Get your game notes: Kings at Ducks

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Tonight on NBCSN, it’s the Anaheim Ducks hosting the Los Angeles Kings at 10:30 p.m. ET. Following are some game notes, as compiled by the NHL on NBC research team:

• LA and ANA meet for the first time since the Second Round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs, which LA won in 7 games en route to its 2nd Stanley Cup in 3 seasons.

• This was the first playoff meeting between LA and ANA over their 21 years in the NHL together.

• LA won the first 2 games in ANA, and then lost the next 3 before a Game 6 win at home and a 6-2 Game-7 victory at Honda Center.

• The Ducks have dropped 3 straight -the first three games of their 4-game homestand – all in OT/SO (3-2 OT to NYI, 3-2 SO to AZ, and 2-1 SO to VAN on Sunday). At 10-3-3, the Ducks are 2nd in the Western Conference, but their offense has sputtered, scoring just 12 regulation/OT goals in the last 8 games.

• Ducks leading goal-scorer RW Corey Perry (viral gland infection) has missed the last three games. He was retroactively placed on IR over the weekend and is eligible to return vs. LA, but on Tuesday his status was updated to reveal that he and teammate D Francois Beauchemin (same condition) must undergo more tests as their contagious infections persist. They have been prevented from practicing pending test results.

• Perry has 11 goals in 13 GP this season, and led the league in goals before his exit from the lineup.

• Prior to its most recent game, a 5-1 victory Saturday night vs. VAN, LA had just one win in its previous 6 games (1-3-2). The Kings improved to an NHL-best 7-1-1 at home with the victory.

• First-liners C Anze Kopitar and RW Marian Gaborik each recorded multi-point efforts (1 goal, 1 assist apiece).

• Kopitar (5 points in 12 GP) and Gaborik (3 points in 7 GP) have struggled to find chemistry, having incurred upper-body injuries earlier in the season.

• LA (1.93 GA/GM – T-4th) and ANA (1.88 – T-2nd) both rank in the top 5 in team defense this season.

NOTABLE INJURIES

• LA: D Robyn Regehr (undisclosed) missed LA’s game Saturday and is day-to-day

• ANA: RW Corey Perry (viral gland infection) was placed on IR on Sun. and has missed three straight games.

• ANA: G John Gibson (groin) was placed on IR last week and was expected to miss 6 weeks

• ANA: LW Kyle Palmieri (high ankle sprain) has yet to play this season after being injured in training camp. He is now nearing a return.

HEAD-TO-HEAD

• LA: The pairing of D Jake Muzzin and D Drew Doughty combined for 0 points in LA’s 5 games vs. ANA last season.

• LA: Captain RW Dustin Brown has 21 goals and 21 assists in 57 career games vs. ANA; his most vs. any team for both categories.

• ANA: Captain C Ryan Getzlaf has 16 goals and 40 points in 50 career games vs. LA.

• ANA: G Frederik Andersen went 3-0-0 with a 1.62 GAA and .949 SV% in 3 starts last season vs. LA – his only career appearances vs. the Kings.

L.A. TEAM/PLAYER NOTES

• The Kings had their second roster complication of the season on Saturday, as it could only dress 5 defensemen (dressed 19 of a possible 20 players vs. PHI on Oct. 28).

• D Robyn Regehr was injured in Friday’s practice, and with D Slava Voynov’s indefinite suspension (suspicions of domestic violence), only 5 healthy defensemen were on the roster.

• With Regehr’s questionable short-term health, and with Voynov getting a non-roster exemption from the commissioner (frees up a roster spot, but still counts against the cap), LA signed D Jamie McBain on Tuesday to a 1-yr/$550K league minimum contract to increase its roster flexibility.

• McBain, 26, played 69 games last season for BUF (6G, 11A), and has 275 career GP (CAR, BUF).

• That 70’s Line‖ of RW Tyler Toffoli (17 points), C Jeff Carter (14 points), and LW Tanner Pearson (10 points) continues to be 1-2-3 in Kings scoring this season. All three posted +3 ratings in the win vs. VAN.

