Emery and Holtby fight

Get your game notes: Capitals at Flyers


Tonight on NBCSN, it’s the Philadelphia Flyers hosting the Washington Capitals starting at 7:30 p.m. ET. Following are some game notes, as compiled by the NHL on NBC research team:

• The Flyers host the Capitals for the first time since Nov. 1. The 7-0 score matched the Flyers’ worst home defeat since the Oct. 21, 1971 (Los Angeles), and was the Capitals’ largest margin of victory in a road shutout since Oct. 29, 1991 (Pittsburgh, 8-0). The two teams combined for 164 penalty minutes, highlighted by a goalie fight between Ray Emery and Braden Holtby.

• Since he entered the NHL in 2005-06, Capitals winger Alex Ovechkin has seven game-tying goals in the final minute of regulation, more than any other player. Two of those goals came in the past week: vs. Tampa Bay on Dec. 10 (goal scored at 19:27 of the third period) and vs. Philadelphia on Dec. 15 (19:12). The Capitals eventually won both of those games in shootouts. (Elias Sports Bureau)

• Alex Ovechkin has seven multi-goal games this season, as many as the Flyers team combined. (Tye McGinn, Vincent Lecavalier, Jakub Voracek, Brayden Schenn, Matt Read – 2, Sean Couturier)

• Flyers center Claude Giroux needs two goals to reach the 100-goal milestone for his NHL career. The second-year captain has scored nine goals in 18 games vs. Washington, his best goals-per-game average vs. any team (minimum seven games).

• The Capitals have won a league-high eight games in the shootout in 2013-14 (8-3 record), but all three of their losses have come on the road (2-3). The Flyers are one of only two teams (St. Louis) that have not gone to a shootout on home ice this season.

• On Sunday, Flyers winger Michael Raffl became only the second Philadelphia rookie to register three assists on the road in the past 20 seasons. (Matt Read was the other, during the 2011-12 season.) The 2014 Olympic hopeful for Austria had only three assists coming into the game. (Elias Sports Bureau)

• The Flyers have been penalized an NHL-high 200 times this season and been shorthanded 138 times this season (2nd-most in the NHL). They have killed 115 of those opportunities while a man short (T-most, with Los Angeles). The Capitals’ power-play efficiency (24.4%) ranks 2nd in the league.

• When Capitals winger Troy Brouwer and Flyers wingers Wayne Simmonds and Jakub Voracek all played in their 400th career games on Sunday, it marked the first time in the modern era that a trio of players in the same game hit the 400-game milestone. Mikhail Grabovski, who missed the game due to flu-like symptoms, is hopeful to play career game #400 tonight. (Elias Sports Bureau)

• Since he entered the NHL in 2007-08, Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom is tied for fourth among all players for most assists, and second in power-play assists.


Oilers get Kronwall’d – in more ways than one

Niklas Kronwall
Leave a comment

When someone gets clobbered by Niklas Kronwall, they get Kronwall’d.

(His detractors may insist that the definition require the words “dirty” or “illegal,” but that’s a debate for another day.)

It’s easy to get lost in those thunderous hits and forget that the  Swedish defenseman also brings some skill to the table.

He made a big impact – literally and figuratively – in Detroit’s 4-3 overtime win against the Edmonton Oilers on Friday.

First, the Kronwalling:

Next, Kronwall’s overtime-winner:

It hasn’t always been pretty, but the Red Wings are leaning on guys like Kronwall and Dylan Larkin to stick with it.

Tonight’s win extends their point streak to six games (4-0-2), with five of those contests going to overtime.

Dubinsky – Crosby’s nemesis – gets the last laugh on Friday

Sidney Crosby, Brandon Dubinsky

Brandon Dubinsky isn’t a household name like Sidney Crosby is, yet for all the hype that Crosby vs. Alex Ovechkin gets, Dubinsky is the sort of guy who truly rankles No. 87.

It’s been getting that spotlight since the Columbus Blue Jackets faced off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a brisk playoff series, though it wouldn’t be surprising if the bad blood stemmed to Dubinsky’s days with New York.

To some, Dubinsky’s cross-check on Crosby will resonate far more than the end result of this game:

The bottom line is that he’ll get the last laugh, at least for now. (In-game, that moment merely drew a minor penalty.)

That’s because Dubinsky set up the overtime game-winner, and the cherry on the top of that spite sundae came with Crosby being on the ice when it happened:

They’re not just rubbing the Penguins the wrong way.

Even Dubinsky kind of sort of admits that he may have been in the wrong.


More and more, the Blue Jackets are looking like a nuisance … possibly one that will grind their way to an unlikely playoff berth. They improved to 8-4-0 in November after a disastrous 2-10-0 October.

In other words, there’s at least a chance that we may see these increasingly bitter rivals butt heads in another playoff series.

Eichel’s sweet snipe helps Sabres snap six-game skid

Jack Eichel
1 Comment

The Buffalo Sabres probably deserved better during at least some chunks of their six-game skid, yet Jack Eichel swooped in on Friday to remind fans that there’s a light shining at the end of the tunnel.

You can watch his goal from tonight’s eventual 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes in the video above.

That’s not necessarily the absolute height of his on-ice magic, yet it clearly gave his team a lift:

Call this a healthy reminder that Eichel has the ability to change games, something Buffalo fans hope to get used to.

Report: Likely no suspension for Matt Beleskey’s hit on Derek Stepan


Alain Vigneault went there in comparing Matt Beleskey‘s hit on Derek Stepan to the notorious check Aaron Rome delivered on Nathan Horton many moons ago, but the league seems to disagree.

While Rome sat through that memorable Stanley Cup Final between Boston and Vancouver, it sounds like Beleskey won’t face any further discipline, according to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun.

In the unlikely event that anything changes, PHT will make note.

The next game between the Rangers and Bruins takes place at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 11. Will these bad feelings linger?