The Buzzer: McDavid feasts vs. Senators again; Kaprizov hat trick

The Buzzer: McDavid feasts vs. Senators again; Kaprizov hat trick
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NHL Three Stars from Friday

1. Kirill Kaprizov, Minnesota Wild

For the first time in his NHL career, Kirill Kaprizov generated a hat trick. By reaching that mark, the 23-year-old already has 10 goals in 25 games. Naturally, he’s just as dangerous passing as shooting, as he’s now close to a point-per-game (23 in 25) thanks to his 13 assists.

Even in a pandemic-shortened season, Kaprizov has a shot at reaching or exceeding the Wild’s rookie goal-scoring record. That mark is (not surprisingly) held by Marian Gaborik, who collected 18 in his debut year back in 2000-01.

Most people (Wild fans included) would probably agree that Kaprizov is the most exciting young forward the team’s employed since Gaborik’s prime. For those who want to harp on Kaprizov’s age in the Calder Trophy race, he’s putting up impressive for-a-23-year-old numbers, too.

Scroll to the highlights of the night for Friday in the NHL to witness that Kaprizov hat trick.

In generating his first hat trick, Kaprizov deserves the limelight. Other Wild players enjoyed big Friday performances, too, though.

Considering all Mats Zuccarello has gone through the last few years, including just for 2020-21, it’s delightful to see him produce three assists. On paper, it makes sense that Zuccarello would make great music with Kaprizov, but that kind of thing doesn’t always translate to on-ice performances.

Cam Talbot also notched a shutout by making all 25 saves. He didn’t quite earn the sort of shutout that would land him as one of the three stars of Friday in the NHL, but he could form a nice goalie duo with Kaapo Kahkonen at this rate.

2. Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers

While Kaprizov didn’t get his hat trick going until the third period, Connor McDavid didn’t waste much time (re-)asserting his dominance over the Ottawa Senators.

Just 10 seconds into Friday’s game, McDavid scores against the Senators. He’d end up with three points (1G, 2A) as the Oilers once again made easy work of Ottawa. Leon Draisaitl (1G, 1A) and Tyson Barrie (1G, 1A) also got in on the one-sided fun.

Even outside of their work against the Senators, McDavid and Draisaitl would be putting together impressive seasons. These lopsided games just really hammer the point home that McDavid should probably be a no-brainer Hart Trophy frontrunner.

The Senators just have to find some comfort in getting seven games out of the way against McDavid:

3. Devan Dubnyk, San Jose Sharks

There was a time when Devan Dubnyk would be the player racking up three star nominations. Sometimes, both in last season with the Wild and this one in the Sharks, those nights feel like distant memories.

Yet, on this Friday in the NHL, Devan Dubnyk earned a 34-save shutout.

You could point to other Sharks for a three stars nod, as they absolutely trounced the Ducks. Once again, John Gibson suffered through a rough night, even if it wasn’t really his fault.

One might prefer Kevin Labanc (1G, 2A) in this spot. The Ducks have to just want this season to end.

Highlights of Friday night in the NHL: Kaprizov hat trick, more

Via the NHL, here are all three of the goals from that Kirill Kaprizov hat trick. Note that he scored all of them in the third period. Maybe Kaprizov is extra-dangerous in the clutch (and/or when opponents might be a little tired)?

The Golden Knights’ power play looked punchless at times as they traded blows in a real slugfest with the Blues. That unit finally broke through in overtime when Reilly Smith connected on a nice bit of “tic-tac-toe” passing.

(After a false positive in a COVID test, Marc-Andre Fleury earned the win … though it wasn’t a night he’d like to repeat. Then again, Jordan Binnington probably wanted to perform at a higher level following news of his big, surprising contract extension, too.))

Friday’s NHL scores

Golden Knights 5, Blues 4 (OT)
Wild 4, Coyotes 0
Avalanche 2, Kings 0
Oilers 6, Senators 2
Sharks 6, Ducks 0

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

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    Bruins set NHL record with 12 straight home wins to start season

    Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
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    BOSTON — The Boston Bruins set the NHL record for most home victories to start a season with their 12th straight, topping the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2 in overtime with a power-play goal from David Pastrnak.

    The Bruins broke the mark of 11 that was set by the 1963-64 Chicago Blackhawks and equaled by the Florida Panthers last season.

    “That felt awesome,” Bruins first-year coach Jim Montgomery said. “We talked about it after the second (period) going into the third. There’s been a lot of great teams in this league and you’re able to set a precedent, break a record. It’s pretty special and it doesn’t happen if those guys don’t believe in themselves like they do.”

    Boston, which trailed 2-0 late in the second period, tied it with 9:33 left in regulation when David Krejci scored his second of the game on a shot from the right point.

    “It’s never fun being down going into the third, you’re sitting in here (in the locker room) trying to figure it out,” Krejci said. “You want to come out and do the job, something special on the line. It’s hard to win in this league. To get 12 in a row at home is pretty special.”

    In overtime, Carolina was playing shorthanded after being called for too many men on the ice when Pastrnak one-timed a pass from Brad Marchand inside the far post from above the left circle.

    “It was a big win for us, obviously, coming from behind,” Pastrnak said.

    Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Stefan Noesen each scored a power-play goal for Carolina, and Pyotr Kochetkov made 38 saves. The Hurricanes lost their fifth straight.

    In a rematch of last spring’s opening-round playoff series that the Hurricanes won in seven games, Carolina shutout the NHL’s highest scoring team for nearly two periods and jumped ahead a pair of power-play goals in the opening period.

    “We took too many penalties. That’s hurting us right now,” Kotaniemi said. “I think 5-on-5 we’re doing a really good job. We started good tonight and couldn’t keep that up.”

    Boston’s tying goal was originally disallowed because of goaltender interference on Nick Foligno but overturned on a coach’s challenge after it was ruled that he was nudged into the crease by Carolina defenseman Brett Pesce.

    Boston starting goaltender Linus Ullmark made 28 saves but had to leave with 13:03 left in the third period with an undisclosed upper-body injury. Teammate Connor Clifton had jumped on him to block a shot during a scramble. Jeremy Swayman made six stops in relief.

    Carolina’s Noesen scored at 6:34 in to make it 1-0. And with five minutes left in the period, Kotkaniemi collected the puck near the side of the net after Seth Jarvis‘ shot bounced off the back glass and slipped it inside the post at 15:05.

    Krejci scored for Boston with 31 seconds left in the second.

    Boston came in with a league-high 82 goals in 20 games (4.10 per game), but it was held to relatively few chances despite getting a 5-on-3 power-play advantage early on.

    TAKE NOTE

    The Bruins honored captain Patrice Bergeron, who recorded his 1,000th career point when the team was on the road against Tampa Bay, with a message on the Jumbotron. The crowd gave him a standing ovation.

    Bergeron became just the fourth Bruin to reach the mark, joining Hall of Famers Ray Bourque (1,506), Johnny Bucyk (1,339) and Phil Esposito (1,012).

    UP NEXT

    Hurricanes: Host the Calgary Flames.

    Bruins: Host the Tampa Bay Lightning.

    Predators postpone 2 games due to Nashville water main break

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    NASHVILLE, Tenn. —  The Nashville Predators postponed two home games because of a water main break that soaked their downtown arena.

    Hours after the Predators decided they couldn’t play against the Colorado Avalanche, the team announced it also postponed the game against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Makeup dates for the two games will be announced later.

    The NHL said the water main break that occurred “significantly impacted the event level” of Bridgestone Arena. Team locker rooms and the ice surface are on the event level.

    Predators President and CEO Sean Henry told reporters that the water in the event level ranged from 3 inches to 3 feet.

    “We’re assessing it right now. We’re remediating it,” Henry said. “The good thing is, the water got shut off, the city responded in a pretty fast manner. I don’t think anyone is ready for things like this the Friday after Thanksgiving.”

    Video posted by a WTVF-TV reporter shows the water puddled up on the main floor’s concourse area and the team store. The team was forced to close the store until further notice, pointing shoppers online for Black Friday specials.

    The Predators’ next home game is now scheduled for Tuesday against the Anaheim Ducks.

    The water issue also resulted in a switch to a different venue for a college hockey game between Northeastern and Western Michigan. They also had been scheduled to play at Bridgestone Arena, a game that was moved to Ford Ice Center Bellevue.

    Rangers trade Ryan Reaves to Wild for 5th-round pick in 2025

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    ST. PAUL, Minn. — The New York Rangers traded enforcer Ryan Reaves to the Minnesota Wild for a 2025 fifth-round pick.

    Reaves had been a healthy scratch for eight of the past 12 games for the Rangers. He gives struggling Minnesota some extra muscle and a veteran presence.

    The 35-year-old is signed through only the rest of this season at a $1.75 million salary cap hit. He has no points and 12 penalty minutes in 12 games of his second season with New York.

    Reaves has played in 869 NHL regular-season and playoff games for the St. Louis Blues, Pittsburgh Penguins, Vegas Golden Knights and Rangers. He was with the Golden Knights during their inaugural season in 2017-18 when the reached the Stanley Cup Final.

    Toronto’s Morgan Rielly placed on long-term injured reserve

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    TORONTO — The Toronto Maple Leafs placed defenseman Morgan Rielly on long-term injured reserve with a knee injury.

    Rielly was hurt in a collision with with New York forward Kyle Palmieri early in the third period of Toronto’s 3-2 overtime loss to the Islanders at home.

    Rielly has no goals and 16 assists in 20 games this season and is averaging 23 minutes of ice time.

    Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe said following practice that the 28-year-old Rielly doesn’t need surgery, adding there’s no firm timeline for his return beyond the minimum 24 days and 10 games required for going on long-term injured reserve.

    Toronto’s defense is also missing Jake Muzzin with a neck injury and T.J. Brodie with an injured oblique.