Get your game notes: Red Wings at Rangers

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Tonight on NBCSN, it’s the New York Rangers hosting the Detroit Red Wings at 8 p.m. ET. Following are some game notes, as compiled by the NHL on NBC research team:

• NYR has lost its past two games, both in shootouts (1-0 vs. WPG last Saturday and 4-3 on Monday against STL). The Rangers have several key absences to their blueline, as 4 of their 6 opening night defensemen were out of the lineup for Monday’s game against STL.

• Captain D Ryan McDonagh separated his shoulder in last Saturday’s loss to WPG. He is expected to miss 3-4 weeks.

• Veteran D Dan Boyle broke his hand in the first game of the season and remains sidelined.

• D Kevin Klein was also injured in the Jets game. Klein suffered a foot contusion blocking a shot and is considered day-to-day.

• D John Moore will serve the 3rd game of his 5-game suspension after last week’s illegal hit on MIN F Erik Haula.

• This has forced many NYR defensemen into new roles:

— D Conor Allen, 24, was recalled from Hartford (AHL) on Nov. 2 and played in his 4th career NHL game on Monday, logging 13:03 TOI. Allen signed as an undrafted free agent in 2013 following his career at the University of Massachusetts.

— D Dylan McIlrath, 22, was also recalled last Sunday, and played 8:02 against STL – his 3rd career game. He was NYR’s 1st round pick (10th overall) in the 2010 Entry Draft.

— D Mike Kostka has more NHL experience (66 career GP), but also began the season in the AHL. Kostka also played at UMass, and is now on his 4th NHL team in his 3rd season.

— D Matt Hunwick began the season as the Rangers’ 7th defensemen, but has played over 24 minutes in each of NYR’s last two games. This is Hunwick’s 8th NHL season – and his 1st in NYR – after stints in BOS and COL.

• DET will be playing on back-to-back nights following last night’s 3-1 loss in Ottawa.

• Like NYR, the Red Wings have dropped their past two games – 3-2 (SO) to BUF on Nov. 2 and 3-1 to OTT yesterday. DET has not lost three straight games or two consecutive regulation games yet this season.

• G Jimmy Howard stopped 29 of 31 shots last night, but lost his second straight start. The Red Wings will turn to backup G Jonas Gustavsson for tonight’s game against NYR.

• Gustavsson shut out TOR in his first start on Oct. 18 but gave up 3 goals on 16 shots in his only other start, a 4-2 DET loss in PHI on Oct. 25.

QUICK HITS

• 579th regular-season meeting

• 1st of 3 meetings this season. Final 2 games (Dec. 6 and Mar. 4) are in DET.

• Last season, NYR went 3-0-0 against DET, including shutouts in both games at MSG (1-0, 3-0).

• The Rangers have won 4 straight overall against DET. They have not won 5 straight against DET since the 1983 and 1984 seasons.

• DET last win at NYR: 3-1 on Dec. 6, 2009 (0-2-1 since).

•NYR has held DET scoreless for the past 144:58 dating back to last season.

• NYR: D Matt Hunwick is a Warren, MI native and played 4 seasons in the NCAA for the Michigan Wolverines.

STANDOUT STATS

• Both DET and NYR enter tonight on 2-game losing streaks.

• DET: 17-7-6 record in back-to-back games last season (7-5-3 in the 2nd game of back to backs).

• NYR: Including playoffs, the Rangers have sold out 138 consecutive games at MSG.
MILESTONE TRACKER

• NYR: Head Coach Alain Vigneault will be coaching his 900th career game tonight.

NOTABLE INJURIES

• DET: D Kyle Quincey (ankle) has missed two straight games and is day-to-day.

• NYR: Captain D Ryan McDonagh (separated shoulder) will be out for 3-4 weeks.

• NYR: C Derek Stepan (broken leg) has been IR all season. He has been cleared for contact but has yet to participate in a contact practice.

• NYR: D Dan Boyle (hand) was injured on opening night and is now skating in a non-contact jersey.

