Getty

NHL on NBCSN doubleheader: ‘Hawks vs. Canadiens; Coyotes vs. Golden Knights

NBCSN’s coverage of the 2017-18 NHL season continues with a doubleheader on Tuesday night. In the early game, the Montreal Canadiens host the Chicago Blackhawks at 7:30 p.m. ET. To watch the game online, click here

The Blackhawks have had no problems scoring goals this season. Through three games, they are 2-0-1 and they’ve managed to find the back of the net 18 times (10 of those goals came in the season opener against Pittsburgh).

“I know we scored a ton of goals but our (defense) has been great moving the puck up, getting in the rush, ending plays quick in our zone,” goalie Corey Crawford said after Saturday’s 5-1 win over Columbus, per the Chicago Tribune. “Every aspect of our game right now is looking good.”

Last night, the ‘Hawks jumped out to 2-0 and 3-1 leads in Toronto, but they ended up losing 4-3 in overtime thanks to a goal by Leafs superstar Auston Matthews.

It’s impressive to see that Chicago has eight players on a point-per-game pace (that number will come down as the season goes on). Brandon Saad, Patrick Kane and Ryan Hartman all lead the way with six points in three contests.

Goals haven’t been coming as easily to the Canadiens, as they’ve beaten an opposing goaltender just three times in three games.

Montreal opened the season with a shootout win in Buffalo, but they dropped 6-1 and 2-0 road decisions against the Capitals and Rangers over the weekend.

The Canadiens had disallowed goals in Sunday’s game against New York. Still, captain Max Pacioretty isn’t willing to use that as an excuse for his team’s struggles.

“I think they were good calls,” Pacioretty said, per the Montreal Gazette. “Maybe if we disagreed with the calls, then it would be frustrating, but I think they were good calls.

“We were getting the puck there but, like I said, it’s nice to look at the shot count and have lots of shots, but Pittsburgh proved last year by winning the Cup that making plays, making the goalie move, making it hard on him is how you win games. It’s not always going to result in tons of shots, but you need the confidence to make the plays around the net and that’s what it takes to score goals.”

In the late game, the Vegas Golden Knights host the Arizona Coyotes at 10:00 p.m. ET. To stream that game live, click here

The Golden Knights will finally get to play their first regular season home game in franchise history tonight. Although there will be plenty of excitement in the building, the mass shooting that took place in Vegas last week is still fresh in everybody’s mind.

“I’m sure there will be a lot of different emotions,” Knights defenseman Deryk Engelland said, per the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “Obviously, the city is still healing from the tragedy, and as players we’re aware of that. But hopefully we can go out and perform and take everyone’s mind off of what happened for a couple of hours.”

Believe it or not, the NHL’s newest team is off to a perfect 2-0 start. They’ve collected a pair of wins over the Dallas Stars and Coyotes, so they are playing with confidence.

Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, who is clearly the face of this expansion franchise, has been rock-solid, and on Monday, he was chosen as the NHL’s Second Star of the Week.

Fleury can dangle too!

Everyone expected the Coyotes to struggle, again, this season, and that’s been the case early on. They dropped their regular season opener in Anaheim 5-4 before losing to the Golden Knights in overtime this weekend.

The thing is, Arizona has held leads in both of their defeats this season. They were up by three goals against Anaheim and one goal against Vegas.

“That’s something we’re going to have to learn, to close games down,” defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson told the Arizona Repulic after the loss to the Golden Knights. “But at the same time, we didn’t play good enough to win that game.

“We stopped playing a little bit instead of pushing forward for the next goal. We back off, and we make some bad mistakes.”

Scroll Down For:

    Red Wings trade Andreas Athanasiou to Oilers

    Oilers trade
    Getty
    Leave a comment

    When Connor McDavid returned to the Edmonton Oilers’ lineup on Sunday night and opened the game between Sam Gagner and Alex Chiasson it was painfully obvious they needed to get another winger.

    They got that winger on Monday when they acquired Andreas Athanasiou and Ryan Kuffner from the Detroit Red Wings in exchange for Gagner and two second-round draft picks.

    Oilers general manager Ken Holland drafted Athanasiou during his time in Detroit, so there is that obvious connection here.

    This seems like it has the potential to be a strong fit. Athanasiou is one of the few players in the league that actually has the speed to keep up with McDavid, and could create one of the fastest forward duos in the league. After scoring 30 goals a year ago for the Red Wings, Athanasiou has 10 goals in 46 games this season. Now he might get an opportunity to play next to the best offensive player in the world.

