Chicago Blackhawks v Minnesota Wild

Get your game notes: Wild at Bruins

4 Comments

Tonight on NBCSN, it’s the Boston Bruins hosting the Minnesota Wild starting at 7:30 p.m. ET. Following are some game notes, as compiled by the NHL on NBC research team:

• Boston and Minnesota meet tonight for the first time since Feb. 19, 2012 (2-0 MIN win), and the 13th time overall. The Wild are 10-1-1 all-time against the Bruins, and have never lost in Boston (6-0-0), having allowed a total of six goals and shut out the Bruins twice at TD Garden. Minnesota’s .875 points% vs. Boston is its best against any opponent, while the Bruins’ .167 vs. the Wild matches their worst (1-5-0 vs. Hamilton Tigers, defunct in 1925).

• Boston’s eight-game win streak is the team’s longest since a 10-game run from Nov. 1-23, 2011. The Bruins, the NHL leaders with a +1.05 goal differential (3.18 goals/game; 2.13 GA/game), have outscored opponents 32-12 during the streak. The longest win streak in Bruins history lasted 14 games, from Dec. 3, 1929-Jan. 9, 1930.

• Minnesota has won only 12 of 32 road games this season (12-15-5); only Buffalo has fewer road wins (7-21-3). Boston, winner of four straight at TD Garden, leads the league with 27 home wins (27-7-2).

• Claude Julien picked up his 300th win as Bruins head coach on Friday, and now has 301 wins (second in franchise history, behind Hall of Famer Art Ross – 361). Since taking over as coach before the 2008-09 season, Julien has wins at TD Garden vs. all but three teams: St. Louis (0-4-0), Colorado (0-3-0) and the Wild (0-2-0).

• Bruins G Tuukka Rask reached 30 wins (30-14-4) for the first time in his career on Friday. The NHL’s shutouts leader (6) is just 1-1-4 vs. the Central Division this season, however, despite his 1.75 GAA, .943 save%.

• Bruins winger Jarome Iginla leads all NHL players – active or retired – in career goals (35) and points (65) in 70 games vs. the Wild. All of those were registered while Iginla was a member of the Calgary Flames. (Elias Sports Bureau) The 36-year-old – who tonight will become the 55th player to reach 1,300 NHL games – has 10 goals and 14 assists over his last 18 games. (Prior to that, he had 13 goals and 16 assists in his first 49 games this season.)

• Boston’s Torey Krug scored his 14th goal of the season Saturday vs. Carolina, two nights after a healthy scratch vs. Phoenix. Krug leads all rookie defensemen with 14 goals and 36 points. Saturday’s goal moved him past Bobby Orr for the third-highest goal total by a Bruins rookie d-man – only five of whom have ever reached double digits in goals:

source:

• Darcy Kuemper is expected to be in Minnesota’s net for his fourth straight start and 20th in the Wild’s last 21 games. Kuemper is 6-1-2 with a 1.62 GAA and .940 save% in his last nine starts; at 12-4-4, he is tied for second in wins among rookie goalies (Frederik Andersen, ANA – 16; Antti Raanta, CHI, Eddie Lack, VAN – 12).

• Minnesota captain Mikko Koivu (127-308=435 points, 586 GP) is 2 points shy of tying Marian Gaborik (219-218=437, 502 GP for MIN) for most in Wild history. Gaborik was the Wild’s first-ever first-round draft pick (3rd overall, 2000); Koivu was their second (6th overall, 2001).

Flames dominate the Jets to take over top spot in the Pacific Division

CALGARY, AB - DECEMBER 10: Dougie Hamilton #27 of the Calgary Flames celebrates after scoring his team's third goal against the Winnipeg Jets during an NHL game at Scotiabank Saddledome on December 10, 2016 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images)
Getty
Leave a comment

Is there a changing of the guard in the Pacific Division?

It’s the middle of December and the Calgary Flames, now with six straight wins, lead the same division dominated last season by the California powers in Anaheim, San Jose and L.A. The Edmonton Oilers have been inconsistent at times this season but they are right there, too, one point back. Same goes for the Ducks. The Sharks and Kings are definitely in contention.

There is plenty of hockey remaining in the season. Plenty of chances for change in the NHL’s division standings, including in the Pacific. But there’s no denying the Flames are on an impressive run.

Late last month, they had a particularly frustrating loss to Philadelphia and coach Glen Gulutzan voiced his displeasure about it. They followed that up the next day with an overtime loss to the Islanders. Prior to that weekend, there had been rumblings about the future of Gulutzan with the club, despite being only a few months into his tenure.

But since then, the Flames have yet to lose. They continued their winning streak with a convincing 6-2 victory over the visiting Jets on Saturday.

Dougie Hamilton — remember all that trade speculation surrounding the Flames defenseman and Brian Burke’s classic response? — had two goals for Calgary. Chad Johnson was solid in net again. It was a pretty dominant performance all around.

