NHL Rink Wrap: Islanders – Lightning battle; Chinakhov introduces self

NHL Rink Wrap: Islanders - Lightning battle; Chinakhov introduces self
Andrew Bershaw/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Top players from Monday in the NHL

Andrei Vasilevskiy, Lightning

The Islanders rarely give Andrei Vasilevskiy and the Lightning much room for error. More often than not, Vasilevskiy finds a way to thread that needle.

In a tight Third Round series in the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Vasilevskiy generated a .940 save percentage (11 goals allowed on 182 shots faced) in seven games. The year before, Vasilevskiy was almost as good (.933 save percentage) in six contests.

Don’t blame Islanders fans if they mutter to themselves merely at the sight of Vasilevskiy. In a game that was close for most of Monday’s NHL action, Vasilevskiy made 25 out of 26 saves to secure a win. When the only goal you allow is via a Mathew Barzal breakaway, you’re doing something right.

Yegor Chinakhov, Blue Jackets

Actually, scroll for more on his one-goal, one-assist night. It gets its own section.

Highlights from NHL on Monday (Islanders – Lightning; Blue Jackets – Red Wings)

With just two Monday NHL games, enjoy full highlights of Islanders – Lightning and Blue Jackets – Red Wings. (Some notable clips also reside in the takeaways.)

The Red Wings built leads, but the Blue Jackets kept clawing back, and won:

Late goals exaggerated the difference. Either way, though, the Lightning overcame the Islanders once again:

Monday’s NHL takeaways

Fights, hits remind us: Islanders and Lightning are not best friends

During the Lightning’s repeat Stanley Cup runs, did anyone give them more trouble than the Islanders? After a grueling six-game series in 2020-21, the Islanders and Lightning went to a Game 7 this past postseason. The difference? A shorthanded goal by Yanni Gourde.

When you go that deep two years in a row in the equivalent of consecutive conference finals,* you’re just as likely to develop hate as respect. With that in mind, maybe it shouldn’t be surprising that things got nasty at times between the Islanders and Lightning on Monday.

Four seconds into Islanders – Lightning, Zdeno Chara and Patrick Maroon got into a fight:

The true nastiness felt more organic, though. Anthony Cirelli decided to fight Brock Nelson after Nelson landed a borderline hit on Alex Killorn:

As usual, this was a close game between the two — for most of the night. At times, it was also hostile. Go ahead, call Islanders – Lightning a rivalry.

* – Yeah, the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs were a little funky.

Chinakhov: from a reach to a steal for Blue Jackets?

To put things mildly, people did not expect the Blue Jackets to select Yegor Chinakhov at 21st overall during the 2020 NHL Draft. Plenty of well-prepared people reacted either with a “Who?” or at least a “Now?” Not that long removed from a Pierre-Luc Dubois gambit that ended up paying off, some wondered if Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen was showing off.

Then again, the 2020 NHL Draft was unusual. The timing allowed teams unusual looks at prospects — mostly less, but a few in different contexts — and the Blue Jackets clearly liked the limited looks they got at Chinakhov. Doubters didn’t shake them.

It’s far too early to give them an A+ for drafting Chinakhov, but it’s pretty cool to see him make an impact for the Blue Jackets. After making some waves beyond the NHL, Chinakhov came up big on Monday. He factored into multiple rallies, assisting on Adam Boqvist‘s 2-2 goal, then scoring the 3-3 goal itself.

Eventually, the Blue Jackets beat the Red Wings. Through nine games, Chinakhov has four points, including his first career goal from Monday.

He scored all four of those points in the past four games (1G, 3A).

It’s great that Iginla is a first ballot Hall of Famer but …

Credit Jarome Iginla. It’s not surprising, but he told Sportsnet’s Eric Francis that he won’t dwell on missing out on a Hart Trophy, among other accolades.

Well, allow me.

Jose Theodore was great in 2001-02, yet the way Iginla lost — a voter leaving him off his ballot to help Theodore earn a Hart — is beyond gross. It also cements a thought: as great as Jarome Iginla was, people might have had a better idea if a few things went differently.

