Get your game notes: Flyers at Blackhawks

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Tonight on NBCSN, it’s the Chicago Blackhawks hosting the Philadelphia Flyers starting at 8 p.m. ET. Following are some game notes, as compiled by the NHL on NBC research team:

• In the three-plus seasons since Chicago defeated Philadelphia for the 2010 Stanley Cup, each team has used six different goaltenders, including one in common – tonight’s projected Flyers starter, Ray Emery, who went 17-1-0 with a 1.94 GAA last season for the champion Blackhawks. Hawks backup netminder Kent Simpson would add to the Blackhawks’ list if he were to make his NHL debut tonight.

PHI: Sergei Bobrovsky, Brian Boucher, Michael Leighton, Ilya Bryzgalov, Steve Mason, Emery
CHI: Corey Crawford, Marty Turco, Emery, Carter Hutton, Nikolai Khabibulin, Antti Raanta

• In games involving Chicago, Flyers goaltender Ray Emery has a lifetime record of 19-1-1, with a 1.94 GAA, .923 save percentage and three shutouts. He was 17-1-0 as a member of the Cup-winning Blackhawks in 2012-13, and is 2-0-1 against the Hawks as the opposing goalie. At the United Center, he is 11-1-0, with a 2.04 GAA, .915 save% and one shutout.

• The NHL’s First Star for November, Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane, has a six-game point streak (two goals, 10 assists), shortly on the heels of a 12-game point streak he had from Nov. 3-27. Only two other NHL players have at least two streaks of 6-plus games this season: the Penguins’ Evgeni Malkin (3) and the Sharks’ Joe Thornton (2).

• The Blackhawks are the first NHL team to score at least six goals in two consecutive games this season. Three NHL teams had two-game streaks of that kind last season: the Flyers (Feb. 18-20), Rangers (April 18-19) and Oilers (April 26-27). This is the first time that the Blackhawks have scored at least six goals in two consecutive games since Nov. 3-9, 2008. (Elias Sports Bureau)

• The Blackhawks have not been shut out in their last 100 regular-season games (the NHL’s longest active streak) dating back to since Feb. 26, 2012. The franchise record is 210 games (Nov. 1984-Mar. 1987).

• The Flyers, 0-1-1 in their last two games, are looking to avoid a three-game skid for the first time since Oct. 12-17, the tail end of a four-game losing streak that saw them fall to 1-7-0.

• The Blackhawks, the NHL’s points (49) and goals-per-game (3.58) leaders, are near the bottom when it comes to killing penalties. Having allowed at least one power-play goal in 17 of 33 games, Chicago’s penalty-kill stands at 74.7% and 28th in the league, ahead of only Florida (74.2%) and the N.Y. Islanders (71.3%), teams whose point totals combined trail Chicago’s (49-48). The Hawks’ PK is on pace to be the least efficient of any defending champion in the expansion era:

source:

Antti Niemi had to make a save with his bare hand

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Antti Niemi made 31 saves in the Pittsburgh Penguins’ 4-3 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday night, and 30 of them were pretty standard.

The one that wasn’t came in the third period when he lost his glove during a scramble around the net and still managed to instinctively make a save on the puck. With his bare hand.

Niemi said after the game, via the Tribune Review, that he thought the referees would stop the play after his glove came off, and when they didn’t “I just kept playing.”

You can watch the play by clicking here.

Probably not the type of thing you want to see happening because that looks like a great way to break a bone (or the entire hand) and get sidelined for extended period of time. Niemi said the officials told him there will no longer be an automatic whistle for goalies losing a glove or a blocker, but that one will remain for when they lose their helmet.

The Penguins signed Niemi to a one-year contract this summer as a replacement for Marc-Andre Fleury after they lost him in the expansion draft to the Vegas Golden Knights. Niemi is looking to rebound from a tough year in Dallas. He will serve as Matt Murray‘s backup for the season.

‘A good start’ — Stamkos stands out in preseason debut

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The Tampa Bay Lightning and National Hockey League unveiled the 2018 All-Star Game logo Friday.

Far more importantly for the Bolts this evening was the return of their all-star center Steven Stamkos, as he made his preseason debut in what was his first game in 10 months.

His 2016-17 season was abruptly ended in the middle of November because of a knee injury and subsequent surgery, making it the second time in four years his regular season had been disrupted by a major injury.

It may still take a while before Stamkos feels truly comfortable coming back from this injury.But his performance on Friday proved to be a very promising start for No. 91, the Bolts and their fans in Tampa Bay.

He didn’t score, but he assisted on two first period goals, including a nice set-up to linemate Nikita Kucherov, and the Lightning beat the Nashville Predators by a score of 3-1. Stamkos also received a healthy dose of ice time, playing more than 19 minutes, including 5:32 on the power play.

His pass to Kucherov resulted in a power play goal.

“It was exciting to get out there, I was pretty anxious about it… It was a good start, something to build on,” said Stamkos afterward, per the Lightning. “It was nice to just go through a game day, I haven’t done it in a long time… I was glad with how the first one went.”

Golden Knights assign 2017 first-round picks Glass, Suzuki to junior

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The Vegas Golden Knights continue to make roster moves during their inaugural training camp.

On Friday, the expansion club assigned four players to junior. That includes 2017 first-round picks Cody Glass of the Portland Winterhawks and Nick Suzuki of the Owen Sound Attack.

The Golden Knights made franchise history by taking Glass with the sixth overall pick and then selected Suzuki at 13th overall. Both players appeared in two preseason games for Vegas, each recording two points in the exhibition opener versus the Vancouver Canucks.

“Nobody is going to rush (the rookies), that’s for sure,” Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant told the Las Vegas Sun following the club’s 9-4 win over Vancouver on Sunday.

“We are in a position where we want to make sure they are ready to play. They are going to be good players when they’re healthy and strong enough to play in the league.”

Vegas has all three 2017 first-round picks — Glass, Suzuki and Erik Brannstrom — signed to three-year entry-level contracts.

Mitchell signed PTO with Blue Jackets — shortly after getting cut by Blackhawks

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When the Chicago Blackhawks announced their roster moves yesterday, John Mitchell was among the cuts.

His professional tryout with the Blackhawks had come to an end, as it did for veterans Mark Stuart and Drew Miller.

It can be an uphill battle to make an NHL roster for veterans on professional tryouts. But for Mitchell, he quickly received another opportunity to attend a camp and try to land a spot, signing a PTO with the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Mitchell, 32, has appeared in 548 NHL regular season games with 70 goals and 177 points.

Meanwhile, the Blue Jackets are still without forward and restricted free agent Josh Anderson, as the two sides are stuck in a contract impasse right now. It was reported on Thursday that his representatives have been in contact with Hockey Canada about the 2018 Olympics.