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


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.

Vigneault: ‘After three losses in a row, I think we’ve got everybody’s attention’

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Alain Vigneault has maintained for much of the season that the New York Rangers needed to play better.

The head coach said it a week ago, after the Blueshirts had beaten the Predators, 3-0, despite getting outshot, 31-19.

He’d said it a couple of weeks before that, after they’d beaten the Hurricanes in very similar fashion. (Final score: 3-0. Shots: 33-23 for Carolina.)

But as long as the Rangers kept winning, it was tough, according to Vigneault, to get the message across.

“Sometimes, the results might be going your way, so when you’re pointing out certain things, it might be a little bit more challenging for them to understand because the results are so positive,” Vigneault said, per the New York Post.

“But after three losses in a row, I think we’ve got everybody’s attention.”

Derek Stepan‘s injury — he’ll miss 4-6 weeks with broken ribs — has no doubt captured their attention as well. (Oscar Lindberg will center Chris Kreider and Jesper Fast tonight at home to Carolina.)

The Rangers also play Wednesday, in Brooklyn against the Islanders (on NBCSN).

Benn, Holtby and Galchenyuk are NHL’s three stars of the week

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Stars winger Jamie Benn, Capitals goalie Braden Holtby and Canadiens center Alex Galchenyuk have been named the NHL’s three stars for the past week.


Benn shared the League lead in goals (4) and points (6) as the Stars (19-5-0, 38 points) won two of three games to continue their best start to a season in the franchise’s 48-year history.

Holtby posted a 4-0-0 record with a 1.75 goals-against average, .945 save percentage and one shutout to backstop the Capitals (17-5-1, 35 points) to the top of the Metropolitan Division standings.

Galchenyuk tied for first in the NHL with four goals and added one assist to help the Canadiens (18-4-3, 39 points) earn five of a possible six points and reclaim first place in the League standings.

As much as the injuries to Carey Price and Brendan Gallagher have been frustrating for the Canadiens, those are short-term issues that should be forgotten soon enough. Galchenyuk’s play, in contrast, is reason for long-term optimism. The 21-year-old is trending towards becoming the elite No. 1 center the Habs have needed so badly. He’s not there yet, but when’s all said and done, he could turn out to be the best forward (or player, period) taken in the 2012 draft.

Stepan to miss 4-6 weeks with broken ribs


Derek Stepan is out 4-6 weeks with broken ribs, the New York Rangers announced today.

Stepan was hurt Friday on a controversial hit by Boston’s Matt Beleskey. The Bruins’ forward did not receive any supplemental discipline for the check, despite admitting it was “maybe…a little bit late.”

At any rate it’s a big loss for the Rangers, who suddenly find themselves on a three-game losing streak. Considering the timeline, New York could be without one of its top centers for 12-18 games, give or take.

The Rangers host Carolina tonight.

Related: Yep, Alain Vigneault went there — ‘I remember Aaron Rome in this building’

Price to miss minimum six weeks, so no Winter Classic for him

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Carey Price will miss a minimum of six weeks with a lower-body injury, the Montreal Canadiens announced today.

That means Price will miss the Winter Classic against the Bruins on New Year’s Day. The 28-year-old goalie has only appeared in 12 games this season.

On the bright side, the reigning Hart Trophy winner will not require surgery. And considering the Habs have already built up a 13-point playoff cushion in the standings, well, if something like this were going to happen during the season, now is as good a time as any.

Related: The latest on Price’s injury