Recent AP Articles

Hertl's hat trick leads Sharks past Flames 5-3

9.9h ago 12/8/2021 1:16 AM ET By JOSH DUBOW, AP Sports Writer SAN JOSE, Calif.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Tomas Hertl scored his fourth career hat trick and the San Jose Sharks used a three-goal barrage in the second period to beat the Calgary Flames 5-3 on Tuesday night.

The Pacific Division-leading Flames went up 3-1 early in the second before the Sharks responded with goals from Erik Karlsson, Logan Couture and Hertl to take the lead in the opener of a seven-game homestand, San Jose's longest of the season.

“It was huge because when you come back from long trips the first game is the hardest,” Hertl said. "This homestand is really important and I think a really great effort from tonight.”

Hertl sealed it with an empty-netter for his first hat trick since Jan. 22, 2019, against Washington. Hertl, who snapped a five-game point drought with a goal Sunday, also scored on the power play in the first.

“Every player in this league goes through ups and downs, and when he gets hot he is so good,” Couture said. “It’s so important to our team.”

Adin Hill made 40 saves for the Sharks.

Dillon Dube, Johnny Gaudreau and Adam Ruzicka scored for the Flames, who dropped the final two games of a four-game trip that started with two wins. Dan Vladar made 22 saves.

“I think probably our defense had a really rough night,” coach Darryl Sutter said. “The goaltender had trouble in traffic and with rebounds. ... I’d say the six defensemen played like it was an exhibition game. Disappointing.”

Ruzicka scored his first career goal early in the second when he knocked in his own rebound before the Sharks got going in the second half of the period.

Karlsson started it shortly after returning to the ice following his delay of game penalty, scoring his seventh of the season on a breakaway off a pass from Couture.

The two then flipped roles on the power play when Couture redirected Karlsson's point shot for the equalizer.

Hertl scored on a rebound from the side of the net on a power play with 1:50 left in the second to put San Jose ahead for the first time.

The Flames came up empty on three power plays.

“We had a ton of opportunities to make it a 4-1 game there at one point,” Gaudreau said. “We didn’t and we let them hang around. I thought we were playing well, 5 on 5, but our power play, we have to find a way to put the puck in the net.”


The Flames entered as the NHL's best team in the first period with a plus-16 goal differential and added to it against the Sharks.

After a turnover by Brent Burns in the neutral zone, Dube redirected a centering pass from Milan Lucic to open the scoring 1:37 into the game.

After Hertl tied it on the power play, Matthew Tkachuk won a puck battle behind the net and found Gaudreau with a no-look pass alone in front to make it 2-1.

The assist gave Tkachuk his 300th career point in his 375th game. He joins Auston Matthews as the only players from the 2016 draft class to record 300 points so far in the NHL.


The Sharks benched forward Kevin Labanc, who has no points in the last six games and just two even-strength points in 19 games this season. San Jose also placed forward Rudolfs Balcers on injured reserve with a lower-body injury and said he is week-to-week.

The Sharks recalled goalie Alexei Melnichuk from the AHL to back up Hill. James Reimer missed his fourth straight game with a non-COVID-19 illness.


Flames: Host the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday.

Sharks: Host the streaking Minnesota Wild on Thursday.


More AP NHL: and

Talbot denies old team, Wild top Oilers 4-1 for 7th straight

10.5h ago 12/8/2021 12:36 AM ET EDMONTON, Alberta

EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — Cam Talbot made 38 saves against his former team and the Minnesota Wild shut down the Edmonton Oilers 4-1 on Tuesday night for their seventh straight victory.

Joel Eriksson Ek had a goal and an assist. Marcus Foligno, Victor Rask and Dmitry Kulikov also scored for the Wild (18-6-1), off to the best start in franchise history with 37 points through 25 games.

Minnesota has scored at least four goals in six consecutive games, and its seven-game run is tied with Dallas for the longest active winning streak in the NHL.

“They played real well in the second period, but we really liked our regroup and how we played in the third period,” Wild coach Dean Evason said. “We did a lot of real, real good things.”

Among them was keeping the potent Oilers power play off the scoreboard at 0 for 5 on the night.

“Our penalty kill was outstanding tonight. I can’t say enough about them,” Talbot said. “We weren’t giving them those Grade-A chances that they’re accustomed to, and with the statistics coming in you wouldn’t think the power-play matchup would favor us. But we got a big one early and our penalty kill did a great job, so give our special teams a ton of credit tonight."

Jesse Puljujarvi scored for the Oilers (16-8-0), who have lost three in a row.

“Obviously we’re going through a little bit of a lull and we need to figure it out,” captain Connor McDavid said. “I remember maybe my second year, we kind of did the same thing where we got off to a great start and played .500 for probably a month or two and then got back on a roll. Obviously, the good start has bought us a little time here, but we can’t rely on that. We’ve got to get back in the win column on Thursday.”

The Oilers once again found themselves down early as Minnesota opened the scoring just 1:11 in on the power play. Eriksson Ek poked in a puck that Edmonton goalie Mikko Koskinen had jammed against the post with his skate for his 10th goal of the season.

The Wild made it 2-0 seven minutes into the first period as Matt Dumba made a nice feed to a hard-charging Foligno, who redirected the puck into the net for his 11th.

Edmonton got a goal back 6 1/2 minutes into the second as McDavid fed Puljujarvi during a battle in front, and he sent the puck past Talbot.

The Oilers outshot Minnesota 20-6 in the period.

Minnesota restored its two-goal lead 5 1/2 minutes into the third as Jonas Brodin sent the puck through to Rask, who had a wide-open net to shoot at before Koskinen could get across.

The Wild put the game away with five minutes remaining as Kirill Kaprizov sprung Kulikov for a rare defenseman breakaway and he made the most of it, undressing Koskinen for his third goal of the season.

NOTES: Wild captain Jared Spurgeon (lower body) missed his eighth game, while teammate Frederick Gaudreau was out due to COVID-19 protocol. Missing from the Oilers' lineup were G Mike Smith (lower body), Slater Koekkoek (lower body), Duncan Keith (upper body) and Cody Ceci (COVID-19 protocol). ... Oilers forward Devin Shore returned after missing 13 games with a lower-body injury. Edmonton put forward Brendan Perlini on waivers to make room on the roster. ... Edmonton has scored the first goal in only nine of 24 games this season, winning all nine.


Wild: At the San Jose Sharks on Thursday, the second stop on a four-game trip.

Oilers: Host the Boston Bruins on Thursday in the third game of a six-game homestand.


More AP NHL: and

Khaira stretchered off as Blackhawks lose to red-hot Rangers

11.5h ago 12/7/2021 11:36 PM ET By JAY COHEN, AP Sports Writer CHICAGO

CHICAGO (AP) — By the time Chicago Blackhawks forward Jujhar Khaira saw New York Rangers defenseman Jacob Trouba, it was too late. The result was a huge hit that sent Khaira to the hospital.

Khaira was stretchered off the ice after he was leveled by Trouba in the second period of New York's 6-2 victory Tuesday night.

“Personally, I was pretty shaken,” Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews said. “I’m not going to lie to you. Just glad to hear he’s doing OK.”

Artemi Panarin had two goals and two assists against his first NHL team, passing 500 career points and helping New York to its seventh straight win. Trouba, Chris Kreider, Kevin Rooney and Barclay Goodrow also scored, and Alexandar Georgiev made 24 saves.

The Rangers also beat the Blackhawks 3-2 on Saturday night in New York. Their second matchup in four days was overshadowed by Trouba's big hit on Khaira in the second.

“It’s a bad effect. I didn’t feel too good and I know our player didn’t feel too good, either," New York coach Gerard Gallant said. “It’s a part of hockey, it’s a big hit, but I don’t think it helped the game. To see a guy like that, it’s hard to look at.”

Khaira’s head was down as he gathered in the puck, and he looked up right as Trouba appeared to drive his right shoulder into his chin. Khaira’s head bounced hard off the ice, and there were no signs of movement from him as the Blackhawks and Rangers scuffled nearby.

A stretcher was wheeled onto the ice, and medical personnel worked on Khaira as each team looked on from the bench area. A handful of his teammates and the Rangers tapped the stretcher as Khaira was taken off.

The Blackhawks said Khaira suffered an “upper-body blow” and was taken by ambulance to a hospital.

“He's up, he's talking, he's very responsive,” interim coach Derek King said. “I think he wants to get back on the ice. He's done some tests already, as far as what the doc told me, but he has some more tests to be done. So we won't know the extent of the injury until after these tests.”

Kirby Dach and Erik Gustafsson scored for Chicago, which had won two of three. Marc-Andre Fleury made 24 stops in his first try at his 500th career win.

The game was tied at 2 when Kreider tipped Adam Fox's power-play shot through Fleury's legs for his 17th goal 4:59 into the third. Fox picked up his second assist when Rooney scored on a wrist shot at 12:10. Panarin added an empty-netter with 3:10 left, and Goodrow scored from in front with 1:19 remaining.

“The further we go into the game, we start playing better," New York forward Mika Zibanejad said. “We give ourselves a chance to win every night.”

Panarin has five goals and nine assists in his last seven games. He had a goal and two assists in Saturday night's victory over Chicago.

“He was unbelievable today. A big game for him," Zibanejad said.

The Blackhawks played without Connor Murphy, Jake McCabe and Caleb Jones, three of their top defensemen. Murphy missed his third straight game because of concussion protocol. McCabe also missed a third consecutive game for personal reasons, and Jones was out because of a non-COVID-19-related illness.

Murphy and McCabe participated in Chicago's morning skate and could return on its two-game road trip in Canada.

New York jumped in front when Trouba got a pass from Panarin and beat Fleury from the right circle 1:01 into the first. It was Trouba's fourth goal in his last seven games and No. 5 on the season.

Chicago tied it 43 seconds later when Gustafsson's wrist shot from just inside the blue line got past a screened Georgiev. It was Gustafsson's first goal since Feb. 24 for the Flyers against the Rangers.

Dach made it 2-1 when he jumped on a loose puck and beat Georgiev to the glove side on the ice at 7:09. It was Dach's first goal since Oct. 27, stopping a 17-game drought.


The Blackhawks recalled defenseman Wyatt Kalynuk from Rockford and assigned forward Mike Hardman to their American Hockey League affiliate.


The Rangers' Nov. 28 game against the New York Islanders has been rescheduled for March 17. The game was postponed because of a COVID-19 outbreak with the Islanders.


Rangers: Host the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday night.

Blackhawks: At the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday night.


Jay Cohen can be reached at


More AP NHL: and

Necas, Trocheck score PP goals, Carolina beats Winnipeg 4-2

11.9h ago 12/7/2021 11:16 PM ET WINNIPEG, Manitoba

WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) — Martin Necas and Vincent Trocheck scored power-play goals, leading the Carolina Hurricanes to a 4-2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday night.

Jaccob Slavin and Sebastian Aho each had a goal and an assist for the Hurricanes. Nino Niederreiter had two assists. Frederik Andersen made 16 saves for Carolina, in the opener of a five-game road trip.

The Jets had a five-minute power play in the third period and managed only two shots on goal.

Head coach Rod Brind’Amour was impressed with his team’s penalty kill.

“That could have been real crucial,” Brind’Amour said. “If (the Jets) get one, they get momentum, who knows what happens?

“We didn’t give them anything. Like I said, that was one of the big keys of the game, for sure.”

Carolina defenseman Ian Cole was assessed a five-minute major for kneeing and a game misconduct at 7:39 of the third after a knee-on-knee hit on Jets center Mark Scheifele, who continued playing.

Nikolaj Ehlers and Pierre-Luc Dubois scored for the Jets. Connor Hellebuyck stopped 30 shots as Winnipeg wrapped up a four-game homestand (2-2-0).

“I think maybe a little bit more support to the guy that has the puck is something that we should have changed a little,” Ehlers said.

“We did score a power-play goal today, but obviously when you’re behind 4-2 and you get a five-minute power play, you want to at least get some momentum going. And we weren’t able to do that. We’ll be better next game.”

The Hurricanes led 1-0 after the first period and 3-2 after the second.

“We just weren’t prepared to play. That’s my job,” Jets head coach Paul Maurice said. “For the style of game that was going to be played today, we didn’t skate nearly well enough to expect to win.”

Slavin started the scoring early, registering his first goal of the season 30 seconds into the game with a point shot through traffic that went under Hellebuyck.

Carolina almost ended the period with another goal, but Hellebuyck stopped a blast from Ethan Bear with under a minute left.

The Hurricanes outshot the Jets 15-5.

Carolina also scored early in the second period when Aho kept banging at the puck in front the net until he notched his 11th goal of the season at 1:12. A Winnipeg coach’s challenge for goaltender interference was unsuccessful.

The Jets were assessed a delay of game penalty for the challenge, but Trocheck was called for hooking 33 seconds later and the play went to four-on-four. Ehlers then scored his 10th of the season with a high shot on Anderson's stick side at 2:18.

Winnipeg had two power plays in the second period, both called on Cole for delay of game and tripping, and the Jets made good on the second opportunity.

Blake Wheeler sent a pass to Dubois parked at the side of the goal and he redirected the puck into the net with his stick between his legs at 16:06 to tie the game at 2-all.

The Hurricanes ended the period with a power-play goal by Necas, who scored during a scramble in front of the net with 20 seconds remaining in the period.

Carolina had a 30-13 edge in shots after the middle frame.

Winnipeg finished 1 for 5 on the power play. Carolina was 2 for 3.

“Penalty kill is something that we take pride in as a group ..., ” Slavin said. “You step over those boards and you’ve got a job to do and everyone was up for the task tonight. That five-minute kill, it’s huge.”

NOTES: Jets top defenseman Neal Pionk didn’t play. He was serving the first game of a two-game suspension for a knee-on-knee hit to Toronto’s Rasmus Sandin in Sunday’s 6-3 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Pionk was also placed in concussion protocol. He was kneed in the head by Leafs forward Jason Spezza in the third period of Sunday’s game. The NHL handed Spezza a six-game suspension for the hit on Tuesday.


Hurricanes: At Calgary Flames on Thursday in the second game of a five-game trip.

Jets: At Seattle Kraken on Thursday in the opener of a back-to-back. At Vancouver on Friday.


More AP NHL: and

Buchnevich's OT goal lifts Blues over Panthers 4-3

12.2h ago 12/7/2021 10:56 PM ET By JOE HARRIS, Associated Press ST. LOUIS

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Pavel Buchnevich scored a wrap-around goal 53 seconds into overtime and the St. Louis Blues beat the Florida Panthers 4-3 Tuesday night.

The Blues earned a split in their back-to-back with Florida. Both games went to overtime.

“I just see (Sam) Bennett, I know he’s a forward and I can beat him,” Buchnevich said of the winner. “I beat him wide and I feel I can take a shot. Goalie goes down and I can go around the net.”

Brandon Saad’s tip of Ivan Barbashev’s shot broke a 2-2 tie and gave the Blues their first lead of the game with 13:12 left in the third period.

“I was kind of just in the area, have your stick in the right place,” Saad said. "It just deflected off me and went in. ... Sometimes you’ve got to be lucky out there.”

Jonathan Huberdeau’s goal for the Panthers with 5:32 left tied it for the third time.

Blues goalie Ville Husso left the game after Huberdeau’s goal, with Charlie Lindgren making his St. Louis debut in relief. Blues coach Craig Berube said Husso suffered a lower-body injury before the goal.

Defenseman Jake Walman left the game at the same time with an upper-body injury, leaving an already depleted Blues team with just 11 players on the bench.

