NHL roundup: Lightning rally by Knights, Flames pulling out of arena deal, and All-Star Voting
The Tampa Bay Lightning and Vegas Golden Knights were the last game standing on the schedule after COVID ravaged the NHL December calendar. Over 50 games have been postponed this season, which forced the NHL to start the Holiday Break a little early.
Steven Stamkos broke a tie with a power-play goal midway through the third period and the Lightning rallied for a 4-3 victory over the Golden Knights on Tuesday night in Las Vegas.
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Lightning 4, Golden Knights 3
Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 38 shots for his league-leading 17th victory in the final game before the NHL’s extended holiday break. The game was the only one of 10 on the Tuesday schedule that wasn’t postponed due to COVID-19 issued, and the entire Wednesday and Thursday slates were scrapped ahead of a planned weekend hiatus.
Vasilevskiy improved to 7-0-0 in December while improving his NHL calendar-year record for 2021 (regular season and playoffs) to 64-21-4.
Mark Stone, who departed after the 6:24 mark of the second period because of an injury, scored two goals and Nicolas Roy also scored for Vegas, which had a five-game winning streak snapped. Shea Theodore notched two assists, and Laurent Brossoit finished with 15 saves.
“That was tough. I thought we had a solid second period. We just let it slip in the final two minutes,” Theodore said. “We all know they’re going to play hard, and we have to be a little more ready for that.”
Stamkos picked up the game-winner at 10:13 of the third period on a man advantage. He one-timed a Hedman feed from the left circle past Brossoit’s blocker side for his 14th goal of the season.
“It certainly wasn’t the recipe that we want to continue,” Stamkos said via NHL.com. “But given the circumstances, and what’s gone on here the past week … we found a way to win a game that we probably shouldn’t have, and we’ll certainly take it.”
Vegas played without defenseman Alex Pietrangelo and forward Evgenii Dadonov who along Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper entered COVID protocol on Tuesday. Assistant Derek Lalonde handled head-coaching duties for Cooper.
Flames intend to pull out of Event Centre deal
Last night, the Mayor of Calgary put out a series of tweets laying out the Calgary Flames intent to pull out of the Event Centre deal.
“Today, I spoke with Murray Edwards, primary shareholder of Calgary Sports & Entertainment Corp (CSEC), about the future of the Event Centre project,” Mayor Jyoti Gondek wrote. “He informed me of the Flames intention to pull the plug on the Event Centre deal.”
In detailing why, she noted that the reason why the Flames are looking to walk away is over additional costs for “climate mitigation” and “right of way” issued totaling $12.1 million.
“The City came to the table to assist with $6.4m in roadways leaving $9.7m for the Flames. Based on this gap, CSEC informed me they are walking away from our deal,” she continued. “On a project worth over $650m, to have one party walk away for 1.5% of the value of the deal is staggering.”
Afterwards, CSEC released a statement of their own citing rising construction costs which are their sole responsibility. They also pointed out the original agreement with the City to split “50%/50% with respect to the design and construction of the new Event Centre.”
This story is developing and could very well be negotiating in public.
Fans can vote on the captain for each division for the All-Star game (2/4 – 2/5). Here’s your leaders per NHL.com:
- Connor McDavid (30% of votes) – Pacific
- Alex Ovechkin (29%) – Metro
- Auston Matthews (17%) – Atlantic
- Nathan MacKinnon (13%) – Central
Fans can vote for one player from each division without regard to position. Voting ends at 11:59 p.m. ET on Jan. 8, with the top vote-getters by division named All-Stars and captains.
–Field Level Media contributed to this report