There may not be a spot on the roster for Nazem Kadri
, but the 2009 first-round pick is sure making the Toronto Maple Leafs
think twice about sending him back to junior hockey.
The 18-year-old center erased a 2-1 deficit in the third period, then scored again in the shootout to lead the Leafs to a thrilling 3-2 victory against the Pittsburgh Penguins
at the Air Canada Centre on Tuesday night.
Kadri's game-tying goal came with just 1:08 remaining, as he cruised to the net and swatted a rebound past John Curry
for his second goal of the preseason.
"Hopefully, I'm making the decision hard," said Kadri, who is aiming to make the big club right out of juniors. "I appreciate (coach) Ron (Wilson) giving me the opportunity to go out there in some big situations. I think it's really building my confidence."
While Kadri is still likely a long shot to make the Maple Leafs, Wilson has been impressed with the London, Ontario native.
"If he goes back to junior, I'd be shocked if he didn't get 100 points in the OHL," Wilson said. "He's very confident in a positive way. He really believes in himself."
Pittsburgh (1-2-2) held an early 2-0 lead as Ryan Bayda
beat Vesa Toskala
just 1:43 into the game before Chris Conner
doubled the Pens' lead with a backhander at 12:48. The Penguins did not dress Sidney Crosby
, Evgeni Malkin
or No. 1 goalie Marc-Andre Fleury
"We had a puck stop on the goal-line tonight and we had a couple of other good chances," Pens coach Dan Bylsma
said. "That's what you want to see in the pre-season … you want to be generating chances and seeing how the team plays in its own zone."
Flyers 5, Red Wings 2
Top prospect James van Riemsdyk
scored a pair of goals and Ray Emery
made 28 saves as Philadelphia cruised past Detroit at the Wachovia Center.
"I think anytime you have guys trying out for your team, you want to see them play as well as they possibly can," Flyers coach John Stevens
said. "James obviously had a good night. You want to see these guys come in and play well."
While it was Philadelphia's first win of the preseason in four tries (1-2-1), newcomer Chris Pronger
is encouraged by what he's seen thus far. Simon Gagne
made his preseason debut, while Mike Pyorala, Dan Carcillo
and Danny Briere
all scored for the Flyers.
"We're slowly trying to get things settled in," said Pronger, who was acquired from the Anaheim Ducks
in June. "We're still a little sloppy at times, but we played a lot better today. That's part of the building blocks of the preseason -- to get better every game."
and Kris Newbury
scored for the Red Wings, who have lost three straight after opening the preseason with back-to-back victories. Chris Osgood
made 25 saves in the loss, while Todd Bertuzzi
made his preseason debut after suffering a groin injury.
Blue Jackets 6, Bruins 5 (SO)
and Nikita Filatov
scored in the shootout as Columbus squeaked past Boston at Nationwide Arena.
Skating on a line with Vermette and Filatov, Jakub Voracek
chipped in with a goal and two assists for the Blue Jackets, who played without forwards R.J. Umberger
(hip flexor) and Raffi Torres
(back spasms). Matthew Calvert
, Kris Russell
and Derek MacKenzie
also scored in regulation.
"Jake was really good from the red line in," Columbus coach Ken Hitchcock said. "He was really good at penetrating, creating scoring opportunities and going into scoring areas. He had not done that until tonight and we talked to him about that the last day or two. He's got to start getting off the perimeter and get into the inside position, and he did that very well tonight."
, Andrew Ference
and Shawn Thornton
each had a goal and an assist for the Bruins, who opted to sit No. 1 goalie Tim Thomas
. Chuck Kobasew
and Johnny Boychuk
also scored for Boston, which erased five one-goal deficits, including two in the third period against Mathieu Garon
Still, Tuesday's effort was simply not good enough for Bruins coach Claude Julien
"Not really very inspirational, to say the least," Julien said. "There is some work to be done here -- lots of work before the season starts. We will make some of those corrections and hopefully we can get better here in the later part of training camp. I think we have some players that have to be better for us. Those are obviously players that have been here and they have to find their game, and that is why there is still some work to do."
Kings 4, Islanders 2
In a game that featured eight fighting penalties, Wayne Simmonds
scored a pair of goals as Los Angeles (3-1-1) got past the Isles at the state-of-the-art Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.
"It'd be a shame not to have some kind of major sport in this building," Islanders coach Scott Gordon
said. "It's a beautiful building and any team that would have it as a home would like it."
opened the scoring with a power-play goal 8:33 into the game before Andy Sutton
evened things up three minutes later when he beat Jonathan Quick
on a one-timer. But Simmonds beat Nathan Lawson
on a shorthanded tally before Drew Doughty
added a power-play tally in the second to give L.A. a 3-1 lead after 40 minutes. Simmonds, who also dropped the gloves, added an empty-net goal late in the third.
"It's going to happen," Simmonds said. "Guys are fighting for roster spots and want to make an impression."
Lawson got the start for the Isles after Dwayne Roloson
was struck in the net by a shot during pregame warm-ups. He was kept out of the game as a precaution.
also scored for the Islanders (2-3-1), who will host their lone preseason game on Wednesday night against the New Jersey Devils
. Jeff Tambellini
chipped in with two assists.
Panthers 3, Stars 1
and Kamil Kreps
each scored on the power play in the second period, and newcomer Scott Clemmensen
made 26 saves as Florida skated past Dallas at the American Airlines Center.
Evgeni Dadonov also scored for the Panthers (3-3), while Michal Repik
had two assists.
scored the lone goal for the Stars, who fell to 2-2 on the preseason and were playing the first of three games in as many nights. Matt Climie
and Brent Krahn
split the goaltending duties for Dallas, which will visit Florida on Wednesday. Climie stopped 12 of 13 shots.
"I think we are getting there," Stars coach Marc Crawford
said. "Our expectation certainly wasn't that we were going to be letter perfect for the game or preseason. There were a lot of good things tonight."
Lightning 2, Coyotes 1
scored a pair of goals in the second period and Mike Smith
went the distance between the pipes as Tampa Bay edged Phoenix at Comcast Arena in Everett, Wash.
Halpern's outburst came in a span of under three minutes. He gave the Lightning a 1-0 lead via the power play at 2:33 when he swatted a rebound past Ilya Bryzgalov
, then made it 2-0 at 5:18 off a feed from James Wright
"The town of Everett … they deserve a game. Not just the fans, but the organization that the Silvertips have, it's world-class." -- Peter Mueller
The Coyotes cut the deficit in half at 10:35 of the second, when Radim Vrbata
found Petr Prucha
in front of the net for the tap-in to make it 2-1. Smith, though, made two big saves against Jim Vandermeer
in the final two minutes of regulation to secure the victory for Tampa Bay (2-1-1). It was Smith's second start of the preseason. He finished with 32 saves.
Coyotes forward Peter Mueller
, who once starred for the Everett Silvertips of the Western Hockey League, did not play due to a minor groin injury.
It was the NHL's first trip to the state of Washington since the Los Angeles Kings
and Pittsburgh Penguins
played a preseason game in Tacoma on Sept. 23, 1992.
"The town of Everett … they deserve a game," said Mueller, who had over 130 points in two seasons there. "Not just the fans, but the organization that the Silvertips have, it's world-class."
The teams will face each other again on Wednesday night in Loveland, Colo.
Material from wire services and team and online media was used in this report.