• Against VAN, Toffoli posted three points (1G, 2A) and picked up his fifth multi-point game this season. His 17 points leads LA and is T-10th in the NHL. His +14 rating is T-2nd in the NHL.

ANAHEIM TEAM/PLAYER NOTES

• After captain C Ryan Getzlaf began the season with points in 7 of his first 8 games (3 goals, 9 assists in that stretch), he has managed only 1 goal and 2 assists in 7 games since. His 15 points are tied for the team lead with Corey Perry.

• C Ryan Kesler, acquired in the offseason from VAN, is 3rd on the team with 11 points in 16 GP this season.

• D Sami Vatanen (10 points) and D Cam Fowler (9 points) rank 4th and 5th on the Ducks in scoring, respectively.

• Vatanen has become a power play specialist for the Ducks. All 10 of his points (4 goals, 6 assists) have come on the power play this season. His 4 power-play goals are T-1st in the NHL for d-men (Trevor Daley – DAL)

• Fowler is T-2nd on the team with 8 assists. He suffered a lower-body injury last Sat. and missed ANA’s game against VAN on Sun. He practiced Tuesday and will be a game-time decision vs. LA.

• G Frederik Andersen (7-1-2, 1.56 GAA, .953 SV%) is 0-0-2 in his last two starts despite giving up only 3 goals in those games. Andersen has never lost 3 straight starts in his career.

Blues’ Dunn levels Flames’ Mangiapane with huge hit

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These are painful times for the Calgary Flames … sometimes literally.

By falling 5-0 to the St. Louis Blues on Thursday, the Flames have now dropped six consecutive games. It’s hard not to think a little bit about the Toronto Maple Leafs firing Mike Babcock amid their slump when considering the Flames’ own struggles, both now and in their own disappointing showing in Round 1 of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Talk of big changes (to coaching, Johnny Gaudreau, the GM, or anything else) can wait for another day … maybe one soon? For now, let’s bask in the fearful glow of Vince Dunn‘s hit on Andrew Mangiapane, as you can witness in the video above this post’s headline.

Is that hit symbolic of the Flames’ pains lately, or could you best embody that agony by comparing the team to its most snakebitten player, Sam Bennett?

Either way, these are uncomfortable times for the Flames, and not just Mangiapane.

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.

Islanders’ point streak hits 16 games, a new franchise record

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The Penguins spoiled the Islanders’ 10-game winning streak, but not the Islanders’ point streak, back on Nov. 7. The Islanders really haven’t slowed down since then, as Thursday’s 4-3 OT win against Pittsburgh extended their latest winning streak to five games, and allowed them to set a new franchise record.

By going 15-0-1 in their last 16 games, the Islanders set a new franchise mark for longest point streak. Yes, that means Barry Trotz’s odds-defying group has accomplished something the dynastic Mike Bossy-powered ’80s group never did.

At this rate, the Islanders might just bank enough standings points that it might not matter much when/if they “come back to Earth.”

In the spirit of Derek Jeter wedging his jersey number into a word where it only kinda sorta works, the Islanders embraced the history of the 16-game streak:

When you’re winning (or at least getting a point) as often as the Islanders have been, you’ll need to win in different ways. After some comeback wins recently, Thursday’s game against the Penguins was a back-and-forth affair where the two teams traded leads, and the Penguins needed a last-minute goal to even get the game to overtime. Brock Nelson‘s two goals were key, including his OT-winner:

There’s been a “cardiac kids” element to this run, especially lately. Thursday’s win marks the third consecutive game where the Isles’ action went beyond regulation, and six of the Islanders’ wins (plus their lone OT loss to the Penguins) have come via either a shootout or overtime goal.

This also marks the best 20-game start in franchise history for the Isles, according to The Athletic’s David Staple.

Just resounding stuff.

