NHL Rink Wrap: Hot Flames, corny Kraken

NHL Rink Wrap: Hot Flames, corny Kraken
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Top player from Tuesday in the NHL

Juuse Saros, Predators

Truly, take your pick. Several NHL goalies flirted with shutouts on Tuesday, settling for wins and one goal allowed, apiece:

  • Saros and the Predators beat the Sharks, with the smallish netminder stopping 28 out of 29 shots.
  • Similarly, Andrei Vasilevskiy made 28 out of 29 saves against the scrappy-but-undermanned Penguins.
  • Robin Lehner (26 saves, one goal allowed) got the slight edge over Darcy Kuemper (26 saves, 2GA) as the Golden Knights beat the Avs.

Saros has been heating up lately, generating at least a .931 save percentage in four of his last five appearances. Saros is pretty much essential to a limited Nashville team’s success. Considering that, the Preds must be elated to see him deliver more often than not early on this season.

NHL injury, COVID news

Highlights from Tuesday in the NHL

Nifty stuff from Yanni Gourde. Imagine the Canadiens weren’t expecting him to pull this off.

Add “scoring two goals in 10 seconds” to the list of times where it’s appropriate to discuss the Lightning “striking.”

If the Lightning scored at the speed of light, then the Jets did so at the speed of sound.

Tuesday’s NHL takeaways

Report about the Blackhawks

Tuesday’s most important NHL story didn’t play out on the ice.

As mentioned earlier, Stan Bowman resigned as Blackhawks GM after an internal investigation detailed how the team handled 2010 sexual assault allegations regarding former video coach Brad Aldrich. Time will tell if there are ripple effects from that report, but either way, it’s by far the most important story of the day.

The Flames are hot, and Mangiapane is breaking through

If you’re a nerd like me, you’ve been aware of Andrew Mangiapane as a hidden gem for the Flames for some time. Maybe the 2021-22 season will represent Mangiapane’s leap to more mainstream attention?

Early on, it feels like a solid Tyler Toffoli impression.

With two goals during Tuesday’s NHL action, Mangiapane now has seven points (all goals) in six games this season. Last season, Mangiapane set a career-high with 18 goals. Before, it was about his overall play, and the impression that he could accomplish more with heightened opportunities. All of these goals might make it tough for him to sneak under the radar.

Don’t let the Flames totally escape your attention, either. They’re on a four-game winning streak, with those victories coming via consecutive road triumphs.

There were subtle signs that the Flames were improving their overall game under Darryl Sutter late last season. It was just easy to miss because, big picture, the 2020-21 Flames were a bummer.

In a stingy system, the Flames won’t always be this hot. There’s a decent chance they’ll get back to the playoffs, though.

The Kraken are corny, and that’s OK

The very birth of the Seattle Kraken team name revolved around … well, dad jokes, basically. Internet humor of middling effectiveness. We’re just now wading through some of the early Kraken/cracking puns. Refreshingly, people haven’t been too offensive about those puns, for the most part.

Early on, it seems like they’re comfortable becoming Team Dad Joke. Retiring the number 32? Hokey, but cute enough. Raising a banner for the 1917 Stanley Cup champion Seattle Metropolitans? Practically sailing the seas of cheese, there.

Hey, sometimes dad jokes transition to more earnest tales of the olden times, too. So this is pretty cool:


Wednesday’s big story

Panthers get a real test in the Bruins

Earlier this week, we discussed how big Wednesday’s Maple Leafs – Blackhawks game might be for both teams. After that jarring Blackhawks news surfaced, it put a single regular season game in better perspective.

(Granted, that perspective could become skewed again in Toronto if the Maple Leafs suffer another embarrassing loss.)

So, let’s move from focusing on who might be in the bleaker situation, to a team trying to hold onto glory vs. an opponent reaching for it.

The Florida Panthers blazed off to a 6-0-0 start this season. They’ve outscored opponents 27-12, and soared up various power rankings.

On the way, they’ve beaten some established powers in the Lightning, Penguins, Islanders, and Avalanche. That said, you could wave away those wins to some degree. Many of those teams haven’t exactly been at full strength.

With that in mind, Wednesday’s Bruins – Panthers game represents an interesting test. Winning or losing won’t swing an 82-game season, but if Florida prevails, it might give skeptics another hard nudge toward taking these Cats seriously.

Tuesday’s NHL scores

Flames 5, Devils 3
Lightning 5, Penguins 1
Golden Knights 3, Avalanche 1
Predators 3, Sharks 1
Wild 3, Canucks 2
Jets 4, Ducks 3
Kraken 5, Canadiens 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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    Coyotes minority owner suspended by NHL following arrest

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    NEW YORK — Arizona Coyotes minority owner Andrew Barroway was suspended indefinitely by the NHL on Friday following his arrest for domestic violence in Colorado.