  1. That 2001-02 Hart Trophy.
  2. Martin Gelinas’ goal-that-wasn’t in the 2004 Stanley Cup Final.
  3. Frankly, it’s my opinion that Jarome Iginla deserved the 2004 Conn Smythe Trophy, anyway. Then again, I nitpick just about every Conn Smythe decision. It’s almost a nervous tic at this point.

If I had to bet, I’d guess that Iginla’s greatness might sneak up on younger fans. And even some who got to see him play.

[2020 Hockey Hall of Famers finally inducted]

Maybe some of that has to do with longevity. Iginla bounced to the Penguins, Bruins, Avalanche, and Kings late in his career, and he’d already faded from amazing to merely very good in his latter Flames days. Perhaps those extra years pushed out memories of him being an incredible power forward?

On the bright side, that extra time really cemented Iginla’s counting stats. Scoring 625 goals when your career overlaps into some of the “Dead Puck Era” is no joke. There’s also something so pleasant and round about the final point total of 1,300.

So, Jarome Iginla’s probably right not to dwell on those smaller quibbles while looking at his Hall of Fame bust.

Tuesday’s big story

Revenge of McDavid, or another win for Winnipeg?

Truly, Connor McDavid‘s 2020-21 was absurdly impressive. People cackled at McDavid reaching 100 points in 56 games. Instead, McDavid didn’t need that many, and ended up with 105 points in 56 contests.

Unfortunately (or fortunately, if you’re a Jets fan or McDavid critic), Winnipeg swept Edmonton in the First Round. Despite drawing zero penalties in that sweep, McDavid managed a point per game (1G, 3A), but it wasn’t enough.

Tuesday’s NHL action is packed with interesting chances for teams to prove themselves. To mention a few:

  • The Predators can make waves if they beat the Maple Leafs.
  • The Capitals represent an early test for the red-hot Ducks.
  • Among other interesting matchups, both the Wild and Sharks hope to make a point.

All of that said, the Oilers’ revenge factor adds sizzle to the steak of Tuesday’s game against the Jets. It doesn’t hurt that both teams are off to strong starts.

Monday’s NHL scores

Lightning 4, Islanders 1
Blue Jackets 5, Red Wings 3

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.

Scroll Down For:

    Teravainen scores late, Hurricanes rally to beat Rangers 3-2

    Getty Images

    NEW YORK – Teuvo Teravainen scored the tiebreaking goal late in the third period, Frederik Andersen stopped 29 shots and the Carolina Hurricanes rallied to beat the New York Rangers 3-2 on Tuesday night.

    Jalen Chatfield and Stefan Noesen also scored for the Metropolitan Division-leading Hurricanes, who won for the third time in four games.

    With the comeback win, the Hurricanes became the second team – following Boston – to reach the 100-point mark this season as Carolina increased its Metropolitan Division-lead over second-place New Jersey to two points and the third-place Rangers to eight.

    “That was a great effort. All 20 guys contributed and we got what we deserved,” Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “If we play like that, we’ll be in good shape. This time of year it gets tougher and tougher.”

    Tyler Motte and Kaapo Kakko scored for the Rangers, who had won four straight were 6-0-1 in their last seven. Igor Shesterkin finished with 36 saves as the Rangers played their third game in four nights – the previous two shutout wins at home.

    “Igor kept us in there as long as he could and we just didn’t have enough in the tank,” Rangers captain Jacob Trouba said. ”They won more battles and played a hard game.”

    Teravainen scored his 11th goal with 2:33 left on a pass from defenseman Brent Burns, redirecting the puck past Shesterkin. The Hurricanes, who trailed 1-0 and 2-1.

    “Somehow they left me open in the back side, great pass by him,” Teravainen said of the winning-goal pass to him in the slot. “We knew this would be a tough night. They have a good team. We knew we had to battle to win this game.”

    The Rangers led 1-0 entering the third and were vying for their third-straight shutout before Chatfield tied the score at 9:49 – the first goal the Rangers allowed in more than eight periods. New York was coming off a 6-0 win over Pittsburgh on Saturday night with Shesterkin in goal and a 7-0 triumph over Nashville behind Jaroslav Halak on Sunday.

