The Buzzer: Marleau, Sabres make NHL history – good and bad – on Monday

The Buzzer: Marleau, Sabres make NHL history - good and bad - on Monday
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Three Stars: Monday in the NHL

1. Mark Scheifele (and Nikolaj Ehlers), Winnipeg Jets

The Jets aren’t a perfect team, but in a flawed North Division, they should not be dismissed. That’s especially true if they can mix a dangerous offense with strong goaltending.

You don’t see Mark Scheifele and Nikolaj Ehlers line up together all that often, at least at even strength. That might change after this display, though.

Scheifele gets the tiebreaker over Ehlers (and other Monday standouts in the NHL) because he scored two goals and one assist. Ehlers, meanwhile, collected three assists. The Jets didn’t even lean on their power play, either, as they went 0-for-2 on another miserable night for the Flames.

With those three points, Scheifele now has 43 points in 36 games. Even after being cold by his standards lately (two assists, zero goals in six games), Ehlers continues to reach another level of NHL recognition. He’s at a point-per-game (36 in 36) after piling up three assists.

Kyle Connor deserves a mention, too, as he produced two points (2A) for Winnipeg.

2. Cale Makar, Colorado Avalanche

Speaking of three assist-nights on Monday in the NHL, Cale Makar matched that output.

In both the cases of Ehlers and Makar, they collected two primary assists and one secondary helper apiece. Makar’s heating back up after returning from injury, scoring two goals and six assists for eight points in his past seven games.

Along with Makar, the Avalanche’s other top players exerted their will vs. the Ducks. Nathan MacKinnon, for example, generated two assists. If Ryan Miller wasn’t so resilient (43 saves), this could have been even more lopsided than the 5-2 score.

The Avalanche are on a roll, and look like they’re going to be as scary as many expected heading into the 2020-21 season.

3. Erik Karlsson, San Jose Sharks

Understatement alert: It’s been a very rough season for Erik Karlsson, and the Sharks. Maybe chalk it up to celebrating Marleau’s milestone, but they put forth a spirited effort to beat the Wild after a (lengthy) shootout.

During regulation, Erik Karlsson scored two goals. He wasn’t done then, either, as Karlsson scored the shootout-deciding tally.

Kevin Fiala‘s team lost that shootout, yet he produced a similar game (1G, 1A, shootout goal) in defeat.

Marleau passes Messier, 10 behind Howe; Sabres losing streak to 18 games

History (some bad, some good) was made, and some bad injury news came down. Here’s a quick look at some of the bigger developments from Monday in the NHL:

  • Despite carrying a 3-0 lead into the third period, the Sabres lost against the Flyers 4-3 in OT. With that, the Sabres became the 18th team in NHL history to suffer through a winless streak of 18 games or more. Read on about the Sabres’ 18-game losing streak.
  • Patrick Marleau passed Mark Messier at 1,757 games played, taking second place in NHL history. Marleau sits just 10 back behind Gordie Howe, who holds the all-time record at 1,767 games played. Check out this post for even more.

Side note: it’s a little bit of a letdown that Marleau didn’t get a shootout opportunity. No sense of the moment, Sharks. (Unless he said “please don’t send me out during the shootout.” If so, then fair enough, Sharks.)

Highlights from NHL on Monday:

Some players pull off moves that would make you complain about a lack of realism while you’re playing video games. That happened at least twice on Monday, as NHL players showed off some serious skill.

One of Makar’s assists was just absurd, as he looked unstoppable setting up Valeri Nichushkin:

Now, for the other video game assist. Joel Eriksson Ek pulled off a ridiculous move before Nick Bonino finished the play:

Monday’s NHL scores

Flyers 4, Sabres 3 (OT)
Penguins 2, Islanders 1
Oilers 3, Maple Leafs 2 (OT)
Golden Knights 4, Kings 1
Sharks 4, Wild 3 (SO)
Avalanche 5, Ducks 2
Jets 5, Flames 1

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

    Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
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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

    Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
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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

    Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
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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.