Flames Thoughts: Bobrovsky bests Smith in epic goalie showdown

Despite getting outshot 41-22, the Calgary Flames found a way to pick up a point in a 1-0 overtime loss to the Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena in Columbus on Wednesday night. Here are five thoughts from the game.

SMITH THE THIEF

Mike Smith stole a point for the Flames on Wednesday night, plain and simple. Following a fairly even first period, the Blue Jackets badly outshot and outplayed the Flames in the second and third periods. Smith is a battler. He fights to see and stop pucks.

In addition to the 40 saves that he made, Smith did an outstanding job playing the puck and playing the role of a third defenceman to help the Flames transition out of the defensive zone, through the neutral zone and into the offensive zone. As my broadcast partner Peter Loubardias said following the game, “Smith was so good he could have been the first, second and third stars tonight.”

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Source:: Sportsnet.ca

Nazem Kadri slams stick in penalty box, hits NHL official

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Source:: Sportsnet.ca

Post Up: Russ Holds Court

Thunder 108 (8-9), Warriors 91 (13-5)

This one lived up to the hype as much as any 17-point game could. First, KD got booed during starting lineups. Then Russell Westbrook threw down this dunk and stomped his feet:

RUSS!!!! ” class=”wp-smiley” style=”height: 1em; max-height: 1em;” />” class=”wp-smiley” style=”height: 1em; max-height: 1em;” />” class=”wp-smiley” style=”height: 1em; max-height: 1em;” />” class=”wp-smiley” style=”height: 1em; max-height: 1em;” />” class=”wp-smiley” style=”height: 1em; max-height: 1em;” />” class=”wp-smiley” style=”height: 1em; max-height: 1em;” /> (via @okcthunder) pic.twitter.com/ITtLTO1Qwq

— SLAM Magazine (@SLAMonline) November 23, 2017

Then Russ and KD got into it:

RUSS!!!! (via @okcthunder) pic.twitter.com/ITtLTO1Qwq

— SLAM Magazine (@SLAMonline) November 23, 2017

What more could you ask for? Westbrook, true to his form, finished with a near triple-double, with 34 points, 10 rebounds, and nine assists. Steph Curry led the Warriors with 26 points.

Heat 104 (8-9), Celtics 98 (16-3)

The Streak is over. The Boston Celtics’ run of 16 consecutive victories came to an end in Miami Wednesday night behind a strong start from the Heat and 27 points from Goran Dragic and 26 from Dion Waiters. Miami led by 11 after the first quarter and later extended its lead to 18. But, like great teams are prone to do, the Celtics stormed back with a furious fourth-quarter run to put a scare into the Miami crowd. Kyrie Irving had 23 to lead the Celtics.

Cavaliers 119 (11-7), Nets 109 (6-11)

The Nets hung with the Cavs almost the entire way, but when LeBron James decides to take over a game, there’s not much you can do. LeBron scored 23 of his 33 points in the fourth quarter and 17 of them in the final five minutes, helping the Cavs …read more

Source:: SLAMonline

Antti Niemi defies doubters with performance in Canadiens’ SO loss

NASHVILLE — Antti Niemi didn’t just reinvent himself overnight.

The man who came to the Montreal Canadiens as a fourth-string insurance policy that had numbers so incredibly unbecoming of an NHL goaltender that there was a hockey-worldwide chorus of laughter when general manager Marc Bergevin picked him up on waivers from the Florida Panthers. And his 31-save performance on Wednesday in Nashville will do little to change the general perception of what his ability is at this stage of his career.

But give credit where it’s due: Without Niemi coming up with the goods against the Predators, his Canadiens would’ve flown home with zero points in the bank instead of a hard-earned one on what was as tough of a mini road trip as they could’ve undertaken.

Filip Forsberg scored twice on the power play—both goals that were virtually unstoppable—and Kyle Turris had the only goal in the shootout to give the Predators a 3-2 win, but it was Niemi who got the lion’s share of credit for the game making it that far.

“He was great,” said Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne, who made 27 saves of his own and allowed goals from defencemen Jordie Benn and Joe Morrow. “He played a really strong game, kept them in the game at times. We were buzzing pretty good in the game at times and I thought he was exceptional. I was happy to see that.

“Obviously he’s a fellow Finn, and I know him, but just being a goalie, I’ve been through stretches where the results aren’t there and I get a lot of heat. So you feel for the guy. But for years and years I’ve played against Antti and he’s been a solid goalie in the NHL …read more

Source:: Sportsnet.ca