Marner’s shorthanded penalty shot goal puts Leafs ahead vs. Bruins in Game 1

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Boston got out to a 1-0 lead over Toronto when Brad Marchand found Patrice Bergeron on a power-play goal midway through the first period, so when the Maple Leafs took another penalty in the second, you could just feel the dread emanating from Toronto fans. Things would turn out very differently this time though.

Mitchell Marner, who already evened the score at 1-1 late in the first period, got on a shorthanded breakaway that drew a penalty shot. With the rest of the Bruins now forced to watch, Marner outmaneuvered Tuukka Rask to score the shorthanded goal and give the Maple Leafs a 2-1 edge.

Toronto succeeded in killing the rest of the penalty after that. Toronto went on to earn a 4-1 victory in Game 1, with Marner’s goal going down as the turning point.

This also pads out Marner’s already impressive resume. He had two goals and nine points in seven games in last year’s series with Boston and was the Maple Leafs’ leading scorer in the regular season with 94 points.

Re-signing him off his entry-level contract will be the Maple Leafs’ biggest task this summer. First though, they have more immediate concerns.

Maple Leafs-Bruins Game 2 from TD Garden will be Saturday night at 8:00 p.m. ET on NBC

Ryan Dadoun is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @RyanDadoun.

Rask gets into Notre Dame spirit with Winter Classic mask

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NBC’s coverage of the 2018-19 NHL season continues with the 2019 Winter Classic between the Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks. Coverage begins at 1 p.m. ET from Notre Dame Stadium on Tuesday. You can watch the game online and on the NBC Sports app by clicking here.

It’s the special events that Tuukka Rask will accept change when it comes to the design of his goalie mask. So when the Boston Bruins netminder starts Tuesday’s Winter Classic at Notre Dame Stadium against the Chicago Blackhawks, he’ll do so honoring the Fighting Irish.

Thanks to the work of Bruins assistant equipment manager Matt Falconer (designer) and Jesse Acciacca (painter) of Jesse’s Custom Design in Wilmington, Mass., Rask’s mask will include many of features associated with Notre Dame and its football program. There’s the Fighting Irish mascot, who is wearing a Bruins Winter Classic jersey and hat; the “Golden Dome” administration building; and, of course, the PLAY LIKE A CHAMPION TODAY sign on the back plate.

Jesse’s Custom Design
Jesse’s Custom Design
Jesse’s Custom Design

While Rask and Blackhawks starter Cam Ward will have special masks for the Winter Classic, David Pastrnak and Patrick Kane will be using special Bauer sticks. Among the highlights on each stick are the skylines of both Boston, Prague and Chicago, personal logos using their initials, and quotes. Kane’s features “A lion doesn’t concern himself with the opinion of sheep,” while Pastrnak’s simply says “YOLO.”

[WATCH LIVE – COVERAGE BEGINS AT 1 P.M. ET ON NEW YEAR’S DAY – NBC]

And because his nickname is “Pasta,” the Bruins forward had to incorporate a pasta emoji for the special occasion:

Bauer Hockey

Mike Tirico will host the network’s Winter Classic pre-game coverage alongside the NHL Live studio team of host Kathryn Tappen, and analysts Mike Milbury, Keith Jones and Jeremy Roenick. Six-time Emmy Award-winner and La Fontaine, Ind., native Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick, U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame member Eddie Olczyk, and ‘Inside-the-Glass’ analyst Pierre McGuire will have the call from Notre Dame Stadium.

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

The Buzzer: Two NHL debuts in the same net in the same game

Associated Press

Players of the Night:

Scott Foster, Chicago Blackhawks: You will likely never see this name in this spot again, so you’re reading history. Foster stopped all seven shots he faced in an emergency relief appearance against the Winnipeg Jets. The 36-year-old accountant was summoned after Collin Delia was injured with 14:01 remaining in the third period. Anton Forsberg, who was supposed to get the nod, was injured in warmup. Enter the accountant by day, who stopped shots off the sticks of Dustin Byfuglien and Patrik Laine and was named the games first star.

Pierre-Luc Dubois, Columbus Blue Jackets: Dubois registered his first NHL hat trick and made some Blue Jackets history along the way. Dubois set a new Columbus rookie record for goals with 18, surpassing the previous mark of 17 set by Rick Nash during the 2002-03 season. If Dubois can finish out the season strong, he can pass the points mark of 47 set by Zach Werenski last season. Dubois has 44 points now.

