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Ride on the Zamboni – Friday, November 5th

Note: We’ll have a rundown of the two latest games (Detroit-Edmonton and Pittsburgh-Anaheim) tomorrow morning/afternoon. Enjoy summaries of the night’s first six games.

NY Rangers 3, New Jersey 0

To quote the great prophet Scooby Doo, “Ruh roh.” The Devils are in big, King Kong-sized trouble right now.

Brandon Dubinsky might be on the least-reported hot streak in the NHL at the moment, scoring the Rangers’ first and third goals of the night to bring his total to a staggering 10 goals on the season. His career high is 20 goals, so don’t blame the hockey world for being a little surprised.

Anyway, Henrik Lunqvist continued his strong play with a 33-save shutout to beat Johan Hedberg in this rivalry match.

Washington 5, Boston 3

Well, so much for Tim Thomas being unbeatable. His superhuman streak of incredible games was halted by the reborn Capitals attack to the point that the Bruins decided to let Tuukka Rask play in the third period.

Then again, Michal Neuvirth got yanked from the game after Boston stormed back to make it 3-3, but a John Carlson game-winner and Alex Ovechkin empty-netter cliched it for the Caps.

Montreal 3, Buffalo 2

Much like the Devils, the agony continues for the once-proud Sabres. Benoit Pouliot scored the game-tying and game-winning goals in the second period as the Canadiens continue to play solid hockey. Patrick Lalime is now 0-3 in the Buffalo net, although like injured starter Ryan Miller, it’s certainly not all his fault.

Florida 7, Carolina 4

The Southeast Division might not be the complete joke it once was, but it’s still a little wacky. Normally I’d attribute most Panthers wins to Tomas Vokoun, but he was pulled midway through the first period after allowing two goals on seven shots. The Panthers put together another 50-shot performance … and this time, they received the two-point payoff they deserved.

Minnesota 2, Calgary 1

The Minnesota Wild are building momentum but shouldn’t get too cocky. They’re now 5-3-1 at home – including a 3-1-1 record during a five-game homestand – while playing only three games (1-1-1) on the road so far this season. Niklas Backstrom bested his countryman Miikka Kiprusoff with a 33-save performance, with Martin Havlat earning the game-winner.

Dallas 6, Phoenix 3

After losing the first three games of a six-game homestand, the Stars are absolutely on fire, winning three-straight in dominating fashion. In three games against the Sabres, Penguins and Coyotes, the Stars outscored their opponents 15-5 (and, honestly, most of the goals they allowed were in garbage time). Loui Eriksson has two consecutive two-goal games to his credit.

Burns, Doughty, Karlsson named finalists for 2016 Norris Trophy

Ottawa Senators' Erik Karlsson poses with the James Norris Memorial Trophy after winning the award at the NHL Awards show Wednesday, June 24, 2015, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
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Brent Burns, Drew Doughty and Erik Karlsson have been named finalists for the Norris Trophy as the league’s top defenseman, but the debate about who should win is likely to persist right through to June 22 and the annual NHL Awards.

Not only did Karlsson, last year’s Norris winner, lead all blue liners is points with 82, he led the league in assists with 66 and finished tied with Joe Thornton for fourth in the entire NHL in total points. Those lofty offensive totals could make the Ottawa Senators star the clear favorite to claim the award for a third time in his career.

From NHL.com:

Karlsson is the first NHL defenseman to score at least 82 in a season since Brian Leetch of the New York Rangers (85 points) and Ray Bourque of the Boston Bruins (82 points) in 1995-96.

Burns — is there an award for most outrageous beard? — is also coming off an impressive regular season, finishing just shy of the 30-goal mark with 27 and 75 points in 82 games for the Sharks. He’s also had a strong showing in the post-season, as well, with eight points in the opening round versus L.A.

Doughty’s offensive numbers don’t match up with the production from Karlsson or Burns, with 51 points in 82 games for the Kings. There were eight defensemen ahead of him in overall point production. But he’s often recognized for logging hefty amounts of ice time, averaging 28:01 in the regular season, on a Kings team that often dominates puck possession at even strength.

“If you’re going to win, I don’t care how good you are, you’re going to have to play the other side of the puck,” Kings GM Dean Lombardi recently said to the Associated Press.

“You’re going to have to make those little plays that aren’t going to show up on the highlights. (Doughty’s) defensive partners — the little things he’ll do just to get his partner time to make a play. He’s three steps ahead of everything, and because he is that, he makes it look easy.”

WATCH LIVE: St. Louis Blues at Dallas Stars – Game 1

St. Louis Blues' Jay Bouwmeester (19) checks Dallas Stars' Valeri Nichushkin (43), of Russia, during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Bill Boyce)
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They were the top teams in the Western Conference during the regular season, with 109 and 107 points, respectively. And now, the Dallas Stars and St. Louis Blues clash with a second-round series in the playoffs. You can catch Game 1 between these Central Division foes on NBCSN (8 p.m. ET) or online using NBC Sports’ Live Extra.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

Some links to check out for tonight’s game:

Stars expect Seguin to miss at least first two games of Blues series

Here are PHT’s second-round playoff predictions

 

Canucks sign free agent goalie and Mike Richter Award nominee Garteig

Quinnipiac goalie Michael Garteig (34) eyes a save on a shot by North Dakota during the first period of an NCAA Frozen Four championship college hockey game Saturday, April 9, 2016, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
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Nine days after getting prized prospect goalie Thatcher Demko under contract, the Vancouver Canucks have inked another college puck stopper.

The Canucks have signed college free agent goalie Michael Garteig to a one-year entry-level contract, the team announced Friday. Garteig recently completed his senior year with Quinnipiac University, which won the ECAC championship but lost the NCAA championship game to North Dakota earlier this month.

Garteig, 24, posted a 32-4-7 record with a .924 save percentage and a career best eight shutouts this season. He was also once again nominated for the 2016 Mike Richter Award.

Sabres extend Larsson: one year, $950,000

BUFFALO, NY - JANUARY 22: Johan Larsson #22 of the Buffalo Sabres warms up before the game against the Detroit Red Wings on January 22, 2016 at the First Niagara Center in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Tom Brenner/Getty Images)
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BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) The Buffalo Sabres have re-signed forward Johan Larsson to a one-year contract.

Larsson was eligible to become a restricted free agent once his contract expired this summer. The Swedish-born player is coming off a season in which he set career bests with 10 goals, 17 points and 74 games. He also finished tied with rookie center Jack Eichel in scoring five game-winning goals.

Overall, he has 16 goals and 21 assists in 142 games for the Sabres.

Buffalo acquired Larsson in a trade that sent former Sabres captain Jason Pominville to Minnesota in April 2013. The Wild selected Larsson in the second round of the 2010 draft.

Contractual details, per the Buffalo News: