Get your game notes: Penguins at Flyers

Tonight on NBCSN, it’s the Philadelphia Flyers hosting the Pittsburgh Penguins at 7:30 p.m. ET. Following are some game notes, as compiled by the NHL on NBC research team:

The City of Brotherly Love Hosts Steel City

• Trouble in Philly: The Flyers are coming off a 7-4 loss to the Islanders yesterday afternoon – the most goals allowed for the Flyers since last February.

• Potentially worse than the defeat though, defensemen Nick Schultz (out for tonight) and Carlo Colaiacovo (questionable) suffered upper-body injuries in the loss.

• The Flyers now have four injured defensemen (also Braydon Coburn and Nicklas Grossmann), and GM Ron Hextall made two call ups from Lehigh Valley yesterday as a result.

• Brandon Manning, 24, played 2 games for PHI earlier in the season, recording 1 assist. He was selected to the 2015 AHL All-Star Classic.

• Oliver Lauridsen (LAW-rihd-suhn), a 2009 7th-round pick from Denmark, played in 15 games for the Flyers in 2012-13 and had 2 goals & 1 assist.

• The Flyers have allowed 14 goals in the last 3 games, and now sit 11 points back of BOS for the final Wild Card spot having lost 9 of the last 13 games (4-8-1 record).

• Penguins losing ground: PIT is coming off a 5-2 loss vs. the Rangers on Sunday, continuing their winter slump. Since Dec. 22, the Penguins have lost 8 of 12 games (4-6-2 record), and have seen a 2-point Metropolitan Division lead turn into a 2nd place standing, 5-points back of 1st.

• The Penguins won the Metro last season and the Atlantic Division in the 2012-13 season, but the Penguins have never won their division in 3 consecutive seasons.

• The Penguins are coming off consecutive losses (to NYI and NYR) in which they allowed a combined 11 goals, which is their most goals allowed in a 2-game span since they gave up 14 in Feb. 2011 (also against NYI and NYR).

• Voracek and Giroux are the only 2 Flyers on the All-Star roster, while Crosby and Malkin are 2 of the 3 Pens headed to Columbus (Marc-Andre Fleury).

• The last time two teammates finished 1-2 in the scoring race in a full season was in 1995-96, when Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr (PIT) accomplished the feat (Steven Stamkos and Martin St. Louis were 1-2 in the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season for TB).

• PHI has never had a player lead the NHL in scoring by himself in the 46+ seasons of the franchise (in lockout-shortened 1994-95 season, Eric Lindros shared for the NHL lead in pts…70 – w/ Jaromir Jagr).

• On the other hand, Crosby (2014) & Malkin (2012) have won the Art Ross trophy for PIT in the last 3 years. Those two have also combined to win 4 of the last 8 scoring titles.

PITTSBURGH TEAM/PLAYER NOTES

• All David Perron and Crosby: These two linemates have scored all 5 of PIT’s goals in the past 2 games.

• Perron enters on a 3-game point streak (4G-2A), and has 7 points in 6 GP since being traded from EDM.

• Crosby scored a goal against NYR, and is riding a 4-game point streak (4G-4A).

• Crosby career vs. PHI: 75 points (30G-45A) in 49 GP. The only team Crosby has more points against in his career is the Islanders (88 pts).

• Evgeni Malkin has 9 points (3G-6A) in last 7 games.

• Malkin is one of just 3 Pens to have played in all 44 games this season (Nick Spaling, Rob Scuderi).

• Malkin career vs. PHI: 59 points (22G-37A) in 44 GP.

• Marc Andre-Fleury was pulled from the Penguins last game vs. NYR early in the 2nd period after allowing 4 goals on 17 shots.

• Power play back on track: PIT has broken out of its recent power-play slump…

• Last game vs. NYR: 1-3 on PP

• Last 4 games: 5-11 on PP (at least 1 PP goal in each)…….7 previous games: 1-19 (5.3%) on PP

• The Pens are 17-3-1 when scoring on the power play this season, but have lost the last 2 such games.

• Overall this season: 23.4% on PP (5th in NHL).

FLYERS TEAM/PLAYER NOTES

• Giroux has 7 points (2G-5A) in his last 8 games after a goal yesterday on Long Island.

• Since the start of the 2011-12 season, Giroux has the most points in the NHL (277 in 253 GP), followed closely by Crosby and Malkin.

• Simmonds slumping: Though 2nd on the team in goals (16), top forward Wayne Simmonds has 0 goals in his last 7 games, and just 1 goal in his last 13.

• Inconsistent goaltending lately: 33-year-old first-year goaltender Rob Zepp became the oldest goalie to win his NHL debut since 1926-27 when he beat WPG on Dec. 21, but his numbers have not been great overall this season.

• Zepp was pulled in the 2nd period on Monday vs. NYI, after allowing 4 goals on 20 shots. He was not credited with the loss (did not surrender the GWG), but in 6 GP Zepp now has a 2.92 GAA and .889 SV% (3-1-0 record).

• Ray Emery took the loss in relief yesterday, and he has now lost 5 straight decisions in regulation (0-5-0 record), with a 4.71 GAA in that span. Emery has not won in nearly a month (Dec. 23: 5-2 win at MIN).

The Buzzer: Red Wings snap skid; hats off to Panarin

Artemi Panarin Hat Trick Rangers
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Three Stars

1. Jacob Markstrom, Vancouver Canucks. The Canucks probably had no business winning this game. They were badly outshot, outplayed, and needed to rely on their goalie to keep them in it. Fortunately for the Canucks, Markstrom was up to the challenge and played one of the best games of his career as he stopped all 43 shots he faced in a 1-0 overtime win. He held on just long enough for Elias Pettersson to score the game-winning goal thanks to a fluky assist from an unlikely source. Read all about it here.

2. Artemi Panarin, New York Rangers. The Rangers spoiled Bob Boughner’s San Jose coaching debut with a 6-3 win that was highlighted by another huge game for Panarin. He scored three goals and added an assist in the win to continue his incredible 2019-20 performance. His first year with the Rangers has been everything the team could have hoped for as he is now up to 18 goals and 41 total points in 31 games. The Sharks, meanwhile, are now 0-5-1 in their previous six games.

3. Jack Eichel, Buffalo Sabres. His point streak is now up to 15 consecutive games thanks to a two-goal effort in a 4-3 win over the Nashville Predators. It is the second game in a row that Eichel has scored a pair of goals as he continues to climb the NHL’s scoring leaderboard. He is unstoppable right now and trying to carry the Sabres to a playoff spot all by himself.

Other notable performances from Thursday

  • The Detroit Red Wings’ losing streak has finally come to an end. They were winners for the first time since Nov. 12 thanks to a 5-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets to snap what had been a 12-game losing streak. Robby Fabbri continued his strong play since joining the team with a pair of goals while Filip Zadina recorded three points.
  • The Calgary Flames improved to a perfect 7-0-0 under new coach Geoff Ward thanks to a 4-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. Johnny Gaudreau scored a pair of goals as part of a three-goal third period for the Flames to get the win.
  • Tristan Jarry recorded his third shutout in his past four starts for the Pittsburgh Penguins as they were 1-0 winners over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Columbus coach John Tortorella had no words for his team’s lackluster performance. Read about it here.
  • Clayton Keller scored a pair of goals for the Coyotes in their 5-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks to put them back in sole possession of first place in the Pacific Division.
  • Eric Staal was in the lineup after a scary injury on Tuesday and scored a goal in the Minnesota Wild’s 2-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers.
  • Oskar Sundqvist had a goal and an assist for the St. Louis Blues in a 4-2 win over the Vegas Golden Knights.
  • Another strong start for Jonathan Quick as he stopped 36 out of 37 shots for the Los Angeles Kings.
  • Steven Stamkos scored twice for the Tampa Bay Lightning in a huge 3-2 win over the Boston Bruins.
  • Jordan Eberle and Anders Lee each had a pair of points in the New York Islanders’ 3-1 win over the Florida Panthers.

