Over/under: How many goals will Mangiapane, Kreider, Duchene finish with?

Nhl goal leaders
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The NHL’s early goal leaderboard has some surprising names near the top.

Calgary’s Andrew Mangiapane has already found the back of the net 15 times to put him in a tie for second place with Alex Ovechkin and is already closing in on his career high.

New York’s Chris Kreider has played a starring role in the Rangers’ fast start with 13 goals in 17 games.

In Nashville, Matt Duchene is finally giving the Predators what they were hoping for when they signed him to a big money contract and is having his best season in the music city.

And then in Anaheim, Troy Terry has already obliterated his career high in goals having already scored 12 of them for the Ducks after never scoring more than seven over a full season.

All four players have one thing in common so far this season: Extremely high shooting percentages that are probably a bubble waiting to burst. All four players are currently scoring on more than 23 percent of their shots, including Mangiapane who is currently riding a 31.8 percent wave.

Something to consider: Over the past five full seasons only two players have finished a full season (minimum 100 shots on goal) higher than 22 percent, while only 12 topped more than 20 percent. All players go through scoring surges during the course of a season where a spike like this happens, and it is usually followed by an equally cold stretch to help balance things out.

So let’s try to set some realistic expectations for what to expect the rest of the way for each four.

Andrew Mangiapane

Mangiapane has made steady improvement in Calgary for a couple of years now, and over the past two years was scoring at a 25-goal pace over 82 games with strong underlying numbers. So it’s not really a huge surprise that he is have a strong season. It’s just surprising to see it this strong. And it’s not just the shooting percentage spike that’s driving it. He is also generating nearly one extra shot per game from the previous couple of years. Those two things add up.

Let’s assume he can maintain that shots per game average over the Flames’ remaining 61 games. That would be an additional 152 shots on goal. If he shoots at a 16 percent rate as he has the past two years, that would give him an additional 24 goals the rest of the way. On top of his current 15 goal mark, that would put him on the verge of a 40-goal season.

Can he get there?

Chris Kreider

The Rangers made a bold investment in Kreider to give him a seven-year, $45.5 million contract a couple of years ago. So far, it is paying off. After scoring at a 30-goal pace over 82 games a year ago, he has been even more productive so far this season.

Of the four players Kreider might be the one that is having the most sustainable early season success. While his shooting percentage (23.3 percent) is high, and above his career average (15.3 percent), it is not a huge spike from last year, while he is also generating more than three shots on goal per game. The most important part of being a consistent goal scorer is being able to generate shots on goal. And Kreider is doing that exceptionally well.

If he can maintain that over the Rangers’ remaining 64 games, that is 192 shots. At a career average of 15 percent, that is an additional 28 goals from today, which would not only give him his first career 30 goal season, it would push him to 40 goals.

Matt Duchene

Duchene’s first two years in Nashville did not go as anybody planned. The Predators signed him to a seven-year, $56 million contract in free agency in the hopes he could help boost their offense and power play. But after scoring just 19 goals in his first 104 games with the team he found himself exposed in the Seattle expansion draft and almost certainly available for a trade if Nashville would have been able to get out from under that deal.

But through the Predators’ first 17 games this season he has already scored 12 goals, which has to make Nashville brass happy.

Duchene was probably due for a bounce back after his first two years in Nashville where he never had a shooting percentage higher than 9 percent.

If he can maintain his three shots on goal per game average, that could be another 195 shots on goal. At his normal career rate of 12 percent Duchene could reasonably expected to score another 24 goals, which give him 36 for the season. And quite honestly, that seems like a reasonable expectation given what Duchene has done at his peak. He is just a couple of years removed from a 31-goal season in only 73 games, while he was consistently a 25-30 goal scorer throughout his peak. The past two years were the extreme outlier.

Troy Terry

Then we have the most surprising player of them all. Terry enters the week with 12 goals in 17 games, already a career high, and riding an ongoing 16-game point streak. He has been the most surprising offensive player in the league this season.

Terry was always a solid player for the Ducks that did a lot of good things that didn’t get noticed in the box score, but now everything is starting to come together for him.

He is also scoring on 27 percent of his shots after averaging about a 10 percent rate before this season.

Given his current shot rate (2.5 per game) and normal career shooting percentage (around 10 percent) another 15 goals for the rest of the season could be a reasonable expectation. That would put him around the 27-goal mark, which is something that both he and the Ducks would have absolutely taken at the start of the season.

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    Barkov sets Panthers’ points mark in 5-2 win over Red Wings

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    DETROIT – Aleksander Barkov set the Florida franchise record for most career points, Carter Verhaeghe scored two goals, and the streaking Panthers beat the Detroit Red Wings for the ninth consecutive time, 5-2.

    Barkov recorded a second-period assist, giving him 614 points, breaking a tie with Jonathan Huberdeau for the team record.

    Matthew Tkachuk had a goal and two assists, giving him 14 points over the last five games. Eric Staal and Gustav Forsling also scored for the Panthers, who are 6-0-1 over their last seven games, and Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 20 shots.