    Kakko then put New York back ahead 31 seconds later with his 13th goal, only to have Noesen answer right back 18 seconds later to tie it 2-2.

    Motte opened the scoring at the 17-minute mark of the first, knocking the puck past Andersen for his third goal in four games and sixth of the season overall.

    The Rangers hadn’t lost in regulation since a 4-2 defeat on March 4 at Boston.

    “Tonight we didn’t play near well enough to beat that team,” Rangers coach Gerard Gallant said. ”Honestly, the whole game they outplayed us. They were a lot quicker. They managed the puck real well … We didn’t play our game.”


    Hurricanes captain Jordan Staal played his 729th game with Carolina on Tuesday, tying defenseman Glen Wesley for the second-most games played in franchise history since relocation from Hartford in 1997. Staal, 34, trails only his brother Eric, who played 909 games for the Hurricanes from 2003-16.


    Hurricanes: Host the Rangers on Thursday night to finish the home-and-home set in the opener of a four-game homestand.

    Rangers: At Carolina on Thursday night to open a two-game trip.

    Ullmark’s 40 saves carries Bruins past Senators, 2-1

    ullmark game 2
    Getty Images
    1 Comment

    BOSTON – Linus Ullmark made 40 saves, Jake DeBrusk had the go-ahead goal and the NHL-best Boston Bruins continued their pursuit of the league’s record for regular-season victories with a 2-1 win over the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday night.

    “I thought he was outstanding and he needed to be,” Boston coach Jim Montgomery said of Ullmark. “Unfortunately we gave up a lot of good looks, a lot of odd-man rushes because of our puck management and he bailed us out like he has all year.”

    David Krejci added a power-play goal for Boston, which won its fourth straight.

    Dylan Gambrell scored for the Senators and Mads Sogaard made 33 stops.

    “We had a shooters’ mentality for two periods,” Ottawa coach D.J. Smith said. “The third period, they’ve won 54 games now, they’re not going to give you an odd-man rush, they’re not going to give you anything. You’re going to have to earn it.”

    The Bruins posted their 54th win and with 12 games left are on pace to break the mark of 62, set by the Detroit Red Wings in 1995-96 and matched by the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2018-19.

    Chasing the Eastern Conference’s eighth and final playoff spot, Ottawa has lost six of seven following a season-high, five-game winning streak.

    Coming off a 3-2 road trip where they won the last three games by a combined score of 15-2 that included two shutouts by backup Jeremy Swayman, the Bruins converted on a two-man, power-play advantage to tie the game at 1 midway into the opening period when Krejci poked in a rebound from the edge of the crease.

    DeBrusk completed a nifty play with Brad Marchand when he collected a pass cutting down the slot at full speed, shifted and tucked a rebound past Sogaard at 15:52 of the first period for his 23rd goal.

    “It was ‘all world.’ I saw him and he fed it through a lot of guys for a breakaway,” DeBrusk said of the pass. “It was one of those passes where I didn’t know what to do. I was going to point at him (after) but I was going too fast.”

    Gambrell’s wraparound score gave Ottawa a 1-0 edge.

    “I thought I played a good game today,” Sogaard said. “I just battled and stayed with it the entire way. … These ones are tough because we were so close.”


    Ullmark stopped 22 shots in the second period with at least a dozen of them high-quality chances. During an Ottawa PP, he jumped from a crouch to make a right-shoulder stop on Alex DeBrincat’s bid from in close.

    “We talked about it,” defenseman Hampus Lindholm said of the second period. “We know we’re a good team in the third and wanted to tighten it up for him. … They got a lot of chances that were our own fault in the second.”


    The Bruins highlighted women who work and compete in the sports community, having Olympic gold medalist and Boston Pride defender Kali Flanagan accompany Bruins players during pregame walk-ins along with local high school scholastic award winners. In addition, in-arena host Michaela Johnson handled the PA for the night and they also left yellow roses at the seats of female reporters.