Highlights of the Night

It came in a losing effort, but Nashville’s Matt Duchene scored an absolute beauty of a goal in Buffalo.

Check out this quick tic-tac-toe passing by the Islanders to set up Mathew Barzal for a power play goal against the Panthers.

 

Eichel’s goal to extend his point streak was an absolutely perfect shot.

Blooper of the Night

The puck ended up getting lost in Markstrom’s equipment and he needed a lot of assistance in finding it.

Factoids

  • Panarin’s hat trick on Thursday was the third of his career, all of them coming with different teams. [NHL PR]
  • Joe Thornton played in career game No. 1,600 on Thursday, making him and Patrick Marleau the first set of teammates to have 1,600 games played in their careers. [NHL PR]
  • The Islanders’ points percentage of .733 is the second highest in franchise history through the first 31 games of a season. [NHL PR]

Scores

Buffalo Sabres 4, Nashville Predators 3
Tampa Bay Lightning 3, Boston Bruins 2
New York Islanders 3, Florida Panthers 1
Pittsburgh Penguins 1, Columbus Blue Jackets 0 (OT)
Detroit Red Wings 5, Winnipeg Jets 2
St. Louis Blues 4, Vegas Golden Knights 2
Minnesota Wild 6, Edmonton Oilers 5
Calgary Flames 4, Toronto Maple Leafs 2
Arizona Coyotes 5, Chicago Blackhawks 2
Los Angeles Kings 2, Anaheim Ducks 1
Vancouver Canucks 1, Carolina Hurricanes 0 (OT)
New York Rangers 6, San Jose Sharks 3

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.

Pettersson gets lucky assist from abandoned stick on OT winner (Video)

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Sometimes you need a little bit of luck to win in the NHL.

The Vancouver Canucks received a healthy dose of it on Thursday night.

They were 1-0 winners against the Carolina Hurricanes thanks to an incredible goaltending performance from Jacob Markstrom and an overtime goal from emerging superstar Elias Pettersson. Markstrom’s performance gave them a chance, but it was a stroke of good fortune and a filthy finish from Pettersson that put them in the win column.

While the stat sheet will officially give the assist on Pettersson’s goal to Brock Boeser, the real assist came from an abandoned stick that previously belonged to Carolina’s Jaccob Slavin. As the Canucks controlled play in the offensive zone, Slavin lost his stick in a battle for the puck with Boeser.

It would prove to be costly for the Hurricanes because, well, watch for yourself in the video above.

Maybe Pettersson still ends up collecting the puck and scores the winner anyway if that stick isn’t sitting there. But Slavin’s stick sitting in the exact perfect spot made it significantly easier for him to score the winner.

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.

Tortorella has no words to describe Blue Jackets’ ugly loss

John Tortorella angry press conference
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PITTSBURGH — The Columbus Blue Jackets need points right now, and they managed to at least get one in a 1-0 overtime loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday night.

But even more important than individual points, they need wins.

They need to take advantage of every possible situation that presents itself for them to get wins, and they seemed to have a prime opportunity sitting in front of them on Thursday night against an undermanned team that was playing without its top-two centers and a collection of players that combined for $35 million in salary.

It also should have been an opportunity to build on a promising 5-2 win in Washington — the best team in the league! — in their most recent outing and win consecutive games for just the second time since the start of November.

It did not go that way at all.

They not only failed to collect the all-important second point, but they only managed a season-low 17 shots on goal (while allowing 32) and were consistently outworked and outplayed by a Penguins team that was without Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Patric Hornqvist, Nick Bjugstad, and Brian Dumoulin.

