NHL Rink Wrap: Flames push streak to 10; Muzzin injured in Leafs loss

NHL Rink Wrap: Flames push streak to 10; Muzzin injured in Leafs loss
Gerry Thomas/2022 NHLI

Monday’s top NHL players

Altered Bruins top line of Pastrnak, Bergeron, Hall

If you’re like me, you’ve observed a top-heavy Bruins over the years — especially this one, with David Krejci overseas — and wondered if they should experiment. What if they tried to spread the wealth by breaking up at least portions of the Brad MarchandPatrice BergeronDavid Pastrnak line?

Injuries and suspensions seem to be the main thing to force the Bruins out of that comfort zone.

In the latest case, Brad Marchand is serving time for his latest self-indulgent suspension. With that, the Bruins are rolling with Taylor Hall alongside Bergeron and Pastrnak, and that combo dominated against the dominant Avalanche.

David Pastrnak scored two goals and one assist, firing a domineering eight shots on goal. Taylor Hall also collected three points (all assists), with three SOG. Like his linemates, Patrice Bergeron registered a +3 rating, while he scored a goal and an assist with seven SOG. Yup, that trio sure fired a lot of pucks on net.

Ultimately, there’s the risk of messing with a good thing. But what if Hall – Bergeron – Pastrnak can dominate, and Marchand could carry his own line? Just throwing it out there.

Monday NHL highlights

Watch highlights from all five NHL games from Monday in the videos below.

The Bruins made no mistake about taking it to the powerhouse Avalanche on Monday afternoon.

The Hurricanes are starting to gain some breathing room in the Metro race. Beating the Flyers in OT represented one step in that direction.

The Flames pushed their winning streak to 10 games after beating the Jets. Read more about that in the takeaways section.

Hey, small victories. After losing their first three games with Martin St. Louis as interim head coach, the Canadiens beat the Maple Leafs for their third win in a row. Scroll for more on the bigger loss for the Maple Leafs: an injury to Jake Muzzin.

Josh Anderson probably deserves an honorable player of the night mention with his three points (2G, 1A) for the Habs.

The Canucks overwhelmed the Kraken to gain a win, and at least keep their slim playoff hopes vaguely alive.

Monday NHL Takeaways

Flames tie franchise record with 10-game winning streak

Are the Flames as hot as they’ve ever been? They’re at least as hot as they’ve been in a long, long time. Thanks to their late-developing win over the Jets, the Flames are now on a 10-game winning streak, tying a franchise record.

It’s not the only record (franchise or NHL) the Flames either tied or set after beating the Jets. Consider these Flames tidbits for perspective on just how hot they are.

Impressive stuff. No surprise, then, that the Flames were featured heavily in PHT’s latest Power Rankings.

Muzzin injured in Maple Leafs’ loss to Canadiens

In the grand scheme of things, the Maple Leafs would obviously prefer not to loss to the lowly Canadiens. But they can chalk it up to the dog days of the NHL season.

The bigger concern is the health of Jake Muzzin. Following a scary fall from a collision with Chris Wideman, Muzzin needed help off the ice. He’s remaining overnight at a hospital for observation and won’t travel with the Maple Leafs for their next game against the Blue Jackets.

Here’s the play where Muzzin suffered an injury:

Earlier this season, Muzzin time while dealing with a concussion.

Bruins beat Avalanche, no supplemental discipline for MacKinnon

Chalk it up to frustration or not, but Nathan MacKinnon once again flirted with supplemental discipline during the NHL action on Monday. Read more about that odd incident here.

Either way, the Bruins showed that they didn’t need Brad Marchand to beat a powerful Avs squad. Could be a confidence-booster for a Bruins team that’s been a bit up-and-down lately.

Tuesday’s big story

Ducks need to make the most of six-game homestand; Sharks already playing the role of the spoiler?

For quite some time, the Sharks were probably lying to themselves a bit about their playoff chances. Their current six-game losing streak should probably dilute most delusions.

Most likely, the Sharks will play two roles: possible spoiler, and team with serious trade deadline questions.

That first role could really come into play for their pals, the Anaheim Ducks. The Ducks’ playoff hopes are much brighter than that of the Sharks. That point may end up mainly being relevant, though, as they’ve cooled off quite a bit lately (5-6-2 in their last 13, recently ended a four-game losing streak).

If the Ducks want to really strengthen their playoff chances, they need to nail this six-game winning streak. That would mean sinking the Sharks, as San Jose faces the Ducks twice during that run of Anaheim home games. It’s not the sort of “battle of California” that Sharks and Ducks fans crave, but these clashes could have playoff implications.

