Harry Zolnierczyk Hits Someone in Hockey, People Freak Out

Harry Zolnierczyk Hits Someone in Hockey, People Freak Out

The Flyers took it to the Washington Capitals in just about
every possible way on Wednesday night, and they weren’t about to let up just
because their opponent did. With less than 30 seconds to go, Harry Zolnierczyk
picked up a five-minute kneeing major and game misconduct for a big collision
with Mathieu Perreault near center ice.

Needless to say, certain Caps took exception to the hit. Not
surprisingly, Alex Ovechkin was one of them.

We say not surprisingly because Ovechkin’s whole issue with
the hit
seemed to center around he and his teammates were waving the white flag
at this stage of the game. By that token, maybe the Flyers were supposed to stop
hitting around the five-minute mark in the first period.

“It was like, 30 seconds left, 4-1
lead,” Ovechkin said. “Why you have to kill the guy? It was dirty.”

Caps defenseman Karl Alzner also thought it an unnecessary shot.

“There’s only a minute left,” Alzner said. “What’s the point of doing
that? Some players like that don’t really think about it that way. They
just think about what they’re supposed to be doing on the ice. An older
guy probably wouldn’t have done something like that.” 

For what it’s worth, Washington’s own head coach Adam Oates
disagreed, admitting he thought the hit was perfectly fine.

“I don’t think it’s dirty at all. I
think it’s a product of our whole game. There is 30 seconds left, the games
over, and Matty thought he could stick handle through the team. It’s not what
we do, all of us tonight, and guys are sitting there waiting for you, and you
get hit.”

I thought the hit was pretty clean myself, nor even much of a kneeing at all. Harry Z is a
young player trying to carve out a role on the team. Guys like that aren’t
going to relent just because the players across from them do, nor quit when
there’s 30 seconds left. That doesn’t make the hit dirty, it’s called playing
until the whistle.

Zolnierczyk will avoid any further discipline for the
play, even though the NBC Sports broadcast team thought it like the hit that
landed Taylor Hall for Edmonton a two-game ban. Judge for yourself.

Meanwhile, Danny Briere accused Ovechkin of attempting to throw an elbow at his head during the third period, so stones, glass house, all that.

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Best of NBA: Davis' 50 points not enough in Pelicans' loss to Nuggets

Best of NBA: Davis' 50 points not enough in Pelicans' loss to Nuggets

NEW ORLEANS -- Jusuf Nurkic scored 23 points, Will Barton added 22, and the Denver Nuggets survived a dominant performance by Anthony Davis to defeat the New Orleans Pelicans 107-102 in both teams' regular season opener Wednesday night.

Davis had 50 points, 16 rebounds, seven steals, five assists and four blocks. His production helped New Orleans trim a deficit as large as 14 late in the second quarter down to two points in the waning minutes. He simply didn't have enough help.

The rest of the Pelicans combined to shoot 21 of 58. Tim Frazier scored 15 for the Pelicans. E'Twaun Moore added 10 points, but missed a 3-point attempt that could have tied it with 24 seconds left.

Danilo Gallinari scored 15 for Denver and Wilson Chandler added 12 points (see full recap).

Celtics top Nets in Horford's home debut
BOSTON -- Isaiah Thomas had 25 points and nine assists, Jae Crowder added 21 points and Al Horford pitched in 11 in his Boston debut on Wednesday night as the Celtics survived a late scare to beat the Brooklyn Nets 122-117 in their season opener.

Bojan Bogdanovic scored 21 for Brooklyn, including a 3-pointer to make it 120-117 with 47 seconds left after the Nets erased most of a 23-point deficit against the Boston bench. But he missed one with a chance to tie it after Joe Harris intercepted Thomas' cross-court pass, and the Celtics were able to hold on.

Justin Hamilton came off the bench to score 19 points and grab 10 rebounds for the Nets in coach Kenny Atkinson's debut (see full recap).

Turner's opening act leads Pacers past Mavs in OT
INDIANAPOLIS -- Myles Turner scored 30 points, tied his career high with 16 rebounds and made a 3-pointer with 1:18 left in overtime to start an 8-0 run that allowed the Indiana Pacers to close out a 130-121 victory Wednesday night over the Dallas Mavericks.

Three-time All-Star Paul George added 25 points, including another 3 with 55 seconds left to seal Indiana's fifth season-opening win in six years.

Deron Williams scored 25 points, while J.J. Barea and Dirk Nowitzki each added 22 as the Mavs lost their fifth straight in the series. They still haven't won in Indianapolis since February 2014.

Dallas didn't tie the score or take a lead until the fourth quarter, yet still forced overtime when Harrison Barnes' open 3-pointer made it 115-all with 2.3 seconds left.

Turner could have won it with a long buzzer-beating 3, but it bounced off the back of the rim (see full recap).

Best of NHL: Shea Weber's PPG gives Canadiens' 5th straight win

Best of NHL: Shea Weber's PPG gives Canadiens' 5th straight win

NEW YORK -- Shea Weber's power-play goal with 2:57 remaining lifted the Montreal Canadiens to their fifth straight victory, 3-2 over the New York Islanders on Wednesday night.

Paul Byron and Phillip Danault also scored to help Montreal improve to 6-0-1 and remain the only team in the NHL without a regulation loss. Al Montoya, who played for the Islanders from 2010-12, stopped 26 shots in his first start since Oct. 18 as the Canadiens beat New York for the seventh straight time.

John Tavares and Dennis Seidenberg scored for New York and Thomas Greiss had 26 saves in his second straight start and third of the season.

With the Islanders' Nick Leddy off for slashing, Weber fired a shot from the point for the tiebreaking goal. It was just the second power-play goal in 23 opportunities given up by New York's league-leading penalty-killing unit (see full recap).

Pirri, Rangers rally to topple Bruins
NEW YORK -- Brandon Pirri scored twice to help the New York Ranger beat the Boston Bruins 5-2 on Wednesday night.

Rick Nash, Kevin Hayes and Jimmy Vesey also scored for New York, and Henrik Lundqvist stopped 27 shots. The Rangers won their third straight game, overcoming a 2-0 deficit to improve to 5-2-0.

David Pastrnak and Austin Czarina scored for Boston. The Bruins have lost three straight to drop to 3-4-0.

Zane McIntyre made 26 saves in his first NHL start. He was called up prior to Boston's 5-0 home loss to Minnesota on Tuesday night to back up Malcolm Subban due to injuries to Tuukka Risk and Anton Khudobin (see full recap).

Pouliot scores twice, Oilers beat Capitals
EDMONTON, Alberta -- Benoit Pouliot scored twice, Cam Talbot made 34 saves and the Edmonton Oilers beat the Washington Capitals 4-1 on Wednesday night to stretch their winning streak to four games.

Patrick Maroon and Milan Lucic also scored for the Oilers (6-1-0). They have won four of five games at Rogers Place, their new downtown arena.

Alex Ovechkin scored for the Capitals (3-2-1). Braden Holtby made 25 saves (see full recap).