Jake Virtanen

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The Buzzer: Seven overtimes, four shootouts and a shutout

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Players of the Night:

Ben Bishop, Dallas Stars: Bishop made 24 saves en route to his second shutout of the season. Bishop had lost his previous four starts, so it was a nice bounce-back from the veteran netminder. He can also say he backstopped Ken Hitchcock’s 800th win as a head coach now.

Joe Thornton, San Jose Sharks: Thornton scored twice in Thursday’s 5-4 overtime win against the Vancouver Canucks. His second goal was his 1,415th point of his NHL career, moving him into sole possession of 18th spot all-time, one point ahead of Doug Gilmour.

Dustin Brown, Los Angeles Kings: Talk about embracing the moment. Brown, playing in his 1,000th NHL game, scored the overtime winner for the Kings as they squeaked out a 2-1 win against the Colorado Avalanche.

Charlie McAvoy, Boston Bruins: It was the dude’s birthday, and much like Brown did, he took hold of the moment, scoring the shootout winner in a 2-1 win against the Winnipeg Jets.

Coach of the Night: 

Ken Hitchcock, Dallas Stars: These don’t make regular appearances in The Buzzer, but then again, coaches don’t often record their 800th career NHL win. In fact, only three have even done it and Hitchcock is now one of them. Can you guess the other two? The answer is below.

Highlights of the Night:

Thornton’s second of the night was a pretty nice clap bomb:

Jake Virtanen went coast-to-coast on this fine effort:

Cam Talbot nearly gave up a goal and then he gave us this save:

This dog dropped a puck. It was cute because dog:

Factoid of the Night:

Ken Hitchcock joined some pretty elite company on Thursday:

MISC:

Scores:

Bruins 2, Jets 1 (SO)

Devils 4, Rangers 3 (SO)

Ducks 5, Islanders 4 (OT)

Penguins 3, Blue Jackets 2 (SO)

Lightning 4, Senators 3 (SO)

Hurricanes 4, Predators 1

Stars 4, Blackhawks 0

Oilers 3, Blues 2

Sharks 5, Canucks 4 (

Kings 2, Avalanche 1 (OT)


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

Virtanen eyeing roster spot with Canucks

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Jake Virtanen is hoping his hard work over the summer translates into a roster spot with the Vancouver Canucks this season.

The 6-foot-1, 212-pound winger spent the offseason focused on getting his body right to make the jump to the NHL this season.

“For me, just obviously getting stronger and losing a lot of body fat was important,” Virtanen told The Vancouver Sun. “I’ve put in a lot of hard work this summer and I think so far it has paid off.

“It’s obviously in the back of my mind that I could be on the Canucks this year as a rookie. It’s pretty cool. But you just have to take things day by day and not look ahead too far.”

Shoulder surgery limited the Canucks’ 2014 first-round pick (6th overall) to 50 games with the WHL’s Calgary Hitmen last season. Virtanen registered 21 goals and 31 assists during the regular season and added 13 points in 14 playoff games. He also helped Team Canada win a gold medal at the 2015 world juniors.

Following the WHL playoffs, Virtanen joined the AHL’s Utica Comets for the Calder Cup playoffs where he registered one assist in 10 games.

With the likes of Sven Baertschi, Ronalds Kenins, Nicklas Jensen and Hunter Shinkaruk all battling for roster spots, Virtanen could be in tough to make the Canucks out of camp.

However, GM Jim Benning likes what he sees from the 19-year-old.

“We’ve talked to Jake,” Benning said. “There’s no pressure on him to do something he’s not capable of doing. He has the physical skills — we all know that. And he’s worked hard to get himself into the physical shape to play against men. If he’s ready and he can help our team win, then we’ll figure out a way for him to get into the lineup.”

Related: Linden: Canucks summer moves about ‘long-term vision’

PHT Morning Skate: Paul Pierce chirps the Islanders

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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

After trolling the Toronto Raptors on social media following the Wizards’ first round playoff win, Paul Pierce tried his hand at getting under the New York Islanders skin during Game 7 on Monday night.

Vancouver Canucks prospect Jake Virtanen has been suspended for a head shot in the WHL playoffs. (Yahoo)

Milke Milbury and Jeremy Roenick look ahead to Game 7 between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Detroit Red Wings, which goes Wednesday night at Amalie Arena.

Top prospect Connor McDavid threw out the first pitch at a minor league baseball game in Erie. (Bar Down)

For those who haven’t seen it, here’s another look at the ridiculous paddle save by Petr Mrazek on Brian Boyle during the second period on Monday night.

Markstrom clears waivers, Canucks cut 11

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Goaltender Jacob Markstrom, who was a part of the Roberto Luongo trade, cleared waivers Saturday.

Markstrom, 24, who appeared in four games for the Canucks last season following the trade, will now likely report to the Utica Comets of the American Hockey League.

Four teams were reportedly interested in the Swede’s services, but he was not claimed prior to the noon eastern time deadline.

Following the Canucks 3-0 victory over the Calgary Flames Friday night, general manager Jim Benning announced the team had reduced its’ roster by 11.

First rounders Brendan Gaunce (2012) has been assigned to the American Hockey League’s Utica Comets while Jake Virtanen (2014) was returned to the Calgary Hitmen of the Western Hockey League.

Vancouver also sent defenesmen Henrik Tommernes, Kent Huskins, John Negrin and Kane Lafranchise to Utica. Additionally, forwards Ronalds Kenins, Alex Friesen and goaltender Joe Cannata are headed to the Comets.

Forwards JT Wyman and Carter Bancks were released from their camp tryouts with the Canucks and will attend Utica Comets camp.

Update: According to Renaud Lavoie, the Canucks placed six players on waivers Saturday.