Monday NHL scores

Bruins 5, Avalanche 1
Hurricanes 4, Flyers 3 (OT)
Flames 3, Jets 1
Canadiens 5, Maple Leafs 2
Canucks 5, Kraken 2

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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    Panthers offer Sarah Nurse deal to lead girls hockey program

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    FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — The Florida Panthers are trying to sign a high-scoring forward who has an Olympic gold medal and two world championships, with hopes of getting the deal done in the coming days.

    If it happens, she won’t be playing for the Panthers.

    Sarah Nurse, the Canadian forward who had a highlight-reel goal against the New York Rangers’ Igor Shesterkin during the NHL’s All-Star Skills Competition, has the chance to run the Panthers’ new program designed to get more girls playing hockey.

    Florida president Matthew Caldwell offered the job to Nurse publicly – very publicly, at a lectern, with a microphone, before a crowd of onlookers. And he was serious.

    “I’m going to embarrass you, but we’re going to offer you a job today,” Caldwell told Nurse, who was seated in the crowd. “We want you to be the face of our girls program at the War Memorial. So, are you in? On the spot? We don’t deal with agents, OK. I’m a tough negotiator.”

    The idea to hire Nurse was first floated to Caldwell by Melissa Fitzgerald. She’s the general manager for the War Memorial, which is the two-rink facility being refurbished by the team and will become its practice headquarters.

    “We’ve been talking about it for a few weeks,” Caldwell told The Associated Press. “Our youth hockey team kind of brought it up as a joke to me, but I said, `Let’s think big. We’re building this huge facility. Let’s put our money where our mouth is.”‘

    The only part Caldwell was less than serious about with Nurse was how the Panthers don’t deal with agents. He spoke with Nurse’s representative, Thomas Houlton, after the event.

    Houlton did not immediately respond to a request for comment. He and Caldwell spoke for about 15 minutes after the event, which was attended by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, Panthers stars Aleksander Barkov and Matthew Tkachuk, and dozens of kids who got to play ball hockey afterward.

    Nurse played for Canada’s world-champion teams in 2021 and 2022, along with Canada’s Olympic gold winners at the Beijing Games last year.

    She was one of five women’s players from USA Hockey and Team Canada – the two most dominant women’s national teams in the world – who were part of the skills events. She wore custom skates highlighting Black History month and the Black Girl Hockey Club, a nonprofit focused on getting more Black girls and women into the sport.

    She used a move made famous by Hall of Famer Peter Forsberg when he helped Sweden win gold at the 1994 Olympics against Shesterkin, a Vezina Trophy-winning goalie.

    U.S. star Hilary Knight didn’t think Nurse’s goal should have surprised anyone, saying, “she’s a top scorer.”

    Ovechkin, and Ovi Jr., take the ice at All-Star skills night

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    SUNRISE, Fla. — When you’ve got the second-most goals in NHL history, you’re evidently permitted to bring a guest onto the ice for the All-Star Skills competition.

    That’s why there were two No. 8 Washington jerseys out there.

    Capitals star Alex Ovechkin took the ice with his Metropolitan Division teammates – and his oldest child, 4-year-old Sergei.

    Sergei, named for Ovechkin’s late brother, was wearing an Ovi Jr. jersey. The kid has built a bit of a following in recent weeks, after scoring a goal at a Caps practice in December and playing a role in helping the Washington crowd celebrate his dad’s 800th goal.

    It was Ovi Jr.’s first chance at being part of an All-Star weekend. His father hasn’t participated at All-Star since 2018, either because of COVID-19 or injuries. The last time his dad played in an All-Star event, Sergei hadn’t been born.

    Alex Ovechkin has 812 goals. He only trails Wayne Gretzky’s 894 in NHL history.

    And later in the night, Ovi Jr. got to center a line alongside his dad and Pittsburgh great Sidney Crosby. They each got an assist on a goal that Sergei scored – beating Roberto Luongo, the Florida great who came out of retirement for All-Star weekend.

    Said Ovechkin after his son scored: “I think he’s really enjoying it.”


    Luongo got to be part of one more All-Star competition.

    In a building where a banner bearing his No. 1 jersey hangs – he’s the only former Panthers player to have that distinction – Luongo was a celebrity goaltender during the Breakaway Challenge during the Skills Competition on Friday night.

    He stopped his lone shot in the breakaway, off the stick of Toronto’s Mitch Marner. On one hand, Marner is the Maple Leafs’ leading scorer this season. On the other hand, he was also wearing a white suit, sunglasses and a light blue T-shirt to keep with a “Miami Vice” theme.

