The Buzzer: Bergeron passes 900 points, more from Tuesday in NHL

The Buzzer: Bergeron passes 900 points, more from Tuesday in NHL
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3 Stars for Tuesday in the NHL

1. Artemi Panarin, New York Rangers

After scoring four points (1G, 3A) on Tuesday, Artemi Panarin now has 40 points in just 27 games. That’s a 1.48 point-per-game rate. If you translated that output to an 82-game season, Panarin would be on pace for 121-122 points.

That’s an even better run than Panarin enjoyed in drawing plenty of Hart Trophy buzz last season. In 2019-20, Panarin scored 95 points in 69 games, or about a 1.38 point-per-game pace.

When we look back on which players might see their legacy dinged in subtle ways because of the pandemic disruptions, Panarin might be up there. You could easily argue he’s put together two 100-point-like seasons, but will need to play at a high level in the future to ever actually reach that frontier.

Credit Panarin for being worth every bit of his $11.64 million AAV, and probably quite a bit more. Being that the 29-year-old’s contract runs through 2025-26, maybe there will come a time when people gripe about that cap hit.

Part of the logic of big contracts is about getting that early bang for the buck. The key will be for the Rangers to improve around Panarin while he’s still an elite player.

After the Rangers’ 8-4 win over the Penguins, and strong play basically since March, it’s easier and easier to imagine that window being open during Panarin’s peak. Most obviously, Adam Fox is already there, and his three points added to his Norris argument.

(Fox also has an argument to be one of the three stars of the NHL for Tuesday. Let’s consider Fox’s argument part of Panarin’s, though.)

But if Alexis Lafreniere and Kaapo Kakko can start to build confidence, look out.

2. Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand, Boston Bruins

Really, the top star of Tuesday in the NHL comes down to a debate between a handful of players, including Panarin vs. Brad Marchand/Patrice Bergeron.

Like Panarin, Brad Marchand generating four points. Panarin gets the hair-splitting difference because Marchand’s fourth point came via an assist on an empty-netter.

Patrice Bergeron scored that empty-netter, completing a hat trick. Bergeron reached an impressive NHL milestone on Tuesday, as he crossed the 900-point barrier (902 points in 1,125 games).

If you recall how concussions marred the early part of Bergeron’s career, the 1,125 regular season games played (and 149 playoff contests) become that much more impressive. The 900 points serve as a reminder that the Selke magnet has been a heck of an offensive talent, too.

3. Semyon Varlamov, New York Islanders

Islanders – Capitals turned into quite a goalie duel, and if you don’t weigh the W too heavily, maybe you’d choose Semyon Varlamov’s opponent, Vitek Vanecek (38 saves, one goal allowed) as one of the three stars of Tuesday in the NHL. Among others, John Gibson provided some competition for the best goalie of Tuesday in the NHL, making 34 stops.

But earning a shutout, and a win* is something.

Varlamov pitched a 29-save shutout, allowing Brock Nelson‘s goal to stand as the game-winner. This marks the fourth shutout of the season for Varlamov, 32, who notched two shutouts in three straight seasons with Colorado. (He only managed nine over his past five campaigns.)

With Ilya Sorokin also rounding into form lately, the Islanders look like they have a reliable goalie duo. Again. That Barry Trotz fellow’s an OK coach.

* – Thanks to quirks like a shutout leading to a shootout loss, they aren’t necessarily guaranteed to go together. Granted, that doesn’t happen often, but …

Highlights from Tuesday in the NHL: Bergeron, Panarin dominate

Watch Patrice Bergeron score a hat trick and cross the 900-point barrier:

Panarin and the Rangers produced a slew of highlights while beating the Penguins 8-4:

Scary, sometimes bloody moments for Kunin, Carrick

The Predators squeezed out a shootout win vs. the Red Wings, but they’re continuing to get banged up. Luke Kunin took a puck to his ear (gah!) in what had to be an extremely painful moment, and Dante Fabbro ended up hurt too.

Meanwhile, Jeffrey Viel bloodied Sam Carrick during their fight:

Tuesday’s NHL scores

Penguins 8, Rangers 4
Sabres 5, Devils 3
Islanders 1, Capitals 0
Bruins 4, Flyers 2
Hurricanes 5, Panthers 2
Blue Jackets 4, Lightning 2
Predators 3, Red Wings 2 (SO)
Blackhawks 4, Stars 2
Ducks 5, Sharks 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

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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.