Sabres Wanted Mike Richards Out For Game 7, But Request Reportedly Denied

Sabres Wanted Mike Richards Out For Game 7, But Request Reportedly Denied

There's been no shortage of chatter between the Flyers and Sabres during and after the first six games of their opening round series, and after the Sabres gave up a pair of leads and ultimately lost on Sunday, they had plenty more to say. Lindy Ruff and Ryan Miller led the way, quickly pointing out that Mike Richards should be suspended for his hit on Tim Connolly. Connolly has had previous concussion issues, and Richards gave him a shove into the boards that ended his night.

Richie was assessed a two-minute penalty for the hit, but the Sabres wanted more. Some outside observers thought the proper amount of justice was administered by the refs, while others thought the hit was excessive. Judge for yourself after the jump.

Here's the post-game Miller dialogue, courtesy of Tim Panaccio:

In Game 4 here, Richards elbowed Patrick Kaleta and got a five-minute major on what should be have a minor. Afterward, Richards accused the Sabres of “getting away with murder” on the ice.
 
Miller, reacting to Richards hit on Connolly, thinks Richards should be suspended for Game 7.
 
“I’d like to add one thing,” Miller said. “If Mike Richards thinks we’re getting away with murder, I don’t know what he just got away with. Mass murder? Are we stepping up a notch? Unbelievable.
 
“We lost a player for the rest of the game. That’s the kind of hit the league has been talking about is dangerous. They better seriously consider looking at that one. It’s unbelievable.”

Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News quotes Ruff as saying the Sabres lost a good player [on Sunday], and that if the league sees the Richards hit the same he Ruff himself does, the Flyers could lose Richards for a game too. Harrington also relays that Flyers Chairman Ed Snider responded to the Ruff comments with a "Oh, is he whining again?"

The hockey world has heard Lindy Ruff cry wolf a few times, and his pleas don't seem to have swayed the league office in this case.

These calls can be pretty tough though, and not just for the guys blowing the whistles in real time, but also the NHL disciplinarians. Not that I aim to defend the latter party, as the gray area is largely of their creation, but there are a lot of elements at play in most of these hits. Did the downed player do enough to protect himself? Did the guy putting the check on pull up at all despite clearly giving a push?

It's in the eye of the beholder, and there's bound to be bias based on which team you root for. But the league won't be suspending Richards for this one, per multiple reports, including Nick Kypreos of Sportsnet and Tim Panaccio of CSNPhilly, who told WIP radio that there won't be a hearing.

Best of NBA: Russell Westbrook posts 5th straight triple-double in Thunder's win over Pelicans

Best of NBA: Russell Westbrook posts 5th straight triple-double in Thunder's win over Pelicans

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Russell Westbrook became the first player with five consecutive triple-doubles since Michael Jordan had seven straight in 1989 and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the New Orleans Pelicans 101-92 on Sunday night.

Westbrook finished with 28 points, 17 rebounds and 12 assists. The Thunder have won all five games during Westbrook's triple-double stretch. It was Westbrook's 10th triple-double of the season and the 47th of his career.

Enes Kanter had 17 points and 10 rebounds and Victor Oladipo added 15 points for the Thunder.

Anthony Davis, the NBA's leading scorer, had 37 points and 15 rebounds for the Pelicans. Buddy Hield, who led nearby Oklahoma to the Final Four last season, scored 16 points in his first game back in the state (see full recap).

Rose, Anthony help Knicks hold off Kings
NEW YORK -- Derrick Rose and Carmelo Anthony each scored 20 points and the New York Knicks held off the Sacramento Kings 106-98 on Sunday night for their eighth win in 11 games.

The Knicks took a 21-point lead in the first half, gave up 18 consecutive points in the third quarter but outplayed the Kings down the stretch to win their third straight overall and improve to 9-3 at home.

Brandon Jennings added 19 points for New York and Kristaps Porzingis finished with 15 points and 14 rebounds.

DeMarcus Cousins had 36 points and 12 rebounds for the Kings, but shot just 9 for 30 and looked fatigued while struggling late while playing the entire second half (see full recap).

Ibaka's big night leads Magic past Pistons
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Serge Ibaka scored 21 points and blocked four shots, helping the Orlando Magic beat the Detroit Pistons 98-92 on Sunday night.

Nikola Vucevic added 16 points and eight rebounds for the Magic.

Pistons guard Reggie Jackson made his season debut after missing Detroit's first 21 games with knee tendinitis. He had 18 points in 23 minutes. Marcus Morris led Detroit with 21 points.

Orlando won for the third time in four games while Detroit had its three-game winning streak snapped.

On Jackson's first possession, the Pistons went to their bread-and-butter play -- he and Andre Drummond running a high pick and roll. Jackson came off the screen and hit a 3-pointer, bringing a cheer from the small crowd. Jackson played the first 5:50 of the quarter as Detroit built a 16-10 lead (see full recap).

Best of NHL: Canadiens avoid winless California trip with SO win over Kings

Best of NHL: Canadiens avoid winless California trip with SO win over Kings

LOS ANGELES -- Paul Byron scored the clinching goal in the fourth round of the shootout, and the Montreal Canadiens avoided a winless swing through California with a 5-4 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday.

Max Pacioretty had two goals and an assist for the Canadiens, who won for just the second time in seven road games. Montreal had only one win in its previous 11 games in California before scoring three times in the four-round shootout.

Alexander Radulov and Andrew Shaw also scored and Carey Price made 27 saves for the Atlantic Division-leading Canadiens.

Jeff Carter and Drew Doughty had a goal and an assist apiece for the Kings, who lost for only the second time in eight games. Peter Budaj stopped 26 shots (see full recap).

DeKeyser gives Red Wings OT win over Isles
NEW YORK -- Danny DeKeyser scored 1:02 into overtime to give Detroit a victory over New York.

Mike Green scored twice and Henrik Zetterberg had a goal and assist for Detroit, which improved to 4-1-2 in its last seven games. Peter Mrazek stopped 32 shots to improve to 3-0-2 in his past five starts.

Anders Lee, Johnny Boychuk and Josh Bailey scored for New York, which had won a season-high three straight. Jaroslav Halak finished with 30 saves.

Detroit's Frans Nielsen had an assist while facing his former team for the first time since leaving the Islanders for a six-year, $31.5 million deal with the Red Wings last summer. The 32-year-old Danish center was selected by the Islanders in the third round of the 2002 draft and had 119 goals and 230 assists over 10 seasons in New York (see full recap).

Late goal lifts Jets over Blackhawks
CHICAGO -- Andrew Copp scored the tiebreaking goal with 4:45 left, Bryan Little got his third goal in three games and Winnipeg edged Chicago.

Copp beat Scott Darling on the stick side with a shot from the right circle that slipped just inside the left post.

Chicago's Artemi Panarin scored with 6:54 remaining to tie it at 1, moments after Copp hit the post, to spoil Connor Hellebuyck's bid for a second shutout against Chicago in less than a month. Panarin completed a give-and-go with Patrick Kane, beating Hellebuyck to the glove side.

Hellebuyck finished with 25 saves and outdueled Darling, who started his second straight game for the Blackhawks in place of No. 1 goalie Corey Crawford. Darling made 30 saves, including three on breakaways.

Little's power-play goal with 43.4 seconds left in the second period was his fourth point in four games since missing 23 with a lower-body injury (see full recap)