Pavel Datsyuk, Jonathan Toews

Get your game notes: ‘Hawks at Wings

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This evening on NBCSN, it’s the Detroit Red Wings hosting the Chicago Blackhawks starting at 8 p.m. ET. Following are some game notes, as compiled by the NHL on NBC research team:

• Tonight, the Blackhawks and Red Wings will meet for the 726th time in the regular season and the first time since Game 7 of the 2013 Western Conference semifinal, when Brent Seabrook’s overtime goal capped Chicago’s rally from a 3-1 series deficit. The rivals will square off from different divisions for the first time since 1980-81, when the Red Wings skated in the Wales Conference’s Norris Division and the Blackhawks in the Campbell Conference’s Smythe Division.

• The Blackhawks – coming off consecutive wins over Anaheim and Boston and with points in 19 of their last 21 games (12-2-7) – go for their eighth consecutive regular-season victory over the Red Wings, having outscored Detroit 21-9 over the previous seven wins. Neither team in this rivalry has won as many as eight straight since Chicago took nine in a row between Oct. 15, 1970 and Jan. 30, 1972.

• The Red Wings, who hold the NHL record for most consecutive home wins in one season (23, set in 2011-12), are 7-11-7 at home this season, tied with Calgary for the fewest home wins in the NHL. Detroit is 2-7-1 in their last 10 home games, including their shootout loss to Toronto in the Winter Classic at Michigan Stadium.

• Blackhawks winger Marian Hossa, who has five goals in his last five games, has a +25 plus/minus rating this season (T-NHL best). Coming into tonight’s game, the Slovakian Olympic selection has been plus or even in 16 straight games. Only one NHL player has a longer active streak in that category: the Kings’ Matt Frattin (18), who averages more than fewer six minutes of ice time per game than Hossa.

• The Blackhawks, the NHL leaders in goals (179) and goals per game (3.51), are the only team with three players who have hit the 20-goal mark this season (Patrick Sharp 25, Patrick Kane 23, Hossa 20). However, Sharp (7 games) and Kane (10) are mired in their longest goal droughts of the season.

• The Red Wings (2.45 goals per game, T-22nd) have scored a total of three goals in their last four games (0-3-1, 2 shutout losses). Captain Henrik Zetterberg leads the Wings with 39 points, but he only has one goal and four assists in his last 13 regular-season meetings with Chicago.

• Chicago’s 11 OT/SO losses match New Jersey’s total for most in the NHL, with Detroit right behind with 10. Once regulation ends in a tie game, the Blackhawks and Red Wings have two of the league’s worst records: Chicago (5-11, .313 win pct. – 27th in NHL), Detroit (4-10, .286 – 29th)

• Tonight’s teams feature half of this season’s top 6 scorers age 35 or older; but while Chicago’s Marian Hossa is thriving with 5 goals and 7 points in his last 5 games, the Red Wings’ contingent (Pavel Datsyuk, groin; Daniel Alfredsson, back) will sit out tonight.

Player | age | team | G | Pts | *selected for Sochi Olympics
Martin St. Louis, 38, TB 25 50
*Hossa, 35, CHI 20 42

*Jaromir Jagr, 41, NJ 16 40
*Datsyuk, 35, DET 15 32
*Olli Jokinen, 35, WPG 13 31
*Alfredsson, 41, DET 11 30

J.T. Miller might be breaking through for the Rangers

New York Rangers center J.T. Miller celebrates after scoring his second goal of the game against the New Jersey Devils during the third period of an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2016, in Newark, N.J. The Devils won 3-2. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
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Don’t look now, but J.T. Miller might just be “getting it.”

By “it” you can mean a number of things: New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault’s confidence, his own confidence and that scoring touch at the NHL level.

He’s been on particularly hot streak for the last three weeks or so. While he failed to score in Saturday’s win against the Philadelphia Flyers, Miller reeled off a run in which he scored five points in three games and eight goals during a nine-game span.

His teammates and coach have taken notice, too, as Denis Gorman of Metro New York reports.

“The first practice I saw him, his strength, the way he shoots the puck. He has good hands, vision, he has everything to become a great hockey player,” Henrik Lundqvist said. “He’s getting there. He’s improving so much, but the biggest thing is probably just confidence, realizing that he is that good and he can use all these tools to be a great player.”

The Rangers aim to be a regular contender, and sometimes staying in the picture is all about developing prospects like Miller.

At the moment, it looks like he’s trending in an impressive direction.

Isles clobber Oilers, Okposo nabs second career hat trick

New York Islanders right wing Kyle Okposo (21) reacts as he sits beside right wing Cal Clutterbuck (15) on the bench after scoring his third goal for a hat trick against the Edmonton Oilers in the third period of an NHL hockey game in New York, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016. The Islanders defeated the Oilers 8-1. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
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NEW YORK (AP) After two disappointing road losses, the New York Islanders needed to face a last-place opponent like the Edmonton Oilers.

Kyle Okposo had his second career hat trick after the Islanders opened a commanding lead with three first-period goals and New York routed the Oilers 8-1 on Sunday.

Thomas Greiss made 30 saves for the Islanders (27-18-6), who moved within three points of the New York Rangers for second-place in the Metropolitan Division.

