malkin, who made headlines last night.
Malin was eventually ejected from the game, which the Capitals would win 3-1, but before that he got into a heated exchange with Caps forward T.J. Oshie. Why? Well… watch for yourself:
Watch closely… do you see it? Yes, that’s Malkin slipping Oshie’s stick onto the Caps’ bench. Obviously Oshie took exception to this and decides to let Malkin know how he feels. The stick-less Oshie puts Malkin in a headlock and begins throwing punches at the big Russian. Malkin eventually gets free and manages a few shots of his own… but not enough for us to officially call this scuffle a fight. That’s the way the on-ice officials saw things as well, as both individuals earned themselves roughing minors. Because there was only a minute or so remaining in the game and because he had to be wrestled off the ice by officials however, Malkin never served a second of that penalty.
During the exchange with Oshie, which occurred directly in front of the Capitals’ bench, Malkin’s good friend Evgeny Kuznetsov apparently chimed in with some comments that absolutely set Malkin OFF.
Here’s the entire exchange, starting with Malkin’s stick flip:
Towards the second half of the clip you’ll see that Malkin is doing everything possible to get to Kuznetsov. Whatever was said, it should fired up, Geno Malkin.
Wait… so he was upset that Kuznetsov spoke to him in Russian? Or he’s upset that Kuznetsov spoke to him at all? We’re not clear on what exactly happened here…
Oh… okay, that explains it. I think. Still… this seems like an awfully silly reason to earn yourself a game ejection.
“We need to understand that we might see each other in the playoffs. We send message. We're ready to play in the playoffs, maybe in the second round.”
Ah! That explains it!
Any way you look at things though, Malkin comes out looking foolish. He ends up taking himself out of a game when he could have been a very valuable player in the final 60 seconds for a surging Penguins squad. As it is, he had to be wrestled off the ice by officials. Not exactly Geno’s best night in the NHL. Thankfully for him, he’s earned the right to go off every now and again.