Frustrating night for the Jets and it showed when Dustin Byfuglien dropped the gloves with Garnet Hathaway late in the third period.

There are more difficult tests ahead for Calgary.

The Flames face the Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday and then the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday.

In previous seasons, a Friday night game between the Flames and Blue Jackets in the middle of December might not garner much interest. But they are both among the hottest teams in the league right now and it’s likely not many would’ve predicted that a short time ago.

Video: Perlini’s first NHL goal helps lift Coyotes over Predators

GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 10:  Brendan Perlini #29 of the Arizona Coyotes reacts alongside Calle Jarnkrok #19 of the Nashville Predators after Perlini scored his first career goal during the second period of the NHL game at Gila River Arena on December 10, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Getty
Leave a comment

The Arizona Coyotes have moved out of last place in the NHL’s overall standings, courtesy a 4-1 win over the Nashville Predators on Saturday.

Minus forward Max Domi, placed on IR and expected to be out on a week-to-week basis, the Coyotes got a 44-save performance from goalie Mike Smith and recently recalled forward Brendan Perlini pitched in with his first career NHL goal.

That goal gave Arizona a 3-1 lead. Thanks to the play of Smith, the Coyotes wouldn’t relinquish the lead, snapping a six-game losing skid.

It wasn’t all good news for the Coyotes.

Defenseman Connor Murphy played only 4:12. He left the game with an upper-body injury and didn’t return. Per reports, Murphy is considered day-to-day at this point.

The Blue Jackets just keep on winning

COLUMBUS, OH - OCTOBER 15:  Zach Werenski #8 of the Columbus Blue Jackets is congratulated by Cam Atkinson #13 of the Columbus Blue Jackets after scoring his first career NHL goal during the third period of the game against the San Jose Sharks on October 15, 2016 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. San Jose defeated Columbus 3-2. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)
Getty
1 Comment

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) Jack Johnson, Cam Atkinson and Seth Jones each had a goal and an assist as the Columbus Blue Jackets beat the New York Islanders 6-2 on Saturday night for their sixth straight win.

Josh Anderson, Brandon Saad and Lukas Sedlak also scored for Columbus and Sergei Bobrovsky had 25 saves.

Josh Bailey and John Tavares scored for New York, which had earned a point in a season-high five straight games (4-0-1). Jaroslav Halak made 32 saves until he was pulled after the Blue Jackets scored four consecutive goals in the third period.

Anderson put Columbus ahead 3-2 at 2:19 when he picked off a defensive pass and banged it in from the slot seconds after coming onto the ice for his shift.

Saad, Sedlak and Jones scored in a 5-minute span to make it 6-2 with 5:37 to go.

New York’s third-string goalie Jean-Francois Berube then replaced Halak and stopped the one shot he faced in his season debut.

The Islanders came out quick and it took Columbus a while to get going. New York took a 1-0 lead 5:59 in when a defensive pass by the Blue Jackets’ Sam Gagner at the boards was deflected by Bailey, and the popup was bobbled by Bobrovsky into the net. Bailey was given credit for an unassisted goal.

The Blue Jackets tied it up on a power play with 6:01 left in the first when Johnson wound up from just inside the neutral zone and fired a bullet past Halak. It was Johnson’s first goal of the season.

Columbus’ Brandon Dubinsky and New York’s Travis Harmonic went to the penalty box for 5 minutes each when both threw down the gloves and threw punches near the end of the first quarter.

Columbus took a 2-1 lead when a speeding Atkinson took a pass from Johnson in the neutral zone and beat Halak on the breakaway 10:16 into the second. New York tied with 7:28 left in the period when Tavares lifted the puck over Bobrovsky’s pad from in front of the net.

The Blue Jackets took off in the third period.

After Anderson gave Columbus the lead for good, Saad made it 4-2 on a wrister from the high slot at 9:23.

Sedlak, who scored his first NHL goal on Friday night, scored another when he tapped in a loose puck with 7:21 to go. Jones capped it with just over 5 1/2 minutes remaining.

NHL schedules hearings for Stars’ Oleksiak, Sens’ Borowiecki after separate incidents

CALGARY, AB - NOVEMBER 10: Jamie Oleksiak #5 of the Dallas Stars in action against the Calgary Flames during an NHL game at Scotiabank Saddledome on November 10, 2016 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images)
Getty
2 Comments

Two NHL players will have disciplinary hearings Sunday with the league’s Department of Player Safety for separate incidents that occurred Saturday.

The league announced Saturday evening that Jamie Oleksiak of the Dallas Stars will have a hearing for an illegal hit to the head of Philly’s Chris VandeVelde during the third period of the Flyers’ win.

There was no penalty called on the play.

The league also announced that Ottawa Senators defenseman Mark Borowiecki will have a hearing Sunday for a boarding penalty he took against Kings forward Tyler Toffoli.

The incident occurred early in the first period. Borowiecki received a major penalty, but remained in the game. Toffoli left the game to undergo concussion protocol, but he did eventually return.