Associated Press

‘Hawks beat Wings for the second time in four days

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CHICAGO (AP) The special teams were quite special once again. Patrick Kane got the Chicago Blackhawks off to a fast start, and Corey Crawford stepped up when they struggled in the second period.

Not a bad little tuneup for a crucial two-game trip.

Kane scored his 38th goal on the first shot of the game and Crawford made 33 saves, helping the Blackhawks beat the Detroit Red Wings 4-1 on Sunday.

“That was another fast game against them,” Crawford said. “They’ve got a lot of speed. I thought we got better as the game went on. A big kill to start the third, and some big insurance goals after that.”

Artem Anisimov and Duncan Keith each had a power-play goal as Chicago won for the third time in four games, including a 5-2 victory at Detroit on Wednesday. The Blackhawks went 2 for 3 with the man advantage and have at least one power-play goal in each of their last four games.

Next up for the Stanley Cup champions is St. Louis on Wednesday night, and then a visit to Dallas on Friday night. The Blackhawks (41-21-5) and Stars are on top of the Western Conference with 87 points apiece, and the Blues also are in the mix for the Central Division title.

“We’ve got a lot of division games coming up,” said captain Jonathan Toews, who tacked on his 24th goal in the third. “Those aren’t going to be easy ones. It’ll be good preparation for the end of the year. We don’t want to look too far ahead.”

The season-high crowd of 22,247 had just started its usual derisive Detroit chant when Kane skated up the right side and beat Petr Mrazek with a wrist shot under the goaltender’s glove just 21 seconds into the game. Kane’s eighth goal in his last 13 games ran his NHL-best point total to a career-high 89.

The Red Wings (32-22-11) played without center Pavel Datsyuk, who was scratched due to an illness. Datsyuk has 13 goals and 23 assists in 49 games.

Mrazek also allowed Keith’s ninth goal before he was replaced by Jimmy Howard at 6:19 of the first. Howard finished with 19 saves.

“I didn’t think the first goal was one that should have went in,” Detroit coach Jeff Blashill said. “That’s one that Petr normally has and so then you’re kind of down right away. The second goal was one that might have been unfortunate a little bit, but it went in nonetheless. Then the next thing you know you’re down 2-0 right away.

“You have to change momentum in the game and that’s why we made that decision.

The goaltender change sparked Detroit for a while. Gustav Nyquist‘s 16th goal trimmed Chicago’s lead to 2-1 at 8:34 of the opening period, and the Red Wings outshot the Blackhawks 13-3 in the second.

With Toews in the box for slashing, Crawford made a terrific kick save on rookie Dylan Larkin early in the third. The Red Wings went 0 for 3 on the power play.

“I think it really comes down to special teams,” Nyquist said. “They scored two and we don’t score any, so that’s the game right there.”

Crawford also made a great stop on Tomas Tatar at 3:53 before the Blackhawks put it away. Anisimov was parked in front when he tipped Artemi Panarin‘s shot past Howard for his 19th goal. Toews added another goalmouth tip-in for a 4-1 lead at 12:23.

NOTES: Blackhawks F Marian Hossa (lower body) is expected to travel with the team for Wednesday’s game at St. Louis. Hossa has been out since he was hit on his lower left leg in the second period of an overtime loss to Anaheim on Feb. 13. … Red Wings C Brad Richards got a standing ovation when he was recognized on the overhead videoboard during the first period in his return to Chicago after helping the Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup last season. He acknowledged the cheers with a wave. … Blackhawks F Brandon Mashinter was scratched due to an illness. … Musician and actress Lady Gaga and her fiance, actor Taylor Kinney, got a big ovation when they smooched when they were shown on the videoboard during the “Kiss Cam” segment in the second period.

 

The Buzzer: Mangiapane tricks Ducks; Lightning win record 11th straight

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THREE STARS

1. Andrew Mangiapane, Flames

The Flames’ 6-4 win over the Ducks was powered by Mangiapane’s first career hat trick. Two of his three goals came during a third period where Calgary entered it trailing 3-1 and scored five times en route to the win. He would register an assist on Matthew Tkachuk‘s 20th of the season to add to a career-best four-point night. The hat trick is also the first by a Flames player this season.

2. Antti Raanta, Coyotes

Arizona won for the second straight game behind Conor Garland‘s 20th goal of the season and 28 saves from Raanta. The 2-1 win over the Islanders gives the Coyotes a winning streak for the first time since Dec. 31-Jan. 7 and also puts them into a tie for the final Western Conference wild card spot. Raanta’s been in net for both wins and has stopped 64 of his last 66 shots faced.

3. Nikita Kucherov, Lightning

The Lightning set a franchise record with their 11th consecutive win by topping the Avalanche, 4-3, in overtime. During the extra period, it was Kucherov beating Pavel Francouz five-hold to keep Tampa red-hot. How hot? They are 23-2-1 since Dec. 21.

AVS LOSE RANTANEN

Adding to the bad night against Tampa, the Avalanche lost Mikko Rantanen to an upper-body injury in the second period. He’ll be out for “weeks.”