“We were short-handed, that’s for sure,” Berube said. “You know, guys battled, I’m proud of them. They worked and came through.”

No update on either player was given after the game.

Vladimir Tarasenko had a goal and an assist and Brayden Schenn also scored for the Blues. Husso made 34 saves.

Aleksander Barkov and Brandon Montour also scored for the Panthers, while Maxim Mamin and Carter Verhaeghe each had two assists. Spencer Knight made 26 saves as Florida had its three-game winning streak snapped.

Barkov gave the Panthers a 1-0 lead at the 6:49 mark of the first period, tucking in a perfect feed from Mamin on an odd-man rush.

Husso was the lone bright spot for St. Louis in an opening period dominated by Florida. One game after making 48 saves, a league high this season, Husso made 19 saves as the Panthers outshot St. Louis 20-5.

“Obviously, he played a good game,” Montour said. “I feel like we had a couple right in front of the net where we might score usually, but it is what it is. Something happens like that, you can’t score every time. The guys, you know, battled hard and we got one point out of that.”

The Blues capitalized on their first sustained pressure of the game as Tarasenko buried a wrist shot from the right circle to even the game at 1 at the 4:20 mark of the second period.

“They’re a good hockey team, they transition well, they have speed, talent, skill, so I think we were lucky to get out of that first period 1-0 and then it was just refocus, reset, play a little smarter and be consistent,” Saad said.

It took the Panthers just 52 seconds to answer as Montour’s shot found its way through traffic and into the upper right corner.

Schenn’s power-play goal with 6:26 left in the second drew the Blues even once again.


Barkov (lower body) returned after missing eight games following a knee-on-knee collision during a 6-1 win over the Islanders on Nov. 16. Barkov, the team’s captain, had 17 points in 15 games before the injury.

But Barkov left in the third period with an unrelated, undisclosed injury. Panthers interim coach Andrew Brunette called it “a little tweak.”

“I don’t know exactly what or where,” Brunette said. “So, he’ll be re-evaluated and I’ll get updated probably soon enough here.”


Blues F Robert Thomas (lower body) was scratched, joining a growing list of notable performers who are unavailable including F David Perron (upper body), F James Neal (upper body) and C Klim Kostin (upper body), while C Tyler Bozak, G Jordan Binnington and D Justin Faulk are each in COVID-19 protocol.

Due to salary cap restraints, the Blues are unable to call up another player, meaning they where a skater short going with 10 forwards and seven defensemen.


Panthers: travel to Arizona on Friday.

Blues: host Detroit on Thursday.


More AP NHL: and

Matthews, Rielly lead Maple Leafs past Blue Jackets 5-4

12.4h ago 12/7/2021 10:46 PM ET TORONTO

TORONTO (AP) — Auston Matthews scored twice, defenseman Morgan Rielly set up four goals and the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-4 on Tuesday night to stop a two-game skid.

Rielly set up power-play goals by William Nylander and captain John Tavares, and two more from Matthews. His second goal came seven seconds after Tavares put the Maple Leafs in front 4-1 late in the second period.

Nick Ritchie scored his first goal in his 27th game with Toronto before 18,793 at Scotiabank Arena. Jack Campbell made 28 saves for his NHL-leading 14th win.

Ritchie hadn't scored since the playoff opener for Boston last May 15. His teammates appeared even more excited than him after his goal late in the first period.

“It’s been a while,” said Ritchie, who had 15 goals for the Bruins last season. “It’s almost a better feeling to see how excited your team is for you.”

Oliver Bjorkstrand had two goals for Columbus. Sean Kuraly and Max Domi also scored.

The Blue Jackets (13-11-0) were missing forward Patrik Laine, out with an oblique strain. They have dropped five of six.

The Maple Leafs were minus forward Mitch Marner, hurt in a collision with teammate Jake Muzzin during practice last Friday. Marner is expected to be sidelined for the next three to four weeks.

Marner was placed on injured reserve along with defenseman Rasmus Sandin on Tuesday.

Marner was absent from weekend losses at Minnesota and Winnipeg. Sandin was injured Sunday after a knee-on-knee collision with Jets defenseman Neal Pionk.

Toronto (18-7-2) also played without forward Jason Spezza (suspension) and defensemen Travis Dermott (shoulder). Spezza was banned for six games by the NHL for his knee to the head of Pionk after his collision with Sandin.

“It’s out of our hands,” Matthews said. “It’s an opportunity for others to step up.”

The Maple Leafs promoted defensemen Alex Biega and Kristians Rubins and right wing Alex Steeves to fill the roster vacancies. The 21-year-old Steeves and 23-year-old Rubins made their NHL debuts. They were free-agent signings last summer.

“That’s going to happen over the course of a season,” Rielly said. "(Marner) is a big part of our team. You have to rely on your depth.”

Steeves and Rubins wore ear-to-ear grins after their debuts. Steeves played on the fourth line with Pierre Engvall and Kyle Clifford. His parents were in town and planned to fly home Monday. But after dropping them off at the airport and arriving back home, Steeves found out he would be playing his first NHL game on Tuesday.

He was quick enough to call his parents, and they were able to get off their flight and stay to be in attendance.

“It was super special,” the New Hampshire native said. “The entire night was a welcome to the NHL for me.”

Rubins is from Latvia. He revealed his family and friends stayed up in the wee hours of the morning to watch the game on television.

“It was a dream come true,” he said.

Nylander gave Toronto an early 1-0 lead on the power play, resulting from swift puck movement from Rielly to Matthews to Nylander.

Matthews converted a stylistic through-the-legs pass from linemate Michael Bunting, and Ritchie scored 1:22 later for a 3-0 lead.

Matthews leads the Maple Leafs with 17 goals. He almost had a hat trick, but failed to tap home a pass from linemate Wayne Simmonds midway through the final period.

Campbell's shutout bid ended with a rebound power-play goal from Bjorkstrand, seconds after Campbell made a fantastic glove save on Bjorkstrand from in close.

Bjorkstrand scored again early in the third period. Kuraly added a goal off the rush with 3:35 remaining, and Domi scored just before the final horn.

The Maple Leafs outshot Columbus 40-32.


Blue Jackets: Host the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday night.

Maple Leafs: Host the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday night.


More AP NHL: and

Perry, Palat score late, Lightning rally past Canadiens 3-2

12.7h ago 12/7/2021 10:26 PM ET MONTREAL

MONTREAL (AP) — Ondrej Palat scored with 38 seconds left in the third period, giving the Tampa Bay Lightning a 3-2 win over the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday night.

Tampa Bay's victory comes exactly five months after the Lightning beat the Canadiens in the 2021 Stanley Cup Final.

“It wasn’t a perfect game but it’s two points on the road so I’ll take it,” Palat said. “(Alex Killorn) made the right play, it was a two-on-one and I scored. I thought we did a good job in the last 10 minutes."

Patrick Maroon and Corey Perry also scored for Tampa Bay. Andrei Vasilevskiy made 21 saves.

Head coach Jon Cooper said his team is in the middle of its toughest stretch of the season, with seven of eight games coming on the road. But instead of falling to the Eastern Conference’s bottom dwellers, Tampa Bay tied the game and bypassed overtime to claim a fourth straight win.

“It is a different group (from the 2020-21 season), but they are finding a way,” Cooper said. "We’ve been in 10 overtime games already this year, we weren’t at 10 all year last year. So I’ve got to give credit, they’re finding ways to win.

“If we can steal a couple like we did tonight, we’re taking them and running and we’re off to Toronto. You have to get darn near 100 points in this league now to get in the playoffs.”

Nick Suzuki and Mike Hoffman scored for Montreal. Jake Allen stopped 24 of 27 shots.

Head coach Dominique Ducharme believed his team came out to play against the two-time champions and deserved the win, but dropped the game in the final two minutes.

“It’s frustrating because we obviously deserved better,” Ducharme said. “Two plays at the end and they took advantage of the chances they had.

“Having that result tonight, I thought it would’ve been a positive in the group.”

Tampa Bay fell behind 2-1 after surrendering goals to Suzuki and Hoffman, but the Lightning rallied in the third period.

Perry scored the tying goal with just over two minutes left in the third in his first game back Montreal, setting the stage for Palat's winner.

Maroon scored in the first period for Tampa Bay. The Canadiens made an early mistake when Kale Clague turned the puck over in front of his own net, giving Maroon an easy opportunity to give the Lightning the lead in the first.

Montreal tied it a 1-all at 4:20 of the second period on Suzuki's sixth goal of the season.

Hoffman scored the go-ahead goal on a shot from the top of the faceoff circle that went through a crowd of players and beat Vasilevskiy.

Perry tied the game 2-2 with 2:06 to go.

Palat scored the winner at 19:22 of the third period.

The Habs had yet another blow to their squad as Christian Dvorak left the game with a lower-body injury. Ducharme said that Dvorak will undergo more tests on Wednesday.

“It seems like we lose a player or two every day,” Ducharme said. “And on a game like that where we play a solid game and they make the difference on two last plays.”


Lightning: At Toronto on Thursday in the fourth game of a five-game trip.

Canadiens: Host the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday.


More AP NHL: and

Blackhawks' Khaira responsive after being stretchered off

12.7h ago 12/7/2021 10:26 PM ET CHICAGO

CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago Blackhawks forward Jujhar Khaira was taken to a hospital after he was leveled by New York Rangers defenseman Jacob Trouba and wheeled off on a stretcher Tuesday night.

The 27-year-old Khaira suffered an “upper-body blow,” the team said, and was taken by ambulance to Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

“He’s up, he’s talking, he’s very responsive,” interim coach Derek King said after Chicago's 6-2 loss. “I think he wants to get back on the ice. He’s done some tests already, as far as what the doc told me, but he has some more tests to be done. So we won’t know the extent of the injury until after these tests.”

Khaira's head was down as he gathered in the puck 6:10 into the second period. He looked up right as Trouba appeared to drive his right shoulder into his chin.

The back off Khaira’s head bounced hard off the ice, and there was no sign of any movement from him as the Blackhawks and Rangers scuffled nearby.

“Personally I was pretty shaken,” Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews said. “I’m not going to lie to you. Just glad to hear he’s doing OK.”

A stretcher was wheeled onto the ice, and medical personnel worked on Khaira as each team looked on from the bench area. A handful of his teammates and the Rangers tapped the stretcher as Khaira was taken off.

The Blackhawks' Riley Stillman fought Trouba about five minutes later.

“It’s a bad effect. I didn’t feel too good and I know our player didn’t feel too good, either,” New York coach Gerard Gallant said. “It’s a part of hockey, it’s a big hit, but I don’t think it helped the game. To see a guy like that, it’s hard to look at.”

Khaira has two goals and no assists in 17 games in his first season with the Blackhawks.


More AP NHL: and

Zegras' over-the-net flip lifts Ducks over Sabres, 2-0

12.9h ago 12/7/2021 10:16 PM ET By JONAH BRONSTEIN, Associated Press BUFFALO, N.Y.

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Trevor Zegras flipped a pass over the net to set up the go-ahead goal, Anthony Stolarz made 25 saves and the Anaheim Ducks beat the Buffalo Sabres 2-0 Tuesday night.

Zegras scooped the puck onto the blade of his stick behind the net and lobbed it over goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen’s head. Sonny Milano was waiting on the right edge of the crease and batted the feed past Luukkonen’s glove for his eighth goal 5:14 into the second period.

“I still can’t believe it worked,” said Zegras, who celebrated the goal with both hands on his head. “It’s pretty funny. I’ve tried it a couple of times and haven’t even come close. For him to whack it out of the air and keep it under the crossbar was pretty incredible.”

Milano was ready for the pass but said he initially wanted Zegras to keep the puck and try for a wrap-around, lacrosse-style goal, like the one Mike Legg famously scored for the University of Michigan in 1996.

“I expected him to do the Michigan himself before I even called for it,” Milano said. “He wasn’t, so I was just like, 'Just do it.' I was like, ‘Michigan, Michigan,’ and he ended up just throwing it to me and I batted it in.”

Ducks coach Dallas Eakins marveled at how Zegras “believes he can do anything with the puck” and said that during his NHL playing career from 1988-2004, “there was not a chance that any of us could do that with a puck.”

“These kids think out of the box now,” Eakins added. “I think it’s great for the sport. We are in the entertainment business. And that was a really special goal.”

Eakins was as impressed with the finish from Milano, who has scored in three straight and has six points on a four-game streak.

“That’s two games in a row now where Sonny Milano has knocked one out of the air,” Eakins said. “It’s hard enough to hit a round ball with a round bat. I challenge anybody to hit a puck out of the air with a stick like that, two games in a row."

Zegras leads rookies with 16 assists. The 20-year-old was drafted ninth overall in 2019 by the Ducks and has eight assists in four December games, most in the league for the month.

Sam Carrick also scored for Anaheim, which extended its point streak to five games (3-0-2), responding from a 4-3 shootout loss in Washington on Monday. They won on the second night of a back-to-back set opening their five-game Eastern road trip.

Buffalo has lost five in a row and fell to 1-8-1 over its past 10 games.

The Sabres’ defense was an improvement after they allowed 20 goals in their previous three losses. Luukkonen stopped 21 shots in his season debut for the Sabres.

“UPL looked good, looked comfortable,” Sabres coach Don Granato said. “I thought we helped him out a bit more than we had been lately. It was nice to see him feel good, look good. But obviously, no support on the scoring end was the difference.”

Carrick deflected in Josh Manson’s shot from the point for the Ducks’ second goal with 2:08 left in the third period.

Stolarz made 15 saves in the final period to preserve his second shutout in three starts and fourth straight win.

“For Stolie to come in and pitch a shutout, especially on the road, I think that’s really tough,” Zegras said. “I’m proud of the way we rallied for this game.”


Ducks: LW Adam Henrique (lower body) missed his second straight game and all-time scoring leader C Ryan Getzlaf (lower body) his fourth.

Sabres: C Casey Mittelstadt went to the the dressing room in the third period and did not return. Granato had no definitive update after the game, but said he does not believe Mittelstadt re-injured the upper-body part that cause him to miss 20 games earlier this season. ... Luukkonen was called up from the from the minors after recently acquired G Malcolm Subban sustained a lower-body injury during Saturday night’s loss at Carolina. Luukkonen was the fifth goalie to start for Buffalo. Subban skated on Tuesday. ... D Robert Hagg missed his second game with an undisclosed injury.


Ducks: At Columbus on Thursday.

Sabres: Host New York Rangers on Friday.


More AP NHL: and

Josi's highlight goal spurs Preds over Red Wings 5-2

13.0h ago 12/7/2021 10:06 PM ET DETROIT

DETROIT (AP) — Roman Josi beat four Detroit defenders for a first-period goal, Ryan Johansen scored on a power play and the Nashville Predators topped the Red Wings 5-2 Tuesday night.

“This next 20-game segment is where we’ve talked about really solidifying our identity as a team, and this is a good way to get that started,” Predators coach John Hynes said.

The loss snapped Detroit’s season-high five-game winning streak and its five-game home winning streak.

“They’re a big, strong team, hard on the forecheck,” Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. “But I thought in the first was as poor a job as we’ve done in terms of competing and being ready to play."

Josi took a feed from Dante Fabbro in the first as he sped into the Red Wings’ zone and skated 1-on-4 through the defense before beating Alex Nedeljkovic on the forehand.

“I think the D-man, he didn’t really have a great gap, he was kind of backed up," Josi said. “I just tried to get by him. I got a little lucky, I think it hit my shin pad or something and once I got it back on my stick, I knew I kind of had a step on the D-man.”

Nashville’s Nick Cousins, Eeli Tolvanen and Fabbro scored in the third period, and David Rittich stopped 14 shots. Detroit’s Michael Rasmussen also had a third-period goal.

“I think every time we got in their zone, we were getting mauled,” Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin said. “They beat the crap out of us down low, their D, and made it hard to get to the net and get shots and get in the slot.”

The score could have been a lot more lopsided for the Predators, but Nedeljkovic stopped Filip Forsberg and Philip Tomasino on breakaways in the second period. Nedeljkovic finished with 28 saves.

Detroit got its first goal on the power play in the second period on Robby Fabbri’s rebound at the net. Pius Suter and Moritz Seider assisted. Seider leads the Red Wings with 15 assists.

Josi assisted on the Johansen and Cousins goals, giving him 12 points (4-8-12) in his last 11 games and 27 points (3-24-27) in 33 career games against the Red Wings.

“It’s a good team over there, they’ve been playing really well this year and we knew it was gonna be a hard game, but I just thought overall, over the 60 minutes, I think we controlled the game for most of it,” Josi said.


After facing each other eight times last season in the modified Central Division, the Red Wings and Predators meet only twice this season.


Predators: G Juuse Saros and D Mattias Ekholm missed Tuesday’s game due to non-COVID illness and are listed as day-to-day. D Matt Benning was also out and is day-to-day with an upper-body injury. The Predators recalled G Connor Ingram from Milwaukee to back up Rittich. ... Nashville D Ben Harpur returned to the team after a six-game conditioning stint with the AHL’s Milwaukee Admirals.

Red Wings: D Danny DeKeyser returned to the lineup after missing four games due to COVID-19 protocol and one game as a healthy scratch. ... Seider left the game in the third period after being hit by Nashville forward Tanner Jeannot. Blashill did not have an update on Seider after the game.


Predators: Visit New York Islanders on Thursday night.

Red Wings: Play at St. Louis on Thursday night.


More AP NHL: and

Islanders snap 11-game skid with 5-3 win over Senators

13.0h ago 12/7/2021 10:06 PM ET OTTAWA, Ontario

OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — The New York Islanders can finally exhale after snapping an 11-game losing streak.

Anders Lee had two goals and the Islanders ended a prolonged skid with a 5-3 win over the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday night.

“I think it’s just a sense of relief," Lee said. “It’s been a tough stretch.”

Oliver Wahlstrom, Kieffer Bellows and Jean-Gabriel Pageau also scored for New York, which last won on Nov. 6. Ilya Sorokin stopped 30 shots.

“We stuck together and we started to build on our game a little bit the last few nights, but we hadn’t been able to get that extra point in overtime,” Lee said. “It starts to wear on you quite a bit. So, for us to come out tonight and get the win that we needed, play the right way for good stretches of time, it’s exactly what we needed out of our group.”

Josh Norris, Nick Holden and Alex Formenton scored for Ottawa, which had its three-game winning streak halted. Filip Gustavsson made 22 saves in losing his fourth consecutive start.

Ottawa was coming off a 3-2 shootout win over New Jersey on Monday night, and seemed to run out of steam after a stretch of five games in seven nights.

“We just didn’t have the same sharpness with our execution tonight,” head coach D.J. Smith said. “I wouldn’t say that it was the effort, we just weren’t playing as smart. You know, we had some chances and we didn’t put it in. We didn’t break out as good. You know, at the end of the day, you don’t get the result you wanted.”

The Islanders extended their lead to 4-1 at the six-minute mark of the third period as Bellows shot over Gustavsson. Ottawa cut the lead in half two minutes later as Holden scored his first of the season.

Pageau scored his third of the season at the 12-minute mark of the third, taking advantage of some confusion in front of the Seantors’ net.

Formenton picked up his fifth of the season with a short-handed goal to round out the scoring.

After a scoreless first period, the Islanders led 3-1 after the second.

Lee opened the scoring three minutes into the second, picking up his own rebound and backhanding it into the net.

Ottawa tied the game on a power play goal by Norris.

Wahlstrom restored the Islanders’ lead, beating Gustavsson on the short side at 14:06 of the period. Just 27 seconds later, Lee scored his second of the game as he picked up a puck that took a weird bounce off the back boards and beat Gustavsson from in close.

The Islanders felt as if they were due after having lost two games in overtime and one in a shootout.

“It feels good,” Islanders coach Barry Trotz said. “I mean, it’s incredible to think about what we’ve gone through in the last month. I’ve never gone through it. These guys have never gone through it. The way we just stuck together and battled.

“I’ve got to give them a lot of credit. Finally, they got rewarded. It felt good. It felt good to have a little life in the dressing room after the game. Music blaring and guys ribbing each other.”

NOTES: Senators defenSemen Victor Mete and Michael Del Zotto and forward Adam Gaudette were healthy scratches. The Islanders' Matt Martin was a scratch as he is dealing with a lingering injury. Casey Cizikas remains the Islanders last player in the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol.


Islanders: Host Nashville on Thursday.

Senators: Host the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday in the second game of a five-game homestand.


More AP NHL: and

Toronto's Spezza suspended 6 games for kneeing Jets' Pionk

13.7h ago 12/7/2021 9:26 PM ET NEW YORK

NEW YORK (AP) — Toronto Maple Leafs forward Jason Spezza was suspended for six games without pay by the NHL on Tuesday for kneeing Winnipeg Jets defenseman Neal Pionk.

In the third period of Sunday's game between the Jets and Maple Leafs, Pionk had a knee-on-knee hit on Toronto’s Rasmus Sandin. Sandin skated off the ice after the hit on his right knee. Pionk received a two-game suspension for that hit on Monday.

After the hit on Sandin, Spezza drove his left knee into the face of Pionk, who was without a stick and on his knees trying to clear a puck.

Spezza will forfeit $22,500 in salary under the players' labor deal. The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.


More AP NHL: and

Stars send G Bishop to AHL as long injury recovery continues

14.5h ago 12/7/2021 8:36 PM ET FRISCO, Texas

FRISCO, Texas (AP) — The Dallas Stars are sending goalie Ben Bishop on a conditioning assignment in the minor leagues as their former starter continues a long recovery from a knee injury.

Bishop hasn't played since the NHL's playoff bubble in Canada in August 2020. The 35-year-old had surgery during the short offseason that followed and didn't play during the 2020-21 season.

If Bishop is deemed healthy enough to return to the NHL after a stint with the Texas Stars of the AHL, Dallas will be overloaded in net.

Braden Holtby and Jake Oettinger have been the starters in recent weeks. Anton Khudobin, Bishop's replacement during the Dallas run to the 2020 Stanley Cup Final, has been a healthy scratch the past four games.

Bishop is in the fifth year of a $29.5 million, six-year contract he signed to be their starter after a trade from Los Angeles in 2017.

With Bishop's health still a question going into this season, the Stars signed Holtby. The 32-year-old won a Stanley Cup with Washington in 2018 and was a starter for the Capitals for eight seasons.

The 23-year-old Oettinger has been Dallas' best goalie this season, going 5-0 with a 1.41 goals-against average.


More AP NHL: and

Guentzel scores twice, Crosby once as Pens top Kraken 6-1

1.4d ago 12/7/2021 1:07 AM ET By TIM BOOTH, AP Sports Writer SEATTLE

SEATTLE (AP) — Sidney Crosby, Jake Guentzel and the Pittsburgh Penguins didn't take long to stagger the NHL's newest franchise with an early onslaught.

Crosby and Danton Heinen scored 25 seconds apart early in the first period, Guentzel extended his point streak to 13 games with two goals and an assist, and the Penguins routed the Seattle Kraken 6-1 on Monday night.

Jeff Carter scored 1:47 into the game and Crosby followed with his fourth goal at 4:42 by finishing a shot from the blue line from Guentzel. Heinen scored on a wrist shot moments later to leave the expansion Kraken stunned.

“We had a great start," Crosby said. "Being able to get the lead early, I think they still stuck behind their team and supported them but I think it just takes the pressure off a bit when you're playing in a building like this and be able to get a lead like that.”

Seattle goalie Philipp Grubauer was pulled after Heinen’s goal and replaced by Joey Daccord. Grubauer faced four shots and three found the back of the net.

Seattle coach Dave Hakstol said it was a disappointing effort coming off an impressive win over Edmonton last Friday.

“It's not an acceptable way for us to start the hockey game and play throughout the 60 minutes," Hakstol said. "We all know that. We own that. I'm not going to explain more of it away. That's the reality of it.”

Guentzel scored his 14th goal of the season and Carter added his second of the game, both on odd-man rushes late in the second period. The goals came 23 seconds apart.

Guentzel added his 15th at 8:28 of the third period and has five goals in the past two games after a hat trick Saturday in Vancouver.

“He's had some good runs but he's just doing everything so well, finding different ways," Crosby said. "Whether it's going to the net, or you see his second goal tonight, that shot is perfect. He's doing it all.”

Crosby finished with two points and has 11 in the past six games. Heinen had his first three-point game of the season, adding two assists to go along with his seventh goal.

Daccord made 24 saves for Seattle.

Jordan Eberle scored his 12th of the season early in the second period, but it was a lackluster performance by the Kraken, who had been one of the hottest teams in the NHL. Seattle had won five of seven and earned 11 points during the stretch, but was handed its worst home loss to date.

“That just can’t happen. It's that simple,” Eberle said. “You get behind against them, it’s tough.”

Pittsburgh goalie Casey DeSmith made 28 saves, and his stick saved a goal late in the second period. DeSmith was able to deflect Morgan Geekie’s pass with Jared McCann wide open at the back post. A little more than a minute later, Guentzel scored and a potential 3-2 game quickly became 5-1.

It was the first victory of the season for DeSmith in his fifth start.

“Mentally that was big for me to go out there and get a solid win,” he said.

While Guentzel extended his point streak, there was a brief bit of concern after he took a shot from Adam Larsson off his hand late in the first period. Guentzel dropped his stick and immediately went to the bench. He returned for one more shift, but went back to the bench and to the locker room with about two minutes left in the period.

Guentzel was back on the ice for his first shift of the second period.


Guentzel’s run is the longest active point streak in the league and the third-longest this season behind Connor McDavid (17 games) and Troy Terry (16). Guentzel has 12 goals and seven assists during the streak.


Carter became the second player to record a multipoint game against all 32 teams, joining Derick Brassard.

“Some weird goals tonight. I think both of mine I didn’t even shoot at the net,” Carter said. “But that’s the way it goes sometimes.”


Seattle scratched F Colin Blackwell, F Kole Lind and D Haydn Fleury. Seattle also did not activate F Calle Jarnkrok from injured reserve. Jarnkrok was a game-time decision after missing the previous five games. Blackwell scored his second goal and Lind picked up his first career point with an assist last Friday against Edmonton. ... Pittsburgh scratched C Brian Boyle, RW Sam Lafferty and D Mark Friedman.


Penguins: At Washington on Friday.

Kraken: Host Winnipeg on Thursday.


More AP NHL: and

Boudreau's 1st game coaching Canucks is 4-0 win over Kings

1.4d ago 12/7/2021 12:57 AM ET VANCOUVER, British Columbia

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Thatcher Demko made 30 saves and Bruce Boudreau won his first game as coach of the Vancouver Canucks in a 4-0 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Monday night.

The win came less than 24 hours after the Canucks cleaned house, firing general manager Jim Benning, assistant GM Jim Weisbrod, head coach Travis Green and assistant coach Nolan Baumgartner.

Demko earned his first shutout this season and the second of his career. Brock Boeser and J.T. Miller each had a power-play goal and an assist. Conor Garland and Juho Lammikko also scored for the Canucks, who had lost 10 of 13.

“I’ll get to know the players more, but it’s four new lines thrown at you, sometimes it’s a bit of a whirlwind,” Boudreau said. “But it was fun. I had a lot of people on the bench to help me.”

Boudreau, who previously coached the Capitals, Ducks and Wild, was hired through the 2022-23 season. He had a meeting and a 30-minute morning skate with his players before the game and left them with a simple message.

“I just keep telling them that they’re good players,” he said. “I’ve always thought they were good players. They’ve got to start believing that they’re good players. And when they do that, they’ll be fine.”

Cal Petersen stopped 27 shots for the Kings (10-10-4), who beat the Oilers 5-1 in Edmonton on Sunday.

Special teams have been a struggle for the Canucks (9-15-2) this season, but Vancouver went 2 for 4 on the power play and successfully weathered two penalties.

“I thought they played really hard and that’s what I asked them to do, what all the coaches asked them to do,” Boudreau said. “We made a lot of mistakes that are correctable mistakes. But when you win and you can get away with those correctable mistakes, I think it’s a great teaching tool for (Tuesday’s) practice.”

The Kings' Lias Anderson was called for high-sticking on Oliver Ekman-Larsson midway through the third period and Miller capitalized on the man advantage. His shot from inside the faceoff circle careened into the net off the crossbar with about seven minutes left to make it 4-0.

Lammikko gave the Canucks their third goal 6:59 into the period, picking off an errant Kings pass and putting a shot past Petersen stick-side for his first goal in a Vancouver jersey. The 25-year-old left wing was a healthy scratch in the previous five games.

The Canucks went up by two 5:43 into the second after rookie Vasily Podkolzin put a shot wide and the puck ricocheted off the end boards. Garland picked up the rebound behind the net and wrapped it into an open side before Petersen could get back in position.

A power-play goal opened the scoring early in the second after Los Angeles' Mikey Anderson was called for tripping Bo Horvat. Stationed at the goal line, Tanner Pearson sent a pass to Boeser at the top of the faceoff circle. The right wing uncorked a snap shot and the puck deflected in off the skate of Kings defenseman Drew Doughty in front.

The goal was Boeser’s fifth of the season and first in 14 games.

“It’s funny how the games worked over this drought where I haven’t scored goals: I felt I got some pretty good chances, hit posts, crossbars, and then that’s the one that goes in,” Boeser said. “It’s crazy how this game works, but at the end of the day it went in tonight and I’ll take it. I've just got to continue to build and keep shooting the puck.”


It was the first time Kings defenseman Alex Edler returned to Vancouver since signing with Los Angeles in July. The 35-year-old played 15 seasons in Vancouver and holds several franchise records for the Canucks, including most games played by a defenseman (925), and most goals (99), assists (310) and points (409) by a defenseman.

The club recognized Edler with a video tribute early in the first period, and the veteran blueliner hopped over the boards to wave to the cheering crowd.

Edler thought his former team got a boost from its new bench boss.

“I think they came out hot and we were expecting that. We talked about that,” he said. “With a new coach, you want to make a good first impression, so they came out hard, they played hard and didn’t really give us a lot of room and we were just a step behind.”

NOTES: Boudreau won the Jack Adams Award as the NHL's top coach with Washington in 2008. … Garland has eight goals this season. Miller leads the Canucks with nine. … Vancouver extended its win streak over Los Angeles to six games.


Kings: Host the Dallas Stars on Thursday.

Canucks: Host the Boston Bruins on Wednesday.


More AP NHL: and

Peterson helps Stars tie franchise record with 7 wins in row

1.5d ago 12/6/2021 11:27 PM ET By LARY BUMP, Associated Press DALLAS

DALLAS (AP) — Jacob Peterson made good on a second chance at the go-ahead goal, and the Dallas Stars tied a franchise record with their seventh consecutive win, beating the Arizona Coyotes 4-1 on Monday night.

“(Peterson) likes to make plays. He likes to hang on to the puck. We like that,” Dallas coach Rick Bowness said.

As the Minnesota North Stars and Dallas Stars, the franchise has had five seven-game winning streaks in 54 seasons. The Stars' streak is currently the longest in the NHL.

Jamie Benn scored twice in a span of about two minutes late in the third period for the Stars — one on the power play — and Roope Hintz also had a goal. Braden Holtby had 18 saves.

But Bowness didn't like much of what he saw from the Stars in the first two periods.

“We weren’t playing at the level we needed to play with for 40 minutes," he said. "We just got the forecheck, we got the energy back, we got the intensity back. A great third period.”

Shayne Gostisbehere scored Arizona's only goal, and goalie Scott Wedgewood had 23 saves.

Hintz scored first with about 6 minutes left in the first period. Jason Robertson passed in front to Hintz for a wrist shot that beat Wedgewood. Arizona had little to show for outshooting the Stars 9-7 and killing the only two penalties in the first.

Gostisbehere spoiled Holtby’s chance for his 36th career shutout 3:09 into the second period. Clayton Keller passed ahead to Gostisbehere, who skated into the right faceoff circle, maneuvered the puck behind Robertson and picked it up in the slot to send a wrist shot past Holtby.

The Stars appeared to break a 1-1 tie 6:05 into the third when Peterson knocked in the puck from just outside the blue paint. However, a video replay showed that Peterson kicked it past Wedgewood.

“I knew it right away,” Peterson said. “I got a feeling on the net for the next time.”

About three minutes later, Alexander Radulov skated behind the net and sent a backhand pass to Peterson on the doorstep for his fourth goal this season at 9:01.

“It happens a lot of times during the games that (Radulov) gets the puck down low,” Peterson said. “I know to search an open space.”

The Stars' power-play goal was the first in eight man-advantages over the last four games. Arizona's drought has been much longer — 0 for 17 in the last nine games.

Coyotes coach Andre Tourigny saw some positives from his team, whose 12 points in the standings are the NHL's lowest total.

"We’re proud of the way we played for most of the game, and then we give up a goal — 2-1, okay, that happened, we can live with that. Then we take the penalty in the (offensive) zone, and the score at the end of that shift.

"We build on a good performance like that. We’re chasing wins ... We need to take the positive of that game, build on that, and learn from a few mistakes."

Dallas dominated the third period with 13 shots to Arizona's 6 on goal.

“We were just not up to our standards as a group,” said Benn, who has seven goals this season. “We decided to play in the third. Momentum is nice. We get to feed off our fans.”

Dallas has won eight in a row at home, all in regulation (after the Stars had no regulation wins in their first three home games). Arizona has lost 14 straight in Dallas dating back to Feb. 7, 2012.

NOTES: The Stars franchise won seven in a row in four different seasons. In addition to their streak in January and February of 2008 in Dallas, the Minnesota North Stars reached seven straight in 1979-80, 1996-97 and 1997-98. ... Coyotes LW Loui Eriksson played in his 1,000th NHL game in a career that began with seven seasons for Dallas from 2006 through 2013. ... Stars G Ben Bishop expects to play Thursday for the first time in 14 months following knee surgery, for the AHL's Texas Stars. Robertson has 18 points (seven goals, 11 assists) in 16 games played. ... LW Michael Raffl did not play because of a non-COVID illness. Bowness said about half the team was “under the weather.”


Coyotes: Host Florida on Friday to begin a three-game home stand.

Stars: Begin a three-game trip at Vegas on Wednesday, when they can win a record eighth in a row. ___

More AP NHL: and

After firing coach, Flyers drop 9th straight, 7-5 to Avs

1.5d ago 12/6/2021 10:17 PM ET By AARON BRACY, Associated Press PHILADELPHIA

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Erik Johnson had a goal and an assist, and the Colorado Avalanche beat Philadelphia 7-5 on Monday night to hand the Flyers their ninth straight loss just hours after they fired coach Alain Vigneault.

Mike Yeo took over as interim coach of the Flyers, but they didn’t fare any better following the shakeup.

“I know the guys really cared,” Yeo said. “There were a lot of examples of things we want to do and the way we want to play. We want to be harder to play against, and I thought at times we did that.”

Nazem Kadri, Gabriel Landeskog, Alex Newhook, Cale Makar, Valeri Nichushkin and Tyson Jost also scored for the Avalanche, who had 50 shots on goal.

“I liked our energy level,” Colorado coach Jared Bednar said. “On the offensive side of it, I thought we did some good things.”

Claude Giroux scored twice for Philadelphia, which could tie the club record for consecutive losses Wednesday night at New Jersey. Oskar Lindblom, Cam Atkinson and Scott Laughton also had goals.

Earlier in the day, the Flyers fired Vigneault after he went 147-74-54 in two-plus seasons. Vigneault led the Flyers to the top seed in the Eastern Conference in 2019-20, but they missed the playoffs last season. General manager Chuck Fletcher made the move following Philadelphia’s 7-1 home loss to Tampa Bay on Sunday night.

Fletcher also let go of assistant coach Michel Therrien, who oversaw a power play that entered 30th in the NHL at 13.4%.

Giroux said before the game that the Flyers had no identity.

“We have a lot of things to figure out, a lot of things to work on,” he said. “I doubt that we’re going to solve all of them tonight. But for tonight, go out there tonight in front of our fans, work our butt off and do everything we can to get a win.”

The Flyers may have worked hard, but the result was all too familiar.

Giroux’s slap shot from the slot gave the Flyers a 1-0 lead 6:02 in, but the Avalanche zipped past Philadelphia with speed and skill for four straight goals, culminating with Makar’s rush into the Flyers zone past defenseman Ivan Provorov that he finished with a wrister that beat goalie Martin Jones on the glove side.

It was the 11th goal and 22nd point for the defenseman this season.

“That was unreal,” Johnson said. “Special talent, great goal.”

It looked as if Colorado was on its way to a repeat of Tampa Bay’s lopsided victory Sunday, but the Flyers closed the first period with a pair of goals, on Lindblom’s first in 22 games this season and Giroux’s second of the night on a one-timer on the power play.

Philadelphia entered with just nine goals in 67 chances on the man-advantage before scoring a pair in the high-scoring opening period.

The scoring calmed down in the second, as Colorado got the only tally by Nichushkin 1:42 into the period.

The two-goal margin was plenty for the high-scoring Avalanche, who entered leading the NHL in goals per game at 4.00. Philadelphia has struggled to put the puck in the net all season and entered with 34 fewer goals than the Avalanche in one more game played.

The Flyers had gone 17 consecutive games with three goals or fewer before Atkinson’s tally on a one-timer from close range 2:16 into the third pulled Philadelphia to 5-4. Philadelphia last scored more than three goals on Oct. 27.

Kadri restored the two-goal lead with a power-play goal 3½ minutes later for his team-leading 31st point.

“We thought they’d come out a little harder with the coaching change,” Johnson said. “Luckily, we were able to keep enough separation.”

Justus Annunen, playing in his second career game, made 27 saves for the Avalanche.


Giroux sounded pleased that Yeo is going to get a chance to lead a turnaround.

“Mike is a great guy, a guy you want to play for,” he said. “Anytime he talks to us, you can see that players really listen. You want to be involved with a guy like Mike Yeo.”

The 48-year-old Yeo has eight years of coaching experience, going 246-181-55 with Minnesota and St. Louis.


Avalanche: D Bown Byram (head) missed his third games in a row. He is day-to-day.

Flyers: Winger Joel Farabee (left shoulder) missed his third straight game. He is week-to-week. … C Derick Brassard (hip) was sidelined for the sixth straight game.


Avalanche: At the New York Rangers on Wednesday to end a five-game road trip.

Flyers: At the New Jersey Devils on Wednesday.


More AP NHL: and

Carlson comes up big in Caps' 4-3 shootout win over Ducks

1.5d ago 12/6/2021 10:07 PM ET By IAN NICHOLAS QUILLEN, Associated Press WASHINGTON

WASHINGTON (AP) — John Carlson tied the game late in the second period and then scored Washington's third and final shootout goal to give the Capitals a 4-3 victory over the Anaheim Ducks on Monday night.

Tom Wilson scored his 100th career goal and Carl Hagelin added his first of the season for Washington, which improved 2-0-1 during a four-game homestand.

“We haven’t made any excuses on why we can’t be successful,” Washington coach Peter Laviolette said. “And so that's a credit to the players and the guys in the room. No matter who's put on a jersey for any given game, they have responded, and they've played really hard and they've played really well.”

Alex Ovechkin added his 20th and 21st assists for the Capitals, then joined Daniel Sprong in scoring during the shootout. Ilya Samsonov made 31 saves, including the only one required by either goaltender in overtime.

“Teams don't want to get beat,” Carlson said of the tight 3-on-3 session after an otherwise open game. “Which is, depending on how you look at it, a shame or a relief, I think.”

Sonny Milano had a goal and assist for Anaheim, which a day earlier saw all-time leading scorer Ryan Getzlaf go on injured reserve with a lower-body injury. Vinni Lettieri and Joshn Manson also scored for the Ducks, and Trevor Zegras contributed his 14th and 15th assists in the first of a five-game, seven-day East Coast trip.

Rickard Rakell and Troy Terry contributed shootout goals for the Ducks, and John Gibson stopped 26 shots.

“There were lots of plays being made, and at a high rate of speed,” Ducks coach Dallas Eakins said. “A well-fought point. We would like both, though.”

The Ducks and Capitals combined for five second-period goals. Manson guided in the rebound of Milano’s shot off the post only nine seconds after the period-opening faceoff.

After Hagelin scored for Washington, Milano added his own rebound goal when he swatted a loose puck out of the air past Samsonov to tie it at 2 later in the period.

Lettieri’s one-time wrister off Cam Fowler’s feed easily beat Samsonov from close range. But Carlson put in his own rebound inside the final minute after Ovechkin’s steal and feed.

“Offensive game, a lot of chances both ways,” Zegras said. “I thought it was pretty fun.”


Ducks: Manson’s goal was the 20th scored by an Anaheim defenseman this season. … C Benoit-Oliver Groulx was scratched after being recalled from AHL San Diego.

Capitals: Ovechkin has reached or surpassed 20 assists for the first time since the 2018-19 season. … Hagelin was playing with the second line, a sign of that the Capitals are still battling injuries and COVID-19-related absences. ... RW Garnet Hathaway joined C Nic Dowd and D Trevor van Riemsdyk in the league’s COVID-19 protocols before Monday’s game.


Wilson tussled with rookie Simon Benoit in the second period in what was Washington's first fight of the season.

“It hasn't come across very much where we've had to get into that, but I thought Tom did a great job,” Laviolette said.

However, the game went Anaheim's way in the immediate aftermath with two goals.

“I think that Benny had the courage to square off with him certainly gave us an injection of excitement and a little bit of a lift," Eakins said.


Ducks: Continue their trip at Buffalo on Tuesday.

Capitals: Host Pittsburgh on Friday.


More AP NHL: and

Canucks owner says Boudreau's 'record speaks for itself'

1.6d ago 12/6/2021 9:37 PM ET VANCOUVER, British Columbia


VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Vancouver Canucks owner Francesco Aquilini says he may have been “too patient” in waiting for the struggling NHL team to turn its season around.

His patience ran out Sunday as the team cleaned house, firing general manager Jim Benning, assistant manager Jim Weisbrod, coach Travis Green and assistant coach Nolan Baumgartner.

“These are difficult decisions. These are not easy. I mean, to fire everybody at the same time, that’s a hard thing to do and maybe I was a little bit too patient,” Aquilini told reporters Monday. “I was hoping for a turnaround. We were losing these games by one goal and maybe I was too optimistic, and so we made the change when we made the change.”

The Canucks replaced Green with Bruce Boudreau, signing the veteran NHL coach to a deal through the 2022-23 season. The 66-year-old Toronto native led the Washington Capitals, Anaheim Ducks and Minnesota Wild. He won the Jack Adams Award as the league’s top coach in 2008 when he took over the floundering Capitals and guided them through a bounce-back season.

Boudreau's first game at the helm was a winner — 4-0 over the Los Angeles Kings on Monday night. Boudreau said at his introductory news conference before the game that he’s been dying to get back behind an NHL bench.

“When approached (by Vancouver), I thought ‘This is perfect,’” said Boudreau, who was fired by the Wild in February 2020. “I’ve always wanted to coach in Canada and so this was going to be a great opportunity and I jumped at it.”

Stan Smyl, a former Canucks right-winger who was promoted from senior adviser to interim general manager on Sunday, said it sends the right message to a locker room that was waiting for something to happen. Vancouver is last in the Pacific Division with an 8-15-2 record.

“Things weren’t working. Was it the decision on the GM? Was it the decision on a coach? We didn’t have all those answers and the players were looking around for answers, and what happens when you get to this point is you start finger pointing,” he said.

“Bottom line, our performance this season hasn’t been good enough. We do have some talented young players and a good core to build around, but we need to be better.”

The search for new hockey operations leadership is underway, Aquilini said, and “everything is on the table,” including potentially hiring both a GM and a president.

Right now, though, he wants to see his team get back in the win column.

“I know our fans and the media are frustrated and unhappy. But I assure you that no one is more frustrated and unhappy than me and my family,” Aquilini said. “I’m also disappointed and surprised. In the offseason, we believed we’d have a much better team than what we’ve been seeing, that we’d have a better competitive team this year.”

Aquilini said Smyl suggested Boudreau as a replacement. After some discussions, Aquilini made the coach an offer.

“Bruce is a veteran coach, he’s very experienced, his record speaks for itself. He’s had a lot of success in these situations and we just felt that it was the right time,” Aquilini said. “I think we want to get back to being a competitive team again. That’s what we’re hoping for.”

Boudreau said he wants the Canucks to be an aggressive offensive team, but one that’s responsible in its own zone, too. He recognizes that Vancouver has areas where it needs to improve, but also sees promise in the team’s young stars — even those who have underperformed so far this season.

“As far as I’m concerned, all of these guys have opportunities right now to start over,” he said. “I’m not going to look at somebody and say ‘Geez, you weren’t very good for the first 15 games so you’re not going to get a chance to play.’ It’s ‘This is what you’re supposed to be. Let’s see what you’ve got.’”

Boudreau got on the ice with his new group Monday morning. Canucks captain Bo Horvat said he brought “a lot of positive energy” and some new ideas, including changes the team looked to implement Monday night.

“Our team needed a spark,” Horvat said. “It brings us new life. But at the same time, we have to go out there and prove it now.”

A fresh voice can always help out in the locker room, said left-winger Tanner Pearson.

“Hopefully getting (Boudreau) in here, we can take a deep breath and maybe start from scratch, maybe not worry about the last 25 games,” he said.

Boudreau isn’t looking too far into the future just yet. He's setting small goals for the team, starting with collecting more wins than losses in this week’s homestand.

“You’d really like to make it a winning team from here on in," he said. “And to get the guys happy, to get the fan base happy again with them winning.”

“Wherever that leads, that leads. We just don’t want things to continue what they’re doing what they’re doing. If it ends up getting into a playoff spot, fine and dandy. That’s our ultimate goal for everybody.” ___

More AP NHL: and

Jets' Pionk suspended; Leafs' Spezza offered hearing for hit

1.7d ago 12/6/2021 6:27 PM ET NEW YORK

NEW YORK (AP) — Winnipeg defenseman Neal Pionk was suspended two games Monday for a knee-on-knee hit on Toronto's Rasmus Sandin in the third period Sunday.

After the hit on Sandin, Maple Leafs center Jason Spezza drove his left knee into the face of Pionk, who was stickless and on his knees trying to clear a puck. Spezza has been offered an in-person hearing with NHL, and likely will be suspended.

In-person hearings are required for any suspension that could be at least six games. The date and time of Spezza’s hearing have not been announced.

Sandin skated off the ice after the knee-on-knee hit on his right knee.

The Jets won Sunday’s game 6-3.


More AP NHL: and

Flyers fire Vigneault amid skid; Yeo named interim coach

2.0d ago 12/6/2021 10:37 AM ET By DAN GELSTON, AP Sports Writer PHILADELPHIA

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Philadelphia Flyers fired coach Alain Vigneault on Monday with the team spiraling toward a franchise-worst losing streak, turning to yet another coach to try and end a Stanley Cup drought pushing 47 years.

The Flyers have been one of NHL’s biggest flops this season. Their 7-1 loss to Tampa Bay on Sunday sealed Vigneault’s fate. Assistant coach Michel Therrien also was fired.

“Right now, we’ve lost our way,” Philadelphia general manager Chuck Fletcher said.

Mike Yeo was named interim coach of the Flyers, who lost 7-5 to Colorado on Monday night in his debut for their ninth straight defeat — one shy of matching a dubious team record.

The Flyers are 8-11-4 and in seventh place in the Metropolitan Division. Vigneault went 74-54-19 with the Flyers and missed the playoffs last season.

Fletcher tried to blame injuries last week for the team's recent slide, but it became clear as the losses piled up that a change was needed.

“The last 10, we slipped back. There’s no question,” he said last week. “Now the onus is on our group to get it back. When injured players come back, it makes it easier. We can’t kid ourselves. We have to get better.”

Vigneault lasted two-plus seasons in Philadelphia and never could lead the Flyers in the right direction this year after a promising first season in which he guided them to the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference in the NHL’s restart bubble.

“The guy that is the leader of this group who has both his hands on the steering wheel is me and I have to find a way to get this group to play better,” he said Sunday. “We are in a bad skid right now and we need to end this. We have an opportunity tomorrow night and hopefully we will play better.”

Vigneault had led the New York Rangers and Vancouver Canucks to the Stanley Cup Final and was trying to do the same in Philadelphia, where the Flyers haven't won it all since consecutive championships in 1974 and 1975.

The Flyers instead are trying to avoid a 10-game losing streak for the first time since the 2018-19 season.

“Last night was a good example that our game wasn’t good enough and getting embarrassed in your own building, it’s not acceptable,” captain Claude Giroux said before Monday's game.

Giroux has played his entire career with the Flyers since his 2007 debut and ranks among the franchise leaders in most offensive categories while playing for coaches John Stevens, Peter Laviolette, Craig Berube, Dave Hakstol, Scott Gordon, Vigneault and now Yeo.

The 33-year-old center is in the final season of an eight-year, $66 million deal and could waive his no-movement clause and ask for a trade to a contender.

“Right now, you look at our group and we don’t have an identity,” Giroux said. “We get a goal scored on us and we kind of stop playing. We need to find our confidence within this group. We need to believe that even if a team scores the first goal that we just have to keep playing our game. ”

Giroux scored twice against Colorado, but the Flyers could tie the club record for consecutive losses Wednesday night at New Jersey.

It's up to Yeo, at least in the short term, to figure out how to fix the Flyers. Yeo was fired by the St. Louis Blues in November 2018. He joined the Blues as an assistant in 2016 after five seasons with Minnesota. The Wild made the playoffs in three of Yeo’s four full seasons, but he was fired 55 games into 2015-16.

“This is an opportunity for me to prove that I've grown," Yeo said.

Fletcher was GM in Minnesota when Yeo coached the Wild, and the new coach will likely get some games to prove he can steer the Flyers toward a playoff run.

“The focus is not on interviewing people and rushing to hire a head coach. It’s to support Mike,” Fletcher said.

Fletcher overhauled the roster following last season's 25-23-8 record (58 points) under Vigneault. The Flyers gave out rich contract extensions to Joel Farabee and Carter Hart and an eight-year, $62 million deal to Sean Couturier. Fletcher acquired defensemen Ryan Ellis and Rasmus Ristolainen and signed Keith Yandle and Derick Brassard. The Flyers also signed backup goaltender Martin Jones and traded for forward Cam Atkinson.

“I still don’t know truly what we have here,” Fletcher said.

Again in Philly, the changes weren't enough to make the Flyers a championship contender. They haven't made the Stanley Cup Final since losing to Chicago in 2010.

“I can’t speak for the last 10 years. Most of these guys haven’t been here that long,” Fletcher said. “The process right now isn’t right. We have to get back to playing the right way.”


More AP NHL: and

AP source: Philadelphia Flyers fire coach Alain Vigneault following 8 straight losses

2.0d ago 12/6/2021 10:27 AM ET PHILADELPHIA

Teams: PHI

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — AP source: Philadelphia Flyers fire coach Alain Vigneault following 8 straight losses.

The Vancouver Canucks have named veteran Bruce Boudreau coach after firing 3 executives and their head coach

2.4d ago 12/6/2021 2:27 AM ET VANCOUVER, British Columbia

Teams: VAN

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — The Vancouver Canucks have named veteran Bruce Boudreau coach after firing 3 executives and their head coach.

Struggling Canucks name Boudreau coach amid leadership purge

2.4d ago 12/6/2021 2:27 AM ET VANCOUVER, British Columbia

Teams: MIN VAN

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — The Vancouver Canucks named veteran Bruce Boudreau coach following a leadership purge late Sunday night in which three executives and head coach Travis Green were let go.

The Canucks, in a statement, said general manager Jim Benning was fired and assistant manager Jim Weisbrod, Green and assistant coach Nolan Baumgartner were also relieved of their duties.

The Canucks said the search for new hockey operations leadership “has begun.”

Boudreau, former coach of the Washington Capitals, Anaheim Ducks and Minnesota Wild, is the 20th head coach in Canucks history. Scott Walker was named assistant coach to Boudreau.

“I am excited to add Bruce Boudreau as our new head coach, and Scott as assistant,” Canucks owner Francesco Aquilini said in a statement. “Bruce is one of the most experienced coaches in the NHL, with nearly 1,000 games behind the bench and a successful track record working with some of the game’s best talent. Scott is a young coach with an excellent reputation who will fit in very well with our group.”

The changes follow a dismal performance Saturday in which the Pittsburgh Penguins routed the Canucks 4-1 in Vancouver, eliciting boos and chants of “fire Benning!” The Canucks host the Los Angeles Kings on Monday night.

The 58-year-old Benning was known for some solid draft picks and questionable free-agent signings over his eight seasons as GM.

Vancouver is off to a rough start this year, falling to last place in the Pacific Division with a record of 8-15-2.

Several of Vancouver’s stars have struggled offensively and the club’s special teams have floundered. The team has the worst penalty kill in the league (64.6%) and has capitalized on 17.4% of its power-play chances.

“These are difficult decisions, but we believed we would have a competitive group this year,” Aquilini said. “As a result, I’m extremely disappointed in how the team has performed so far. I’m making these changes because we want to build a team that competes for championships and it’s time for new leadership to help take us there.”

The 66-year-old Boudreau has a career coaching record of 567-302-115 and won the Jack Adams Award as the NHL’s top coach in 2007-08 when he was with the Capitals. He was fired by the Wild in Feb. 2020, during his 13th season as an NHL coach. During Boudreau's coaching tenure, his teams made the playoffs in 10 of 12 full seasons.

The 49-year-old Walker spent four seasons playing right wing for the Canucks from 1994-98. He previously coached the Ontario Hockey League’s Guelph Storm and worked as the Storm’s president of hockey operations.

The 50-year-old Green was in his fifth season behind the bench. He led Vancouver to the playoffs once during his tenure.

Green admitted that his team’s dismal start was “trying,” and said it can be frustrating to not get results when you feel like you’re playing well in certain parts of your game.

“You bang your head against the wall, you get up the next day and try to pick your team up a little bit. Also be stern with them in areas where you need to be stern and fix,” he said in mid-November. “From a coaching standpoint, you have to make sure you keep your emotions in check and get the right message across to your group.”

Green signed a two-year extension in May after Vancouver finished the 2020-21 campaign last in the seven-team all-Canadian North Division with a record of 23-29-4.

The 2020-21 season was a difficult one for Green and the Canucks, both on and off the ice. Vancouver won just two games in February and suffered the NHL’s worst COVID-19 outbreak at the end of March.

Twenty-one players and four coaches — including Green — tested positive for the virus and the Canucks’ games were put on hold for more than two weeks.


More AP NHL: and

Dadonov, Pacioretty, Roy lift Vegas over Calgary, 3-2

2.4d ago 12/6/2021 12:57 AM ET By W.G. RAMIREZ, Associated Press LAS VEGAS

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Evgenii Dadonov scored his seventh goal of the season and the Vegas Golden Knights beat the Calgary Flames 3-2 on Sunday night.

Less than two minutes after Calgary’s Elias Lindholm cut the Golden Knights’ 2-0 lead in half, Dadonov responded by smacking a rebound past Flames goalie Jacob Markstrom to give Vegas a 3-1 lead.

Max Pacioretty and Nicolas Roy also scored for the Golden Knights, who welcomed William Karlsson back into the lineup and continued to get healthier after being hit by the injury bug over the first two months of the season. Karlsson missed 15 games due to a broken foot.

“When we start getting that depth back we have a lot better ability to play the type of game we played tonight,” Vegas coach Peter DeBoer said. “By far the most complete game we played in a long time. And I think part of that was our players’ commitment to it and part of it was we’re getting healthy and getting some real good players back in the lineup.”

Meanwhile, Vegas goaltender Robin Lehner made 23 saves, and afterward announced he was foregoing the 2022 Winter Olympics, where he was expected to play for Sweden.

“For health reasons, me and my psychiatrist decided with agents that I’m not gonna go and I wish them all the best,” said Lehner, who has been one of the league’s most outspoken players on mental-health issues.

Andrew Mangiapane added a goal to the Flames’ total, and Markstrom, who is expected to represent Sweden in the Olympics, made 25 saves.

Calgary was playing its third road game in four nights, part of a four-game road trip that ends Tuesday in San Jose.

“I think the difference was we just weren’t as sharp for the whole 60 minutes and they took it to us pretty good, especially the first two periods,” Calgary forward Matthew Tkachuk said. “We played a little bit better once it was a little easier and we were down, but that can’t happen. We have to be ready from the start and play that full 60 that we’ve been pretty good at this year.”

Capitalizing on a turnover initiated by captain Mark Stone, the Golden Knights opened the scoring late in the first period. Stone fired a pass through the neutral zone to Stephenson, who raced in for a breakaway a step ahead of Rasmus Andersson but fed a trailing Pacioretty. He fired it past Markstrom to extend his point streak to five games (four goals and three assists since Nov. 24).

Vegas extended its lead to two goals early in the third period. Markstrom blocked a shot by Shea Theodore, but Theodore gathered the puck and swiftly sent the puck to the slot where Roy fired it in with a wrist shot.

Mangiapane’s 17th goal of the season came with 2:41 left in the game, cutting Vegas’ lead back down to one, but the Golden Knights held on.

“Obviously we didn’t win and that’s the most important thing, but we also didn’t roll over and die, you know what I mean?” Flames defenseman Chris Tanev said. “They get up 3-1, the building’s loud, it’s easy for guys to just sit back and not want to make plays and be afraid to go out there. Guys are still pushing, guys are still trying to score goals, which is a big step for us.”

The Golden Knights improved to 9-3-0 all-time against Calgary, and are now a perfect 7-0-0 against the Flames at T-Mobile Arena.

“It’s definitely a mindset of ours, is sticking to our details and making sure that we’re executing it for a full 60 minutes,” Vegas defenseman Nic Hague said. “And I thought we did a good job of that tonight. Even when they had their push in the third, we stuck with it, quick response there by (Roy’s) line and that’s great to see. That was a big boost for us.”

NOTES: Roy played in his 100th game as a member of the Golden Knights. ... Vegas is 10 for 10 with its penalty kill the last four games. ... Despite the loss, the Flames still boast an 11-3-2 road mark and also have a 1.87 goals-against average on the highway - both league-bests.


Calgary: At San Jose on Tuesday.

Vegas: Hosts Dallas on Wednesday.


More AP NHL: and

Wheeler plays 1,000th NHL game, Jets top Maple Leafs 6-3

2.5d ago 12/5/2021 11:37 PM ET WINNIPEG, Manitoba

WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) — Blake Wheeler had two assists in his 1,000th NHL game and Connor Hellebuyck made 32 saves, leading the Winnipeg Jets to a 6-3 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Sunday night.

“There’s a lot of buildup, a lot of anticipation,” said Wheeler, who has 12 assists, but no goals this season. “You want to absorb it and enjoy it and soak in every moment, but at the same time it’s nice to move on. It’s weird being front and center when you play a team sport.”

Pierre-Luc Dubois, Andrew Copp, Evgeny Svechnikov, Kyle Connor, Nikolaj Ehlers and Mark Scheifele scored, and Hellebuyck earned his ninth win of the season for Winnipeg.

“Today was just a good hockey game, right?” Jets coach Paul Maurice said. “It had a little bit of everything in it. There was some energy and emotion, as there should be. Toronto for sure would be a rivalry as we played them 10 times last year. This game had some leftover from games past. It got a little heated out there, but that’s good.”

Michael Bunting, Auston Matthews and Ondrej Kase scored for Toronto. Joseph Woll stopped 35 shots.

“We didn’t give (Woll) any help,” said Matthews, who extended his goal-scoring streak to six games. “That’s on us, we didn’t help him out one bit. He still made some pretty amazing saves. The way we just let them fly through and have all these odd-man chances, that’s not the way you want to play.”

Wheeler helped get the Jets on the board first with a nifty pass on the power play to Dubois, who was all alone in front of the Leafs net. His deke beat Woll, the Leafs’ backup, at 4:05 to give the home side a 1-0 lead. It was his 12th goal of the season.

Dubois then took an offensive zone penalty as he tripped up David Kampf, sending the Leafs to the power play. Toronto didn’t do much for most of the man advantage, but Pierre Engvall found Bunting in the Jets’ slot and his wrist shot beat Hellebuyck at 16:08.

The Jets regained the lead before the second period was two minutes old when defenseman Neil Pionk hit Copp with a pass and he beat Woll on a partial breakaway.

The Jets doubled their lead just a few shifts later as Dominic Toninato found Svechnikov on a 2-on-1 and his wrist shot beat Woll high to the blocker side. It was his second goal of the season.

The Jets went back to the power play a few minutes later. Connor put the Jets ahead 4-1 when his shot from the right dot beat Woll at 7:38. It was his 15th of the season.

Ehlers converted Copp’s pass for his ninth of the season to give the Jets a 5-1 lead. It was Winnipeg’s fourth goal in less than nine minutes.

Wheeler’s tripping penalty on Rasmus Sandin at 13:28 of the second period put the Jets down two men and Matthews made him pay. His wrist shot from the top of the circle beat Hellebuyck just underneath the crossbar 52 seconds later to make it 5-2.

The Leafs still had the power play but couldn’t capitalize. A seconds after the man advantage expired, they pulled within two. Kase went down the right side and squeezed a shot between Hellebuyck and the left post at 15:46 for his sixth of the season.

