Get your game notes: Red Wings at Bruins

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

— The Bruins and Red Wings are the only Original Six matchup in the 1st round. It is the first time these teams have met in the playoffs since the 1957 Semifinals, ending the second-longest postseason matchup drought among Original Six teams (N.Y. Rangers-Detroit – 1950 Stanley Cup Final). The Bruins now have faced every Original Six team in the playoffs in the past 3 years: Detroit (2014 1st rd.), Chicago (2013 Stanley Cup Final), N.Y. Rangers (2013 CSF), Toronto (2013 CQF) & Montreal (2011 CQF).

— Since the Presidents’ Trophy was introduced in the 1985-86 season, only eight of 27 teams (30%) have claimed both the Presidents’ Trophy and the Stanley Cup in the same season. Two Red Wings teams, in 2001-02 and 2007-08, accomplished that feat. The Bruins, who were the NHL’s top team this season (117 pts.), will look to emulate the most recent team to complete the double, last year’s Chicago Blackhawks. Only once has the feat been accomplished in back-to-back seasons: Colorado in 2000-01 followed by Detroit in 2001-02.

Winners of Presidents’ Trophy and Stanley Cup in same season:

1986-87: Edmonton Oilers
2000-01: Colorado Avalanche
1988-89: Calgary Flames
2001-02: Detroit Red Wings
1993-94: New York Rangers
2007-08: Detroit Red Wings
1998-99: Dallas Stars
2012-13: Chicago Blackhawks

— This series features three of the longest-tenured active NHL players who have yet to win a Stanley Cup. For the Bruins, winger Jarome Iginla will be making his eighth trip to the playoffs in search of his first Cup, while the Red Wings’ wingers Daniel Alfredsson and Todd Bertuzzi are making their 14th and 10th trips, respectively. Here are the five most experienced players participating in this year’s playoffs – in terms of combined regular season and postseason games – who have yet to win a Stanley Cup.

Player | Playoff Team | Games played without Stanley Cup win

Patrick Marleau, San Jose Sharks, 1388* (1247 reg. season, 141 playoff)

Jarome Iginla, Boston Bruins, 1379 (1310 reg. season, 69 playoff)

Daniel Alfredsson, Detroit Red Wings, 1367 (1246 reg. season, 121 playoff)

Joe Thornton, San Jose Sharks, 1333* (1207 reg. season, 126 playoff)

Todd Bertuzzi, Detroit Red Wings, 1245 (1159 reg. season, 86 playoff)

*includes Sharks’ Game 1 on Apr. 17

— Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask posted a career-high 36 wins (36-15-6) and led the NHL in shutouts (seven) this season. However, he struggled in four games this season vs. Detroit. The Finnish goalie played all 240 minutes vs. the Red Wings, and went 1-3-0, with a 3.29 GAA and .871 save%.

— With Barry Trotz fired as head coach by Nashville on Apr. 14, the Red Wings’ Mike Babcock became the NHL’s longest-tenured coach (hire date: July 15, 2005). The coach on the other side of the partition, the Bruins’ Claude Julien, is second on the experience list (hire date: June 22, 2007). Babcock led the Red Wings to their 23rd consecutive postseason appearance despite the team losing 417 man-games to injury this season (second-most in the NHL, Pittsburgh – 529).

— The Bruins have played an NHL-high 54 postseason games since the 2010-11 season (when Boston won the Stanley Cup). Six Bruins – forwards David Krejci (whose 22 postseason goals during that span leads the league), Brad Marchand, Milan Lucic, Chris Kelly & Daniel Paille, & defenseman Johnny Boychuk – appeared in all of those games. Kelly and Paille are questionable for Game 1 with injuries.

PHT Morning Skate: Is the Golden Knights’ success sustainable?

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–The Arizona Coyotes have been bad for a while now and things don’t appear to be getting better anytime soon. The ‘Yotes are off to a sluggish start. They remain the only team in the league to not have recorded a win in 2017-18. “It hasn’t gone as planned,” GM John Chayka said Monday. “We want to win. We haven’t got a win yet, so that’s unacceptable.” One of the biggest problems is that they’re giving up over four goals per game. (arizonasports.com)

–No one expects an expansion team to be loaded with depth, but the Vegas Golden Knights have proven to be pretty deep this year. For now, it’s working for them, but forcing players that are playing well to sit as healthy scratches could become a problem down the road. (sinbin.vegas)

–Speaking of the Golden Knights, Andrew Berkshire looks at whether or not they’re as good as they’ve been playing early on this season. Although they’re likely playing above their heads, they’ll probably be better than many people expected. (Sporting News)

PHT’s James O’Brien wrote a great piece about the Edmonton Oilers’ struggles so far this season, but here’s a different perspective from oilersnation.com. Cam Talbot‘s slow start isn’t overly concerning. The lack of secondary scoring is a real problem though. (oilersnation.com)

–The Ottawa Senators are off to a relatively good start, but the possession stats have left a lot to be desired. How are they doing it? Will they be able to keep it up? The return of Erik Karlsson has to count for something. (Sportsnet)

–The pace of the NHL game has gotten extremely fast, so it’s become more challenging for referees to keep up. Like players, officials have their own training camp. What do they do there?  “We work on repetitive movements on the ice. We also let them play hockey and we officiate the hockey. We have enough guys with minor-league guys there-there’s about 80 guys at camp-that we can make six teams and the quality of hockey was actually pretty good this year,” said the NHL’s vice-president and director of officiating Stephen Walkom. (fanragsports.com)

