Hawks’ Pirri, Leafs’ Leivo and Habs’ Bournival score 1st NHL goals (Update: Jenner, Murphy and Stanton too!)

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Thursday was a night to remember for Brandon Pirri, Josh Leivo and Michael Bournival, as each scored his first-ever NHL goal.

Bournival, Montreal’s 21-year-old rookie, got things started by tallying the second goal for the Habs against Columbus:

The goal came in Bournival’s fourth game in the league. The former QMJHL Shawinigan standout, a third-round pick in 2010, had spent last season with Montreal’s AHL affiliate in Hamilton.

Next up? Leivo, who found himself in the midst of controversy earlier this evening after colliding with Leafs goalie James Reimer, forcing Reimer from the contest.

With his goalie out, the 20-year-old Leivo made amends with a nice solo effort on Carolina’s Cam Ward:

Leivo, who has been up and down between the Leafs and AHL Marlies this season, was in the lineup because of a back injury to James van Riemsdyk.

Finally, there’s Pirri.

Last year’s scoring leader with AHL Rockford — he had 75 points in 76 games — Pirri was expected to make the ‘Hawks out of training camp, only to spend most of the exhibition season injured (which resulted in a trip back to Rockford to begin the year).

He was called up over the weekend though and, in a Central Division rivalry game against St. Louis, picked a perfect time for his first career marker:

Pirri, 22, had played in eight NHL games prior to tonight but actually made his NHL debut in 2010-11, appearing in one regular-season game for the ‘Hawks that year.

UPDATE 8:47 p.m. ET

Literally seconds after we published this, Columbus’ Boone Jenner scored his first-ever NHL goal against Montreal, cutting the Habs’ lead to 3-1. Jenner, 20, is in his fifth NHL contest:

UPDATE 9:11 p.m. ET

OK, this is getting ridiculous. A fifth player has scored his first NHL goal tonight, as Carolina’s Ryan Murphy scored his club’s opening tally of the night against Toronto. Murphy, 20, scored on the PP in his 11th career NHL game.

UPDATE 9:18 p.m. ET

COME ON. Vancouver’s Ryan Stanton scored his first career tally as well, the 3-0 goal in the Canucks-Sabres game. This is ridiculous.

Video: Predators’ Kevin Fiala leaves on stretcher, hospitalized after scary fall

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The crowd in St. Louis was sent to stunned silence at the scary sight of Nashville Predators rookie Kevin Fiala crashing feet-first into boards during the first period of Game 1.

Fiala was taken off the ice on a stretcher after he awkwardly hit the boards following a hit by Blues defenseman Robert Bortuzzo. An arena announcement indicated that Fiala will be taken to a nearby hospital.

The Predators announced that Fiala is alert and stable in an update.

It’s a cruel twist for the 20-year-old forward, whose high-end speed stands out most when you first see him. A bit longer than a week ago, he scored the biggest goal of his career as he ended Game 3 against the Chicago Blackhawks with the overtime-clincher. Now one has to wonder about his bigger-picture health.

Members of the Blues and Predators both escorted Fiala off the ice during a stunning moment for all involved.

Colin Wilson: still far more productive in playoffs (Video)

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When you put together a list of “clutch” players, do you put Colin Wilson on it?

Before you laugh that question off – which, really, that’s kind of mean – consider how productive the under-the-radar Nashville Predators forward is during the postseason.

In 33 career playoff games, Wilson had 11 goals and nine assists for 20 points. He’s now at 12 goals and 21 points in 34 games after the first period of Game 1, and there is time to add to those totals.

That’s already pretty solid, but consider his regular season: 12 goals and 35 points in 70 games. He’s only scored 20 goals once in his career.

Yet … for whatever reason, when the games get bigger, the 27-year-old has developed a knack for scoring at a much higher clip. In the case of Game 1 against the Blues – his first game of this postseason thanks to injuries – he deflected P.K. Subban‘s booming shot for the 1-0 goal. Watch it above.

And wonder: is it hasty to consider him clutch?

Video: Erik Karlsson gets Jeremy Roenick’s seal of approval

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Jeremy Roenick is so impressed by Erik Karlsson, he almost likes him as much as Ottawa Senators GM Pierre Dorion does.

As a reminder, Dorion … didn’t exactly go the humble route in his praise of the all-world defenseman. When speaking of Karlsson’s play through ridiculous injuries, he provided quite the quote, as the Ottawa Citizen reports.

“Was I surprised? A bit,” Dorion said. “What do you say? I’ll probably get in trouble for saying this but, you believe in whatever you believe in, and they always say God rested on the seventh day, I think on the eighth day he created Erik Karlsson.”

Surely Karlsson’s critics will love this.

Anyway, Roenick and Keith Jones had some fun with such comments, as you can see in the video above.

For more genius Swedish fun, enjoy the Henrik Lundqvist video above. That’s a bonus, folks.

Babcock, McLellan and Tortorella are 2017’s Jack Adams finalists

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The NHL Broadcasters’ Association named the three finalists for the 2017 Jack Adams Award on Wednesday: Mike Babcock, John Tortorella and Todd McLellan.

The Jack Adams is given to the head coach who “contributed the most to his team’s success.”

It might tickle some to realize that Babcock and McLellan once coached together on the Detroit Red Wings’ staff. All three coaches share the distinction of bringing teams to the playoffs who failed to make the postseason in (at least) the previous season.

The Maple Leafs missed from 2013-14 to 2015-16. Columbus failed in its previous two seasons. And, of course, the Oilers hadn’t seen the playoffs since falling in Game 7 of the 2006 Stanley Cup Final.

One could make an argument for each coach in a number of ways.

Babcock molded a Maple Leafs team topped by young players, showing a refreshing willingness to take the good with the bad (especially for a guy who’s known for his scowl). McLellan broke that Oilers slump, gradually finding a lineup that could be “more than just Connor McDavid.” The Blue Jackets were expected to be one of the worst teams in the NHL to the point that they’d get Torts fired; instead, they boasted a power play that baffled opponents for much of the season and Tortorella enacted some (gasp) progressive ideas to help Columbus compete.

Now, you could critique all three in different ways – barely making the playoffs, riding hot goaltending, deploying Connor McDavid – but that’s part of the fun, right? There are certainly some cases to be made for snubs (Bruce Boudreau, perhaps even Joel Quenneville?), yet this trio of finalists is strong nonetheless.

The NHL has a more traditional rundown of each coach’s credentials, by the way.