NHL Rink Wrap: Rangers top standings (by points) after beating Oilers

NHL Rink Wrap: Rangers top standings (by points) after beating Oilers
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Top player from Rangers vs. Oilers

Alexandar Georgiev, Rangers

Plenty of people will focus on these tough times for the Oilers, which the Rangers added to during the only NHL game on Monday. No doubt, Mikko Koskinen‘s gaffe to allow the Rangers’ first goal will draw a lot of attention.

But don’t ignore how great Alexandar Georgiev was in helping the Rangers hold off (then pull away from) the Oilers. Georgiev made 33 out of 34 saves, including stopping a Leon Draisaitl to Connor McDavid chance that got Madison Square Garden rocking.

Sure, you can argue that McDavid maybe didn’t get all of that. Still quite a stop. Most of all, the reaction from the crowd really brought it to another level.

It wasn’t the only chance McDavid had either, as he fired seven shots on goal, and fed teammates for some Grade-A opportunities as well. Rangers – Oilers was closer than the 4-1 New York win would indicate, and Georgiev was a big reason why.

Although Georgiev took the cake, the Rangers provided honorable mentions. Ryan Strome enjoyed a strong night, scoring a goal and two assists. Adam Fox collected two assists, while both Alexis Lafrenière and Barclay Goodrow both scored a goal and an assist.

Rangers – Oilers highlights

Watch the Rangers beat the Oilers 4-1 in these highlights:

Monday NHL takeaways

Senators game postponed; Auston Matthews tests positive for COVID

Catch up on the NHL COVID news from Monday in this post.

NHL Power Rankings; A look at Kraken’s troubles

In case you missed some Monday NHL content from PHT, read up with the latest Power Rankings and also a breakdown of the Kraken’s bumpy first season, both by Adam Gretz.

After beating Oilers, Rangers sit atop NHL standings — at least by points

Apply heavy caveats here. But, yes, at the end of Monday, the Rangers sat atop the NHL standings — at least by sheer points — by reaching 48 points (they hold the tiebreaker edge over the Capitals, also at 48).

Naturally, with COVID disrupting an NHL schedule that already lends itself to games played disparities, that’s misleading. In their division alone, the Rangers (48 points in 34 games) are unlikely to hold off the Hurricanes (47 points in 31 GP).

Even so, the Rangers sure feel ahead of schedule, don’t they? (Or they went from lagging a bit to meeting expectations?) This is a team with plenty of weapons, and against a flawed Oilers team with some of the deadliest weapons in the game, the Rangers looked very promising.

Still coming to grips with it being 2022? Catch up on ‘last year’ with PHT

The gang over here at PHT hit the high and low notes of 2021. As much as the league wants fewer interruptions in 2022, here’s hoping that, most of all, people stay as safe as possible.

Tuesday’s big story

Golden Knights – Predators a test of two hot teams with very different expectations

If someone told you that the Predators would head into early 2022 with just about the same points percentage (.636) as the Golden Knights (.643), how would you feel? Would you assume something went wrong for Vegas?

While the Golden Knights certainly haven’t enjoyed the greatest injury luck this season, they’re more or less positioned as expected. With games in hand, the Flames have a strong chance to grab the Pacific Division title from Vegas. Still, though, this feels a bit like business as usual.

The same can’t be said of the Predators, who seemed to enter 2021-22 in an existential crisis.

Instead, they enter the calendar year of 2022 on a roll. That’s what could make Tuesday’s game especially fun, as the Predators are 8-1-1 in their last 10 games, and the Golden Knights are almost as hot (7-2-1).

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

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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.