    Pius Suter and Dylan Larkin scored for the Red Wings, who have lost 10 of their last 12 games. Ville Husso had 20 saves.

    The Panthers led 2-1 after the first period.

    The first Florida goal came after Lucas Raymond‘s turnover in his own zone. Sam Bennett made the steal and passed it to Tkachuk for his 33rd goal.

    Verhaeghe made it 2-0 with a slap shot that got past a screened Husso. The Red Wings challenged for goalie interference, but the goal was upheld after a video review.

    Just after killing off the subsequent penalty, Detroit got on the board when Suter jammed in a rebound of David Perron‘s shot.

    Forsling scored on shot from the point midway through the second period to restore Florida’s two-goal advantage. Barkov had the second assist, allowing him to break the franchise points record.

    Larkin scored on a delayed penalty off a pass from Raymond at 7:53 of the third to cut the Panthers’ lead to 3-2.

    Staal scored on a breakaway off a pass from Anthony Duclair with under four minutes left, and Verhaeghe added a power-play goal.


    Panthers F Eetu Luostarinen had an assist in the 200th game of his career. … Florida is 29-2-3 when leading after two periods. … The last time the Red Wings beat the Panthers was Feb. 20, 2021. … Barkov has 42 points in 38 career games against Detroit. … Andrew Copp notched his 150th career assist on Larkin’s goal.


    Panthers: At Philadelphia on Tuesday night.

    Red Wings: At St. Louis on Tuesday night to open a home-and-home set.

    Ferguson stops 47 shots, Senators top reeling Penguins 2-1

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    PITTSBURGH – Drake Batherson‘s power-play goal from in front with 2:09 left in regulation lifted the Ottawa Senators to a 2-1 win over the reeling Pittsburgh Penguins.

    The Penguins finally beat Ottawa goaltender Dylan Ferguson on a Rickard Rakell goal with 5:21 to play, but a hooking penalty by Penguins defenseman Chad Ruhwedel gave the Senators the man advantage and Batherson responded with his 21st goal of the season.

    Ferguson, making his first NHL start and first appearance in the league in more than five years, made 47 saves to send Pittsburgh to its fourth straight loss. Thomas Chabot scored his 10th goal of the season for Ottawa as the Senators snapped a five-game slide.

    The Penguins fell behind Florida in the race for the second wild card in the Eastern Conference. Tristan Jarry played well but couldn’t get in the way of Batherson’s jam shot from just outside the crease.

    Ferguson began the night having played nine minutes at the NHL level as a teenager for Vegas early in the Golden Knights’ debut season in 2017-18. He has bounced around various levels of the minors ever since and was in the process of being sent down to the ECHL by the AHL’s Toronto Marlies earlier this month when the Senators signed him to a two-way deal.

    Something clicked. He played well enough in six games for Ottawa’s AHL affiliate in Belleville to receive a call-up on Sunday. Just over 24 hours later, the Senators made the now 24-year-old Ferguson the sixth goaltender they’ve used this season when they gave him the nod against the struggling Penguins.

    Ferguson looked like he belonged from the opening faceoff. He made a series of sharp saves early, including a couple of stops from in close against Jake Guentzel and a flashy glove save on a slap shot by Malkin.

    Jarry, a two-time All-Star who has struggled to find any sort of consistency since returning from an extended stay on the injured list, took a step forward, turning aside multiple odd-man rushes and a breakaway by Brady Tkachuk in the second period.

    The lone goal Jarry allowed came 16:46 into the first when Chabot took a feed from Claude Giroux and rather than fire a shot from high in the slot skated down to the right circle and beat Jarry to the far post.

    Jarry was solid the rest of the way, though he spent most of the game watching Ferguson dazzle at the other end before Rakell broke through with just over 5 minutes to go.


    Senators: Travel to Boston on Tuesday to face the NHL-leading Bruins.

    Penguins: Start a difficult back-to-back on the road on Wednesday when they visit the Avalanche in Denver.

    Sharks goalie James Reimer declines to wear Pride jersey

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    San Jose Sharks goalie James Reimer didn’t take part in pregame warmups, saying the team’s decision to wear Pride-themed jerseys in support of the LGBTQ community runs counter to his religious beliefs.

    Reimer said in a statement Saturday that he made the decision based on his Christian beliefs, adding that he “always strived to treat everyone with respect” and that members of the LGBTQ community should be welcome in hockey.

    “In this specific instance, I am choosing not to endorse something that is counter to my personal convictions, which are based on the Bible, the highest authority in life,” Reimer said.

    Reimer is the second NHL player this season to refuse to take part in warmups with Pride-themed jerseys, with Philadelphia’s Ivan Provorov declining to in January. Reimer was not slated to start in Saturday night’s home game against the New York Islanders, which is Pride night.

    Additionally, the New York Rangers opted not to wear Pride jerseys or use Pride stick tape as part of their night in January despite previously advertising that plan.