HEAD TO HEAD

• DET: C Pavel Datsyuk has 3 goals, 5 assists, and a +3 rating in 10 career games vs. NYR.

• DET: LW Henrik Zetterberg, RW Johan Franzen, RW Gustav Nyquist, and Datsyuk all went scoreless against NYR last season.

• NYR: G Henrik Lundqvist had shutout victories in both of his starts against DET last season.

• NYR: LW Rick Nash has 25 goals and 47 points in 55 career games vs. DET. His 25 goals are tied for the most he has against any other NHL team (w/ CHI).

DETROIT TEAM/PLAYER NOTES

• The Red Wings’ first line of Captain LW Henrik Zetterberg (15 points), C Pavel Datsyuk (10 points), and RW Justin Abdelkader (10 points) are the top 3 scorers for DET this season.

• Datsyuk began the season on injured reserve with a separated shoulder, but has put up 5 goals and 5 assists in 7 games since rejoining the lineup. His 5 goals and 10 points are both T-2nd on DET.

• Datsyuk had opened his season with points in 6 straight games before being held off the score sheet on Tuesday in the loss to Ottawa.

• Zetterberg has 4 goals and 11 assists through 12 games. His 11 assists and 15 points are tops on the Red Wings, and he is currently T-5th in NHL scoring.

• Abdelkader has benefitted from time alongside Datsyuk and Zetterberg; the 27-year old has never scored more than 10 goals or 28 points in an NHL season, but already has 5 goals and10 points through 12 games.

• RW Gustav Nyquist leads DET with 7 goals this season. He has also scored 4 of the Red Wings’ 5 PPG this season.

• Last season, Nyquist led DET with 28 goals despite only playing 57 games.

• G Jonas Gustavsson (1-1-0, 1.45 GAA, .935 SV%, 1 SO ) is scheduled to make his third start of the season for DET.

NEW YORK TEAM/PLAYER NOTES

•  Like Detroit, the Rangers’ top line of LW Rick Nash (12 points), C Derick Brassard (9 points), and RW Martin St. Louis (8 points) are also 1-2-3 in scoring on the team so far this season.

• Nash leads NYR in goals (9) and points (12). He is 2nd in the NHL in goals, trailing only Corey Perry’s 11.

• Nash started with 8 goals through his first 7 games, but has just 1 goal in his past 4 games.

• All of Nash’s 9 goals have come at even strength, tops in the NHL.

• Nash is the only NHL player with an active streak of 10 straight 20-goal seasons.

• D Dan Girardi has been counted on for extra minutes while the NYR defense remains injured. Girardi played at least 32:58 in each of the Rangers’ last two games.

• The last Ranger to log at least 30 minutes of ice time in 3 consecutive games was Brian Leetch, who did so in 8 straight games in Dec. of 2000.

• G Henrik Lundqvist (5-3-1, 2.85 GAA, .902 SV%, 2 SO) has all 5 Ranger wins in net. While Lundqvist already has 2 shutouts this season, he has also given up 3+ goals 5 times in his first 9 games.

Flyers win first seed in East; Lightning lose game and Hedman to injury

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Talk about getting hot at the right time(s). After slipping into the East’s top four, the Flyers surged all the way to the first seed in the conference, pushing the Lightning to the second spot with Philly’s 4-1 win. This completed a lousy day for the Lightning, who also saw key defenseman Victor Hedman leave the game in frustration with an injury.

With this result, the top-seed Flyers will face the Canadiens in a battle of teams who took advantage of this odd NHL Return to Play format. Meanwhile, the Lightning will face the winner of Game 5 between the Blue Jackets and Maple Leafs.

[NBC 2020 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF HUB]

Flyers win first seed in East; Lightning more worried about Hedman than second spot

Here’s footage of what looked like an ankle (or at least a “lower-body”) injury for Hedman. You can see Hedman’s furious anger in leaving with whatever injury, too:

Seems ominous.

