NHL Rink Wrap: Eichel lifts Golden Knights; another Zegras highlight

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Top player in the NHL on Friday

Jack Eichel, Vegas Golden Knights

The Vegas Golden Knights are not going to go away without a fight and they got a huge win on Friday night by beating the Seattle Kraken, 5-2. Eichel led the way with a pair of goals in the win. The one big advantage the Golden Knights have the rest of the way is a softer schedule than some of their competition. They need to take advantage of that.

Highlights from around the NHL on Friday

Buffalo Sabres fans turned out on Friday night to honor long-time announcer Rick Jeanneret.

The passing here by the Tampa Bay Lightning to set up Steven Stamkos is incredible. Not a power play, but it certainly looked like a power play.

Trevor Zegras is a human highlight reel.

Three takeaways from the NHL on Friday

Tage Thompson has 30 goals

Probably the best development for the Buffalo Sabres this season is the fact that Tage Thompson has had a breakout season. He was the centerpiece to the Ryan O'Reilly trade to the St. Louis Blues a few years ago and had mostly been a disappointment through the first part of his career, scoring just 15 goals with 26 total points in his first 104 games with the team. This season he has more than 30 goals and 53 points in 65 games. With Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart traded over the past year, Thompson has taken on a more significant role in the lineup and has more than taken advantage of those minutes. The question for the Sabres now is if this is just a late breakout season (he turns 25 at the start of the 2022-23 season) or just an outlier season. Either way, it has been a positive development for the Sabres this season.

Jon Cooper coaches in 700th game

The Tampa Bay Lightning we’re 5-2 winners over the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday thanks to some highlight reel goals and a three point night for Ross Colton. The win also gave coach Jon Cooper the 426th win of his NHL career in his 700th career regular season game. No coach has more wins through their 700th game.

Oilers lose big lead but still win

This game is a perfect illustration of what the Edmonton Oilers are. A great offensive team with major problems on defense and in goal. They jumped out to a big lead against the St. Louis Blues, lost it, then somehow still won. The offense is amazing thanks to their two superstars, Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, but they need to do a much better job preventing goals.

Saturday’s big story

There are a lot of really intriguing matchups in the NHL on Saturday, including some with potential playoff implications (Dallas Stars fighting for a Wild Card) but the story to watch here might be with the Philadelphia Flyers where Keith Yandle‘s ironman streak could be coming to an end. The Flyers and Yandle have reportedly had discussions on how to handle his streak given where the team is in the standings and the fact they have some other young defenders they want to get a look at the rest of the season. Yandle has played in an NHL record 989 consecutive regular season games. If he does sit against the Toronto Maple Leafs then Phil Kessel would have the NHL’s longest active streak and could pass Yandle early next season.

Friday’s NHL Scores

New York Islanders 3, New York Rangers 0

Buffalo Sabres 4, Nashville Predators 3

Tampa Bay Lightning 5, Chicago Blackhawks 2

Ottawa Senators 5, Detroit Red Wings 2

Edmonton Oilers 6, St. Louis Blues 5 (OT)

Vegas Golden Knights 5, Seattle Kraken 2

Anaheim Ducks 5, Arizona Coyotes 0

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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

    Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
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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.