    Athanasiou is a restricted free agent after this season.

    The Oilers are three points out of first place in the Pacific Division, trailing only the Vegas Golden Knights. Edmonton still has two games in hand.

    This is the second trade between the two teams in less than 12 hours after the Oilers also acquired Mike Green from the Red Wings on Sunday night.

    MORE: PHT’s Trade deadline live blog

    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.

    Trade: Sabres get Wayne Simmonds from Devils

    Simmonds Sabres
    Getty
    Leave a comment

    Well, here is the most unexpected trade on deadline day (so far).

    The Buffalo Sabres, who entered the day six points out of a playoff spot and with multiple teams ahead of them, sent a conditional fifth-round draft pick to the New Jersey Devils for veteran forward Wayne Simmonds.

    That pick will become a fourth-round pick if the Sabres make the playoffs this season and Simmonds plays at least 10 games.

    Simmonds is an unrestricted free agent after this season.

    There is nothing wrong with the cost here for Simmonds. It’s probably about what his value should be in this market and given what he currently provides. Plus, a mid-round pick has very little chance of even turning into an NHL player, let alone an impactful one. But it’s still surprising to see a team in Buffalo’s position attempt to add something at the deadline.

    Is it a last-minute effort for general manager Jason Botterill to try and do something to save his job? Or is it a team looking at what happened with St. Louis and Columbus a year ago and thinking, “hey, we can do that too!” If it’s the former, well, that’s understandable. The pressure is on to win in Buffalo and patience is running thin with everyone. If it’s the latter, that would simply be a gross misunderstanding of what happened with those teams (especially St. Louis).

    The 31-year-old Simmonds has eight goals and 16 assists for the Devils this season. At his peak he was one of the best power forwards in the league and a true force as a net-front presence on the power play, but his production has rapidly fallen off the past two years.

    Buffalo has played much better in February (7-3-1) but has only managed to gain four points in the standings during that stretch. They still have six points to make up and only 20 games to do it. They would not only need to maintain that similar level of play, but also get some help along the way.

    MORE: PHT’s Trade deadline live blog

    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.

    Rangers sign Chris Kreider to 7-year contract extension

    Kreider Rangers
    Getty
    Leave a comment

    Some massive news from the New York Rangers on Monday as team president John Davidson announced a seven-year contract extension for winger Chris Kreider, removing one of the biggest names from the trade market just hours before the deadline.

    Kreider re-signing with the Rangers was always a possibility, but the longer it went on without a new deal (or talks of any kind) the less likely it seemed to be. But this was clearly something the two sides wanted and they were able to find a common ground on a new deal.

    It is reportedly worth around $6.5 million per season.

    It is a pricey contract for sure, and with Kreider already being 28 years old there is some real long-term risk down the line. But in the short-term Kreider remains a significant part of a Rangers’ core that has made significant progress over the past couple of months. They may not be able to do enough to get in the playoffs this season, but they are certainly on track to be a serious factor in that race next season.

    Kreider is in the middle of a career year for the Rangers and has always been a lock for around 20 goals and 50 points while bringing a ton of speed to the top of the lineup.

    The Boston Bruins, Colorado Avalanche, and St. Louis Blues were all thought to be potential suitors if he were to be traded.

    More: NHL Trade Deadline Live Blog

    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.

    Rangers’ Shesterkin, Buchnevich injured in car accident

    Rangers Shesterkin
    Getty
    3 Comments

    Along with announcing a new contract extension for Chris Kreider on Monday, New York Rangers team president John Davidson said teammates Igor Shesterkin and Pavel Buchnevich were involved in a car accident in Brooklyn on Sunday night.

    According to Davidson, Shesterkin was driving when a vehicle did a U-turn in front of them resulting in the collision.

    Fortunately both players were wearing seatbelts at the time of the accident.

    Buchnevich was “quite shaken up” according to Davidson, but will only be out of the lineup on a day-to-day basis.

    Shesterkin has a non-displaced rib fracture and will be re-evaluated in two weeks.

    Shesterkin has emerged as the Rangers’ starting goalie in recent weeks and has a 9-1-0 record with a .940 save percentage since his re-call. His performance has been one of the biggest factors in the Rangers’ recent hot streak that has seen them climb back to within striking distance of a playoff spot this season.

    The Rangers are currently carrying three goaltenders, while Alexander Georgiev and Henrik Lundqvist will take over the goaltending duties in Shesterkin’s absence.

    More: NHL Trade Deadline Live Blog

    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.