Penguins’ Hornqvist avoids suspension for hit on Bruins’ McAvoy


Last night’s Penguins – Bruins game was nasty at times, and not just considering Boston handing an 8-4 drubbing to Pittsburgh.

[Click here for more on the Bruins blowing out the Penguins.]

There were some violent moments, which can often happen when a game gets out of hand (especially for a testy team like the Penguins). The most memorable event happened when Zdeno Chara and Jamie Oleksiak had a King Kong vs. Godzilla-style rumble, as covered here.

Despite the hit not drawing a penalty in-game, some wondered if Patric Hornqvist‘s hard hit on Charlie McAvoy might draw a fine or suspension. That will not be the case, according to Joe Haggerty of NBC Sports Boston.

Here’s footage of the hit:

That check inspired another scrum or two, including this bit with McAvoy and Hornqvist, which also included Phil Kessel taking a shot from Chara:

(What’s next Z? Are you going to tell Kessel that a hot dog is a sandwich?)

Anyway, it sounds like Hornqvist will avoid supplemental discipline. While his Penguins are sputtering right now, this has been a heck of a week for the gritty scorer, as he signed a big extension with the team shortly after the trade deadline.

Now, because you’ve been such a good audience, here’s that Chara vs. Oleksiak fight:

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

The Buzzer: Bruins score eight while Hall makes it 23 straight

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Players of the Night:

David Krejci, Boston Bruins: In a game that featured 12 goals, it was Krejci who stood out, scoring his first hat-trick in four years as the Bruins doubled up the Pittsburgh Penguins 8-4.

Aleksander Barkov, Florida Panthers: Barkov scored his third game-winning goal of the season in a two-goal game as the Panthers knocked off the New Jersey Devils 3-2. The win put the Panthers to within three points of the Columbus Blue Jackets for the second wildcard spot in the Eastern Conference. Barkov also pushed his personal point streak to four games.

Viktor Arvidsson, Nashville Predators: There’s no quit in these cats. The Predators won their sixth straight game and Arvidsson played a big role, bringing the Preds level at 2-2 in the second period before scoring the game-winner at the 14:52 mark of the third period. Nashville now leads the Winnipeg Jets by six points for the Central Division lead.

Highlights of the Night:

The question is starting to become, will Taylor Hall ever not put up a point again?

Connor McDavid is a cheat code on an old NES Game Genie:

Factoids of the Night:


Panthers 3, Devils 2

Hurricanes 4, Flyers 1

Bruins 8, Penguins 4

Lightning 5, Stars 4 (OT)

Predators 4, Oilers 2

Coyotes 5, Wild 3

Sharks 7, Blackhawks 2

Kings 5, Blue Jackets 2

Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck

Krejci, Bruins maul Penguins in 8-4 win


Where do you begin in a game that featured 12 goals, a goalie pulled in the first six minutes of the game, a man scoring a hat trick and two behemoths fighting each other?

Pick your poison, I suppose.

An 8-4 win for the Boston Bruins against the Pittsburgh Penguins produced a number of notable moments in New England on Thursday.

Olli Maatta scored his first of two goals in the game 35 seconds into the first period. At that point, it looked like the Penguins were off to a good start sporting a 1-0 lead. But the nets behind each goaltender took a beating in the first period.

Both teams combined for eight goals, with the Bruins emerging with a 5-3 lead at the first intermission. Boston scored three straight to answer Maatta’s marker and then some, including Rick Nash‘s second goal in as many games wearing the spoked B.

David Krejci built upon his first-period goal to give the Bruins a 6-3 lead 2:16 in the second period. He would later complete his first hat trick in four years at the 14:33 mark.

It wasn’t a kind night for any of the three goalies that featured in the game.

Casey DeSmith didn’t last long in the Penguins crease, allowing three goals on five shots in the first 5:30 of the first period, a solid .400 save percentage. Tristan Jarry relieved DeSmith and got pelted all the same, allowing further five goals, albeit on 33 shots.

Rask started off a little shaky, but found his composure as the game wore on. It wasn’t pretty, allowing four on 26 shots, but the 30-year-old won’t be complaining about his 26th win.

It was the type of game where the video footage likely won’t look great on either side, but Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan will want to spend some time showing his club how poorly they played (other than blocking shots, which the Penguins did 25 times in the game).

Boston had 29 shots on goal through 40 minutes, and the score reflected it. Pittsburgh looked a mess, and they’ve now lost three straight. They sit in third place in the Metropolitan Division and need to stop the bleeding with the New Jersey Devils (who lost on Thursday) hot on their heels.

