NHL Rink Wrap: Panthers stay hot vs. Flames; Makar’s incredible goal

NHL Rink Wrap: Panthers stay hot vs. Flames
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Top players from Tuesday in the NHL

Troy Terry, Ducks

Terry netted his first career hat trick during 4-1 win over the Flyers.  His three-goal night puts him at 21 on the season, good for third in the NHL. Eleven of his goals this season have either tied a game or put Anaheim ahead.

Sergei Bobrovsky, Panthers

Florida extended its winning streak to four games with a 47-save performance from Bobrovsky during a 6-2 win over the Flames. Joe Thornton scored his fourth of the season, making it 26 straight years he’s recorded a goal.

Juuse Saros, Predators

Filip Forsberg scored twice and Saros stopped 41 of 43 shots faced during a 3-2 win over the Golden Knights. The win helped Nashville leap over the Blues and into first place in the Central Division. It also improved the Predators to 9-1-1 in their last 11 games.

Highlights from NHL games on Tuesday

2022 barely started, but Cale Makar might have already scored the goal of the year.

You won’t score a much stranger first NHL goal that Oskar Steen did on Tuesday:

From a first to a regular occurrence, as Marc-Andre Fleury celebrated his return to the Blackhawks lineup with this great save.

Not sure if Wes McCauley’s five for fighting call was that good, but it was fun, and the fight between Givani Smith and Jacob Middleton was rugged:

Johnny Gaudreau could line himself for a big payday with goals like these.

Splendid goal out of the penalty box by Devils defenseman Damon Severson.

NHL takeaways from Tuesday

NHL COVID news from Tuesday

Auston Matthews‘ second COVID test came back negative, giving him at least a chance to suit up for the Maple Leafs vs. the Oilers on Wednesday. It’s not yet clear if Connor McDavid can play in that game, either, after he tested positive for COVID on Tuesday. (The Oilers are hoping a second test comes back negative.)

Catch up on that item and other COVID-related NHL news here.

Panthers impress as they foil the Flames

If you want to envision a faster, more thrilling future for the NHL, you could do worse than to bask in some of the most frenetic moments of Flames – Panthers from Tuesday. (Generally speaking, the Panthers tend to force opponents out of their comfort zone.)

By beating the Flames, the Panthers extended their winning streak to four games. They’ve impressed beyond sheer wins, too. They’ve outscored 24-10 during that four-game winning streak, including dropping nine goals on the Lightning. While the Habs were vulnerable in one of those losses, the Panthers’ other wins during the streak came against the Flames, Lightning, and Rangers.

Over and over, the Panthers confirm their status as a team to reckon with.

That said, the Flames may have at least deserved a more flattering score than that 6-2 loss to the Panthers. In a wide open game (high-danger chances at even-strength: 19 for the Flames, 16 for Panthers), Sergei Bobrovsky made 47 saves to exaggerate the difference between the two teams.

Yes, a Flames – Panthers series for the 2022 Stanley Cup Final would be wholly unexpected. But if their Tuesday game is any indication, it would be one of the best championship battles the NHL could muster.

Wednesday’s big story

An Oilers – Maple Leafs showdown that may or may not include Matthews and McDavid

As mentioned in that takeaways section, it’s not yet clear if one or both of Auston Matthews and Connor McDavid might enter NHL COVID protocol before Wednesday’s Maple Leafs – Oilers game.

Of course, it would always be more fun to see that game if those two superstars are available.

Even if they’re not, it should rank as one of the night’s most interesting games. On one end, you have a Maple Leafs team that’s hot (three-game winning streak, 7-2-1 in their last 10 games) after a brief stumble early in the season. The Oilers, meanwhile, feel far removed from a hot start to their 2021-22 campaign. They’ve lost four in a row, are 2-6-2 in their last 10, and plenty of fans are calling for a coaching change.

Could the Maple Leafs push the Oilers further down that slippery slope? Either way, it should be entertaining.

Tuesday’s NHL scores

Bruins 5, Devils 3
Panthers 6, Flames 2
Lightning 7, Blue Jackets 2
Red Wings 6, Sharks 2
Avalanche 4, Blackhawks 3 (OT)
Jets 3, Coyotes 1
Predators 3, Golden Knights 2
Ducks 4, Flyers 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

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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.