    Online court records show Barroway was arrested on Thursday on suspicion of second-degree assault strangulation, a felony, and third-degree assault, a misdemeanor. He appeared in court Friday to be advised of the possible charges he is facing and is scheduled to back in court on April 3.

    Barroway spent Thursday night in Pitkin County Jail after police arrested him at an Aspen hotel, according to a police report obtained by the Aspen Daily News.

    “The National Hockey League is aware of the arrest of Arizona Coyotes’ minority owner Andrew Barroway,” the NHL said in a statement. “Pending further information, he has been suspended indefinitely.”

    The 57-year-old Barroway was arrested after a verbal altercation with his wife turned physical, according to the police report. He is prohibited from having contact with his wife, except when it involves their children, and can’t consume alcohol under a court order.

    A prominent hedge fund manager, Barroway owns 5% of the Coyotes.

    “We are aware of the allegation regarding Mr. Barroway and we are working with the League to gather more information,” the Coyotes said in a statement. “When we have enough information, we will have an appropriate response. Until the investigation is complete, we will have no further comment.”

    Blue Jackets’ Patrik Laine out 2-4 weeks with triceps injury

    Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — Columbus Blue Jackets forward Patrik Laine is out 2-4 weeks after straining a triceps muscle in practice, yet another blow to the last-place team in the NHL that has been hampered by injuries all season.

    The Blue Jackets announced Laine’s absence before their home game against the New York Islanders.

    They already have 454 man-games lost to injury, one of the highest numbers in the league, and have a record of 22-41-7.

    Laine missed two separate stints with elbow and ankle injuries in the fall. The 24-year-old Finn is the team’s second-leading scorer with 52 points in 55 games.

    Columbus has been top defenseman Zach Werenski since November because of a torn labrum and separated shoulder. Forward Sean Kuraly recently went on injured reserve with a strained left oblique muscle but is set to return Friday.

    Tortorella earns 700th career win, Flyers top Wild 5-4

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    PHILADELPHIA — John Tortorella needed one word to sum up if 700 career wins meant anything to the Flyers coach.


    OK, then. Good thing the brusque Stanley Cup winner isn’t paid by the word.

    James van Riemsdyk scored the only goal in a shootout, and Philadelphia beat the Minnesota Wild 5-4 on Thursday night for Tortorella’s 700th victory.

    Tortorella is 700-573-181 in 1,454 games as an NHL head coach. His 700 wins rank 12th in NHL history and his career games rank ninth in NHL history. He led Tampa Bay to the Stanley Cup in 2004. In his first season coaching the Flyers, Tortorella joined Peter Laviolette as the second American-born coach to win 700 games.

    “I think the culture’s kind of changed around here,” Flyers forward Joel Farabee said. “I think he’s done a really good job of keeping the group together.”

    Farabee, Scott Laughton, Rasmus Ristolainen and Tyson Foerster scored for Philadelphia. The Flyers have two straight games for the first time since Jan. 9-14 when they won three straight. Yeah, it’s been that kind of season.

    “Farabee’s starting to pop, he’s looking real good. Tyson is looking real good,” Flyers defenseman Tony DeAngelo said. “This is all about laying the foundation for next year but we get a lot of money to do this job. It’s something we love, so we’re gonna go out and give it our best every night.”

    Matt Boldy had two goals for the Wild, and Oskar Sundqvist and Marcus Foligno also scored.

    “We weren’t very good. They were good,” Wild coach Dean Evason said. “We knew they were playing well, they played well tonight. We were loose. We were not firm, turnovers, it didn’t look like our hockey club.”

    The Flyers and Wild were tied 1-all at the end of the first period, 3-3 at the end of the second and 4-4 headed into OT.

    The rebuilding Flyers have been plucky of late. They had won two of three coming into the game, with the lone loss in overtime. They showed some of that grit in the final two periods, scoring late tying goals.

    “It’s a credit to their group, to their coaching staff, that they’ve got them playing the right way,” Evason said.

    Boldy poked a backhander past Carter Hart with 6:28 left for a 4-3 lead. The Flyers, playing more for the No. 1 pick and for pride, tied the game on Foerster’s second goal of the season.

    Farabee tipped in Cam York’s shot early in the second for a 2-1 lead.

    The Wild got going when Boldy ripped one top shelf past Hart for his 24th goal of the season that tied the game 2-all. Foligno scored his seventh goal for the 3-2 lead.

