NHL on NBCSN: Flyers go for 10 wins in a row

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NBCSN’s coverage of the 2019-20 NHL season continues with Tuesday’s matchup between the Boston Bruins and Philadelphia Flyers. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN. You can watch the game online and on the NBC Sports app by clicking here.

It is a big night for the Philadelphia Flyers as they not only have an opportunity to jump into sole possession of first place in the Metropolitan Division, but also extend their current league-best winning streak to 10 consecutive games.

They have a chance for both when they the Boston Bruins (7 p.m. ET, NBCSN) in a massive Eastern Conference matchup.

The Flyers have been one of the hottest teams in the league for more than a month now and have rapidly climbed the Metropolitan Division standings. It also goes beyond this most recent winning streak.

Overall they are 19-5-1 in their past 25 games (best record in the league during that stretch) and have started to look like a true Stanley Cup contender.

[COVERAGE BEGINS AT 6:30 P.M. ET ON NBCSN]

This surge by the Flyers is part of what makes them such a fascinating team, because back in early January it looked like the 2019-20 season was on track to be more of the same in Philadelphia. A middling team that was going to hang around the playoff bubble, but not really take a significant step in either direction.

But, if there is one thing that is true of the Flyers, it is that they are capable of running off 10 wins (or 10 losses!) in a row at any given time in any random season. They love their massive streaks. A year ago they had an eight-game winning streak. The year before it was a 10-game losing streak. The year before that, it was a 10-game winning streak.

Now they are one win away from another 10-game streak.

The driving force behind this current run has been the play of second-year goalie Carter Hart. He has been incredible since returning to the lineup from injury, and for the season has been nearly unbeatable on home ice (where the Flyers play on Tuesday). In 24 starts at home this season Hart owns a 20-2-2 record to go with an almost unbelievable .944 save percentage. By comparison, he is just 4-10-1 with an .857 save percentage in his appearances away from Philadelphia.

On the other side, let’s not lose track of how good the Bruins have been lately, either.

They enter Tuesday’s game with the league’s second-best record (behind only the Flyers) in their past 25 games with an 18-6-1 mark.

They have a six-point lead over Tampa Bay for the top spot in the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference playoff race and are tied with the Lightning for the league’s best goal differential (plus-51).

David Pastrnak enters Tuesday’s game as the league’s third-leading point producer (94 points) and is tied with Washington’s Alex Ovechkin for the league lead in the goal scoring race (48 goals).

He is emerging as Boston’s top MVP candidate and one of the leading contenders in the entire NHL.

Related: Push for the Playoffs: pressure is on Maple Leafs

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.

Senators goaltender Cam Talbot out 5-7 weeks with injury

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OTTAWA, Ontario — Ottawa Senators goaltender Cam Talbot is expected to be out five to seven weeks with what the team called an upper-body injury.

The Senators initially called Talbot day to day with what they hoped was a minor injury. Instead he’s now expected to miss at least the first month of the NHL season.

Ottawa claimed goalie Magnus Hellberg off waivers from the Seattle Kraken upon announcing Talbot’s expected absence. Hellberg, who played for Sweden at the Beijing Olympics could split time with countryman Anton Forsberg while Talbot is out.

The Senators acquired Talbot from Minnesota during the offseason to make him their starter after the Wild opted against bringing him back along with Marc-Andre Fleury. Talbot, 35, had a 2.76 goals-against average and .911 save percentage this season.

Losing Talbot is a blow to the Senators, who also acquired winger Alex DeBrincat from Chicago and signed longtime Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux as part of a move toward contending and ending their playoff drought.

Blackhawks’ Boris Katchouk sidelined by ankle sprain

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CHICAGO — Blackhawks forward Boris Katchouk will be sidelined for four to six weeks with a left ankle sprain, the team announced.

The 24-year-old Katchouk played almost 12 minutes during a 3-0 preseason loss to Detroit on Saturday night. He was acquired in a multiplayer trade with Tampa Bay in March.

The Blackhawks open the season on Oct. 12 at Colorado.

The team also said forward Jujhar Khaira is day to day with a right ankle injury.

Ducks’ Urho Vaakanainen crashes into boards, leaves on stretcher

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ANAHEIM, Calif. — Ducks defenseman Urho Vaakanainen was taken off the Honda Center ice on a stretcher after he crashed into the end boards in the first period of Anaheim’s preseason game against the San Jose Sharks.

The Finnish defenseman was conscious and alert with full movement in his extremities at UCI Medical Center, the Ducks said.

The frightening incident occurred midway through the opening period when Vaakanainen smashed into the boards at a dangerous speed behind the Sharks’ net. Vaakanainen appeared to be concentrating on the pass he had just made to Derek Grant, who scored the Ducks’ opening goal on the assist.

Vaakanainen’s teammates came onto the ice and gathered around him as he was taken away on the stretcher.

The Ducks acquired the 23-year-old Vaakanainen from Boston last March in the deal that sent longtime Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm to the Bruins. After recording two assists in 14 games for the Ducks last season, Vaakanainen is attempting to win a top-six role on Anaheim’s defense this fall.

Lightning donate $2 million to Hurricane Ian relief efforts

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TAMPA, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Lightning and team owner Jeff Vinik are donating $2 million toward Hurricane Ian relief efforts.

The NHL team announced that $1 million each will be donated by the Tampa Bay Lightning Foundation and the Vinik Family Foundation.

“This is a tragic situation for many families and communities across the state of Florida, but especially so in the southwest region of the state,” Vinik said in a statement released by the team. “In times like these the most important thing we can do is support one another, and we hope this donation will help families recover and rebuild in the months to come.”

Ian made landfall Wednesday on Florida’s Gulf Coast, south of the Tampa Bay area. The Lightning postponed two home preseason games and moved the club’s training camp to Nashville, Tennessee, during the storm.