The Buzzer: Rask wins again and a brutal night for the Blackhawks

Getty
5 Comments

Player Of The Night: Tuukka Rask, Boston Bruins

The Bruins probably didn’t need Tuukka Rask to steal one for them on Tuesday night, but we have to give the man some credit for continuing to be pretty much unbeatable right now. By stopping 26 of the 28 shots he faced in the Bruins’ 3-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings, Rask pushed his personal point streak to 21 consecutive games.

He is now 19-0-2 in his past 21 decisions, a stretch that has seen him allow more than two goals just three times. He has not lost a game in regulation since November 26. With him playing the way he is and the team in front of him being as dominant as it has been the Bruins are going to be a true force to deal with in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

According to NHL, PR Rask is just the 11th different goalie in NHL history to record at least a point in 21 consecutive games. He is the fourth to do so as a member of the Bruins.

The Blackhawks Might Be Finished This Season

Tuesday night could not have gone worse for the Chicago Blackhawks and their playoff chances.

Not only were they 3-2 losers to the Calgary Flames, one of the many teams they are in direct competition with for a playoff spot in the Western Conference, but pretty much every other team they are competing with for a playoff spot that was in action on Tuesday night also came away with wins.

The Wild were 6-2 winners over the St. Louis Blues, the Anaheim Ducks were 4-3 winners over the Buffalo Sabres, the Flames picked up two points by beating Chicago, and the Colorado Avalanche were 3-1 winners over the San Jose Sharks.

The Blackhawks now find themselves sitting seven points out of a Wild Card spot in the Western Conference playoff race with four teams ahead of them. This late in the season that deficit is going to be nearly impossible to overcome.

Highlight Of The Night

With less than a minute to play in regulation Nicklas Backstrom broke a 2-2 tie with the Columbus Blue Jackets to give the Washington Capitals a 3-2 win to help them maintain a four point lead over the Pittsburgh Penguins for the top spot in the Metropolitan Division.

It was also a milestone goal for Backstrom. It was career goal No. 200.

Highlight Of The Night Part 2

The Philadelphia Flyers picked up a big extra point over the Carolina Hurricanes thanks to Jordan Weal‘s overtime goal with three seconds to play.

Probably the second best thing to happen to Philadelphia sports over the past couple of days.

Factoid Of The Night

It was a big night for Aleksander Barkov as he helped the Florida Panthers stay hot. Is it too little, too late to get them back into the playoff race? Maybe. But they are at least trying to keep it interesting.

Scores

Anaheim Ducks 4, Buffalo Sabres 3

Pittsburgh Penguins 5, Vegas Golden Knights 4

Philadelphia Flyer 2, Carolina Hurricanes 1

Washington Capitals 3, Columbus Blue Jackets 2

Ottawa Senators 5, New Jersey Devils 3

Boston Bruins 3, Detroit Red Wings 2

Florida Panthers 3, Vancouver Canucks 1

Minneasota Wild 6, St. Louis Blues 2

Winnipeg Jets 4, Arizona Coyotes 3

Calgary Flames 3, Chicago Blackhawks 2

Colorado Avalanche 3, San Jose Sharks 1

————

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.

Canucks’ Ilya Mikheyev to have season-ending knee surgery

Ilya Mikheyev
Bob Frid/USA TODAY Sports
2 Comments

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Vancouver Canucks right wing Ilya Mikheyev is set to have season-ending surgery on his left knee.

Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin said Friday night the 28-year-old Russian forward tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in the team’s first preseason game Sept. 25. Mikheyev will undergo surgery next week and is expected to be ready for training camp in the fall.

Mikheyev was originally listed as week-to-week with the injury and played 45 regular-season games, finishing with 13 goals and 15 assists. He scored in his final appearance Friday night, a 5-2 home victory over Columbus.

Mikheyev signed a four-year, $19 million contract as a free agent last summer.

Maple Leafs’ Matthews out at least 3 weeks with knee injury

austonmatthews
Nick Turchiaro/USA TODAY Sports
0 Comments

Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews will miss at least three weeks with a sprained knee.

The team announced the reigning MVP’s anticipated absence Friday, two days after Matthews was injured in Toronto’s victory against the New York Rangers.

Matthews is expected to miss at least six games and could be out for a few more. The timing of the injury coinciding with the NHL All-Star break and the Maple Leafs bye week prevents this from costing Matthews more time out of the lineup.

After being voted an All-Star by fans, Matthews is now out of the event scheduled for Feb. 3-4 in Sunrise, Florida. The league announced Aleskander Barkov from the host Florida Panthers will take Matthews’ place on the Atlantic Division All-Star roster.

Matthews, who won the Hart Trophy last season after leading the NHL with 60 goals, has 53 points in 47 games this season.

Caufield opted for surgery with Habs out of playoff race

caufield surgery
David Kirouac/USA TODAY Sports
0 Comments

MONTREAL — Montreal Canadiens winger Cole Caufield said Friday he wouldn’t be having season-ending surgery on his right shoulder if the team were in playoff contention.

But with the Canadiens near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings, the 22-year-old Caufield said he decided to have the surgery to protect his long-term health. The procedure is scheduled to be performed by Dr. Peter Millett on Wednesday.

“I didn’t want to stop playing,” Caufield said. “I had a couple tests done to look at it more clearly but, in the end, like it could’ve been one more fall and it could have been even worse.”

Caufield, who leads the Canadiens with 26 goals in 46 games, had three different medical opinions on his shoulder before concluding that his season was over.

“I think they’ve seen a lot more than I have and they know the differences and what they like or don’t like about it,” he said about the medical opinions. “Long term, I think this is what’s best but for sure it was tough to sit out that game against Toronto on Saturday night.”

Caufield initially felt the injury in an awkward fall during Montreal’s 4-2 loss at Dallas on Dec. 23. He said his right shoulder popped, and he replaced it himself.

Caufield felt it again in the Habs’ 4-3 loss at Nashville on Jan. 12. The club announced on Jan. 21 that Caufield would miss the rest of the season.

Caufield is nearing the end of his three-year, entry-level contract and will be a restricted free agent this summer.

All-Star Matty Beniers to miss next 2 games for Kraken

matty beniers
Joe Nicholson/USA TODAY Sports
0 Comments

SEATTLE — Seattle Kraken rookie All-Star Matty Beniers will miss the team’s final two games before the All-Star break after taking a big hit from Vancouver’s Tyler Myers earlier this week.

Seattle coach Dave Hakstol said after morning skate Friday that Beniers would not play Friday night against Calgary or Saturday against Columbus. Hakstol did not speculate on Beniers’ availability for next weekend’s All-Star Game in Florida.

The team has not specified what kind of injury Beniers sustained from the hit. He was barreled over by Myers away from the play early in the second period in Wednesday’s 6-1 victory over Vancouver. Myers was penalized for interference on the play. Beniers returned briefly for one shift later in the period but did not play in the third period.

Beniers is Seattle’s lone All-Star selection this season. He leads all rookies in goals (17) and points (36), and is fifth in total ice time for rookies.

Seattle also placed defenseman Justin Schultz on injured reserve and recalled forward Max McCormick from Coachella Valley of the AHL. Hakstol said Schultz is improving but there’s no timeline on his return.