It says a lot about the Capitals’ own hot start (16-4-4, 36 points in 24 games played) that the Islanders still aren’t in the lead in the Metro. Of course, the Islanders could close a ton of ground considering their games in hand, as they’re 16-3-1 for 33 points in just those 20 games played.

Looking ahead, the Islanders will go on the road quite a bit as they try to extend this point streak even beyond 16 games. To start, they’ll take a California road trip, and the away-heavy stretch doesn’t end there.

Nov. 23: at San Jose
Nov. 25: at Anaheim
Nov. 27: at Los Angeles
Nov. 30: vs. Columbus
Dec. 2: at Detroit
Dec. 3 :at Montreal
Dec. 5: vs. Vegas
Dec. 7: at Dallas
Dec. 9: at Tampa Bay
Dec. 12: at Florida

As you can see, the Islanders face a run where eight of their next 10 games are on the road. You’d think that maybe there will be stumbles (dare I wonder, *gasp* maybe even a single regulation loss?) along that way, but the Islanders keep buzzing along, and they’re 6-1-0 on the road thus far this season … so who knows?

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.

Bruins’ Rask gives Fleury competition for save of the week/year

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When Marc-Andre Fleury flashed the glove for a ridiculous save, PHT’s Adam Gretz was right in wondering if calling it a save of the year candidate was an understatement. And then Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask came along and gave Fleury competition for save of the week.

Buffalo Sabres forward Evan Rodrigues had so much net to aim for, but also needed to get his shot off quickly. As much as the Bruins swarmed the situation — making for an even better visual — Rask ended up having to save the day, and that he did.

This would have been an amazing glove save, but Rask managing the feat with his blocker hand is just … wow. Watch in awe in the video above.

It sounds like even Rask was impressed.

Again, wow. Let’s take a paragraph break to just mutter wow a few times.

Now, let’s compare and contrast: was it more or less amazing than Fleury’s save? Don’t say it was a tie, cheaters.

Now, what do I think is the better save? Uh …

(Tries to throw a smoke bomb and run away, but Rask and Fleury keep batting it around between each other.)

The save ended up being important, as the Bruins narrowly beat the Sabres 3-2 on Thursday.

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.

More injuries for Penguins as Schultz, Bjugstad out long-term

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All season the Pittsburgh Penguins’ injury situation has been a case of one step forward only to be followed with two steps backwards.

As soon as they get a key player back from one injury, somebody else seems to almost immediately exit the lineup with another injury.

That trend continued on Thursday when the team announced before their game against the New York Islanders that forward Patric Hornqvist will be returning to the lineup, while Nick Bjugstad and Justin Schultz are both going to be sidelined longer term.

Bjugstad had already been sidelined since Nov. 15 and is going to miss approximately eight weeks after undergoing surgery on a core muscle.

When it comes to Schultz, the Penguins would only say he will be out “longer-term” due to an undisclosed lower-body injury.

Schultz played the entire game against the Islanders on Tuesday, but exited practice on Wednesday and did not return.

The Penguins are already playing without captain Sidney Crosby and top defenseman Kris Letang.

At different points this season they have been without Crosby, Letang, Hornqvist, Bjugstad, Evgeni Malkin, Alex Galchenyuk, Jared McCann, Bryan Rust, and Brian Dumoulin.

Together that group has already combined to miss 65 man games due to injury, a number that is only going to continue to increase in the short-term. Despite all of those injuries they have still managed to remain competitive — while playing very well — in the Eastern Conference and remain on a 98-point pace for the season entering play on Thursday. If they can ever get healthy and stay that way they would seem to have the potential to be a top contender in the Eastern Conference. It is just a matter of whether or not they will ever be able to get there.

On Thursday the Penguins will be trying to snap the Islanders’ 15-game point streak. The Islanders rallied late in Pittsburgh on Tuesday to keep it going. The Islanders’ only loss during this streak was an overtime loss to the Penguins a couple of weeks ago when they surrendered a three-goal third period lead.

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.