Chris Kreider is on the verge of history.
The first player in 25 years to win an NCAA title and make his NHL debut in the playoffs in the same year (the other: Tony Hrkac, for North Dakota and St. Louis in 1987), Kreider’s now in line for another first.
More, from Jeff Z. Klein of the New York Times:
With his goal in Game 1 Monday, the Rangers rookie Chris Kreider tied an NHL record for most playoff goals scored in a single postseason by a player who has not yet skated in a regular-season game.
Kreider’s goal, which gave the Rangers a 2-0 lead in their 3-0 victory over the Devils, was his third of the playoffs. That tied him atop this peculiar category with Ray Cote of the 1983 Edmonton Oilers and George McPhee of the 1983 Rangers – now the general manager of the Washington Capitals, whom Kreider scored a goal against in the second round.
Kreider was not aware of the distinction when asked about it Wednesday before Game 2 at the Garden.
“That’s kind of obscure,” he said. “I don’t have a lot of thoughts about it.”
If/when Kreider gets goal No. 4, he’ll break free of Cote and McPhee and join even more elite company. Only one other player — Eddie Mazur of the Montreal Canadiens — scored four goals before playing a regular season game.
The big difference, of course, is that Mazur’s four goals came over the span of three postseasons (1951-53) whereas Kreider’s would come in a single postseason.
CHICAGO — Blackhawks forward Boris Katchouk will be sidelined for four to six weeks with a left ankle sprain, the team announced.
The 24-year-old Katchouk played almost 12 minutes during a 3-0 preseason loss to Detroit on Saturday night. He was acquired in a multiplayer trade with Tampa Bay in March.
The Blackhawks open the season on Oct. 12 at Colorado.
The team also said forward Jujhar Khaira is day to day with a right ankle injury.
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Ducks defenseman Urho Vaakanainen was taken off the Honda Center ice on a stretcher after he crashed into the end boards in the first period of Anaheim’s preseason game against the San Jose Sharks.
The Finnish defenseman was conscious and alert with full movement in his extremities at UCI Medical Center, the Ducks said.
The frightening incident occurred midway through the opening period when Vaakanainen smashed into the boards at a dangerous speed behind the Sharks’ net. Vaakanainen appeared to be concentrating on the pass he had just made to Derek Grant, who scored the Ducks’ opening goal on the assist.
Vaakanainen’s teammates came onto the ice and gathered around him as he was taken away on the stretcher.
The Ducks acquired the 23-year-old Vaakanainen from Boston last March in the deal that sent longtime Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm to the Bruins. After recording two assists in 14 games for the Ducks last season, Vaakanainen is attempting to win a top-six role on Anaheim’s defense this fall.
TAMPA, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Lightning and team owner Jeff Vinik are donating $2 million toward Hurricane Ian relief efforts.
The NHL team announced that $1 million each will be donated by the Tampa Bay Lightning Foundation and the Vinik Family Foundation.
“This is a tragic situation for many families and communities across the state of Florida, but especially so in the southwest region of the state,” Vinik said in a statement released by the team. “In times like these the most important thing we can do is support one another, and we hope this donation will help families recover and rebuild in the months to come.”
Ian made landfall Wednesday on Florida’s Gulf Coast, south of the Tampa Bay area. The Lightning postponed two home preseason games and moved the club’s training camp to Nashville, Tennessee, during the storm.
TORONTO — Rasmus Sandin has signed a two-year, $2.8 million contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs, the club announced on Thursday.
The 22-year-old from Sweden was the 29th overall selection in the 2018 draft. Sandin had 16 points in 51 games with Toronto last season. He’s played in 88 career regular-season games, with six goals and 22 assists, and has one goal in five playoff games.
“Got a great set of tools,” fellow defenseman Jake Muzzin said. “With experience, I think they’re only going to get better.”
The signing comes as the Leafs’ blueliners been hit hard by injuries. Muzzin has been dealing with a back issue, and Timothy Liljegren recently had surgery for a hernia.
Toronto then lost Jamie Benn (groin) and Carl Dahlstrom (shoulder) in Wednesday’s 3-0 preseason victory over the Montreal Canadiens, pressing forwards Calle Jarnkrok and Alexander Kerfoot into defensive roles for two periods.