    NOTES: The Senators entered the game as the only team holding an advantage in their series against the Bruins this season, winning twice in three games. … Montgomery said after the morning skate that defenseman Derek Forbort would likely be sidelined with a lower-body injury at least through the rest of the regular season. … DeBrusk, playing on the top line most of the season, is four off his career-high goal total, set in 2018-19.


    Senators: Host Tampa Bay on Thursday.

    Bruins: Host longtime rival Montreal in an Original Six matchup Thursday.

    Boldy’s goal with 1.3 left in OT lifts Wild over Devils

    Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

    NEWARK, N.J. – Matt Boldy scored with 1.3 seconds left in overtime and Filip Gustavsson made a career-high 47 saves to give the Minnesota Wild a 2-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night.

    The game was a chippy, defensive struggle. After two scoreless periods, the Devils were outshooting the Wild 22-19.

    Minnesota finally broke through 6:41 into the third when Mason Shaw scored his seventh goal of the season on a wraparound.

    Timo Meier answered for the Devils five minutes later with his 35th goal of the season on a wraparound of his own.

    New Jersey was unable to convert on a late power play, and the teams went to overtime.

    It was a back-and-forth five minutes of extra hockey, with both goaltenders making good saves. After Jack Hughes hit the post for the Devils, the puck caromed off a post to Boldy and he beat the buzzer with his 23rd goal of the season.

    Vitek Vanecek stopped 27 shots for New Jersey.

    NOTES: The Devils are 10-4 in overtime, while the Wild improved to 4-5.


    Wild: Play at Philadelphia on Thursday night.

    Devils: Play at Buffalo on Friday night.

    Avalanche coach Jared Bednar signs extension through ’26-27

    Getty Images

    DENVER – Colorado Avalanche coach Jared Bednar has signed a three-year extension that will keep him in charge of the reigning Stanley Cup champions through the 2026-27 season.

    The new deal for the winningest head coach in club history kicks in once the current contract runs out after the 2023-24 season.

    Bednar, 51, is the only person to win championships in the ECHL, AHL and NHL as head coach. He directed the Avalanche to their third Stanley Cup title in team history last season by beating Tampa Bay, the two-time defending champions.

    This season, the Avalanche have dealt with an array of injuries, which include missing captain Gabriel Landeskog all year after he underwent knee surgery in October. But they’re starting to creep closer to being healthy – and working their way up the standings. Colorado is riding a six-game winning streak to remain in a tight race with Dallas and Minnesota for the Central Division crown. The top spot in the Western Conference is in play, too.

    “Jared has done a tremendous job behind the bench and certainly deserves this extension and to continue as the leader of our team,” Joe Sakic, the team’s president of hockey operations, said in a statement.

    It wasn’t the prettiest of starts for Bednar in his inaugural season for Colorado. In 2016-17, his team amassed only 48 points (22-56-4) to finish last in the league. Since then, it’s been full steam ahead for Bednar and the Avalanche. They became the first NHL squad to go from worst to first in a span of four seasons or less since the 1970-71 Bruins, according to research by the team.

    In addition, Bednar has led the Avalanche to five straight playoff appearances – and is closing in on a sixth – to become the first Avalanche coach to accomplish the feat. His 40 postseason wins are the second-most in team history, trailing only Bob Hartley (49).

    “His strength as a communicator, his relationship with the players, the way he prepares each and every day is a huge reason our team has been so successful,” general manager Chris MacFarland said. “He is an exceptional leader.”

    Bednar is currently the third-longest tenured coach in the league, behind only Tampa Bay’s Jon Cooper (March 2013) and Pittsburgh’s Mike Sullivan (December 2015).

    “Being able to lead this team over the last seven years has been a privilege,” said Bednar, whose team faces the Penguins on Wednesday. “I am grateful and excited to have the opportunity to continue building on what we’ve accomplished so far.”

    Bednar captured a Kelly Cup (ECHL) with the South Carolina Stingrays in 2009, along with a Calder Cup (AHL) with the Lake Erie Monsters in 2016.