Devils upset Flyers 3-1, Blackhawks beat Red Wings 4-1 in division rivalry games

The Philadelphia Flyers went into this afternoon’s game against the New Jersey Devils on top of the NHL and 3-0-1 against their Atlantic Division foes but Jacques Lemaire’s streaking bunch beat them 3-1.

The Chicago Blackhawks proved to be a similar divisional thorn in the side of the Detroit Red Wings, topping the Central-leading team 4-1.

New Jersey 3, Philadelphia 1

It’s easy to frame it as the worst team in the NHL beating the best and that’s technically true, but it only seemed like a matter of time before the Devils would take one form the Flyers. With this win, New Jersey is now on a three game streak, the best of a mostly miserable 2010-11 season.

Henrik Tallinder scored the first goal while Patrik Elias provided the other two tallies (the game winner in the first to give New Jersey a 2-0 lead and an empty netter to clinch it at 3-1) for the Devils. James van Riemsdyk scored Philadelphia’s only goal in the second period.

Johan Hedberg earned his sixth win of the season by stopping all but one of the 27 shots sent his way. You can’t put it all on Brian Boucher, but he didn’t have his best day either. He allowed two goals on 21 shots.

The Flyers are still in first in the East and NHL (Vancouver can change that if they beat Calgary tonight) while the Devils still remain dead last, but New Jersey will take what they can get.

Chicago 4, Detroit 1

While Philly stumbled going into tomorrow’s Game of the Week/Stanley Cup finals rematch, Chicago is starting to look like a legitimate contender again. They’re on a 5-0-1 run thanks to this nice win over a bruised and battered Red Wings team.

Cory Emmerton scored a goal in his NHL debut for Detroit, but the Blackhawks scored four unanswered goals to take the win. Dave Bolland tied it, Tomas Kopecky scored two in a row and then Troy Brouwer put the icing on the cake in the third.

Corey Crawford made 36 out of 37 saves for his 16th win of the season while Jimmy Howard allowed four goals on 33 shots for the loss.

Detroit still has a comfortable Central division lead (six more points than the Nashville Predators, eight more than Chicago) but must be weary of dropping too many considering how hot the Hawks are. The Blackhawks are currently tied with the Anaheim Ducks for sixth place in the West, although Chicago earned 56 points in two less games.

PHT’s 2017 NHL Draft Tracker

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From the United Center in Chicago, it’s the first round of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft!

Click back here throughout the night for all the latest picks, complete with draft profiles, stories and video from tonight’s broadcast on NBCSN.

1. New Jersey Devils: Nico Hischier center, QMJHL Halifax (profile)

More: Hischier not caught up in ‘Nico vs. Nolan’ hype

2. Philadelphia Flyers: Nolan Patrick center, WHL Brandon (profile)

More: ‘The media’s pumping it down’ — Patrick rejects notion of weak draft class

3. Dallas Stars: Miro Heiskanen, defenseman, HIFK Finland (profile)

4. Colorado Avalanche: Cale Makar, defenseman, AJHL Brooks (profile)

More: D-man Makar makes for compelling prospect

5. Vancouver Canucks: Elias Pettersson, center, SHL Timra IK

6. Vegas Golden Knights: Cody Glass, center, WHL Portland

7. New York Rangers (from Arizona): Lias Andersson, center, SHL HV71

8. Buffalo Sabres: Casey Mittelstadt, center, Eden Prairie HS (profile)

More: Mittelstadt has no regrets after chasing Minnesota high school title

9. Detroit Red Wings: Michael Rasmussen, center, WHL Tri-City

10. Florida Panthers: Owen Tippett, RW, OHL Mississauga (profile)

11. Los Angeles Kings: Gabriel Vilardi, C, OHL Windsor (profile)

More: Gabriel Vilardi deserves your attention

12. Carolina Hurricanes: Martin Necas, center, Czech League Brno

13. Vegas Golden Knights (from Winnipeg): Nick Suzuki, center, OHL Owen Sound

14. Tampa Bay Lightning: Cal Foote, defenseman, WHL Kelowna

15. Vegas Golden Knights (from NY Islanders)
16. Calgary Flames
17. Toronto Maple Leafs
18. Boston Bruins
19. San Jose Sharks
20. St. Louis Blues
21. New York Rangers
22. Edmonton Oilers
23. Arizona Coyotes (from Minnesota)
24. Winnipeg Jets (from Columbus via Vegas)
25. Montreal Canadiens
26. Chicago Blackhawks
27. St. Louis Blues (from Washington)
28. Ottawa Senators
29. Dallas Stars (from Anaheim)
30. Nashville Predators
31. Pittsburgh Penguins

Cody Glass becomes Vegas’ first-ever draft pick

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Cody Glass became part of history on Friday night.

Glass, the No. 6 ranked North American skater from WHL Portland, became the first-ever draft pick of the Vegas Golden Knights, who took him sixth overall at the United Center in Chicago.

A 6-foot-2 center that was named the Winterhawks’ MVP this season, Glass has drawn comparisons to Winnipeg’s Mark Scheifele. He put up a stunning 94 points in 64 games this season, and is regarded as one of the finest offensive talents in the Western League.

While Glass is the first-ever pick for the Knights, he’ll soon have some company. GM George McPhee stockpiled a pair of additional first-round picks at Wednesday’s expansion draft — No. 13 and 15 respectively — meaning Vegas could walk away from tonight with a boatload of young, enticing prospects.

After meteoric rise up rankings, Makar goes fourth overall to Avs

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For all the talk about Nico Hischier and Nolan Patrick, at least one NHL scout believes Cale Makar is the best prospect in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft.

The Colorado Avalanche sure hope that scout is right after they picked Makar fourth overall Friday at United Center.

The 18-year-old defenseman has experienced a meteoric rise up the rankings the past year. In the process, he’s drawn tantalizing comparisons to Ottawa’s Erik Karlsson, who just happens to be Makar’s favorite player.

Makar didn’t even play in Canada’s top junior league last season. He’s a member of the Brooks Bandits, part of the Alberta Junior Hockey League. In that way, he’s a bit like another Ottawa player, Kyle Turris, who got drafted third overall in 2007 out of the BCHL.

Makar had 24 goals and 51 assists in 75 games for the Bandits in 2016-17.

“I don’t know if it matters what league he plays in,” Vancouver Canucks GM Jim Benning said earlier this week. “He’s going to be a good player. … We watched him last year. He grew over the summer. He came back this year and he was even more dynamic than he was last year. He’s an exciting player.”

The Canucks, by the way, drafted Swedish center Elias Pettersson with the fifth overall selection.

Related: Makar makes for a compelling prospect

Ducks bring Eaves back for three years, reportedly for $9.4M

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So much for the Anaheim Ducks merely making Patrick Eaves a rental.

The NHL’s free agent pool got that much shallower on Friday as the Ducks announced a three-year deal for Eaves (during the 2017 NHL Draft, by the way).

Eaves, 33, carried over strong work with Dallas (21 goals, 37 points in 59 games) to Anaheim after being traded, managing 11 goals and 14 points in 20 regular-season contests. He also managed two goals and two assists in seven postseason games.

One must also note his bodacious beard.

The Los Angeles Times’ Curtis Zupke reports that it’s worth $9.4 million overall ($3.15M per year) and the OC Register’s Eric Stephens back that up, detailing the salary breakdown as such: