Get your game notes: Sabres at Blues

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Tonight on NBCSN, it’s the St. Louis Blues hosting the Buffalo Sabres at 8 p.m. ET. Following are some game notes, as compiled by the NHL on NBC research team:

• STL is coming off its first loss in its last eight games – a 2-1 loss vs. NSH on Saturday, which allowed the Predators to pass the Blues for first place in the Central Division.

• Prior to that loss, the Blues’ 7-game winning streak tied Anaheim‟s 7-game winning streak (Oct. 11-24) for the longest stretch of wins in the NHL this season.

• RW Vladimir Tarasenko, who leads the Blues with 17 points (9G-8A), had 8G-3A during that 7-game winning streak, in addition to the shootout winner vs. NYR on Nov. 3. Heading into tonight, the 22-year-old Yaroslavl, Russia, native has 5G-3A during his current 5-game point streak – which matches a career-high (fourth time).

• G Jake Allen won all three of his starts during the win streak (ANA, STL, NJ).

• After losing the highest-paid unrestricted free agent goaltender in Ryan Miller (paid $6.25 million last season) in the offseason, STL chose to go with the goaltending tandem of Brian Elliott ($2.3 million this season) and Jake Allen ($850,000). The pair has been a surprising bright spot, combining for 9 wins and 3 shutouts.

• STL is allowing just 1.93 goals/game (T-3rd best in NHL).

• Elliott, who is expected to start tonight, is 5-3-1 with a 2.06 GAA and .923 SV% this season.

• Elliott has a “Mr. Moose” character featured on the back of his regular goaltending mask as a tribute to Owen Scott, who died in 2005. Scott was a family friend and a champion moose caller. But tonight, Elliott will wear a special Veterans Day-themed mask delivered to him by 92-year-old WWII veteran and St. Louis resident Charles Rohde. As a technical sergeant in the U.S. Army, Rohde saved ammunition and records from a burning truck on D-Day in Normandy.

• BUF, the worst team in the NHL, has scored the fewest goals in the league this season (18), while allowing the most (53). The Sabres have just one non-shootout victory this season, a 2-1 win over the Sharks on Oct. 25.

• BUF is averaging an NHL-worst 1.12 goals/game and has only scored more than 2 goals in a game once this season – a 4-3 (SO) victory over CAR on Oct. 14.

• The Sabres are an NHL-worst 2-for-50 (4%) on the power play this season. Per Elias, the 2 power-play goals are the fewest BUF has ever scored through its first 16 games of a season.

• BUF head coach Ted Nolan: “There‟s no one on a big, white horse that is going to come and save us. We have to somehow get the message. If we want good things, we‟ve got to work for it.”


• STL leads all-time series 52-45-13-0 (W-L-T-OL).

• STLwon both meetings last season by 2-1 and 4-1 margins.

• STL has won 4 straight against BUF and is 14-2-0 in their last 16 meetings. In those 16 meetings, the Blues have scored 3 or more goals 13 times.

• STL will wear special camouflage jerseys during warmups tonight that will be signed by players and auctioned and raffled off in honor of Veterans Day.


• BUF: D Josh Gorges has blocked an NHL-best 58 shots, 11 more than any other player.

• STL: The Blues are 6-2-1 in one-goal games this season.


• BUF: Marcus Foligno (upper-body) is day-to-day. He has been given the “green light” and is expected to play tonight.

• STL: RW T.J. Oshie (concussion) is “nowhere near” a return and is not expected to play tonight.


• BUF: RW Chris Stewart: 8G-7A in 9 career GP vs. STL (all with COL).

• BUF: RW Drew Stafford: Despite being the Sabres‟ leading scorer this season and the longest-tenured player on the team, he has 0 points in 4 career GP vs. STL.

• STL: G Brian Elliott: 10-0-2, 1.74 GAA, .941 SV% in 12 career GP vs. BUF.

• STL: C Paul Stastny: 6 points in 5 career GP vs. BUF.


• RW Drew Stafford, the longest-tenured Sabre, leads BUF with 8 points (3G-5A). When Stafford was 21 and starting his career, the Sabres were a Presidents‟ Trophy team (2006-07 season). But now, at age 29, he‟s in the final year of his contract with a franchise that finished with its worst record in 42 years last season.

• In Monday‟s practice, Stafford, having spent his entire career with the Sabres on the wing, was moved to center. Head coach Ted Nolan said Stafford approached him with the idea to move back to a position he hasn‟t played at much since high school. “We‟re trying anything at this point, so we‟ll give it a shot and see how it goes,” Stafford said.

• RW Brian Gionta has 3 assists through 16 games, but has yet to score a goal in his first season with BUF. Gionta scored 20+ goals seven times in his 12 seasons with MTL/NJ.

• LW Marcus Foligno, one of four Sabres with multiple goals (2) this season, has been given the “green light” and is expected to return tonight after missing the last five games with an upper-body injury.

• BUF has the fewest players (4) with multiple goals this season. FLA has the second fewest (5).

• G Michal Neuvirth, who is 2-4-1, with a 2.66 GAA and .929 SV% is expected to make the start tonight.

• Neuvirth is from the Czech Republic, where former Sabres goaltender Dominik Hasek is a hero for leading the country to the 1998 Olympic gold medal. Neuvirth has included a painting of Hasek, along with an old Sabres logo, on the side of his goaltending mask.


• The line of RW Vladimir Tarasenko, C Jori Lehtera and LW Jaden Schwartz has combined for 17 points in the last 5 games. But after losing to NSH on Saturday, head coach Ken Hitchcock said: “Quite frankly, we’re sitting on one line doing everything for us right now. We’re going to need a lot more from people if we expect to be good in (the Central Division).”

• Lehtera, who previously played with Tarasenko at Sibir Novosibirsk in the KHL, has 3G-8A in his first NHL season.

• Captain C David Backes, a two-time U.S. Olympian, returned to the lineup on Nov. 1 vs. COL after missing one game with a concussion. He was third on STL with 57 points last season, but has just 3G-3A so far this season in 13 games, putting him seventh on the team with 6 points.

• RW T.J. Oshie is expected to remain out this week after suffering a concussion vs. DAL on Oct. 30. He has 1 assist in 8 games this season, one in which he‟s helping raise his 8-month-old daughter and care for his father with Alzheimer‟s off the ice.

• Oshie became a worldwide star last February at the Sochi 2014 Games, converting 4 of 6 shootout attempts vs. Russia to give the U.S. a 3-2 victory in the preliminary round. He is 27-for-49 (55.1%) in shootouts in six-plus seasons with STL, including an NHL-leading 9 shootout goals last season. He is 0-for-1 on shootout attempts this season.

• C Paul Stastny, activated from the injured reserve last week after missing 8 games with a shoulder injury, has 1G-3A in six games in his first season with the Blues. Stastny signed a 4-year/$28 million deal with STL in July.

Flyers chairman Scott to retire; Hilferty becomes successor

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

PHILADELPHIA — Dave Scott will retire as chairman of the Philadelphia Flyers’ parent company Comcast Spectacor and be replaced by Dan Hilferty.

Hilferty, who was recently named CEO of Comcast Spectacor, will succeed Scott as chairman of the company on April 17 and as the team’s governor on July 1.

Scott joined Comcast Spectacor in December 2013 and the Flyers have struggled under his reign. They will miss the playoffs for a third straight season and haven’t won a Stanley Cup since 1975.

“Our number one goal for the Flyers will be to consistently compete for the Stanley Cup,” Hilferty said. “It is going to be a process that will take time to get on that path, but I’m confident we are headed in the right direction with Danny Briere as interim GM, Coach Tortorella, and our hiring of a President of Hockey Operations soon. Our leadership team will be fully focused to deliver on this for our fans while also continuing to make the sports complex the best location for sports and entertainment in the nation.”

As Chairman and CEO of Comcast Spectacor, Hilferty will lead the company’s entire portfolio, including the Philadelphia Flyers. Spectacor Sports and Entertainment CEO Valerie Camillo will continue to work directly with Hilferty, overseeing the Wells Fargo Center, including its continued transformation, and lead the Flyers’ business operations.

Pastrnak scores twice, Bruins top Hurricanes 4-3 in shootout

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James Guillory/USA TODAY Sports

RALEIGH, N.C. — David Pastrnak’s milestone performance with the Boston Bruins came with additional responsibility.

Minus a couple of key players, Pastrnak moved to the forefront and eclipsed the 50-goal mark by scoring twice and the Bruins won their seventh game in a row by defeating the Carolina Hurricanes 4-3 in a shootout Sunday.

Forwards Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand didn’t make the trip with the NHL-leading Bruins, so Pastrnak boosted his contributions.

“I’ve been learning from those guys,” Pastrnak said. “You recognize when they’re not here that you have to take a step forward.”

Pastrnak posted the 12th 50-goal season in Bruins history.

“With Bergeron and Marchand back at home, you can see his leadership skills really come out,” Bruins coach Jim Montgomery said. “I think he put the team on his back and played the right way.”

Charlie Coyle and Jake DeBrusk scored in the shootout in a matchup of Eastern Conference division leaders.

Jakub Lauko also scored for the Bruins, who earned their 57th victory and are five wins shy of matching the all-time NHL record with nine regular-season games to play. Charlie McAvoy had two assists and Jeremy Swayman made 34 saves.

“We’ve had a lot of character wins in a lot of different fashions,” Montgomery said.

Boston tied the franchise record for wins in a season. That’s special in Montgomery’s opinion.

“Especially when you think about all the great Bruins teams,” he said.

Jack Drury, Brady Skjei and Sebastian Aho scored for the Hurricanes, who won three of their previous four games. Brett Pesce had two assists and Frederik Andersen stopped 35 shots.

Carolina wiped out a two-goal deficit to secure a team point.

“It wasn’t our best game, but I thought the third period we certainly came on,” Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “It’s one of those games where you say it’s probably a good point to get considering how it was looking.”

Pastrnak’s 50th goal of the season came 4:43 into the game. He received a pass from McAvoy and skated half the length of the ice on a breakaway, though lost full control of the puck and still beat Andersen.

Pastrnak was on track for 50 goals in March 2020, but he ended up with 48 when the COVID-19 pandemic caused an early end to the regular season.

“You never know what can happen,” Pastrnak said.

Drury, set up in the slot, scored his second goal of the season off a pass from Jalen Chatfield at 7:44 of the second.

Just 1:28 later, Pastrnak’s second goal came on a power play when he blasted a shot from the left side just inside the post. Lauko’s fourth goal extended the lead at 11:46 of the second.

Carolina pulled even at 3-3 when Skjei and Aho scored in the first four minutes of the third period.

“We knew that was coming,” Montgomery said. “There’s no need to panic. We knew they were going to come with a push.”


Bruins defenseman Hampus Lindholm was scratched along with Bergeron and Marchand with what Montgomery referred to as nagging injuries. The trio has accounted for 57 goals this season.

“It shows the depth that we have,” Swayman said. “I think all of us thrive on the energy in a building like this.”

Carolina’s only significant lineup adjustment came with center Paul Stastny in the lineup in place of Jesse Puljuharvi, who had played in eight straight games since making his debut with the Hurricanes. Puljuharvi arrived in a trade from Edmonton in late February.

NOTES: The Bruins won two of three meetings with the Hurricanes, securing the first victory in overtime. Carolina eliminated Boston in last spring’s playoffs in seven games. … The Hurricanes maintained their string of securing a point in all seven games across different seasons while wearing green Hartford Whalers-inspired jerseys. The franchise began as the Whalers before relocation in 1997.


Bruins: Host Nashville on Tuesday.

Hurricanes: Host Tampa Bay on Tuesday.

Malkin’s late goal lifts Penguins past Ovechkin, Capitals 4-3

penguins capitals
Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports

PITTSBURGH — Evgeni Malkin remains a live wire. Even now, 17 seasons into a career that is likely destined for the Hall of Fame, there’s an unpredictability the Pittsburgh Penguins star plays with that can be both endearing and exasperating to teammates and coaches alike.

The latest proof came against Washington on Saturday.

An untimely roughing penalty in the third period helped spark a Capitals’ rally from a three-goal deficit. Malkin made up for it by burying a breakaway with 1:20 left in regulation that lifted the Penguins to a 4-3 victory.

“His care factor and his compete level for me is off the charts and that’s what I love about him and usually when the stakes are high that’s when he’s at his best,” Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan said. “He gets a huge goal for us tonight at a key time.”

Malkin’s 25th goal of the season – a low wrist shot to the far post – helped the Penguins avoid a potentially messy collapse. Pittsburgh appeared to be ready to cruise to victory after Jake Guentzel‘s power-play goal 27 seconds into the third period made it 3-0.

Washington instead stormed back, with Alex Ovechkin right in the middle of it. Ovechkin scored his 42nd goal of the season and 822nd of his career from his favorite spot in the left circle with 6:42 to go in regulation. Washington drew even when Dylan Strome flipped the puck into an open net with 2:44 to go in regulation.

Yet instead of sagging, the Penguins surged. Malkin stripped Washington’s Anthony Mantha near center ice and broke in alone on Kuemper. Seconds later, the puck was in the net and Malkin was on one knee celebrating while pumping his fists, the kind of display of raw emotion that’s become one of his trademarks.

“It’s a huge goal for me, and two points for the team,” Malkin said.

Pittsburgh moved three points clear of Florida after the Panthers lost to the earlier Saturday. Both teams have nine regular-season games left.

Ryan Poehling and Chad Ruhwedel scored a little over two minutes apart in the second period for Pittsburgh. Jake Guentzel added his team-high 32nd goal early in the third before Washington scrambled back. Casey DeSmith played spectacularly at times while finishing with 31 saves.

Tom Wilson started the Capitals’ comeback with his ninth goal of the season 5:19 into the third. Kuemper stopped 36 shots, but was outplayed by DeSmith as Washington’s hopes of making a late push for a playoff berth took a serious hit. The Capitals are six points behind Pittsburgh with only eight games remaining.

“It’s a tough one,” Washington center T.J. Oshie said. “I don’t think that last play was the only thing that lost the game for us. I know that (Mantha) feels terrible about it, but we trust him with the puck. It just wasn’t a good enough 60 minutes against a good hockey team over there.”

It felt like old times for much of the night for teams that usually enter late March battling for a spot near the top of the Metropolitan Division.

Not this season.

While the 35-year-old Crosby is averaging over a point a game as usual and the 37-year-old Ovechkin is steadily making inroads on Wayne Gretzky’s all-time goal record, their teams have spent most of the year skating in place.

Pittsburgh has been wildly uneven thanks in part to goaltending that has fluctuated between solid and shaky, the main reason a 17th straight playoff appearance is hardly assured. Washington, meanwhile, appears to be pointing toward the future after injuries and a small sell-off at the trade deadline.

Pittsburgh put itself on slightly firmer footing with DeSmith making a compelling case that he should supplant Tristan Jarry as Pittsburgh’s top goaltender down the stretch.

DeSmith was spectacular at times, including stoning Ovechkin on a breakaway near the end of the second period in which Ovechkin deked DeSmith to his knees, only to see DeSmith extend his left leg just enough to knock the puck out of harm’s way.

“I’m not very tall,” the 6-foot DeSmith said. “But I had that one inch that I needed.”


Capitals: Host the New York Islanders on Wednesday.

Penguins: Visit Detroit on Tuesday.

Devils defeat Senators 5-3, clinch playoff berth

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Sarah Stier/Getty Images

NEWARK, N.J. — Jack Hughes had a goal and an assist, Mackenzie Blackwood had 25 saves and the New Jersey Devils defeated the Ottawa Senators 5-3 and clinched a playoff berth on Saturday night.

“It means everything to the group. I went into the dressing room after the game and just said that I was proud of the work that was put in, proud of where we got to clinch tonight to be one of three teams that have an X next to their name,” Devils coach Lindy Ruff said. “All the work that’s been put in, the adversity they face during the year. The adversity they face right at the start of the season to where we’ve got to now.”

New Jersey could have clinched its first postseason berth since 2018 with a win, but it happened before their first intermission when the Florida Panthers lost to the New York Rangers in regulation.

“I had a lesser role then,” said Jesper Bratt, who was a rookie for the Devils in 2017-18. “I would say at a younger age, it’s kind of like you think that just because it happened your first year that it might happen every year. And then it goes pretty fast with reality that was not the case and you got to work extremely hard for it.

“It’s a really tough league. So this feels really good. It’s been a lot of years with struggle, not winning, and it’s just awesome coming out now playing these kinds of games and getting that.”

Bratt, Dawson Mercer and Dougie Hamilton scored for the Devils and Tomas Tatar scored an empty netter with 42.3 seconds left to put things away.

Brady Tkachuk, Thomas Chabot and Mark Kastelic scored for the Senators and Dylan Ferguson had 30 saves.

Tkachuk scored his 33rd goal of the season to give the Senators the 1-0 lead 3:14 into the first period. The Devils responded midway through the first period with Hughes’ 40th goal of the season on a breakaway, going five-hole to tie it.

Nick Holden gave the puck away and Bratt scored his 31st goal of the season on the breakaway 2:24 into the second period to give New Jersey the 2-1 lead. Mercer’s 23rd of the season came just over a minute later.

The Senators answered midway through the second period when Thomas Chabot scored his 11th goal of the year to cut the deficit to 3-2. They knotted things up 16:03 into the second when Kastelic scored his fifth of the season.

“We were confident going into the third period. We felt like the game was there for our taking,” Travis Hamonic said. “They score on their chance, and that’s game.”

Hamilton scored 3:34 into the third period to give the Devils the lead. His 19th goal breaks the franchise record for goals in a season by a defenseman, surpassing Scott Stevens – the Devils great whose number is hanging in the rafters – record of 18 in 1993-94.

NOTES: This was the first game for the Devils backup Blackwood since Feb. 19. … Nico Hischier has a six-game point streak after recording two assists.


Senators: Host the Florida Panthers on Monday night.

Devils: Play at New York Islanders on Monday night.