The Jets put the game away with power-play goal as Connor hit Scheifele at the Leafs blue line and he split the defense and scored between Woll's pads his sixth of the year at 8:14 of the third period.

NOTES: The Jets honored Wheeler in a pregame ceremony with a silver stick and a video montage of his career, which started with the Boston Bruins in 2008 and took him to Atlanta before moving with the Thrashers to Winnipeg in 2011. The Jets wore Wheeler jerseys during the warm-up.


Toronto: Hosts Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday, the opener of a three-game homestand.

Winnipeg: Host the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday, the last game of a four-game homestand.


More AP NHL: and

Kempe's two goals help put Kings over Oilers, 5-1

2.5d ago 12/5/2021 11:07 PM ET EDMONTON, Alberta

EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — Adrian Kempe scored a pair of goals and the Los Angeles Kings snapped a two-game skid with a 5-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday night.

Rasmus Kupari, Drew Doughty and Trevor Moore also scored for the Kings, who netted three power-play goals in a span of 2:19 late in the third period after Edmonton's Connor McDavid was given a boarding major for hitting Kempe from behind.

“We just stuck to our game plan, we didn’t sit back, kept pushing forward,” Doughty said. “Our game plan is never to take a lot of high risks, just to stay calm, get pucks in and get pucks out. ... we didn’t want to change anything in the third, we didn’t want to sit back.”

Darnell Nurse scored the lone goal for the Oilers, who lost two straight for the first time this season. Mikko Koskinen stopped 35 shots.

“This has been coming for a while here, been coming for a while,” Oilers coach Dave Tippett said. “We’ve been masking it with some special teams stuff, but we haven’t had enough guys play well for a while. It was a 2-1 score but weren’t good enough in it, and we gave up some power-play goals at the end.

“We’ve got too many guys who aren’t contributing enough to help us here.”

The Oilers got off to another bad start, as the Kings scored just two minutes in when Moore made a nice touch pass to Kupari at the side of the net for an easy tap-in past Koskinen.

The Kings made it 2-0 less than two minutes into the second period, with Kempe scoring his ninth on a wrist shot that Koskinen could have saved.

Edmonton got back into the game midway through the second period with a shorthanded goal. Nurse scored his first of the season, up high from a sharp angle past Quick. It was Nurse's first game back after missing six due to breaking a finger when he blocked a shot.

A late comeback became more difficult for the Oilers with McDavid's five-minute major with 6 1/2 minutes remaining in the third period. Los Angeles got a power-play goal just over a minute later by Kempe — his second of the game on a rebound from the doorstep.

The Kings added a second goal on the man-advantage as Doughty was able to rifle a shot into a wide-open net, and less than a minute later, Moore found some space in front to beat Koskinen.

NOTES: Mike Smith (lower body), Devin Shore (lower body), Slater Koekkoek (lower body), and Duncan Keith (upper body) were all out for the Oilers, while Cody Ceci remained out under COVID-19 protocol. ... The Kings were missing two players due to COVID-19: Andreas Athanasiou and Blake Lizotte. … Kings forward Brendan Lemieux served the third of a five-game suspension for biting Ottawa Senators forward Brady Tkachuk.


Kings: At Vancouver on Monday.

Oilers: Host Minnesota on Tuesday for the second game of a six-game homestand.


More AP NHL: and

Blackhawks win 3-2 in SO; Islanders lose 11th straight game

2.5d ago 12/5/2021 10:57 PM ET By ALLAN KREDA, Associated Press NEW YORK

NEW YORK (AP) — Patrick Kane scored the only goal in the shootout and the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Islanders 3-2 Sunday night, sending New York to its 11th straight loss overall and its sixth straight setback its new arena.

Kane beat Semyon Varlamov with Chicago’s second shootout attempt, and Marc-Andre Fleury denied all three chances by the Islanders to secure the win. The victory was the 499th of Fleury's career. With his next victory, Fleury would join Martin Brodeur (691) and Patrick Roy (551) as the only goalies to reach 500 wins in the NHL. Fleury is 499-285-82 in his 18 seasons.

“Hats off to Marc-Andre, a great game again. Especially shootouts. He's been doing a tremendous job,'' Blackhawks coach Derek King. ”Our guys are buying into a having to take teams to a 2-1 win or 2-2 tie into overtime. Good for them to compete all three periods and get us to that point."

The Islanders tied the game at 2-all with four seconds left in the third period on a goal by defenseman Noah Dobson. Despite another defeat, the Islanders were heartened by getting a point and pressing the Blackhawks until the end of regulation.

“It was nice to bury one in those finals seconds,” Dobson said. “We have to continue to do that and play with confidence.”

Brandon Hagel and Dylan Strome scored in regulation for Chicago. Fleury finished with 22 saves.

Jean-Gabriel Pageau also scored for the Islanders, who earned a point for the third straight game but fell to 0-8-3 in their losing streak. Their last three losses have been in overtime or shootouts after eight-straight regulation losses. Varlamov finished with 24 saves.

“We brought some good things in last three games, we are building right now,'' Pageau said. ”We are going in the right direction. Varly kept us in the game, gave us chance to get that extra point. To get that goal was huge for us."

Strome had put Chicago ahead 2-1 at 5:59 of the third with his second goal of the season, beating Varlamov with a high shot from the right faceoff circle. Alex DeBrincat and Erik Gustafsson assisted.

“We'll take the two points and move on,'' Strome said. "It's nice to chip in. Personally it feels great."

The last-place Islanders, missing leading scorer Brock Nelson and defenseman Ryan Pulock due to injuries, fell to 0-4-2 at UBS Arena as their winless streak reached 11 (0-8-3). The skid dropped their season record to 5-10-5.

The Islanders' longest winless run came from Nov. 21-Dec. 20, 1972, when they went 15 games (12 losses, three ties) without a victory. New York lost 12 straight games twice in franchise history, from Nov. 22-Dec. 15, 1988, and Dec. 27, 1972 to Jan. 16, 1973.

The Blackhawks are 12-3-2 in their last 17 games against Islanders.

Hagel opened the scoring with a power-play goal, beating Varlamov at 6:49 of the first period with his eighth goal of the season. Assists went to DeBrincat and Seth Jones.

Jones, who had two assists in Saturday’s 3-2 loss to the Rangers, has 19 assists this season. Only Adam Fox of the Rangers has more assists among NHL defensemen, with 20.

Jones leads the Blackhawks in points with 22. Patrick Kane has 21 points, while DeBrincat, who scored both goals against the Rangers on Saturday, has 20 points.

Chicago outshot the Islanders 10-8 in the first period.

The Islanders tied the contest at 8:03 of the second on a power-play goal by Pageau. Sebastian Aho and Mathew Barzal assisted. It was Pageau’s second goal of the season.

Pageau’s goal against Fleury gave the UBS Arena crowd — starved for a victory at the new arena — a chance to celebrate.

The Islanders held a 7-4 shots advantage in the second period, and couldn’t muster much in the third until Dobson’s heroics.

The Islanders had a power-play chance at 11:18 of third, but Fleury denied New York’s best chance, a blistering shot by Oliver Wahlstrom.

Fleury also denied a close-in shot by Adam Pelech with just over two minutes left, and chance by Wahlstrom with 58 seconds left with Varlamov pulled for an extra skater.

The Islanders, who were coming off a 4-3 overtime loss on Saturday at Detroit, haven’t won since Nov. 6, a 2-0 victory at Winnipeg.

"We would love to get our first win in the building – for our fans, our confidence,'' Islanders coach Barry Trotz said.

Chicago is 8-4-0 under interim coach and former Islanders player Derek King.

The Islanders beat Blackhawks 4-1 at United Center on Oct. 19.


The Islanders will not leave the Eastern time zone until Jan. 4 when they head to Seattle. New York will not spend consecutive nights on the road at any point. By the time the Islanders hit the Olympic/All-Star break, they will have played 25 of their 47 games at home.


Under Barry Trotz, the Islanders are 22-7-5 (.727) in back-ends, the best record of any NHL team in back-ends during this stretch. Tampa has the next-best record: 22-9-3 (.691).

NOTES: The Islanders scratched forwards Matt Martin and Otto Koivula, plus defenseman Robin Salo. They continued to be without center Casey Cizikas in COVIVID-19 protocol. … The Blackhawks scratched defensemen Conor Murphy and Jake McCabe and forward Mike Hardman. … Chicago’s interim head coach Derek King scored 211 goals and had 288 assists in 638 games with the Islanders, including a 40-goal season in 1991-92.


Islanders: At Ottawa Senators on Tuesday.

Blackhawks: Host New York Rangers on Tuesday.


More AP NHL: and

Perry, McDonagh lead Lightning in 7-1 win over flat Flyers

2.6d ago 12/5/2021 9:07 PM ET By AARON BRACY, Associated Press PHILADELPHIA

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Corey Perry had two goals and an assist and Ryan McDonagh scored and had a pair of assists to lead the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 7-1 victory over the slumping Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday night.

Mathieu Joseph, Taylor Raddysh, Boris Katchouk and Pat Maroon also scored for the Lightning, who won their third in a row and ninth of their last 12. Victor Hedman had three assists to boost his team-leading total to 21. Backup goalie Brian Elliott made 38 saves.

Elliott was especially sharp early as Tampa Bay was slow to get going on the second game of a back-to-back after a 3-2 overtime win at Boston on Saturday.

“They pushed and (Elliott) was there for us,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. “You need your goalie to make those saves until we get our legs.”

Elliott was glad to perform well in Philadelphia, where he had spent the previous four seasons.

“Anytime you come to a building you played a while at, you want to have success,” he said. “It’s something you definitely circle on the calendar, and if you get a chance to play, you want to do your best.”

Cam Atkinson scored for the Flyers, who have lost eight in a row and are two losses away from tying the club record of 10 consecutive defeats.

“Didn’t go well for us,” Flyers coach Alain Vigneault said.

Carter Hart made 10 saves before being replaced by Martin Jones, who also had 10 saves.

The Flyers’ skid started when Tampa Bay visited Philadelphia on Nov. 18 and beat them in a 4-3 shootout. Then, the Lightning beat the Flyers at home 4-0 on Nov. 23.

“We are looking for solutions to our situation,” Vigneault said. “The leader of this group, the guy that’s got both his hands on the steering, is me. I got to find a way to get this group to play better. We’re in a bad skid right now and we need to end this.”

Sunday’s game wrapped up the season series against Tampa Bay. But it wasn’t pretty.

McDonagh and Perry scored in the first for Tampa Bay. Raddysh made it 3-0 with a hard slap shot from the right side that beat Hart on the glove side just 2:56 into the second period, and four minutes later, Katchouk knocked in a rebound that was just sitting in the crease.

“If we’re going to go anywhere, we’re going to need that depth scoring,” Cooper said.

Philadelphia was in a four-goal hole, and it got worse at 8:34 in the second, when Joseph scored a short-handed goal after Hart misplayed the puck near his own net. That was the end of the night for Hart, who was replaced by Jones.

“Things aren’t going our way right now,” Hart said. “It’s tough, but we just got to stick with it.”

Even when the Flyers got the puck across the goal line in the second, it didn’t count. Officials ruled on video review that the puck went off a high stick of Scott Laughton before going in.

Philadelphia has struggled to score all season, and have been outscored 36-13 during the eight-game losing streak. The Flyers entered averaging 2.4 goals per contest, which was 27th in the NHL. They haven’t netted more than three goals since Oct. 27, a span of 18 games.

The Flyers did, however, get a goal on the power play. Atkinson deflected home Claude Giroux’s wrister with 12:56 to play .


Lightning: Brayden Point (upper body) missed his eighth game in a row. Point will be sidelined for at least another four weeks. … LW Pierre-Edouard Bellemare took a hard shot to the skate in the final minute of the second period but returned for the third.

Flyers: Winger Joel Farabee injured his left shoulder sliding into the boards in the first period of Wednesday’s 4-1 loss at the Rangers. He won’t need surgery and is week-to-week, coach Alain Vigneault said Saturday. … C Patrick Brown returned to the lineup after missing the previous seven with a thumb injury. … C Derick Brassard (hip) was sidelined for the fifth straight contest. … C Sean Couturier suffered an apparent facial injury in the first period, as he skated with a face shield beginning in the second.


Lightning: At Montreal on Tuesday night.

Flyers: Host Colorado on Monday night.


More AP NHL: and

Columbus snaps 4-game skid, rallies to beat San Jose 6-4

2.6d ago 12/5/2021 9:07 PM ET By NICOLE KRAFT, Associated Press COLUMBUS, Ohio

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Adam Boqvist scored twice, Andrew Peeke had two assists and the Columbus Blue Jackets snapped a four-game losing streak with a 6-4 come-from-behind win over the San Jose Sharks on Sunday night.

Sean Kuraly, Cole Sillinger, Jack Roslevic and Alexandre Texier scored and Elvis Merzlikins stopped 30 shots as Columbus won its fourth straight home game.

Nick Bonino, Erik Karlsson, Brent Burns and Tomas Hertl scored for San Jose. Matt Nieto and Timo Meier each added two assists and Adin Hill stopped 24 shots in the loss.

“It helps your confidence when we start putting them in the net,” Columbus coach Brad Larsen said. “Elvis made some really big saves, especially early in the game. This was a tough game.”

The Sharks and Blue Jackets traded the lead through the first two periods.

Boqvist’s slap shot at 16:16 of the first period got past Hill, giving Columbus the lead. It was Boqvist's fifth goal and eighth point in 11 games since returning from injury. Rookie Justin Danforth picked up his second career assist in as many games.

“We are a very annoying team to play against,” Boqvist said. “We have to be annoying every night, Then it’s fun to play.”

Bonino surprised Merzlikins and buried the rebound of Nieto’s wrap-around shot to tie the score with just 2.3 seconds left in the first period. It was his fourth goal in seven games.

The Sharks took the lead 21 seconds into the second period on a wrist shot by Karlsson from the blue line. Karlsson has scored six goals this season, including three in the Sharks' last four games.

“We didn’t play our best game,” Karlsson said. “We were a little mentally tired, and we didn’t execute as much as we would have liked, and we made some bad decisions.”

Kuraly evened the score 32 seconds later when he pulled up off the rush and his feed to Eric Robinson was deflected into the net.

San Jose went back ahead with a slap shot from the blue line by Burns at 8:44 of the second, his second goal of the season and first in 11 games. Sillinger pulled Columbus even at 17:49.

“It's huge to stop that losing streak, especially at home when we go on the road for such a long time,” Sillinger said. “When we get these games at home, we have to capitalize on them.”

Roslevic, a healthy scratch in Columbus’ loss Saturday to the Washington Capitals, handily beat Hill at 1:57 of the third to give Columbus a 4-3 lead. Boqvist added the insurance goal at 5:34 of the third.

Herdl made it a one-goal game at 10:11 of the third, firing a shot over Merzlikins' left shoulder before Texier sealed the win with an empty-netter at 18:53.

“Dumb plays and they come back to haunt you,” Sharks coach Bob Boughner said. “You score four goals on the road you feel like you should come away with at least a point, but they scored some timely goals and got some timely saves.”


The Sharks' Brent Burns played in his 622nd consecutive regular-season game, dating to Nov. 21, 2013. He is tied with Karl Alzner for the 12th-longest consecutive games played streak in NHL history.


Andrew Cogliano, who notched a secondary assist on Bonino’s goal, returned to the Sharks' lineup after missing three games to be with his hospitalized daughter.