–Calgary’s search for a new arena remains complicated for the Flames. With the re-election of Naheed Nenshi, who isn’t a fan of the idea that public money needs to be spent on a new rink, things could get ugly. (The Hockey News)

–According to blueseatblogs, part of the reason why the Rangers are so bad this year is because head coach Alain Vigneault is having issues with deployment. Part of the problem, is that Vingeault hasn’t identified who his shutdown pairing is yet. (blueseatblogs.com)

–Over the summer, Derek Stepan got traded for the first time in his career. The adjustment has been difficult. After all, New York and Arizona offer very different lifestyles. “As we go each day, the more comfortable I get. And the more comfortable I get, the more I fit in,” Stepan said. “I feel like I’m getting closer and closer. I felt like the new kid at school.” (ESPN.com)

–NBCSN will be broadcasting tonight’s Rivalry Night game between the Blackhawks and Blues, and NHL.com gives you five reasons to watch this contest. A matchup between Patrick Kane and Vladimir Tarasenko can’t be dull! (NHL.com)

Joey Alfieri is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @joeyalfieri.

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The Buzzer: Malkin paces Penguins, Vegas keeps on winning

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Player of the night: Evgeni Malkin

Evgeni Malkin helped get things started for the Pittsburgh Penguins at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday, and then he finished the game off with the overtime winner to send the New York Rangers to a fourth consecutive loss.

Malkin scored once, added three assists and even dropped the gloves in a 5-4 overtime victory, as the Penguins came back with a late — and crafty — third period goal from Sidney Crosby.

Talk about the Penguins being opportunistic on the winner. Off a defensive zone faceoff win for the Rangers, Ryan McDonagh made a terrible giveaway right beside his own net, giving the puck to Phil Kessel, who slipped it over to Malkin for the quick one-timer.

Highlight of the night:

There were a few candidates for this tonight. Phil Kessel once again showed off that tremendous wrist shot. Thomas Vanek decided to blast a slap shot on a breakaway, going post and in against the Senators. Nikita Kucherov had a perfect shot against Cory Schneider after previously setting up teammate Vladislav Namestnikov for a pretty goal versus the Devils. Yes, there were a few options.

But, we’ll go back to Winnipeg for this one. Blue Jackets forward Cam Atkinson not only protects the puck from Jacob Trouba on the breakaway, but then dekes out Steve Mason with the move to the forehand.

Factoid of the night:

The Vegas Golden Knights won again, giving them a 5-1 record to begin their inaugural season. That puts them in elite company.

Scores:

New Jersey 5, Tampa Bay 4 (SO)

San Jose 5, Montreal 2

Pittsburgh 5, New York 4 (OT)

Philadelphia 5, Florida 1

Toronto 2, Washington 0

Vancouver 3, Ottawa 0

Nashville 4, Colorado 1

Columbus 5, Winnipeg 2

Dallas 3, Arizona 1

Vegas 5, Buffalo 4 (OT)

Carolina 5, Edmonton 3

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Cam Tucker is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @CamTucker_Sport.

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Sharks send Habs to their fifth straight loss

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Make that five straight losses for the Montreal Canadiens.

Jonathan Drouin had a goal and an assist on Shea Weber‘s power play blast, giving the Habs center a two-point night. That’s one of the few bright spots, as Montreal lost by a score of 5-2 to the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday.

This was a battle of two teams struggling to start the new season, with each sitting on only one victory. For the Habs, that victory was back on Oct. 5 in their season opener against Buffalo.

Since then, however . . .

And it isn’t about to get any easier for the Habs. This was the start of a stretch that includes three games in four nights against the bruising California teams — the Sharks tonight, the Kings tomorrow, and the Ducks on Friday. It could still get worse before it gets better.

For the Sharks, who were led Tuesday by Logan Couture‘s four-point performance and Joe Pavelski‘s first goal of the season, they end their five-game home stand on a positive note after losing three of the previous four games.

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Cam Tucker is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @CamTucker_Sport.

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Wayne Simmonds leaves Flyers game for ‘precautionary reasons’ with lower-body issue

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The Philadelphia Flyers earned a 5-1 win over the Florida Panthers on Tuesday, thanks to a four-goal outburst in the second period.

And Philly forward Wayne Simmonds earned a decision over Micheal Haley in a quick fight during that middle frame, too.

While the Flyers got the win, the news wasn’t all good with respect to Simmonds, however, as he was removed from the game for precautionary reasons because of a lower-body issue, the team announced.

Beyond that, the Flyers said they will know more about his status by either tomorrow or Thursday. That puts a bit of a damper on the win.

Not only is the 29-year-old Simmonds one of the toughest players in the league, unafraid to drop the gloves or throw big hits from time to time, but he’s an important part of Philadelphia’s offensive attack, as well. A productive member of the power play, he’s flirted with the 30-goal mark on three occasions while in Philly and reached that mark in each of the past two seasons.

And he’s done that on a contract that includes an annual cap hit of just under $4 million.

Simmonds was also off to a strong start in 2017-18 with five goals and seven points in six games.

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Cam Tucker is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @CamTucker_Sport.

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