Philadelphia Flyers v New York Rangers

Get your game notes: Rangers at Flyers

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

• The Rangers, who earned a franchise-record 25 road wins during the regular season, enter tonight’s Game 4 looking to make it back-to-back wins in Philadelphia following Tuesday’s 4-1 win. The Rangers-Flyers is the only series of playoffs’ first round that has yet to produce a one-goal game, thanks in part to Wayne Simmonds’ empty-net goal that sealed the Flyers’ 4-2 win in Game 2.

• Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, who has stopped 66 of 71 shots this series (.930 save percentage), has 32 career victories in the playoffs; only three goaltenders in the 2014 postseason have more – Pittsburgh’s Marc-Andre Fleury (47), San Jose’s Antti Niemi (35) and Colorado backup Jean-Sebastien Giguere (33). His counterpart, Flyers goalie Steve Mason, will be looking for his first career playoff win. Mason will get his first start since suffering an upper-body injury in a collision with Pittsburgh’s Jayson Megna on April 12. Mason finished Game 3 in relief of Ray Emery, stopping all three shots in 7:15.

• Claude Giroux, the Flyers’ leading scorer during the regular season (28-58=86 points, third in NHL), has gone without a goal in his last 13 games vs. the Rangers (10 regular season, three postseason). During that span, he has 12 assists (two in this series) and 18 shots on goal (two in this series). The Flyers are 5-8 in those games (1-2 in this series).

• Flyers winger Scott Hartnell, fresh off his seventh career 20-goal season and fifth as a Flyer, has yet to score in the playoffs and has not scored since March 28, a span of 12 games (nine regular-season, three playoffs). It is the longest Hartnell has gone without scoring since a 21-game stretch spanning the 2009-10 regular season and playoffs (12 reg. season, nine playoffs). This season, the Flyers were 15-1-2 when Hartnell scored a goal.

• Philadelphia has been held to a single goal in two of this series’ first three games. The last time the Flyers scored fewer than two goals three times in a single playoff series was in 2004, when they lost to Tampa Bay in seven games in the Eastern Conference final (13 series ago).

• Rangers winger Martin St. Louis has points (2-3=5) in all three games of the series. The 38-year-old St. Louis, who had one goal and seven assists in 19 regular-season games after being acquired from Tampa Bay in exchange for Ryan Callahan, has produced his first three multi-point games as a Ranger in his last five games (two regular season, three postseason.

• After scoring only one goal on 42 shots on goal during the 2013 playoffs, Rangers winger Rick Nash has gone goalless in his first 18 shots this postseason. Nash is one of four 25-goal scorers in the 2013-14 regular season with 18 or more shots on goal this postseason, but no goals. Marian Hossa (21), Zach Parise (19) and Patrick Sharp (18) are the others. His postseason goal drought stands at 15 games.

By winning fifth straight, Caps extend Wild’s slump to seven losses

Minnesota Wild’s Jared Spurgeon,right, keeps Washington Capitals’ Alex Ovechkin of Russia occupied near the net in the first period of an NHL hockey game, Thursday, March 19, 2015, in St. Paul, Minn. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
AP
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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) Alex Ovechkin scored three times in the second period for his 14th career hat trick, and the Washington Capitals beat the Minnesota Wild 4-3 on Thursday night.

Ovechkin, who leads the league with 34 goals, has 13 in his past 13 games. Nicklas Backstrom had three assists and Jason Chimera added an empty-netter for Washington, which improved to a league-best 20-5-2 on the road.

Braden Holtby made 33 saves for the Capitals, who won their fifth consecutive game and became the first team to reach 40 victories this season.

Charlie Coyle, Ryan Suter and Mikael Granlund scored for the Wild, but Minnesota lost for the 12th time in its past 13 games (1-10-2). Devan Dubnyk made 29 saves for the Wild, who have lost seven in a row at home (0-4-3).