For the fourth time this season, Columbus had a goal called off for being offsides, this one Gus Nyquist’s apparent score in the third. “It’s crazy to me that it’s happened as much as it has,” Larsen said. “I’m pretty sure everybody understands the rule that the puck has to go over first, but maybe we have to go over it a bit.”


Jakub Voracek’s secondary assist on Boqvist’s second goal was his team-leading 18th of the season and pulled him into a tie with Oliver Bjorkstrand for the most Blue Jackets points. He has just one goal in 23 games.


Columbus has gone 9-3-0 at home this season, and its nine wins and 18 points are the most through the first 12 home games of a season in club history.


“For an 18-year-old kid being in the NHL in Columbus with a young team, I wouldn’t draw it out any differently,” Sillinger said.


Boqvist received a signed stick from fellow Swede and defenseman Erik Karlsson, whom he has admired since childhood. “He’s been my idol growing up,” Boqvist said. “It was a cool night.”


San Jose: Hosts Calgary on Tuesday.

Columbus: Visits Toronto on Tuesday.


More AP NHL: and

Guentzel scores 3 in 2nd period, Penguins beat Canucks 4-1

3.4d ago 12/5/2021 1:06 AM ET VANCOUVER, British Columbia

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Jake Guentzel scored three goals in the second period and added an assist as the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Vancouver Canucks 4-1 on Saturday night.

Guentzel scored two power-play goals after the Canucks had three players sent to the penalty box in quick succession.

“Just the bounces are going my way right now,” Guentzel said. “I think you go through stretches where you don’t get these bounces and for me, I’m just trying to shoot the puck as much as I can and if it goes in or if it creates rebounds, I’m just trying to just try to be around the net and shoot as much as I can and you never know what happens.”

Sidney Crosby had a goal and a pair of assists, and Kris Letang added three assists for the Penguins. Tristan Jarry, from Surrey, British Columbia, had 22 saves in his first start in Vancouver.

Rookie Vasily Podkolzin scored for the Canucks. Thatcher Demko stopped 40 of 44 shots.

“It’s no secret he’s been our most consistent and one of our best players all year round,” forward Tyler Motte said of his goalie. “He’s kept us in a lot of games and given us opportunities to push back. And unfortunately, it’s sad the number of times we’ve left him out to dry.”

Pittsburgh beat the Canucks for the second time in 11 days. The Penguins took a 4-1 decision in Pittsburgh on Nov. 24.

The Canucks had a chance to cut into the deficit with less than three minutes left when John Marino was called for interference.

Vancouver pulled Demko in favor of an extra attacker, but the Canucks struggled to maintain possession.

Chants of “fire Benning!” also echoed through the stadium late in the game, referring to Canucks general manager Jim Benning.

“We heard the frustration from the fans tonight,” Motte said. “We need to look ourselves in the mirror, find a way because we do owe it to more people than just ourselves to put a better product together.”

The Canucks are 8-15-2 overall, including a 3-7-1 record at Rogers Arena.

Captain Bo Horvat understands the crowd’s growing angst.

“Fans want wins and we’re not giving them to them,” he said.

Crosby gave the Pens a three-goal lead 11:15 into the third, tapping in a long shot from Letang. It was the third goal of the season for Pittsburgh's captain, who missed 13 games with injury and illness.

After a scoreless first period, the Penguins’ offense stepped up in the second. Pittsburgh outshot the Canucks 22-5 in the period, with Guentzel netting a hat trick.

Guentzel put Pittsburgh up just 2:19 into the period with a blast from inside the faceoff circle. Demko initially appeared to make the stop, but the puck hit Oliver Ekman-Larsson in front of the net and bounced in past the goalie.

The goal extended Guentzel’s point streak to 12 games. He has 16 points (10 goals, six assists) during the stretch.

Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said it’s Guentzel’s hockey IQ that gives him an edge.

“He has a unique ability to find the soft spots and when he plays with a guy like (Crosby), he usually gets the puck, but he gets there at the right time and I think that’s the genius of Jake’s game and I also think that’s why Jake and (Crosby) have been so complimentary in all the time they’ve been playing together,” he said.

The Canucks replied at 6:18 when Podkolzin, stationed in the middle of the slot, sent a deflection in off Jarry’s shoulder for his fifth goal of the year.

Midway through the period, defenseman Tyler Myers was sent to the penalty box for closing his hand on the puck.

Thirty seconds into the infraction, Tyler Motte was clocked for cross checking Kris Letang and joined Myers in the box. Defenseman Tucker Poolman was sent off the ice 20 seconds later when he sent the puck over the glass for the Canucks’ third straight penalty.

Guentzel was quick to capitalize on the open ice, blasting a shot over Demko’s shoulder 17:13 into the second period.

He added another score — his 13th goal of the season — 70 seconds later with a shot from high in the slot that hit defenseman Luke Schenn and ricocheted past Demko to give Pittsburgh a 3-1 lead.

It was the fourth regular-season hat trick of Guentzel’s career. He’s also scored two in the playoffs.

Pittsburgh was 2 for 6 with the man advantage. Vancouver went scoreless on three power plays.

“When you lose, it’s hard. I get it,” said Canucks head coach Travis Green. “Fans, people get frustrated, we get frustrated too. Our players, they’re mad when they lose, coaches are upset when they lose as well.”

NOTES: The Canucks came into the game with the worst penalty kill in the league (64.5%). … Guentzel has scored in each of Pittsburgh’s 13 road games. … Vancouver is 3-7-1 at home this season.


Penguins: At Seattle on Monday night in the fourth of a five-game trip.

Canucks: Host Los Angeles on Monday night to continue a six-game homestand.


More AP NHL: and

Strome, Panarin lead Rangers to 3-2 win over Blackhawks

3.5d ago 12/4/2021 11:06 PM ET By DENIS P. GORMAN, Associated Press NEW YORK

NEW YORK (AP) — Artemi Panarin and Ryan Strome each had a goal and two assists, and the New York Rangers beat the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2 on Saturday night for their sixth straight win.

Adam Fox added a goal and an assist and Alexandar Georgiev made 25 saves for New York, which has won 10 of its last 11.

“We're a confident team,” Strome said. “We're coming to the rink expecting to win games.”

Patrick Kane and Alex DeBrincat scored for the Blackhawks and Kevin Lankinen finished with 28 saves. Chicago has lost four of its last 11.

“It's a tough loss,” Chicago's Seth Jones said.

Georgiev started for the first time since Nov. 21 after replacing Igor Shesterkin in the third period of Friday night's win against San Jose. Georgiev came in 2-1-1 record with a 3.89 goals against average and .867 save percentage this season.

He was sharp throughout, starting with a save on Josiah Slavin 6:18 into the game in which he moved side-to-side to turn away an attempt from the slot. Georgiev also benefitted from good fortune as a Kane wrister hit the post 5 1/2 minutes later.

“It was huge,” said Georgiev, when asked if he needed a strong game to boost his confidence.

However, Chicago broke through first on a controversial Kane goal with 22.8 seconds left in the first period. Seth Jones began a rush up the ice before firing a high cross-ice pass that Brandon Hagel knocked down with a backhand. The puck bounced away from Georgiev and Alexis Lafreniere to Kane, who had a half-empty net to deposit his seventh of the season.

Rangers coach Gerard Gallant challenged the goal, presumably arguing the puck was played with a high stick but a review ruled that the puck was below Hagel’s shoulder when he played it with his stick.

Strome lasered a power-play goal over a diving Lankinen 4:41 into the second during a four-minute man advantage to tie it.

“We can be better,” Panarin said of a power play that entered the game ranked ninth in the NHL in efficiency, and went 1 for 4 against Chicago.

New York took its first lead of the game with about 2 1/2 minutes remaining in the period on Fox’s fifth of the season. The reigning Norris Trophy winner snuck to the top of the crease and poked Panarin's centering pass past Borgstrom and Lankinen for the go-ahead goal.

“We started turning over pucks,” Jones said. “(And) then they started buzzing around.”

Panarin made it 3-1 with his seventh of the season with 5:14 remaining in the third. New York’s star left wing fired a shot from the left circle into an empty net as Lankinen had overcompensated for Strome at the goalmouth.

“That what he does,” Gallant said about Panarin. “He always makes the right reads.”

Panarin’s goal capped a wild third period in which New York had two power plays and Chicago’s Dominik Kubalik had a chance to tie the game at 2-2 but his semi-breakaway attempt hit the crossbar.

DeBrincat’s 14th of the season with 1:20 remaining ended the scoring.


Prior to the game, New York announced Shesterkin had been placed on injured reserve with a lower body injury.

Shesterkin suffered the injury early in the third period of the Rangers’ 1-0 win over the San Jose Sharks the previous night, and had to be helped off the ice by the trainer. He was replaced by Georgiev, who made nine saves to help complete the shared shutout.

During his pregame availability, Gallant said organizational decision-makers “feel comfortable” that the injury will not sideline Shesterkin for an indefinite period of time. He will miss New York’s next three games, so Adam Huska was called up from AHL Hartford in the corresponding roster move.


Chicago interim coach Derek King announced defenseman Ian Mitchell had been called up from AHL Rockford due to Jake McCabe having “family matters” which required him to return to Chicago. King added “it was nothing really major.”


Blackhawks: At the New York Islanders on Sunday night.

Rangers: At Chicago on Tuesday night to complete the season series with the Blackhawks.


For more AP NHL coverage: and

Tkachuk scores early in OT, leads Senators past Avalanche

3.5d ago 12/4/2021 10:46 PM ET OTTAWA, Ontario

OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — Brady Tkachuk scored his second goal 51 seconds into overtime, giving the Ottawa Senators a 6-5 win over the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday night.

“With all the ice, I told myself I better score,” said Tkachuk, who added an assist for a three-point night.

Tim Stutzle also added two goals and an assist. Josh Norris and Austin Watson also scored for the Senators, who won consecutive games for the first time this season.

Thomas Chabot had two assists and Anton Forsberg had 26 saves.

“It was a good effort by our team,” Tkachuk said. “That’s a good team and now we’ve had good efforts against two top teams. We’ve put in some great efforts, but I believe that we have more.

“I thought we played a responsible game and did a lot of stuff right.”

Alex Newhook, Devon Toews and Gabriel Landeskog each had a goal and an assist for the Avalanche. Darren Helm and Tyson Jost also scored. Nathan MacKinnon had three assists.

Jonas Johansson started the game for Colorado and allowed four goals on 16 shots before being replaced by Justus Annunen, who made his NHL debut and allowed two goals on 19 shots.

Jost scored 1:52 into the third period to pull the Avalanche within 5-4.

The Avs looked to have tied the game in the final three minutes, but a challenge by the Senators showed the play was offside.

Toews then scored on a point shot at 18:40 to send the game to overtime.

The Senators went into the third period with a 5-3 lead thanks in part to two second-period goals by Stutzle.

Tied 2-2, Stutzle gave the Senators a 3-2 lead after he was pushed into Johansson by Jack Johnson while on a partial break. All three ended up in the net, as did the puck, but only after the net was dislodged. After a lengthy review, the goal stood just 1:13 into the period.

“I think it was the luckiest goal I ever scored,” Stutzle said.

“Everybody thought it was going to be a good goal so everyone was pumped. For me, it was great after kind of a rough start with the goals, but Brady’s overtime goal was way more important.”

Senators coach D.J. Smith had little doubt that the goal was going to count.

“I saw (John) Tavares had the same goal in Toronto about a month ago and it counted, so I was confident it was going to count,” Smith said.

“We did a lot of things and obviously we’ve got to find a way to keep those pucks out at the end. Good teams can clamp down and we gave up a couple at the end.”

Norris gave the Senators a 4-2 lead at 2:49 and knocked Johansson from the game. Annunen came on and gave up a power-play goal to Stutzle at 7:46.

“I didn’t like the way we played in the first half of the game,” Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said. “We didn’t manage the puck very well. Both goal one and goal two against, they’re both turnovers, one in the neutral zone, one in the (offensive) zone.

“We talked about how dangerous Ottawa is off the rush, they’ve got some get-up-and-go and they can make plays off the rush. And if we were able to take that away from them, then our chances of success go up greatly. We didn’t do that tonight.”

Then came the prettiest goal of the night as Newhook stepped around Lassi Thomson, went in alone and beat Forsberg on the short side, cutting Ottawa’s lead to 5-3 just shy of the halfway mark in the game.

The teams combined for four goals in the opening 10 minutes of the second period, but they also combined for four goals just over eight minutes into the first.

Helm gave the Avalanche a 1-0 lead 1:26 into the game. The Senators replied with goals from Tkachuk and Watson 29 seconds apart about four minutes later. Watson’s goal was his first of the season.

Landeskog tied the game when he tipped a shot by Toews from the point past Forsberg at 8:19, just seven seconds into a power play. Landeskog extended his point streak to seven games.

NOTES: Michael Del Zotto, Adam Gaudette and Victor Mete were scratches for the Senators. Bowen Byram, Cale Makar, Nazem Kadri and Darcy Kuemper were the scratches for the Avalanche.


Avalanche: At Philadelphia on Monday in the fourth of a five-game trip.

Senators: At New Jersey on Monday night in the makeup of a game postponed due to Ottawa's COVID outbreak.


More AP NHL: and

Teravainen scores twice, Hurricanes sock Sabres 6-2

3.5d ago 12/4/2021 10:27 PM ET By BOB SUTTON, Associated Press RALEIGH, N.C.

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Teuvo Teravainen scored two goals and the Carolina Hurricanes rode an early burst of offense to a 6-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday night.

Martin Necas, Ian Cole, Vincent Trocheck and Nino Niederreiter also scored for the Hurricanes, who snapped a season-worst three-game losing streak for only their second win in the last seven games.

“We kind of had some tough times lately so it’s nice to get a night like this,” Teravainen said.

“It’s good for our confidence,” Trocheck said, who had gone eight games without a point. “We know what we’re capable of.”

Sebastian Aho recorded three assists and Trocheck had two assists. And Hurricanes goalie Antti Raanta, playing in consecutive games for the first time this season, made 32 saves.

“Pretty much scored every chance we had, it felt like,” Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “I think we deserved it.”

Henri Jokiharju scored his first goal of the season and Zemgus Girgensons also had a goal for the Sabres, who’ve lost four in a row and eight of their last nine. They’ve allowed 20 goals in a three-game span.

“Everyone in that locker room can do better,” Sabres left winger Victor Olofsson said.

Goalie Malcolm Subban, making his Sabres debut after a trade Thursday with Chicago, played his first NHL game of the season and stopped 19 shots before departing midway through the third period with an injury.

“It seemed like the scoring chances they had were really good ones,” Olofsson said.

The Hurricanes did all their scoring in their previous three games in the third period. They entered the third period against Buffalo with a 5-2 lead, and Teravainen’s second goal was a short-handed tally 69 seconds into the third period.

“Hopefully this bodes well going forward that we have a little confidence that we can score some goals again,” said Cole, whose goal was his first of the season.

Teravainen scored just 2:16 into the game. Later in the period, Necas scored on a wrap-around. A goal was waved off initially, but through video review it was determined that the puck cross the line before it was pushed out by Subban.

Buffalo got on the board with 32 seconds left in the opening period when Jokiharju was credited with a goal, though the puck went in off Carolina’s Cole.

“Some tough bounces there, but there’s really no other alternative but to keep playing and keep going hard,” Cole said.

Carolina has won its last 11 meetings with the Sabres.


