MORE AFTERNOON GAMES COULD BOOST NHL POPULARITY IN EUROPE
Aleksander Barkov is quick to point out the NHL is so popular in Finland that tickets to two games in Helsinki sold out in less than five minutes.
“It shows how much they love the game,” the Florida Panthers captain said. “There’s good reason to do that every year.”
The NHL plans just that after Commissioner Gary Bettman announced initial plans for a 2019 season opener in Prague, two regular-season games in Stockholm and exhibitions in Germany and Switzerland. The Panthers and Winnipeg Jets played the 24th and 25th regularseason games outside North America on Thursday and Friday at packed Hartwall Arena in the Finnish capital. Goalie signs $10 million deal: The Nashville Predators signed goaltender Pekka Rinne to a two-year contract extension worth $10 million, keeping the Vezina Trophy winner under contract through 2020-21.
Sabres 9, Senators 2: Jeff Skinner and Jason Pominville each had two goals and an assist to lead host Buffalo over Ottawa. Conor Sheary, Casey Mittlestadt, Patrik Berglund and Zemgus Girgensons had a goal and an assist apiece, Jack Eichel had three assists and Linus Ullmark made 27 saves for the Sabres, who snapped a three-game losing streak. Maple Leafs 5, Penguins 0: Frederik Andersen made 31 saves for his first shutout of the season and 16th overall and visiting Toronto routed highscoring Pittsburgh. Morgan Rielly scored twice to help Toronto improve to 6-0 on the road.