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NIGHT

• Here’s Alex Ovechkin catching up with old teammate Nate Schmidt:

• They don’t see each other often, but the temperature certainly rose when the Avs and Lightning met:

STATS OF THE NIGHT

Jonathan Huberdeau picked up his 50th assist of the season in the win over the Sharks. He now joins Aleksander Barkov as the only two players in Panthers franchise history to record multiple 50-assists seasons.

• Via the NHL, Matthew Tkachuk is now the fourth player in Flames history to record three 20-goal seasons before his 23rd birthday. Sean Monahan (4 times), Robert Reichel (3 times) and Jarome Iginla (3 times) are the only others on the list.

SCORES
Coyotes 2, Islanders 1
Panthers 5, Sharks 3
Flames 6, Ducks 4
Golden Knights 3, Capitals 2
Lightning 4, Avalanche 3 (OT)

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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.

Avs lose Rantanen for weeks after crash into boards

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Avalanche forward Mikko Rantanen will miss “weeks,” per the team, after he crashed into the boards during Monday night’s loss to the Lightning.

Rantanen was on a 2-on-1 with Andre Burakovsky in the second period when he tripped over a diving Erik Cernak and slid into the end boards behind the Tampa net. He left the ice favoring his left shoulder and was later ruled out for the rest of the 4-3 overtime defeat.

Rantanen, who has 19 goals and 40 points in 41 games, missed 16 games this season due to ligament damage in his left ankle.

The injury comes on the day it was announced goaltender Philipp Grubauer is day-to-day with a lower-body injury suffered during the Stadium Series game, Matt Calvert is out long-term, and a week after Nazem Kadri was ruled out for “weeks, not days” with an LBI.

Colorado sits one point behind the Blues and Stars for the top spot in the Central Division with 24 games to go.

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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.

Canucks strengthen up front by acquiring Tyler Toffoli

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Tyler Toffoli‘s final game with the Los Angeles Kings was a memorable one.

After notching a hat trick during their Stadium Series win over the Avalanche, Toffoli was dealt to the Canucks on Monday. Heading back to LA is a package of Tim Schaller, the rights to NCAA prospect Tyler Madden, and a 2020 second-round pick.

The deal also includes a conditional draft pick, which would see a 2022 fourth rounder going to the Kings if Toffoli re-signs, per Pierre LeBrun. LA will also not be retaining any of Toffoli’s $4.6 million salary this season.

“Tyler brings goal scoring abilities and is good in battles,” said Canucks GM Jim Benning. “He has great offensive instincts and experience playing in high pressure, meaningful games. We look forward to adding his skill and strength to the line-up.”

The 27-year-old Toffoli can become an unrestricted free agent this summer and was one of the bigger name forwards likely to be on the move with the NHL trade deadline a week away. In 58 games this season he has 18 goals and 34 points.

As the Canucks sit one point behind the Oilers for tops in the Pacific Division, this is Benning bolstering his roster with 23 games to go. Vancouver has been a surprise this season and with the opportunity present to make a run at the playoffs and division title, the move is a boost to the players for the stretch run.

Adding Toffoli also helps the Canucks’ forward group after the news that Brock Boeser will be out of the lineup with a rib injury and will be re-evaluate in three weeks.

The question to be answered is whether this was a premature move for Benning to pull off given the price and where the Canucks are in their turnaround. Madden, who is currently dealing with a broken finger, has 19 goals in 27 games this season at Northeastern University and adds to an already strong prospect pool for the Kings. There’s also no guarantee that Toffoli, who is reunited with his “That 70s Line” mate Tanner Pearson, will stay in Vancouver.

We always see GMs gamble this time of year, but there’s certainly an opening in the West this season, and Benning clearly has confidence his group can do something special.

MORE: PHT’s 2020 NHL Trade Deadline Tracker

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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.

Ovechkin continues chase for 700 goals Thursday on NBCSN

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The Capitals lost for the fifth time in seven games and Alex Ovechkin remained stuck on 698 goals as the Golden Knights came out on top, 3-2, Monday night.

NBCSN has added the Capitals’ next game, Thursday at home against Montreal (7 p.m. ET), to its schedule as Ovechkin continues chasing goal No. 700.

The Golden Knights built up a 3-0 lead by the second period and held off a Capitals’ comeback as T.J. Oshie cut the led to 3-2 with pair of goals. Marc-Andre Fleury, who has surrendered the most goals to Ovechkin of any NHL goalie (24 goals in 42 games), stopped 24 shots for his second straight win. Ovechkin finished with eight shot attempts and four shots on goal.

Ovechkin is now goalless in five straight games after registering a hat trick against the Kings on Feb. 4. Of the seven members in the 700-goal club, five players took five games or longer to go from 698 to 700 career goals – Jaromir Jagr (5 games), Marcel Dionne, Wayne Gretzky, Mike Gartner (6 games), and Brett Hull (12 games).

MORE OVECHKIN:
NHL Power Rankings: Ovechkin’s top 10 goals
By the Numbers: Ovechkin’s 698 NHL goals
Stunning Numbers as Alex Ovechkin closes in on 700 goals
Can Alex Ovechkin break Wayne Gretzky’s record of 894 goals?
My Favorite Goal: Ovechkin scores ‘The Goal’

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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.