The Bruins, meanwhile, moved into second place in the Atlantic Division, leapfrogging the Toronto Maple Leafs to sit four points back of the division-leading Tampa Bay Lightning. The Bruins have two games in hand on the Lightning and four on the Maple Leafs.

Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck

WATCH LIVE: Pittsburgh Penguins at Boston Bruins

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Pittsburgh Penguins

Jake GuentzelSidney CrosbyBryan Rust

Carl HagelinEvgeni MalkinPatric Hornqvist

Conor ShearyDerick BrassardPhil Kessel

Carter RowneyRiley SheahanTom Kuhnhackl

Brian DumoulinKris Letang

Olli MaattaJustin Schultz

Matt HunwickJamie Oleksiak

Starting goalie: Casey DeSmith

[Penguins – Bruins]

Boston Bruins

Brad MarchandRiley NashDavid Pastrnak

Jake DeBruskDavid KrejciRick Nash

Tommy WingelsDavid Backes — Brian Gionta

Tim SchallerSean KuralyNoel Acciari

Zdeno CharaCharlie McAvoy

Torey KrugKevan Miller

Nick HoldenBrandon Carlo

Starting goalie. Tuukka Rask

NHL on NBCSN doubleheader: Penguins vs. Bruins; Blackhawks vs. Sharks


NBCSN’s coverage of the 2017-18 NHL season continues with a doubleheader on Thursday night. In the early game, the Boston Bruins will host the Pittsburgh Penguins at 7:00 p.m. ET. You can watch the game online by clicking here

Despite being one of the hottest teams in the NHL during the second half of the season, the Penguins are still under .500 away from home. On the bright side, they’ve managed to win three of their last four road games. Pittsburgh will play two games at home after tonight, but they’ll play five of their following six games on the road.

The Pens are heading into tonight’s game having dropped two games in a row. The first was a 6-5 loss to the Panthers on Saturday, while the second was a 3-2 loss to New Jersey on Tuesday.

“The results that we’ve gotten the last couple of games we’ve probably deserved,” head coach Mike Sullivan said, per the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “We’ve got to do a better job at playing a 200-foot game — making sure that we limit the chances that we give up off the rush, we take care of the puck in the critical areas of the rink, we stay on the right side of scrums, we change smart. All the details of the game that we talk about almost daily. I think it’s that attention to detail that helps us win.”

They currently sit in third place in the Metro Division. They’re two points behind the Flyers and three points behind the Capitals, who are in top spot.

This will be the second game of a six-game homestand. The Bruins won the first one in overtime against the Hurricanes and they’ll look to keep rolling against the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions tonight.

“I think the best thing for us about the game it to measure where we are at,” said head coach Bruce Cassidy, per the Boston Herald.

“This is a two-time Stanley Cup champion that is playing very well, and a lot of people think is trending toward a third. So it will be a good measuring stick for the hockey club to see where we are at.”

Rick Nash scored his first goal as a Bruin on Tuesday night, and it sounds like another newly acquired player will make his debut tonight, as Nick Holden should suit up.

The Bruins, who have five games in hand on Toronto, trail the Leafs by a single point in the standings. They’re also six points behind Tampa with three games in hand.

In the late game, the San Jose Sharks will host the Chicago Blackhawks at 10:00 p.m. ET. You can watch that game online by clicking here.

The ‘Hawks haven’t played since Saturday, so they should be well rested for the first tilt of their three-game road trip through California. It’s not like the trip really matters when it comes to the Blackhawks’ playoff chances though. They’re 12 points out of a playoff spot with less than 20 games to go.

“Where we are today is equally frustrating, but it’s sort of in a different way,” GM Stan Bowman said, per the Chicago Sun-Times. “We haven’t had the season that we wanted. [But] I think the one bright spot has been the progression and emergence of some of our younger players.”

The latest youngster that will get an opportunity to make an impact with the ‘Hawks is Matthew Highmore, who was recalled from the minors earlier this week. The 22-year-old forward has 21 goals and 35 points in 56 AHL games this season.

As for the Sharks, they won their first game with Evander Kane in the lineup. Kane picked up a pair of assists in Tuesday’s 5-2 victory over Edmonton on Tuesday night.

“I kind of come from not playing so much meaningful hockey to playing some meaningful hockey,” Kane said, per “Obviously you get a little ramped up, and I just tried to change the game in any way I can. It’s good to get on the board and contribute offensively and also with some other elements.”

San Jose will play each of their next five games at home, where they’re 18-9-3 this season. The Sharks are currently second in the Pacific Division. They’re just two points ahead of the Kings, who are in third.

Joey Alfieri is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @joeyalfieri.