As you may remember, Hedman didn’t seem 100-percent when his Lightning got swept in the First Round by the Blue Jackets during the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs. With Steven Stamkos missing time (including this round-robin game against the Flyers), the Lightning face some health uncertainty heading into the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Again, for the Flyers, it was another promising game. They’ve carried over a hot finish to the 2019-20 regular season straight through the 2020 Stanley Cup Qualifiers.

  • Nicolas Aube-Kubel began the Lightning – Flyers game on fire by scoring the first two goals. Aube-Kubel did his part in arguing for opportunities with the Flyers.
  • Speaking of trying to earn opportunities, Shayne Gostisbehere looked sharp in getting some game action. Could his offense justify the risks his defensive flaws sometimes present? That remains to be seen, but he did his part on Saturday.

Updated NHL Round-robin standings; Some matchups now set for 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs

EAST
Top seed: Flyers (3-0-0, 6 points) Philadelphia will face Canadiens in First Round
Second seed: Lightning (2-1-0, 4 points) Tampa Bay will face winner of Game 5 CBJ – TOR
Capitals (0-1-1, 1 point)
Bruins (0-2-0, 0 points)

WEST
Top Seed: Golden Knights (3-0-0, 6 points); Vegas faces Blackhawks in First Round
Second Seed: Avalanche (2-0-1, 5 points); Colorado faces Coyotes in First Round
Blues (0-2-0, 0 points)
Stars (0-2-0, 0 points)

SUNDAY‘S NHL PLAYOFF SCHEDULE

Round-robin: Bruins vs. Capitals, 12 p.m. ET – NBCSN
Round-robin: Stars vs. Blues, 3 p.m. ET – NBC
Game 5: Blue Jackets vs. Maple Leafs, 8 p.m. ET – NBCSN

MORE:
• 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Qualifiers schedule

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

NHL Return to Play: Round-robin standings, scenarios

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While the 16 teams in the qualifying round play for the right to move on, the No. 1 seeds in the Eastern Conference and Western Conference are still up for grabs in the round-robin format of the NHL’s return to play.

The round-robin schedule resumes on Saturday with a pair of games (Lightning vs. Flyers and Golden Knights vs. Avalanche) and here we take a look at the impact those games can have on the standings.

Below is a look at the current round-robin standings and everything at stake on Saturday.

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Current standings (tiebreaker is regular-season points percentage)

Philadelphia Flyers (3-0-0, 6 points)

Tampa Bay Lightning (2-1-0, 4 points)
Washington Capitals (0-1-1, 1 point)
Boston Bruins (0-2-0, 0 points)

Sunday, Aug. 2: Flyers 4, Bruins 1 (recap)
Monday, Aug. 3
: Lightning 3, Capitals 2 (SO) (recap)
Wednesday, Aug. 5: Lightning 3, Bruins 2 (recap)
Thursday, Aug. 6: Flyers 3, Capitals 1 (recap)
Saturday, Aug. 8: Flyers 4, Lightning 1
Sunday, Aug. 9: Bruins vs. Capitals, 12 p.m. ET – NBCSN

• Philadelphia will play Montreal in the First Round.
• Winner of BOS/WSH will be #3 seed; the loser will be #4

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Standings (tiebreaker is regular-season points percentage)

Vegas Golden Knights (3-0-0, 6 points)
Colorado Avalanche (2-1-0, 4 points)
St. Louis Blues (0-2-0, 0 points)
Dallas Stars (0-2-0, 0 points)

Sunday, Aug. 2: Avalanche 2, Blues 1 (recap)
Monday, Aug. 3: Golden Knights 4, Stars 3 (recap)
Wednesday, Aug. 5: Avalanche 4, Stars 0
Thursday, Aug. 6: Golden Knights 6, Blues 4 (recap)
Saturday, Aug. 8: Golden Knights 4, Avalanche 3 (OT) (recap)
Sunday, Aug. 9: Stars vs. Blues, 3 p.m. ET – NBC

• Vegas will play Chicago, while Colorado will play Arizona in the First Round.
• Winner of STL/DAL will be #3 seed; the loser will be #4

MORE:
• 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Qualifiers schedule


Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.

NHL schedule for 2020 Stanley Cup Qualifiers in league’s Return to Play

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It’s time to focus on the NHL games, including the 2020 NHL playoffs schedule. The 2020 Stanley Cup Qualifiers began on Saturday, Aug. 1 in the hub cities of Edmonton and Toronto.

The top four teams in both conference will play a three-game round robin for seeding in the First Round. The Stanley Cup Qualifiers will be best-of-5 series with the losing teams being entered into Phase 2 of the NHL Draft Lottery.

Below is a full 2020 NHL playoffs schedule of both the round-robin and the Stanley Cup Qualifiers.

EASTERN CONFERENCE (Scotiabank Arena)

Round-robin [Standings, scenarios]

Sunday, Aug. 2: Flyers 4, Bruins 1 (recap)
Monday, Aug. 3
:
Lightning 3, Capitals 2 (SO) (recap)
Wednesday, Aug. 5:
Lightning 3, Bruins 2 (recap)
Thursday, Aug. 6:
Flyers 3, Capitals 1 (recap)
Saturday, Aug. 8:
Flyers 4, Lightning 1 (recap)
Sunday, Aug. 9:
Bruins vs. Capitals, 12 p.m. ET – NBCSN

(5) Pittsburgh Penguins vs. (12) Montreal Canadiens (MTL won series 3-1)

Saturday, Aug. 1: Canadiens 3, Penguins 2 (recap)
Monday, Aug. 3: Penguins 3, Canadiens 1 (recap)
Wednesday, Aug. 5: Canadiens 4, Penguins 3 (recap)
Friday, Aug. 7: Canadiens 2, Penguins 0 (recap)

(6) Carolina Hurricanes vs. (11) New York Rangers (CAR won series 3-0)

Saturday, Aug. 1: Hurricanes 3, Rangers 2 (recap)
Monday, Aug. 3: Hurricanes 4, Rangers 1 (recap)
Tuesday, Aug. 4: Hurricanes 4, Rangers 1 (recap)

(7) New York Islanders vs. (10) Florida Panthers (NYI won series 3-1)

Saturday, Aug. 1: Islanders 2, Panthers 1 (recap)
Tuesday, Aug. 4: Islanders 4, Panthers 2 (recap)
Wednesday, Aug. 5: Panthers 3, Islanders 2 (recap)
Friday, Aug. 7: Islanders 5, Panthers 1 (recap)

(8) Toronto Maple Leafs vs. (9) Columbus Blue Jackets (Series tied 2-2)

Sunday, Aug. 2: Blue Jackets 2, Maple Leafs 0 (recap)
Tuesday, Aug. 4: Maple Leafs 3, Blue Jackets 0 (recap)
Thursday, Aug. 6: Blue Jackets 4, Maple Leafs 3 (OT) (recap)
Friday, Aug. 7: Maple Leafs 4, Blue Jackets 3 (OT) (recap)
Sunday, Aug. 9: Blue Jackets vs. Maple Leafs, 8 p.m. ET – NBCSN

[NBC 2020 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF HUB]

WESTERN CONFERENCE (Rogers Place)

Round-robin [Standings, scenarios]

Sunday, Aug. 2: Avalanche 2, Blues 1 (recap)
Monday, Aug. 3: Golden Knights 4, Stars 3 (recap)
Wednesday, Aug. 5: Avalanche 4, Stars 0
Thursday, Aug. 6: Golden Knights 6, Blues 4 (recap)
Saturday, Aug. 8: Golden Knights 4, Avalanche 3 (OT) (recap)
Sunday, Aug. 9: Stars vs. Blues, 3 p.m. ET – NBC

(5) Edmonton Oilers vs. (12) Chicago Blackhawks (CHI won series 3-1)

Saturday, Aug. 1: Blackhawks 6, Oilers 4 (recap)
Monday, Aug. 3: Oilers 6, Blackhawks 3 (recap)
Wednesday, Aug. 5: Blackhawks 4, Oilers 3 (recap)
Friday, Aug. 7: Blackhawks 3, Oilers 2 (recap)

(6) Nashville Predators vs. (11) Arizona Coyotes (ARZ won series 3-1)

Sunday, Aug. 2: Coyotes 4, Predators 3 (recap)
Tuesday, Aug. 4: Predators 4, Coyotes 2 (recap)
Wednesday, Aug. 5: Coyotes 4, Predators 1 (recap)
Friday, Aug. 7: Coyotes 4, Predators 3 (OT) (recap)

(7) Vancouver Canucks vs. (10) Minnesota Wild (VAN won series 3-1)

Sunday, Aug. 2: Wild 3, Canucks 0 (recap)
Tuesday, Aug. 4: Canucks 4, Wild 3 (recap)
Thursday, Aug. 6: Canucks 3, Wild 0 (recap)
Friday, Aug. 7: Canucks 5, Wild 4 (OT) (recap)

(8) Calgary Flames vs. (9) Winnipeg Jets (CGY won series 3-1)

Saturday, Aug. 1: Flames 4, Jets 1 (recap)
Monday, Aug. 3: Jets 3, Flames 2 (recap)
Tuesday, Aug. 4: Flames 6, Jets 2 (recap)
Thursday, Aug. 6: Flames 4, Jets 0 (recap)

————

Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

Flyers-Lightning stream: NHL Return to Play round-robin game

Flyers-Lightning stream
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NBC’s coverage of the NHL’s Return to Play continues with Saturday’s round-robin matchup between the Flyers and Lightning. Coverage begins at 8 p.m. ET on NBC. Watch the Flyers-Lightning stream on the NBC Sports app by clicking here.

A year after becoming the first Presidents’ Trophy winner to be swept in the opening round of the playoffs, Tampa has an opportunity to earn the top seed in the East. The winner of this game will become the #1 seed in the East; the loser will be the second seed.

Teams will be re-seeded after each round of the playoffs, so the #1 seed will play whichever remaining team had the lowest points percentage from the regular season: either Montreal or the winner of the Maple Leafs-Blue Jackets series. The #2 seed will play either the Maple Leafs/Blue Jackets or Islanders.

The Lightning finished second in the Eastern Conference, their third straight season finishing in the top-two in the East. Philadelphia earned the fourth seed after winning nine of their final 10 regular season games before the pause.

[NBC 2020 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF HUB]

WHAT: Philadelphia Flyers vs. Tampa Bay Lightning
WHERE: Scotiabank Arena – Toronto
WHEN: Saturday, August 8, 8 p.m. ET
TV: NBC
LIVE STREAM: You can watch the Flyers-Lightning stream on NBC Sports’ live stream page and the NBC Sports app.

Current standings (tiebreaker is regular-season points percentage)

Tampa Bay Lightning (2-0-0, 4 points)
Philadelphia Flyers (2-0-0, 4 points)
Washington Capitals (0-1-1, 1 point)
Boston Bruins (0-2-0, 0 points)

Sunday, Aug. 2: Flyers 4, Bruins 1 (recap)
Monday, Aug. 3
:
Lightning 3, Capitals 2 (SO) (recap)
Wednesday, Aug. 5:
Lightning 3, Bruins 2 (recap)
Thursday, Aug. 6:
Flyers 3, Capitals 1 (recap)
Saturday, Aug. 8:
Flyers vs. Lightning, 8 p.m. ET – NBC (livestream)
Sunday, Aug. 9:
Bruins vs. Capitals, 12 p.m. ET – NBCSN

• Winner of TB/PHI will be #1 seed; the loser will be #2
• Winner of BOS/WSH will be #3 seed; the loser will be #4

• Carolina will face either Boston or Washington in First Round.

MORE:
2020 NHL Stanley Cup Qualifiers schedule