Marner gets 500th point, Maple Leafs beat Red Wings 4-1

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TORONTO — Mitch Marner had a goal and an assist to reach 500 career points as the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Detroit Red Wings 4-1 on Saturday night.

John Tavares had two goals and Pontus Holmberg also scored for Toronto, which snapped a two-game skid with its first win of the month.

Marner hit the 500-point mark in his 467th career game, just four days after Auston Matthews accomplished the feat. Matthews is the fastest player in franchise history to do it, accomplishing it in 445 games.

“It’s just a cool moment, for sure,” Marner said. “You definitely don’t try and really think about setting milestones or doing milestones and trying not (to) be selfish about yourself.”

Earlier in the season, Marner set the franchise record with a 23-game point streak.

“Growing up here in the city and dreaming to play for this team and doing it all with this team, it’s been special, it’s been a lot of fun but there’s bigger goals ahead,” Marner said. “It’s cool, enjoying the moment, but time to refresh and think about (next opponent) Philly now.”

Ilya Samsonov made 22 saves in a bounce-back effort after surrendering five goals in a 6-5 shootout loss to St. Louis on Tuesday.

“I think it’s noteworthy just the job Sammy did tonight,” Toronto coach Sheldon Keefe said. “We’ve been needing our whole team to play better. … But Sammy, the last three games in particular, he and (goaltending coach) Curtis Sanford have put in some real work.”

Jake Walman scored for Detroit in its third straight loss. Magnus Hellberg finished with 25 saves.

“Unfortunately, a fairly similar theme. Five-on-five play, good,” Detroit coach Derek Lalonde said. “Unfortunately, we lost the special teams battle tonight.”

Tavares capped a run of four consecutive goals for Toronto with an empty-netter with 1:39 remaining. It was his 18th of the season.

Olli Maata sent a laser of a pass from the end boards to spring Walman on a breakaway midway through the first period. Walman beat Samsonov top corner to open the scoring with 8:03 left in the opening period.

Marner tied it 24 seconds into the second with a sharp-angled goal on a rebound from Matthews’ point shot that went wide and off the boards behind the net. It gave Marner his milestone and Matthews was credited with an assist, allowing both players to extend their point streaks to four games.

Tavares scored the go-ahead goal 6:37 into the second when Calle Jarnkrok found him streaking down the middle of Detroit’s zone between two defenders.

“We just talked about upping our pace, really and just some of the execution coming out of our own end,” Tavares said of the team’s turnaround after a slow start. “I think we were just much quicker coming out of our own end, moving the puck a little faster and that allowed our feet to get moving, get on the forecheck and tilt the ice a little bit.”

Holmberg gave the Leafs a two-goal advantage when he tipped in Morgan Rielly‘s point shot 6:19 into the third for his fourth.

“Pretty good first period, we didn’t give up much,” Lalonde said. “Didn’t really hate our second, looks like we lost a little bit of gas. . Come out of that period down 2-1, and then we didn’t have enough for a push in the third.”

GOLDEN CANADIANS

Five members of Canada’s gold-medal winning world junior team were honored just past the midway mark of the first period. Brennan Othmann, Ethan del Mastro, Owen Beck, Shane Wright and Zack Ostapchuk were given a standing ovation from the Scotiabank Arena crowd when shown on the video board.

INDIGENOUS CELEBRATION

Saturday’s contest was Toronto’s first Indigenous Celebration game. Players wore warm-up jerseys designed by Indigenous artist Tyler Rushnell. The jerseys will be up for auction on Real Sports Auction with all of the proceeds to be donated to the Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre. There were also performances from the Toronto Council Fire Native All Nations Juniors drum group as Leafs players were introduced and a hoop dance routine during the second intermission.

UP NEXT

Red Wings: Host Winnipeg on Tuesday night to open a three-game homestand.

Maple Leafs: At Philadelphia on Sunday night.

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    Golden Knights captain Mark Stone undergoes back surgery

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    Stephen R. Sylvanie/USA TODAY Sports
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    LAS VEGAS — Vegas Golden Knights captain Mark Stone is out indefinitely after undergoing back surgery in Denver, the club announced Wednesday.

    The Knights termed the procedure Tuesday 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.

    Devils associate coach Andrew Brunette charged with DUI

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    DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. — New Jersey Devils associate coach and former Florida Panthers head coach Andrew Brunette was arrested early Wednesday morning in South Florida while driving home from a bar in his golf cart, authorities said.

    Brunette, 49, was pulled over just blocks from the ocean in the Deerfield Beach area, north of Fort Lauderdale, according to a Broward Sheriff’s Office arrest report. He was charged with one count of driving under the influence and two counts of disobeying a stop or yield sign. Brunette was released later Wednesday on $500 bond.

    The Devils said in a statement that the team was aware of Brunette’s arrest and gathering additional information.

    According to the arrest report, a deputy was in the process of giving Brunette’s illegally parked golf cart a ticket around midnight when Brunette walked out of a nearby bar and told the deputy he was about to leave. The deputy said Brunette seemed unsteady on his feet and slurred his speech, and when he was joined by his wife, the deputy said he overheard the wife tell Brunette not to drive while the deputy was there.