“It was good. Good to put up eight. It was a pretty good team effort,” Okposo said. “I thought we were going on all cylinders. It’s definitely nice to get rewarded.”

Johnny Boychuck, John Tavares and Nikolay Kulemin scored in the opening period, chasing former Islanders goalie Anders Nilsson, who was replaced after Kulemin’s goal by former Ranger Cam Talbot.

Boychuk, in his first home game after missing 11 games overall with an upper body injury suffered on Dec. 31 at Buffalo, ripped a slap shot past Nilsson at 2:57 for his fourth goal of the season.

“It’s always good when you strike early,” Islanders coach Jack Capuano said. “We did a lot of good things and got two points.”

Tavares made it 2-0 at 9:12 with his 19th goal before Kulemin added his sixth at 11:24. Oilers coach Todd McLellan then pulled Nilsson, who stopped only seven of the 10 shots he faced.

Okposo made it 4-0 at 2:32 of the second, then scored again at 6:09 of the middle period.

After Oilers rookie sensation Connor McDavid finally put Edmonton on the board with his seventh goal at 6:50, Josh Bailey made it 6-1 at 9:36.

Cal Clutterbuck increased the margin to 7-1 at 16:04 of the middle period with his 11th goal. Talbot raised his arms in frustration after Clutterbuck’s goal, seemingly exasperated with the defensive effort in front of him.

Okposo completed his hat trick at 7:27 of the third, when he whipped a shot on the power play past Talbot for his 15th goal of the season. The goal made it 8-1 and led to a cascade of hats tossed onto the Barclays Center ice. It was a season high in goals for the Islanders.

“Kyle has been playing awesome,” said defenseman Nick Leddy, who had three assists. “His contributions have been felt all year. He has been one of the best players on the ice game in and game out.”

The defeat following Saturday night’s 5-1 loss at Montreal left McLellan fuming.

“I don’t think we were prepared to play for those first few goals against,” McLellan said. “I’m very disappointed in the preparation and the approach to the game. We got our butts handed to us in Montreal and came here and responded in a very inappropriate way. ”

The 19-year-old McDavid – the first overall pick in last June’s draft – returned after missing 37 games with a broken collarbone for the opening game of the Edmonton’s four-game trip. McDavid scored once and added two assists in a 5-1 win at Columbus, then had two assists in a 7-2 victory at Ottawa.

Playing his first game since Jan. 12, Greiss was his usual stellar self. He didn’t have an especially tough game despite the litany of offensive skill on the Oilers roster in addition to McDavid.

“It always helps when we score a bunch of quick goals. It seemed like it was going our way tonight,” Greiss said. “That would be awesome if we could score eight goals every game. We have to be realistic. It’s not going to happen too often.”

Greiss improved to 14-6-2 this season, his first with the Islanders.

The Islanders improved to 17-8-3 at Barclays Center in their first season in Brooklyn after 43 years at Nassau Coliseum.

The Oilers haven’t won in New York against the Islanders since Dec. 14, 1999, when they beat the Islanders 4-2 at Nassau Coliseum.

NOTES: Former Islander Griffin Reinhart played against the team that drafted him fourth overall in 2012 for the first time. … The teams meet again in Edmonton on Feb. 28.

Habs grab rare back-to-back wins this weekend

Montreal Canadiens goalie Ben Scrivens falls after making a save while facing the Carolina Hurricanes during first-period NHL hockey game action, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016, in Montreal. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
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The Montreal Canadiens were a bit like Ben Scrivens (in his near-ideal state) this weekend: not always pretty, but they got the job done.

A day after Scrivens thwarted his former team in the Edmonton Oilers in a 5-1 win, the journeyed goalie was integral in Montreal scraping out a 2-1 shootout win against the Carolina Hurricanes.

Now, it’s easy to scoff at two wins against two teams who are – let’s be honest – pretty unremarkable.

The Canadiens aren’t really in a position to laugh off any victory, however. That’s especially true when you consider the fact that this is their first set of consecutive wins since late November.

Even through all this frustration, certain top Canadiens stand out as keeping the team afloat. Andrei Markov hit an impressive milestone:

… While Max Pacioretty scored his 20th goal in emphatic fashion:

As P.K. Subban‘s numbers argue, Montreal’s biggest problem has been getting results from more under-the-radar players. In Sunday’s case, Scrivens delivered.

Montreal still faces an uphill battle, but perhaps a weekend like this might serve as a catalyst for a nice climb?

Malcolm Subban in stable condition, suffered fractured larynx

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The Boston Bruins updated Malcolm Subban‘s condition a day after the goaltending prospect was hospitalized after being struck in the throat with a puck.

“Malcolm Subban was struck in the throat with a puck Saturday night during pregame warmups. He was transported to Maine Medical Center and was diagnosed with a fractured larynx. He stayed overnight at Maine Medical Center and was transported to Mass General Hospital on Sunday for further evaluation. He is in stable condition and will be sidelined indefinitely. The team will provide additional details when they become available.”

Awful news, although at least he’s in stable condition.

PHT will stay tuned for further updates regarding the 22-year-old.

Subban did tweet a thanks for support:

A little context makes that a little sad, too.

P.K. Subban seems confident his brother will bounce back.