    Ristolainen buried a hard slapper from the blue line on the power play for the tying goal with 23 seconds left in the second.

    “I think it’s good to try to lay this foundation, kind of get ready for next year. You see guys getting confidence,” DeAngelo said.

    The Flyers only played ahead in the first period.

    Laughton scored off the rush for his 17th goal of the season and a 1-0 lead. Sundqvist celebrated his birthday with a deflection for the tying goal with 3:24 left in the period.

    The Flyers had been one of the lowest-scoring teams in the NHL until the start of this seven-game homestand (3-2 so far). They have scored at least three goals in every game and at least four in the last four.

    “We have definitely gotten to the net better,” Tortorella said. “We have spent a lot of time on the ice and with tape as far as getting to that area.”


    Wild: Host Chicago on Saturday.

    Flyers: Host Detroit on Saturday.

    Crosby reaches 30-goal mark, Penguins knock off Avalanche 5-2

    Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

    DENVER – Sidney Crosby wasn’t even aware of reaching yet another milestone. He’s simply locked in on helping the Pittsburgh Penguins make a 17th straight postseason appearance.

    Jeff Carter had a pair of goals, Crosby scored on a nifty backhand shot in the second period to reach the 30-goal mark for an 11th season and the Penguins beat the Colorado Avalanche 5-2.

    Crosby moved into a tie with Hall-of-Fame center Mario Lemieux for the most 30-goal seasons in Penguins history. Another milestone reached – it came as news to him.

    “I think the most important thing for me is just try to be consistent and if that reflects that great,” said Crosby, who turns 36 in August.

    Even more, Crosby’s the first player in league history to post a 30-goal campaign at 18 years old and again when he was 35-plus, according to NHL Stats.

    “It means I’ve been in the league for a while,” Crosby cracked. “That’s been the thing that’s driven me since since I got into the league – in your first year, you want to prove that you belong. Even at 35, I still think you want to prove you belong, because it is a younger league.”

    Jake Guentzel also scored and Bryan Rust added an empty-net goal for the Penguins, who snapped a four-game slide and moved back into a wild-card spot in the East.

    “It’s definitely a big one for us, for sure,” Guentzel said. “Defending champs, coming to their building, you know how good they are. Top to bottom, we defended hard and that’s what we have to do at this time of the year.”

    Pittsburgh goaltender Tristan Jarry stopped 28 shots in improving to 11-4 this season against teams from the Western Conference.

    J.T. Compher and Devon Toews had goals for the Avalanche, whose six-game winning streak was halted. Nathan MacKinnon had an assist to extend his home points streak to 18 games.

    It was a missed opportunity for Colorado, which could’ve pulled into a three-way tie with Dallas and Minnesota in the Central Division with a victory.

    “We knew they were going to play with urgency,” Colorado coach Jared Bednar said. “But I didn’t feel like there was any reason why we couldn’t, either. … We didn’t get it done. Hopefully we get another one.”

    Alexandar Georgiev made 40 saves, including several critical ones in a second period controlled by the Penguins, who outshot the Avalanche by a 21-9 margin. It could’ve been more than a 3-1 deficit heading into the third period.

    Toews’ power-play goal made it 3-2 with 9:32 remaining. But Carter wrapped up the win with his first multigoal game in the regular season since Jan. 11, 2022.

    “I’m thrilled for him. We’re all thrilled,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said of Carter. “He cares about the Penguins. He wants to win, and he wants to contribute in helping us win so we couldn’t be happier for him.”


    Bednar was appreciative of the three-year extension he signed Tuesday that goes through the 2026-27 season. In his seventh season, he’s the third-longest tenured coach in the NHL behind Tampa Bay’s Jon Cooper (March 2013) and Sullivan (December 2015).

    “It’s not a forgiving league or sport, for the most part, but obviously that’s part of the reason why I’m so grateful and thankful,” Bednar said. “Because there were times over my tenure that got a little hairy and management could have made another decision. But obviously they didn’t.”


    Avalanche D Cale Makar missed a second straight game with a lower body injury. “I still have him as day-to-day,” Bednar said. … F Darren Helm returned after missing 64 of 69 games this season with a lower-body injury. … Penguins D Jeff Petry (upper body) skated in the morning but sat out his third straight game. … The Penguins are 11-1 against the Central Division this season. … Penguins standout Evgeni Malkin assisted on Guentzel’s goal to reach the 50-assist mark for a seventh time in his career.


    Penguins: At Dallas on Thursday night.

    Avalanche: Host Arizona on Friday night.