The Buzzer: Rangers add to misery for Bruins; More magic from Kaprizov

The Buzzer: Rangers add to misery for Bruins; More magic from Kaprizov
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NHL Three Stars from Friday

1. Nazem Kadri, Colorado Avalanche

It must be alarmingly easy to get lost in the hype shuffle with the Avalanche.

For one thing, you have Nathan MacKinnon drawing best-in-the-world chatter. There’s also Cale Makar, who’s rushing his way into the Norris conversation already. Then you have new additions, whether it be prospects graduating to the Avs (Bowen Byram) or offseason acquisitions (Devon Toews).

So, yeah, maybe Nazem Kadri gets lost in the shuffle a bit. He’s still a part of what makes the Avalanche so dangerous, even if he’s not a shiny, new thing.

Kadri made a big difference in a tight Coyotes – Avalanche game on Friday. He scored a goal and two assists, pushing his season totals to six goals and six assists for 12 points in 17 games.

Of course, Kadri does more than just scoring — but that part of his game came in handy.

2. Ryan Strome, New York Rangers

Speaking of slipping under the radar, Ryan Strome is heating up.

With a goal and two assists on Friday, Strome is now on a four-game point streak (2G, 5A). That stretch pushes Strome’s season totals just bit beyond those of Kadri (Strome’s at six goals and seven assists for 13 points in 18 games).

Kadri’s three points feel more eventful than Strome’s because the Avs narrowly beat the Coyotes, while the Rangers added to what’s been a lousy couple of days for the Bruins.

After losing 7-2 to the Islanders on Thursday night, the Bruins fell to the Rangers by a score of 6-2.

On one hand, the Bruins probably shouldn’t panic too much after losing to the Rangers and Islanders, even by such margins. After all, they’re still sitting fairly pretty at 11-5-2.

But the larger pattern is still pretty troubling. The Bruins have only won once in their last five games, and haven’t been squeezing out “charity points” either. About the only good news is that Brad Marchand reached 300 career goals. At the moment, it sounds like the Bruins are mainly calling out supporting cast members, but maybe that will spread if this lingers?

3. Cam Talbot, Minnesota Wild

The offbeat rhythm of the season may obscure the notion that the Wild — and Cam Talbot — are both off to a hot start. With a win on Friday, the Wild won their fifth game in a row, improving to 11-6-0.

It’s already understandable if the Wild’s promising start evaded your mention. It’s even more so with Talbot.

The veteran goalie last played on Feb. 2, but that gap didn’t stop Talbot from maintaining his positive early play. While Cam Talbot’s 4-2-0 record isn’t exciting, his .926 save percentage is.

Considering the defense the Wild often provide, and the spark they’re getting from Kirill Kaprizov and a few others, a keyed-in Talbot could be the last ingredient of a recipe for success.

Highlight of Friday night in the NHL

Speaking of Kirill Kaprizov, Drew Doughty couldn’t stop the Wild’s rising star from completing a sweet wraparound goal:

It wasn’t the only impressive moment from Kaprizov on Friday.


Friday’s NHL scores

Rangers 6, Bruins 2
Wild 3, Kings 1
Avalanche 3, Coyotes 2

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

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    Islanders agree to terms with Mathew Barzal on 8-year extension

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    Mathew Barzal has agreed to terms with the New York Islanders on an eight-year extension, a move that keeps the franchise’s top forward under contract for the balance of his prime.

    The deal is worth $73.2 million with an annual salary cap hit of $9.15 million, according to a person with knowledge of the contract. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team did not announce terms.

    Barzal has led the team in scoring, or been tied for the lead, every season since he became a full-time NHL player in 2017-18. He has 349 points in 411 regular-season and playoff games for the defensively stingy Islanders, who qualified for the postseason three consecutive times before an injury- and virus-altered last year.

    “We feel recharged,” Barzal said recently. “We feel like everybody had good summers and worked hard, and we got that excitement back.”

    Barzal, now 25, is coming off putting up 59 points in 75 games. The offensive star will now be asked to round out his game.

    “I’m a fan because Mat has the ability to raise his game and to be a special player,” general manager Lou Lamoriello told reporters at the team’s practice facility on Long Island. “And now, with this contract and our faith in him, (it) puts that responsibility on him. We’re trusting that. It’s up to him to respond to that.”

    Senators goaltender Cam Talbot out 5-7 weeks with injury

    Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

    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.