    Luongo, who was regaled by “Luuuuu” chants from the Florida fans all night, was up to the challenge. Marner tried to beat him to the glove side, but Luongo got enough of it to make the save – then flopped forward to cover up the rebound, the smile clearly seen through his mask.

    “You got too close,” Luongo told Marner.

    Later, Luongo told ESPN during the telecast of the event that “this is my house. This is my home right here. The crease is my home.”

    Luongo’s pads paid tribute to his career – the design depicted his time both as a member of the Panthers and the Vancouver Canucks. They were a gift from CCM for his making the Hockey Hall of Fame.

    “I’d never put the pads on since I retired,” Luongo said. “First time I put them on was this week. Felt pretty good.”

    He also took part, and scored a goal, in a Florida alumni game on Wednesday night. But if there’s more alumni games, Luongo suggested he might jump back into the net.

    “It back some good memories tonight to be in the blue paint, hearing the chants,” Luongo said. “Maybe one day we’ll hear them again.”


    Sergei Ovechkin – who knocked a shot into an open net during a stoppage of the skills events – wasn’t the only child who got a great view of the night.

    Philadelphia forward Kevin Hayes has his 3-year-old nephew Beau with him for All-Star weekend. Beau’s father was Jimmy Hayes, Kevin Hayes’ brother.

    Jimmy Hayes was 31 when he died in 2021 with fentanyl and cocaine in his system. He played for four NHL teams, including Florida.

    Kevin Hayes is part of an All-Star weekend for the first time.


    “The Star-Spangled Banner” was performed by the South Florida Gay Men’s Chorus, and group crushed it – never minding that the crowd, representing several different fan bases, was going to shout some term specific to their team at various points in the lyrics.

    Florida fans shout along with “red” and “Knight,” one a nod to one of the team’s primary colors, the other for goaltender Spencer Knight. There also were some shouts from other fan bases; some St. Louis fans, for example, could be heard singing “home of the Blues” instead of “home of the brave” to close the song.

    And “O Canada” performer Hannah Walpole had some shouting as she sang as well, particularly when she reached the “true North” portion of those lyrics – something typically heard at Winnipeg games.


    Cale Makar, the reigning Conn Smythe Trophy winner from the Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche, was the first participant in the Fastest Skater event – the opening competition of the night. He fell coming around the second turn. … Tampa Bay’s Pat Maroon, one of the broadcasters on the event, reported that he was “freezing” by working at ice level. “I’m used to the gear,” said Maroon, who was in a blazer and open shirt Friday night. … A big hit for those used to the regular colors of FLA Live Arena – and basically all other hockey arenas – was the ocean-water-shade of blue used for the blue lines and the creases. The faceoff dots at the circles on either end of the ice aren’t the standard solid red this weekend, but depict an image of the sun instead.

    Capitals sign Dylan Strome to five-year, $25 million extension

    Chase Agnello-Dean/Getty Images

    FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. – The Washington Capitals signed forward Dylan Strome to a five-year extension worth $25 million.

    The team announced the contract during NHL All-Star Weekend, which is taking place in South Florida – the place Strome was drafted third in 2015.

    Strome will count $5 million against the salary cap through the 2027-28 season. He was set to be a restricted free agent this summer.

    “Dylan is an intelligent and skilled center and has been a great addition to our organization,” general manager Brian MacLellan said. “We are pleased to sign him to a long-term contract. We feel his skill set is a great fit for our team as he enters the prime years of his career at an important position.”

    Strome is getting a raise from the $3.5 million deal he signed with the Capitals after the Chicago Blackhawks opted not to tender him a qualifying offer and made him a free agent. Strome has 11 goals and 25 assists in 36 games this season and ranks third on Washington’s roster with 14 power-play points.

    The Mississauga, Ontario, native who played his junior hockey alongside Connor McDavid with the Erie Otters has 206 points in 325 regular-season NHL games with the Arizona Coyotes, Blackhawks and Capitals.

    Golden Knights captain Mark Stone undergoes back surgery

    mark stone surgery
    Stephen R. Sylvanie/USA TODAY Sports

    LAS VEGAS — Vegas Golden Knights captain Mark Stone is out indefinitely after undergoing back surgery in Denver, the club announced.

    The Knights termed the procedure as successful and that Stone “is expected to make a full recovery.”

    This is the second time in less than a year that Stone has had back surgery. He also had a procedure May 19, 2022, and Stone said in December this was the best he had felt in some time.

    But he was injured Jan. 12 against the Florida Panthers, and his absence has had a noticeable effect on the Knights. They have gone 1-5-2 without Stone, dropping out of first place in the Pacific Division into third.

    Stone is second on the team in goals with 17 and in points with 38.