They were unable to generate any sustained pressure in the Penguins’ zone, and on the rare occasion that they did they were unable to solve goalie Tristan Jarry as he recorded his third shutout in his past four starts. It was only the second time this season they failed to record at least 24 shots on goal in a game (previous low: 19).

The Blue Jackets’ locker room remained closed longer than normal after the game, and once it did open there didn’t seem to be any answers for what had just happened on the ice other than the fact they had just been thoroughly outworked.

“They just worked,” said Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno. “They knew they were banged up. They just worked extremely hard. Early on we did not match that intensity at all. That is unacceptable on our part. We had moments, but not enough sustained pressure, not enough of what we bring. I don’t know what the answer is, but I know that is not going to be the recipe for winning, especially in this league with how hard it is.

“We need to make sure that is never the case again where we are getting outworked by a team that knows its backs against the wall with the situation they are in. We are no in position, with the situation we are in, to take anyone lightly or thinking it’s going to be an easy game. I don’t think that was the case tonight, but it just didn’t look like we had the jump tonight. It is unacceptable.”

When asked if anything changed going into the game for Columbus knowing that the Penguins would be without Crosby (sidelined for four weeks) and Malkin (late scratch due to being sick), Foligno was quick to say the team’s mindset was to “just jump on them.” He said their inability to do so was what made their slow start so disappointing.

Head coach John Tortorella was not quite as in depth with his post-game responses and, quite literally, had no words to describe what he saw.

When asked about Thursday’s performance overall: “I don’t have any words to describe it.”

On whether or not he knew what to expect from this team on a game-to-game basis: “I don’t have any words to describe it.”

If he thought the performance in Washington would lead to a positive carry-over for a game like this: “I don’t have any words to describe it. I don’t know what to tell you guys. I hope you asked [the players] the same questions. I hope they answered you honestly.”

When asked if he was disappointed in the low number of shots, he sarcastically quipped, “I’m just thrilled with it,” before adding “that’s a great question, too.”

And that was it.

This always seemed like it was going to be a tough season in Columbus following the offseason exodus that saw Artemi Panarin, Sergei Bobrovsky, Matt Duchene, and Ryan Dzingel bolt in free agency. But the Blue Jackets remained bullish about their chances and the team they were bringing back, and there were certainly reasons for optimism. Whatever optimism existed, however, is quickly fading. After Thursday’s loss in Pittsburgh the Blue Jackets remain in seventh place in the Metropolitan Division, are 10 points back of a playoff spot, and are now near the bottom of the league in nearly every major statistical category.

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.

Report: Sabres’ Bogosian requests trade

Zach Bogosian Trade Request
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With the Buffalo Sabres dealing with a logjam of defenseman, the team has been active in NHL trade rumors as general Jason Botterill tries to make a move to help address the team’s depth at forward.

It is not hard to connect the dots and assume a defenseman could be the player eventually on the move. And it seems veteran Zach Bogosian might be making the decision on which one to trade a little easier. According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, Bogosian has reportedly requested a trade out of Buffalo.

He is also not in the lineup for their game against the Nashville Predators and will be a healthy scratch as the team dresses seven defenseman, including second-year standout Rasmus Dahlin.

Dahlin will be making his return to the lineup after missing the past eight games due to a concussion.

As for Bogosian, he has been limited to just 10 games this season while injuries have been a constant issue for him throughout his career. That has been especially true during his Sabres tenure where he has never played more than 65 games in a season. He is in the final year of his current contract and will be an unrestricted free agent after this season.

The Sabres have 12 defensemen in the organization with NHL experience and are currently carrying eight on the roster.

As far as a potential return is concerned, expectations should be kept within reason given his contract status and inability to stay in the lineup over the past few years. It might be worth noting the Sabres have been rumored to be one of the teams interested in Pittsburgh Penguins forward Alex Galchenyuk as he continues to struggle to fit in with his new team.

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.