Jeff Carter, Los Angeles Kings: Joining Dubois in the hat trick department was Carter, who potted three goals, one in each period, to help see of the Arizona Coyotes in a 4-2 win. The victory helped move the Kings two points head of the Anaheim Ducks for third place in the Pacific Division. On Friday, both teams will meet in what Carter called the “game of the year” following Thursday’s win.

Matt Dumba, Minnesota Wild: Dumba scored and added three assists in the first four-point night by the Wild defenseman in franchise history. His production also propelling the Wild to a vital win as they try to lock down the third spot in the Central Division.

Highlight of the Night:

This, by far:

Other Highlights of the Night:

Poke check:

Rask throwing bombs:

Aw, man. This would have been incredible. It was already incredible.

Solid effort and feed from Granlund:

This is just getting silly now:

Factoids of the Night:

Scores:

Blue Jackets 5, Flames 1

Blackhawks 6, Jets 2

Wild 5, Stars 2

Predators 5, Sharks 3

Senators 3, Panthers 2 (OT)

Penguins 4, Devils 3 (OT)

Red Wings 6, Sabres 3

Bruins 4, Lightning 2

Canucks 2, Oilers 1

Kings 4, Coyotes 2


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

Rask, Conacher come to blows; Vasilevskiy feels left out (video)

NESN
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It was Tuukka Time in Boston on Thursday, but Tuukka Rask wasn’t making a save on this particular play.

Instead, the Boston Bruins goalie was using his glove and blocker for far more sinister purposes than merely robbing opposing players of goals.

After Cory Conacher got too close to his personal space, Rask decided to throw a couple hands at Conacher in the second period. Rask’s engagement was over at that point, as Bruins players jumped into and all hell broke loose.

Let’s roll the tape.

At the end of the video, you can see Andrei Vasilevskiy being held back by a referee. He wanted a piece but was left wanting. Oh, how we miss the days of a good, ol’ fashioned goalie scrap. Credit to Vasilevskiy, though. He didn’t hesitate to make a B-line for the Bruins netminder.

[The 2018 NHL Stanley Cup playoffs begin April 11 on the networks of NBC]

Vasilevskiy was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct after crossing the center line.

Conacher was handed a two-minute minor for goaltender interference and another two-minute minor for roughing on the play. Rask, who started the whole thing, was assessed a two-minute minor for roughing.

Rask was not assessed a match penalty for throw a punch with his blocker.

Tensions are high in this one, with first place in the Atlantic Division on the line.


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

The Buzzer: Shutouts for three, Dubnyk gets win No. 200

Getty Images
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Players of the Night:

Tuukka Rask, Boston Bruins, Keith Kinkaid, New Jersey Devils and Curtis McElhinney, Toronto Maple Leafs: Where do we begin on the night of the shutout? Rask didn’t have a particularly busy night making 23 saves, but when you’re facing names like Kucherov and Stamkos, it’s always dangerous. Still, Rask kept rolling along. He is 27-3-2 in his past 32 starts. That’s just silly. … Kinkaid, meanwhile stopped 38 — including 19 in the first period — in a 3-0 win against the Kings for his fourth career shutout. … No Frederik Andersen for Toronto? No problem. McElhinney stepped in and pitched a 33-save performance as the Leafs down the Montreal Canadiens 4-0.

Alex Pietrangelo, St. Louis Blues: The Blues defenseman scored twice in regulation and then assisted on Brayden Schenn‘s overtime winner to cap off a three-point night.

Devan Dubnyk, Minnesota Wild: While he didn’t get a shutout, Dubnyk did stop 30 of 31 en route to his 200th career NHL win. The win was also important for the Wild, who moved to within five points of the Winnipeg Jets for second place in the Central Division, and moved five points ahead of the Dallas Stars and Colorado Avalanche for third place.

Highlights of the Night:

Filthy pass:

First-goal celebrations are always the best:

Voracek with a slick move in front:

Save of the year candidate:

Factoids of the Night:

Home is where the wins are:

A legend passes a legend:

Believe in McJesus:

Scary Scenes of the Night:

Scores:

Sabres 5, Blackhawks 3

Oilers 4, Panthers 2

Devils 3, Kings 0

Maple Leafs 4, Canadiens 0

Bruins 3, Lightning 0

Flyers 4, Hurricanes 2

Blue Jackets 2, Senators 1

Blue 4, Rangers 3 (OT)

Wild 3, Coyotes 1

Sharks 5, Canucks 3


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