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Despite only four games on the NHL docket, we had our first two hat tricks of the season as Marion Gaborik of the Rangers and Steve Sullivan of Phoenix each tallied thrice on Wednesday. Let’s take a look around the league and see who else picked up wins on Wednesday.

Toronto knocked off Pittsburgh 5-2 with James van Riemsdyk leading the way for the Leafs. He had a pair of second-period goals and an assist. Nikolai Kulemin had three assists in the victory. Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby scored for the Penguins.

Gaborik finished his hat trick 27 seconds into overtime as the Rangers snuck past Boston 4-3. Henrik Lundqvist outdueled Tukka Rask for his first win of the season.

Vancouver knocked off Calgary in a shootout 3-2 in a battle of winless teams.

Sullivan had a hat trick as Phoenix thumped Columbus 5-1. Oliver Ekman-Larsson provided the other two goals for the Coyotes as they pick up their first win of the season. Despite the win, Phoenix may have suffered a loss as you’ll read in the next heading below.

Injury News

The Phoenix Coyotes may have suffered a significant loss in their win over Columbus. At the 11:00 mark of the opening period, starting goaltender Mike Smith left the game and didn’t return. Jason LaBarbera took his place and stopped 21 of 22 Blue Jacket shots in relief of Smith. The only word out of the Coyotes is that Smith suffered a lower-body injury and his status is unknown for the Coyotes’ next game tomorrow night at San Jose. LaBarbera is likely to get the call in goal against the Sharks.

Toronto lost Joffrey Lupul to a broken arm and he is expected to miss an unknown amount of time. Lupul broke the arm when a shot from teammate Dion Phaneuf hit him in the arm on a power play.

The Flyers will be without Scott Hartnell indefinitely with a foot injury sustained Tuesday in Philly’s 3-0 loss to New Jersey. This was another “friendly fire” accident as Kimmo Timmonen’s shot hit Hartnell and felled him.

Stat of the Night 

The reported attendance in Phoenix was 8,355. Watching the game, the arena looked even less filled than that number.

Multiple Goal Scorers

Gaborik-NYR  HAT TRICK 14th of his career

Sullivan-PHX HAT TRICK  8th of his career; first since 12-14-2009

van Riemsdyk-TOR

Ekman-Larsson-PHX

Three Stars of the Night

1. Gaborik

2. Sullivan

3. Ekman-Larsson

Thursday’s Schedule (all times ET)

NY Islanders at Toronto 7pm Can the Leafs build momentum after knocking off the Pens last night?

NY Rangers at Philadelphia 7pm Will the Flyers post their first win or fall to 0-4?

Montreal at Washington 7pm Can the Caps get into the win column for their first time?

Buffalo at Carolina 7pm Will the Sabres take advantage of weak Carolina defense?

Ottawa at Florida 730pm Will the Panthers veto the Senators bid to start 3-0?

Nashville at St. Louis 8pm Nashville is the only unbeaten team in the league with two OT/Shootout losses.

Chicago at Dallas 830pm Can the ‘Hawks make it four in a row on the road to open the season?

Columbus at Colorado 9pm Will Columbus avoid a third straight loss?

LA at Edmonton 930pm  Does the Stanley Cup hangover rage on for the Kings?

Phoenix at San Jose 1030pm Who will be the goalie for the Coyotes?

From Around The Web

  1. kyle says:
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    Think its worth it to drop Chris Kreider for JVR? Really deep league.

    • Andrew Nordmeier

      Andrew Nordmeier says:
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      @kyle: Yes it is. According to NJ.com, there are rumblings Kreider may be sent down to the AHL. He was benched for most of the second and third period against Boston.

      That to me says he’s likely to be shipped down in the next day or two. On that fact alone I’d do it. Keep in mind that JVR hasn’t been a big offensive producer in his career and has never put up more than 40 points in a season.

  2. Hank says:
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    Any idea on who is gonna fill lupuls spot?

    • Andrew Nordmeier

      Andrew Nordmeier says:
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      @Hank: The Toronto Star reports that Matt Frattin will take the roster spot while Lupul sits on IR for the next six weeks. He might be on the top line with Phil Kessel and could be a good add to replace Lupul.

  3. Bob says:
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    Zack Kassian is on the first line with the Sedins. Love or hate?

    • Bob says:
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      @Bob:

      And who is a better pickup in the long run, him or Conacher?

      Thanks for the help.

      • Andrew Nordmeier

        Andrew Nordmeier says:
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        @Bob: Kassian should be okay but I think Concaher is the better pickup. I just get that feeling that Tampa is going to be better off offensively this year.

  4. Scottie O. says:
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    Which 2 goalies to start tonight:

    Ward vs. BUF
    Varlamov vs. CBJ
    Niemi vs. PHO

    thanks

    • Andrew Nordmeier

      Andrew Nordmeier says:
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      @Scottie O.: Varlamov and Ward; Phoenix is 1-2 but has scored four goals a game.

  5. Andrew Nordmeier

    Andrew Nordmeier says:
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    We also got another comment in and it linked to screenshots of a lineup. I’ve taken the info and put in this format to make it easier to read. The questions were how to improve the team and the goaltenders.

    Roster

    G-Smith, Nabokov, Kipper, Scrivens
    F-Spezza, E. Kane, Vrbata, Cole, Tarasenko
    C-J. Staal
    L-Ray Whitney
    R-Franzen
    D-Del Zotto, Seabrook, Ekman-Larsson, Tyutin, McDonough,

    Bench- Malkin, Dupuis, Filippula, Bergeron, Ryan Suter, Lucic, Hamhuis, Boychuk, Winnik, Niskanen,

    • Andrew Nordmeier

      Andrew Nordmeier says:
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      @Andrew Nordmeier:

      Those goalies are weak especially after Smith went down with a lower body injury last night. As for who to pick up, it depends on who is out there on the wire. If I had some names, I could give better recommendations.

      The rest of the team looks okay. Consider picking up the Toronto player I mentioned above for some extra boost. Also look for Scott Gomez who signed with the Sharks as a lower-end pickup.

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