In this edition of NHL Talk, here are the top storylines with quotes from players, coaches, managers, and more.
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Golden Knights’ Struggles Continue With Third-Straight Loss
The Vegas Golden Knights dropped a third consecutive game in regulation, falling 5-3 at the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday. Despite the Golden Knights outshooting the Penguins, 42-33, and coming back from a two-goal deficit in the second period, Vegas failed to take any leads in the game. Pittsburgh scored three unanswered goals in the third period to close out another rough night for the Golden Knights.
“We’re going to concentrate on the really good things we did tonight,” Golden Knights head coach Pete DeBoer said. “We outplayed, for long stretches, a really good team over there. So it’s a challenge, but that’s the ups and downs of a season. We have a lot of hockey left. We’ve got a chance to finish this road trip strong with a couple wins (two games remaining).”
Blue Jackets Force Overtime In Final Seconds, Steal Victory
The Columbus Blue Jackets won in dramatic fashion, defeating the Minnesota Wild, 3-2, in a shootout on Friday. The Wild looked ready to skate away with the victory, carrying a 2-1 lead in the final minute of regulation, but Blue Jackets defenseman Zach Werenski managed to tie it up, 2-2, with just 32 seconds remaining. His late-game heroics ultimately led Columbus to earn two points in the standings, when it was just seconds away from getting none.
“Great screen in front,” Werenski said. “A lot of times you shoot those and the goalie moves over to make the save. He really couldn’t see. … We had to dig deep to find a win tonight. For our young guys, even for older guys, a win like this is really important. For us to stick with it and come out with two points is huge.”
Islanders’ Head Coach Trotz Wins 900th NHL Game
New York Islanders head coach Barry Trotz won the 900th game of his NHL coaching career in a 5-2 win against the Winnipeg Jets on Friday. He is just the third coach in league history to win 900 games, joining Scotty Bowman (1,244) and Joel Quenneville (969). Now in his fourth season behind the Islanders’ bench, Trotz also spent time with the Nashville Predators (1998-2014) and Washington Capitals (2014-18).
“It seems like he’s had so many of those milestones over the past few years,” Islanders defenseman Adam Pelech said of Trotz. “He’s done great things for my career, for a lot of guys’ careers on the team and for the team as a whole, so it’s always great to see him get a milestone like that.”
Capitals’ Ovechkin Remains Tied for Third in All-Time NHL Goals
Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin had an assist and six shots but failed to score a goal in a 4-3 overtime win at the Vancouver Canucks on Friday. He remains tied with Jaromir Jagr for third place in all-time NHL goals with 766, only behind Wayne Gretzky (894) and Gordie Howe (801). He will have to wait until Tuesday when the Capitals host the Islanders for his next chance at taking sole possession of third all-time.
“He will get there,” Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette said. “He’s working at it. I thought he played a good game.”
Tom Pepper is an NHL columnist at The Hockey Writers. He lives in Toronto and is a diehard fan of the St. Louis Blues.