    The Sharks said in a statement that they are proud to host Pride Night, saying the event reinforces the team’s commitment to inclusiveness.

    “As we promote these standards, we also acknowledge and accept the rights of individuals to express themselves, including how or whether they choose to express their beliefs, regardless of the cause or topic,” the team said in a statement. “As an organization, we will not waver in our support of the LGBTQIA+ community and continue to encourage others to engage in active allyship.”

    The You Can Play Project, which works to promote inclusiveness in sports, said the organization was disappointed in Reimer’s actions.

    “Religion and respect are not in conflict with each other, and we are certainly disappointed when religion is used as a reason to not support our community,” the organization said. “Wearing pride jerseys, like any celebration jersey worn, is not about the personal feelings of an athlete; rather the communication from the team that a community is welcome in the arena and the sport.”

    Panarin, Shesterkin lead Rangers to 6-0 rout of Penguins

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    NEW YORK — Mika Zibanejad had a goal and two assists, Artemi Panarin scored twice and Igor Shesterkin made 33 saves as the New York Rangers routed Pittsburgh 6-0 on Saturday night for their second win over the Penguins in three days.

    Vladimir Tarasenko, Chris Kreider and Jacob Trouba also scored for the surging Rangers, who have won nine of their last 11 home games and are 12-4-0 in their past 16 at Madison Square Garden.

    Shesterkin won his fifth straight and posted his second shutout this season. He nimbly denied Pittsburgh forward Mikael Granland with a sprawling save five minutes into the third period to preserve the shutout, the 10th of his career. His other one this season was a 1-0 home win over Philadelphia on Nov. 1.

    “When you put in hard and honest work, miracles happen,” Shesterkin said through a translator. ”We played wonderfully today – scored many, many goals. Honestly, I hope the fans loved it. We’re playing for them.”

    The Penguins lost their third straight and trail the Rangers by 12 points for third place in the Metropolitan Division. Pittsburgh, still in wild-card position, is trying to reach the playoffs for the 17th straight time.

    “Tonight was a humbling experience for all of us,” coach Mike Sullivan said. ”At this time of year, you have to have a short memory. We still have control of our destiny.”

    Patrick Kane and defenseman K’Andre Miller also had two assists apiece as New York improved to 7-1-1 in its last nine home games against Pittsburgh. The Rangers are five points behind the second-place New Jersey Devils, who lost at Florida on Saturday.

    “This was a big game for our goalie and our team,” Panarin said. “If you work at playing the right way, you have opportunities for goals.”

    Since Dec. 5, when they turned around their season with a 6-4 comeback win at home over St. Louis, the Rangers are 29-9-5.

    As he did on Thursday when the Rangers beat the Penguins 4-2, Zibanejad opened the scoring. He got his team-leading 36th goal at 5:10 of the first, beating Penguins goaltender Tristan Jarry. Trouba and Miller assisted.

    Panarin made it 2-0 at 19:49 on the power play, whipping the puck past Jarry from the left circle off a pass from Adam Fox.

    Tarasenko increased the lead at 3:54 of the second with his fifth goal since joining the Rangers in a trade with St. Louis on Feb. 9. Tarasenko has points in 10 of his first 18 games with the Rangers.

    Kreider made it 4-0 at 6:43 with his 31st goal and third in two games against the Penguins. Kane and Vincent Trocheck assisted on Kreider’s 260th career goal, which moved the Rangers forward within two of Vic Hadfield for fifth place on the franchise list.

    New York won Thursday when Kreider scored the go-ahead goal in the third and added an empty-netter.

    After Casey DeSmith replaced Jarry in net following Kreider’s goal, Trouba beat the replacement with a sharp-angle shot at 8:39 for his eighth to increase the margin to 5-0. Trouba has points in six of his last eight games.

    Panarin scored again at 16:38 of the second – his 22nd goal of the season – to make it 6-0, with assists to Kane and Filip Chytil.

    “We’re building chemistry, building every day and every game,” Kane said.

    Panarin has points in eight of his last 10 games and leads the Rangers with 77 points overall, while Kane has seven points in his last six games.

    “It’s nice to see that many great players on your team,” added Panarin, whose first two NHL seasons were played alongside Kane with the Chicago Blackhawks. “We’re happy tonight.”

    Zibanejad assisted on goals by Tarasenko and Trouba and has 25 points – including 14 goals – over his last 20 games.

    “It was just one of those nights when the puck goes in for us,” Zibanejad said. “And obviously Igor gives us a boost making all those saves.”

    NOTES: The Penguins were missing defenseman Jeff Petry after he was hit with an unpenalized elbow from Rangers forward Tyler Motte on Thursday. … Pittsburgh also scratched defenseman Jan Rutta and forward Dalton Heinen and played defenseman Mark Friedman for the first time since Feb. 11. … The Rangers were without injured defenseman Ryan Lindgren for the 10th straight game.


    Penguins: Host the Ottawa Senators on Monday.

    Rangers: Host the Nashville Predators on Sunday night.