    The deputy remained in the area and reported watching the couple drive away about 17 minutes later, according to the report. The deputy said he watched the golf cart run two stop signs before pulling Brunette over on a residential street about a mile away from his home. According to the report, Brunette had difficulty following instructions during a field sobriety test before eventually quitting and asking for an attorney. He also declined to take a breathe test to measure his blood-alcohol level, officials said.

    Online jail and court records didn’t list an attorney for Brunette.

    Brunette is in his first season as associate coach of the Devils. He was interim coach of the Florida Panthers last season after taking over when Joel Quenneville resigned for his connection to a 2010 Chicago Blackhawks sexual abuse scandal.

    The Panthers fired Brunette after they lost in the second round of the playoffs last spring despite him leading them to the Presidents’ Trophy as the league’s top team during the regular season.

    The Sudbury, Ontario, native played 1,159 NHL games for Washington, Nashville, Atlanta, Minnesota, Colorado and Chicago from 1995-2012. He was a Wild assistant in 2015-16 and worked on Florida’s staff from 2019-2022.

    Stars aligned with new coach DeBoer, Nill-constructed roster

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    DALLAS — General manager Jim Nill sensed things were coming together for the Dallas Stars even before the season started with new coach Pete DeBoer and a roster mixed with proven veterans, up-and-coming young players, and even a teenaged center.

    At the NHL’s All-Star break, after 51 games together, these Stars are leading the Western Conference.

    “Every year you start, you put a team together, and there’s always going to be question marks,” said Nill, in his 10th season as the Stars GM. “You have ideas how you think you’re going to come together, but there’s always the unknown. . This year has been one of those years where right from the start, you could just see everything was kind of jelling.”

    The Stars (28-13-10, 66 points) have their trio of 2017 draft picks that just keep getting better: All-Star winger Jason Robertson, goaltender Jake Oettinger and defenseman Miro Heiskanen. The seemingly ageless Joe Pavelski, at 38 and already re-signed for next season, is on the high-scoring top line with Robertson and point-a-game winger Roope Hintz. Wyatt Johnston, their first-round pick in 2021 and half Pavelski’s age, has 13 goals.

    There is also the resurgence of six-time All-Star forward Tyler Seguin two years after hip surgery and 33-year-old captain Jamie Benn, who already has more goals (19) than he did playing all 82 games last season.

    The Stars have a plus-40 goal differential, which is second-best in the NHL. They are averaging 3.37 goals per game, more than a half-goal better than last season when they were the only team to make the playoffs after being outscored in the regular season. They are also allowing fewer goals, and have improved on power plays and penalty kills.

    “Where we sit at this break, I think guys are happy with that,” Seguin said, before being asked the keys to the Stars leading the West and on pace for a 100-point season with their new coach.

    “Our style, our team speed, our puck speed, being predictable. All the clichés, knowing where the puck’s going. Really how we play the five-man unit,” he said. “Our pace this year, it’s been a lot quicker. There’s been some solid depth scoring this year while we’ve got one of the best lines in hockey.”

    The Stars went into the break on their only three-game losing streak of the season, all 3-2 overtime losses at home.

    “Those aren’t real losses,” said DeBoer, who twice has gone to the Stanley Cup Final in his first season with a new team. “I’m happy where we’re at. I like how we’re playing.”

    Plus, Dallas won’t have to worry in the playoffs about 3-on-3 hockey, which has been the only real stain on their season so far. Only one team has more than its 10 losses after regulation.

    “We’ve played a lot of good hockey. We’ve made a lot of good strides in our game,” DeBoer said. “We still have another level we have to get to when we get back, but there are a lot of good things that have happened. They’ve worked to have us where we are right now in the standings. Good spot to be in.”

    The Stars have 31 games left in the regular season. The first four after the break at home, like the last four before their week-long hiatus.

    Robertson’s 33 goals rank sixth in the NHL, and the 23-year-old has the same number of assists while averaging 1.29 points a game even after he missed most of training camp before signing a four-year, $31 million contract. Pavelski has 48 points (14 goals, 34 assists) while playing every game, and Hintz 46 points (20 goals, 26 assists) in only 43 games.

    Oettinger, who is 21-7 in regulation, has a .923 save percentage and 2.26 goals against average since signing his three-year, $12 million contract. That deal came after 223 saves in a seven-game playoff series against Calgary last May, capped by 64 in the series finale that went to overtime.

    Nill said Robertson’s production has improved even with the league adjusting to the high-scoring forward, and that Oettinger is proving to be one of the league’s best goalies. But they are just part of what has been a tremendous team effort.

    “They kind of had that mojo right from the start, and it was kind of this team’s got the right mix,” Nill said. “It’s come together well, and it’s shown in the standings. It’s been good to watch.”

    Canucks’ Ilya Mikheyev to have season-ending knee surgery

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    VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Vancouver Canucks right wing Ilya Mikheyev is set to have season-ending surgery on his left knee.

    Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin said Friday night the 28-year-old Russian forward tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in the team’s first preseason game Sept. 25. Mikheyev will undergo surgery next week and is expected to be ready for training camp in the fall.

    Mikheyev was originally listed as week-to-week with the injury and played 45 regular-season games, finishing with 13 goals and 15 assists. He scored in his final appearance Friday night, a 5-2 home victory over Columbus.

    Mikheyev signed a four-year, $19 million contract as a free agent last summer.