Jakub Voracek, Henrik Lundqvist

Get your game notes: Flyers at Rangers


Tonight on CNBC, it’s the New York Rangers hosting the Philadelphia Flyers starting at 7 p.m. ET. Following are some game notes, as compiled by the NHL on NBC research team:

• The Flyers and Rangers face off tonight in their first playoff meeting since the 1997 Eastern Conference Final, which Philadelphia won in five games before being swept by Detroit for the Stanley Cup. The Flyers hold a 27-20 edge in games and 6-4 lead in series; the Rangers’ last series victory over Philadelphia came in the 1986 Patrick Division semifinals (they are 0-3 since).

• This series features two teams that qualified for the playoffs after dreadful starts to the season. The Flyers went through an in-season coaching change, installing Craig Berube to replace Peter Laviolette after the team lost its first three games of the season. The Rangers, in their first year under coach Alain Vigneault, played their season’s first nine games on the road while Madison Square Garden completed a three-year renovation project.


• Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, who signed a seven-year, $59.5 million contract extension in December, experienced a rough first half of the 2013-14 season (through Jan. 6), but picked it up substantially in the second half (Jan. 8 until the end of the season).


• Lundqvist, who surpassed Mike Richter as the Rangers’ all-time leader in regular-season wins on Mar. 18, has not yet matched the career postseason prowess of Richter, who backstopped the Rangers to the 1994 Stanley Cup.


• Flyers captain Claude Giroux went the first 15 games this season without scoring a goal (he had seven assists during that span). Giroux then scored 28 goals in his next 67 games and finished with 86 points (28-58=86), third in the league. In four postseasons with the Flyers, Giroux has 55 points (21-34=55), 11th on the franchise’s all-time list; three more points and he’ll pass Eric Lindros (24-33=57) for 10th.

• Rangers winger Rick Nash has led his team in goals in each of his two seasons in New York, since arriving in a trade from Columbus on July 23, 2012. Of Nash’s team-leading 21 goals in 44 games in 2012-13, 13 were scored in the third period; in 2013-14, Nash scored only seven of his 26 goals (65 games) in the third.

• Flyers winger Wayne Simmonds set career highs this season with 29 goals and 60 points. Since arriving in Philadelphia with Brayden Schenn in the June 23, 2011 trade that sent Mike Richards (then the Flyers’ captain) to Los Angeles, Simmonds has scored a team-best 72 goals for the Flyers – 32 of them on the power play.

Scary moment: Carlo Colaiacovo hospitalized with ‘dented trachea’

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Buffalo Sabres defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo has experienced plenty of bad injury luck in his winding career, but Saturday presented one of his worst scares.

As you can see from the video above, Colaiacovo received a scary cross-check from Viktor Arvidsson of the Nashville Predators, who received a major penalty and game misconduct.

Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma said that Colaiacovo was hospitalized with a “dented trachea” yet is OK, the Buffalo News’ John Vogl reports.

Frightening stuff from an eventual 4-1 Sabres win.

PHT will keep an eye out for additional updates regarding Colaiacovo’s health (and a possible suspension for Arvidsson).

Comeback Kings: Gaborik pulls L.A. past Kane, Blackhawks

Jake Muzzin, Scott Darling

Patrick Kane set an American scoring record, and added another assist to make it more impressive, but the Los Angeles Kings just wouldn’t be denied.

In the end, Marian Gaborik‘s big night meant more than Kane’s; he scored the tying and then overtime game-winner, both assisted by Anze Kopitar, for a rousing 4-3 overtime Kings win.

Gaborik’s first goal:

And here’s video of the OT-GWG:

Noticing a theme tonight? Yeah, it’s been an evening in which it’s dangerous to assume a lead would stand.

With that, the Kings stick to the No. 1 spot in the Pacific Division, but Chicago shouldn’t feel all bad. The Blackhawks were able to piece together a decent run during their dreaded “circus trip.”

Patrick Kane’s streak hits 19 games, setting a new American record


When it comes to point streaks for U.S.-born NHL players, Patrick Kane now stands alone.

With a power-play goal early in Saturday’s Blackhawks – Kings game, Kane extended his streak to 19 games, breaking a tie with Phil Kessel and Eddie Olczyk (who finished with at least a point in 18 straight).

As of this writing, Kane has 11 goals and 19 assists during this 19-game streak. He also leads the NHL in scoring.

Bobby Hull’s 21-game point streak stands as the Chicago Blackhawks’ overall team record, by the way.

So, how would you protect a lead against the Stars?


You know what they say: it’s easy to bash a strategy in hindsight.

Slam that NFL head coach for going for it on fourth down … or settling for the field goal. Bury that MLB manager because he kept a pitcher in too long. And so on.

“Score effects” settle in during almost any lopsided hockey game, yet the Dallas Stars present quite a conundrum: what’s the best way to put a way a team with this much firepower?

Tonight may have presented the greatest evidence that this team won’t go away easy, as it seemed like the Minnesota Wild had the best of a tired Stars team* when they built a 3-0 lead.

Instead, the Stars scored three third-period goals while Tyler Seguin capped the comeback with an overtime-winner.

It was one of those bend-and-then-break moments for Minnesota. Dallas generated a 44-26 shot advantage, including a ridiculous 35-15 edge in the final two periods.

Does that mean that Mike Yeo may have tried to play too conservatively with a healthy lead? It’s a possibility.

On the other hand, would the Wild be wiser to try to run-and-gun with one of the most dangerous offenses in the NHL?

It sure seems like a pick-your-poison situation. Which way would you lean, though?

* – To be fair to Minnesota, each team was on back-to-backs.