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.

Sabres goalie prospect Petersen won’t sign, Botterill ‘disappointed’

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Cal Petersen, the Notre Dame standout drafted by Buffalo four years ago, won’t be signing with the Sabres, new GM Jason Botterill said on Friday.

“I’ve spoken to Cal. At this time I think he’s going to probably move to free agency and we’ll go from there,” Botterill said, per the Buffalo News. “Disappointed, but we’ll move on.”

Petersen, 22, is coming off a great junior year for the Fighting Irish. He went 23-12-5 with a .926 save percentage and 2.22 GAA, helping the club advance to the Frozen Four. Petersen was also named a finalist for this year’s Mike Richter Award, given annually to college hockey’s top goalie.

In April, he was named to the U.S. team at the World Hockey Championships in France and Germany. He was one of three goalies on the squad — along with Connor Hellebuyck and Jimmy Howard — but didn’t appear in any games.

In late May, Petersen announced he was forgoing his senior year at Notre Dame to turn pro, but declined to say which club he would be signing with. Buffalo’s rights to Petersen expire on Aug. 15.

This is a blow to the organization. The Sabres have some major question marks in goal, given presumptive No. 1 Robin Lehner is a restricted free agent and it’s unclear what the ceiling is on recently re-signed Linus Ullmark. What’s more, Buffalo has only drafted two goalies in the last four years — Petersen, and Sweden’s Jonas Johansson (third round, ’14).

 

Oilers to sign Russell to reported four-year, $16 million extension

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When the Edmonton Oilers traded Jordan Eberle over the weekend part of the reasoning was so they could clear salary cap space, presumably to help re-sign veteran defenseman Kris Russell.

On Friday, they completed that series of transactions.

According to TVA’s Renaud Lavoie, the Oilers will announce a four-year contract for Russell later on Friday that will pay him a total of $16 million.

That comes out to a salary cap hit of $4 million per season. TSN’s Ryan Rishaug adds that the deal could also include a modified no-trade clause.

Russell has become an extremely polarizing player in the NHL over the past few years so this deal is sure to receive equal amounts of praise and criticism depending on what exactly you’re looking for from a defenseman.

He has never been a strong possession player and doesn’t have a lot of offensive ability — two things teams seem to be looking for on their blue lines right now — which leads to criticism from the analytics side of the sport. But because he is one of the NHL’s most fearless shot-blockers and consistently among the league leaders in that category he is loved as an old-school, defensive-defenseman. That ability was a big talking point for much of the 2016-17 season as the Oilers had their best season in more than a decade (Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Cam Talbot played a pretty significant role, too).

Another part of the justification for the Eberle trade was the fact the Oilers needed some additional salary cap space because of the need to re-sign both McDavid and Draisaitl to long-term contract extensions.

Eberle on his own was going to account for $6 million in salary cap space this season.

Ryan Strome (the player acquired for Eberle) and Russell will account for $6.5 million.

Are the Oilers better off with Strome and Russell than they would have been had they simply let Russell walk and kept Eberle? That remains to be seen, but obviously the Oilers think they are.

Flyers want to add veteran goalie this weekend

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It’s pretty obvious what sits atop Philly’s shopping list this weekend at the NHL Draft in Chicago:

Goaltending.

“We’re going to look for the best option, and we’ll act on it,” Flyers GM Ron Hextall said, per CSN Philly. “The option is figuring out the timing and who is available.”

Currently, the Flyers only have two goalies under contract — Michal Neuvirth and Anthony Stolarz. The former will be in Philly’s mix next year, but the latter’s situation is more complex. Stolarz is coming off major knee surgery and, at 23, lacks experience at the NHL level. He looked good in a seven-game cameo last season (4-2-1, 2.07 GAA, .928 save percentage), but that’s still a pretty small sample size.

So not surprising to hear the following, from CSN Philly:

Hextall would prefer to get a jump on free agency this weekend by making a deal to obtain a veteran goaltender that has two years or less on his contract and is not looking to break the bank.

Or obtain a UFA’s rights if a deal can be struck.

It looks as though the Flyers have all but moved on from Steve Mason, so it’ll be interesting to see what direction Hextall takes.

He does have some options.

Dallas needs to move on from either Kari Lehtonen or Antti Niemi following the Ben Bishop trade and sign. Former Flames netminder Brian Elliott is available as a UFA, as is Vancouver’s Ryan Miller.

Report: Habs offering pending UFA Radulov a three-year deal

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The Montreal Canadiens and pending unrestricted free agent Alexander Radulov are still working toward a new deal, but it sounds like they’re pretty far apart.

Radulov has reportedly asked the Canadiens for a six-year deal worth $7 million per season, according to TSN’s Pierre LeBrun.

On Friday morning, Sportsnet’s Eric Engels reported that the Canadiens aren’t exactly on the same page as Radulov’s camp.

Per Engels, Marc Bergevin’s longest offer to Radulov has been three years, which doesn’t sound like it’s going to get the job done at this point.

The 30-year-old Russian winger (he’ll turn 31 next week) was one of Montreal’s most consistent forwards in 2016-17. He scored 18 goals an 54 points in 76 games in his first season with the Canadiens.

Even though the Habs were able to land Jonathan Drouin in a trade with the Bolts, they could still use Radulov’s offense going into next season.

During a press conference on Thursday, Bergevin mentioned the possibility of trading Radulov’s rights away before he hits the open market on July 1st.

It sounds like this negotiation will come down to the wire.