Ovechkin’s third goal, which deflected off both the post and the back of Dubnyk into the net, was upheld following a coach’s challenge. Wild coach Mike Yeo challenged that the puck had left the zone for offsides, but the call stood after a review showed that Backstrom stopped the puck before it crossed the blue line.

The goal gave Ovechkin his first hat trick since he scored four goals against Tampa Bay on Dec. 10, 2013.

It wasn’t the only fortunate bounce for Ovechkin on the night, and the five-time 50-goal scorer capitalized on each opportunity.

A shot from T.J. Oshie deflected off of Minnesota forward Zach Parise across the ice right to Ovechkin in the left faceoff circle and Ovechkin quickly snapped off a shot to beat Dubnyk, who couldn’t get across the crease to get into position. Three minutes later, Ovechkin scored on the power play when a point shot bounced off the end boards right to Ovechkin in front of the net.

The tally provided some relief for the Capitals’ surprisingly ineffective power play. Washington had one power play in its previous six games, an empty-netter for the only goal in its previous 20 power-play chances. The Capitals were 1 of 5 on the power play on Thursday.

Coyle scored for the fifth time in eight games in the second, but second periods have doomed the Wild during their slump. Minnesota has been outscored 13-3 in the period in five straight losses.

Suter scored his sixth goal of the season on the power play in the third as Minnesota went 1 of 5 with the man advantage.

NOTES: Washington C Evgeny Kuznetsov left in the third period after he was hit in the face by the stick of Mikael Granlund off a faceoff. … Backstrom has 20 points in his last 17 games. … Minnesota D Jared Spurgeon missed his second straight game with an unspecified deep bruise. Spurgeon has returned to practice, but was held out again. … Holtby is 27-1-3 in his last 31 games with two shutouts, a 2.10 goals-against average and .927 save percentage.

Watch the Blackhawks’ Patrick Sharp tribute video

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Over the years, the Chicago Blackhawks have been forced to let some important players leave to keep their core together, which ultimately meant parting ways with Patrick Sharp.

The talented winger now wears a Dallas Stars jersey, so Blackhawks fans must face the reality of watching Sharp ply his trade for a formidable Central Division opponent.

Even if that might feel awkward, Blackhawks fans gave Sharp (and Johnny Oduya) a warm reception in Chicago on Thursday.

CSNChicago.com provides video of that ovation, which you can see in the clip above.

The Stars currently lead the Blackhawks 4-2, thanks in large part to Patrick … Eaves.

Ovechkin’s 14th career hat trick helps him make more history

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Death, taxes and Alex Ovechkin winning the Maurice Richard Trophy.

OK, the third thing on that list isn’t technically inevitable. It just feels that way lately in the NHL.

It’s unclear if the Washington Capitals can hold on against the Minnesota Wild, but we know for certain that Ovechkin already has a hat trick, the 14th of his high-scoring career.

(He also passed Jean Beliveau for 39th all-time in goals with his 509th, as NHL.com notes.)

This propels Ovechkin to the goals lead as of this writing, as he already has 34. As impressive as Patrick Kane has been, No. 8 is heating up, and may just edge No. 88 if Ovechkin can remain healthy.

One has to feel a little sympathy for the struggling Wild. They played well but lost against the Dallas Stars earlier this week and now must deal with Ovechkin and the just-as-hot Capitals.

Update: Minnesota managed three goals, but it wasn’t enough, as Washington got the edge 4-3.

Bylsma believes league will look at Gudas’ hit on Catenacci

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Rugged Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Radko Gudas may get in trouble with the league once again.

At least, it will be that way if Buffalo Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma has his way regarding Gudas’ five-minute charging major hit on Daniel Catenacci.

“I think there’s no question it’s head hit,” Bylsma said, according to the Buffalo News’ John Vogl. ” … I know the league will look at that hit and deal with it.”

As far as the injury portion of possible suspension considerations go:

Marcus Foligno‘s analysis of Gudas was … well just check it out.

The Flyers ended up winning 5-1. Gudas was a busy man overall, racking up 17 penalty minutes.