Andrei Svechnikov, the second-leading scorer for the Hurricanes, sat out with an injury. He had a goal in two of the last four games, including Thursday night’s loss to Ottawa.

“A little finger issue and had to have it repaired, so he should be fine going forward,” Brind’Amour said.

Svechnikov missed a game for the first time this season. So did Jordan Martinook, who left the Ottawa game with an injury and didn’t play Saturday.

Goalie Frederik Andersen, who has been the team’s top goalie, wasn’t on the bench. Brind’Amour said he hasn’t been feeling well.

The good news for Carolina is that defenseman Ethan Bear returned after a six-game absence due to being in the COVID-19 protocol.

For Buffalo, defenseman Robert Hagg was out of the lineup for the first time this season. Will Butcher played for just the second time in seven games.


Subban’s injury will be further assessed when the Sabres return to Buffalo, coach Don Granato said. He would have liked to have seen a better performance in front of his newcomer.

“We gave up too many uncontested chances,” Granato said.


Sabres: Host Anaheim on Tuesday night to start a three-game homestand.

Hurricanes: At Winnipeg on Tuesday night to begin a five-game trip. ___

More AP NHL: and

Kaprizov gets shootout winner; Wild beat Maple Leafs 4-3

3.5d ago 12/4/2021 10:26 PM ET By MIKE COOK, Associated Press ST. PAUL, Minn.

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Kirill Kaprizov scored in the third round of a shootout and the Minnesota Wild beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-3 Saturday night for their sixth straight win.

Jordan Greenway, Mats Zuccarello and Marcus Foligno had goals in regulation for Central Division-leading Minnesota, which has outscored its opponents 28-12 during the winning streak.

Cam Talbot made 39 saves for to tie Toronto’s Jack Campbell and the New York Rangers’ Igor Shesterkin for the league lead with 13 wins.

“When you have these games where there’s top teams coming in, you gotta bring your A-game," Foligno said. “There’s a lot of talk about this game going into it. It’s nice to come out on top but everyone was ready for it and we had a really good effort tonight.”

Jason Spezza scored twice and Auston Matthews once for Toronto, which lost for the first time in six games and is now 15-2-1 in its past 18 outings. Campbell had 37 saves.

The Maple Leafs were looking to establish a franchise record with eight straight road wins. Toronto also won seven straight road games in 1940-41, 1960-61 and 2002-03.

Zuccarello and Matthews scored in the first two rounds of the shootout before Kaprizov beat Campbell with a wrist shot. Talbot then stopped William Nylander at the other end.

“Two good hockey clubs settled by a shootout is a pretty good game,” Spezza said.

Toronto played without Mitch Marner. Fourth on the team with 21 points and tied with Rielly Smith with a club-best 15 assists, the right wing left Friday’s practice after colliding with teammate Jake Muzzin. Expected to be a game-time decision, Marner was replaced by Ondrej Kase, who missed the past three contests with an upper-body injury.

Coach Sheldon Keefe said Marner will miss Sunday’s game in Winnipeg and be re-evaluated after that in Toronto. “We don’t expect him to be out long term,” Keefe said.

The Wild had scored at least four goals in seven of their last eight games and led 3-0 midway through the second period when Foligno scored off a rebound of Joel Eriksson Ek’s shot after the latter corralled an errant clearing attempt.

Then Toronto took over to tie the game heading into the third.

Moments after Talbot made his best save, sprawling back with his left pad to rob Nylander, Spezza’s centering attempt from below the goal line near the right corner deflected off the skate of Jordie Benn and the side of Talbot’s helmet before dropping in the net at 12:47.

A more traditional goal by Spezza — a slap shot from the slot — made it 3-2 five minutes later, before his pass was redirected into the net by Matthews in the period’s final minute to extend his games with a goal to five. Both goals were on the power play. Toronto finished 2 of 5 with the man advantage.

For the sixth time in his career, Matthews has a five-game goal-scoring streak. Only two players in Toronto history have more: Babe Dye (eight) and Rick Vaive (seven).

Greenway scored on a rebound in the first and Zuccarello’s centering attempt deflected off the skate of Justin Holl for a 2-0 Wild lead early in the second.

“We had a pretty big slip up in the second, and to find a way to come back in the third and overtime and stick with it and to not let that get us down, we actually found a way to create some more things in the third, overtime, and to eventually come out with a win, so yeah, I think it shows a lot of good characteristics about our squad,” Greenway said.

NOTES: Foligno’s goal was his 10th of the season. He has now recorded 10-plus goals in three straight seasons for the first time in his 11-year career. ... Michael Hutchinson served as Toronto’s backup goaltender as Joseph Woll remains day-to-day with stiffness.


Maple Leafs: At Winnipeg Sunday.

Wild: Begin a four-game road trip Tuesday in Edmonton.


More AP NHL: and

Forsberg's OT winner leads Nashville over Montreal 4-3

3.5d ago 12/4/2021 10:17 PM ET By JIM DIAMOND, Associated Press NASHVILLE, Tenn.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Filip Forsberg scored with 11.1 seconds remaining in overtime, giving the Nashville Predators a 4-3 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night.

Eeli Tolvanen, Tanner Jeannot and Luke Kunin also scored, and Juuse Saros made 20 saves for Nashville, which has won two of its last three games.

“We went out and had to come from behind again, but I thought we played pretty well in the third period, and it’s nice to see us be able to get the win from it,” Nashville coach John Hynes said.

Jake Allen made 40 saves and Nick Suzuki, Christian Dvorak and Brett Kulak scored for Montreal. Cole Caufield had a pair of assists for the Canadiens, who have lost five of six.

On the winner, Forsberg took a cross-ice pass from Mikael Granlund and sent it past Allen. Just before receiving the pass, Forsberg had to retrieve his stick, which was dropped a few seconds prior.

“I wouldn’t call it a set play, but it worked out,” Forsberg said.

Tolvanen scored the game’s first goal at 4:52 of the opening period. Mattias Ekholm fired a one-timer from the left point that deflected off of the shaft of Tolvanen’s stick and by Allen for his second goal of the season.

Suzuki made the game 1-1 at 4:48 of the second. With Montreal on a power play, Suzuki snapped a wrist shot from the high slot that beat Saros on the stick side just underneath the crossbar. The goal was Suzuki’s first in 10 games.

“I tried to shoot the puck a lot today and luckily one went in,” Suzuki said. “It was definitely nice to get a goal and help out and score on the power play, give us a boost of confidence there.”

Dvorak made it 2-1 at 10:01 of the second. After Montreal raced to negate an icing call, Suzuki put a rebound past Saros from just outside the crease.

Nashville challenged the goal, alleging goaltender interference, as Dvorak contacted Predators defender Alexandre Carrier, causing Carrier to collide with Saros. After video review, the goal was allowed to stand.

Jeannot tied the game at 2-2 at 17:24 of the second when he redirected Ekholm’s shot past Allen for his sixth goal of the season.

Ekholm’s two assists were his first multi-point game of the season.

Early in the third with the game tied 2-2, Caufield carried the puck into the Nashville zone on the right side. He found Kulak trailing the play, and Kulak beat Saros with a wrist shot to the glove side at 3:10 of the third.

Kunin tied the game again at 10:12 of the third.


Saturday was Kunin’s 24th birthday and he was certainly active in the game, recording a “Gordie Howe hat trick” of a goal, assist and fighting major.

Kunin picked up the secondary assist on Tolvanen’s first period goal and also fought Kulak early in the third.

“The birthday boy gets a Gordie Howe hat trick, it doesn’t get better than that,” Forsberg quipped after the game. “The way he competes out there and the goal he scored is the ultimate proof of that. He does a little bit of everything for this team, which is very fun to watch.”


Tolvanen’s goal ended a 22-game scoring drought. Tolvanen had not scored since Nashville’s opening game of the season, Oct. 14 against the Seattle Kraken.

As a rookie in the 2020-21 season, Tolvanen scored 11 goals in 40 games. Six of his goals came on the power play, leading all Nashville scorers.


Nashville center Colton Sissons played his 400th career NHL game Saturday, all with the Predators. Nashville selected Sissons in the second round (50th overall) in the 2012 Draft.


Predators: Open a four-game trip Tuesday in Detroit.

Montreal: Hosts the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday.


More AP NHL: and

Red Wings hand Islanders 10th straight loss, 4-3 in OT

3.5d ago 12/4/2021 10:16 PM ET By JAMES SCHMEHL, Associated Press DETROIT

DETROIT (AP) — Moritz Seider scored 3:33 into overtime and the Detroit Red Wings beat the Islanders 4-3 Saturday night, handing New York its 10th straight loss.

Filip Hronek, Sam Gagner and Givani Smith also scored for the Red Wings, who won their season-high fifth straight. Alex Nedeljkovic had 20 saves.

“This wasn’t our best game, but we have that swagger and confidence now,” Seider said. “We have an ability to stick together and win these games somehow.”

Oliver Wahlstrom had two power-play goals, Cal Clutterbuck scored short-handed, and Mathew Barzal had two assists as the Islanders earned a point for the second straight game and fell to 0-8-2 during their skid. Ilya Sorokin finished with 26 saves.

“We had the power play working, but we can’t expect to get all of our goals that way,” Wahlstrom said. “We have to find a way to get some goals at 5-on-5 if we want to win games.”

In the extra period, Seider scored on a one-timer from the left circle off a pass from Pius Suter.

“(Seider) has got a good swagger and a good way of rising in the moment,” Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. “And, he certainly rose in that moment.”

The Islanders, missing leading scorer Brock Nelson and defenseman Ryan Pulock due to injuries, matched the longest winless streak in franchise history, a similar 0-8-2 stretch from Nov. 19 to Dec. 9, 2013. They managed just 23 shots on goal — only three in the first period — and scored more than one goal for just the second time in nine games.

Wahlstrom's second of the night tied it 3-3 with 7 1/2 minutes left in the third period.

“We need to find a way to finish one of these games,” Barzal said. “We can’t give away points.”`

The Islanders opened the scoring when Clutterbuck wrapped around Filip Zadina and tucked the puck past a sprawling Nedeljkovic 2:45 into the game.

Hronek tied it from beyond the left circle at 5:18 of the first, and Gagne banked a shot off Sorokin's right shoulder pad on a sharp angle at 7:37 to put the Red Wings ahead.

“Guys have stepped up in big moments,” Blashill said. “These games are so close throughout the league, it’s about who steps up in a big moment, and we’ve had some guys do that.”

Wahlstrom snapped a nine-game pointless streak to tie it 2-2 midway through the second period.

Smith gave the Red Wings a 3-2 lead on a shot that whistled over Sorokin’s left shoulder for his fourth point in seven games. The 6-foot-2, 215-pound forward, who was protected by the Red Wings in July’s expansion draft, was held without a point the first 12 games of the season.

“He’s been up and down, in terms of his play, but I thought this was maybe the best, complete game he’s played,” Blashill said. “ We just didn’t get him out there as much as he deserved, but if he keeps playing like that, you’ll start getting more minutes”.


Red Wings D Gustav Lindstrom exited in the second period with a lower-body injury. ... Red Wings F Joe Veleno rejoined the team after missing the past three games with an upper-body injury. ... Red Wings D Danny DeKeyer, who missed the previous four games (COVID-19 protocol), was a healthy scratch. ... Islanders D Zdeno Chara cleared COVID-19 protocols and returned after a three-game absence. ... Islanders D Robin Salo was a healthy scratch for a second consecutive game. … Casey Cizikas is the lone Isles player remaining in COVID-19 protocol after two scheduled games were postponed earlier this week due to a COVID-19 outbreak.


Red Wings: Host Nashville on Tuesday to conclude their three-game homestand.

Islanders: Host Chicago in the second of a back-to-back Sunday.

Stamkos scores in OT to lead Lightning past Bruins 3-2

3.5d ago 12/4/2021 9:56 PM ET By JIMMY GOLEN, AP Sports Writer BOSTON

BOSTON (AP) — Steven Stamkos scored at 1:31 of overtime, and the Tampa Bay Lighting bounced back after blowing a two-goal lead on Saturday night, beating the Boston Bruins 3-2.

“In an 82-game league, it's hard to play your best. Sometimes you have stinkers,” coach Jon Cooper said after the Lightning won for the eighth time in 11 games. “Tonight was a stinker.”

Taylor Raddysh had his first career goal, a short-handed score in the first period, and Ondrej Palat also scored for the defending Stanley Cup champions.

Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 37 shots.

“He stole one for us tonight. There's no doubt about it,” said Stamkos, who recorded a point for the sixth straight game. “He was amazing tonight. He was the difference-maker.”

Charlie Coyle and Curtis Lazar scored after the Bruins fell behind 2-0 early in the second period. Jeremy Swayman made 22 saves for the Bruins, who outshot the Lightning 39-25.

“I know we had a two-goal lead,” Stamkos said. “It didn’t really feel that way.”

Coming off a shutout against Nashville -- his third in 22 career NHL games -- Swayman let Tampa Bay take an early lead when he got caught spread-eagled on Raddysh’s short-handed rush late in the first period.

“I've been waiting a little too long for it,” said Raddysh, a 23-year-old rookie playing in his 22nd NHL game, who was announced for a goal at home on Tuesday night before it was taken away and credited to Anthony Cirelli. “Back of my mind last 10-15 games.”

The Lightning took a 2-0 lead early in the second, capitalizing after a Boston possession in which they hit iron twice -- once on a David Pastrnak shot off the crossbar and again when Brandon Carlo got a shot past the goalie but it rolled off the post and away. On the next faceoff, Palat shot it off Tomas Nosek's skate and past Swayman.

The Bruins finally broke through against Vasilevskiy late in the second, when Erik Haula slid it between his legs backwards to Coyle in front of the net. In the third, Lazar picked up the puck at the left circle, skated it to the net and then backhanded it off the top shelf on the goalie’s glove side.

Top Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy was scratched from the game with a non-COVID illness. The Bruins recalled defenseman Jack Ahcan, along with forward Oskar Steen, from Providence of the AHL earlier in the day.

The Bruins were also without coach Bruce Cassidy, who was placed in the league’s COVID-19 protocol on Tuesday. Assistant Joe Sacco has run the bench the last three games.


Lightning: At Philadelphia on Sunday night.

Bruins: At Vancouver on Wednesday night.


More AP NHL: and

Ovechkin beats Tarasov for 750th goal, Capitals top Columbus

3.6d ago 12/4/2021 9:36 PM ET By STEPHEN WHYNO, AP Hockey Writer WASHINGTON

WASHINGTON (AP) — Alex Ovechkin found a new goaltender to score on for another milestone goal, though this time the name rang a bell.

Ovechkin beat Daniil Tarasov for his 20th goal of the season and 750th of his NHL career to help the Washington Capitals beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-1 Saturday night and snap a two-game skid.

“I think I play against his father back in Russia,” Ovechkin said.

He wasn't joking. Ovechkin went up against against Vadim Tarasov during three seasons in the Russian Superleague from 2002-05 before coming to North America. His son is the 152nd goalie Ovechkin has scored against in the NHL.

Daniil Tarasov remembers growing up watching Ovechkin. That was more fun than trying to stop a shot from the best goal-scorer of this generation.

“It’s pretty hard," Tarasov said. "I think all goalies say he has one of the hardest shots in the league.”

Ovechkin became the second-fastest player to reach the 750-goal mark, doing so in his 1,222nd regular-season game. Wayne Gretzky, whose record of 894 Ovechkin is chasing, got to 750 in 1,001 games.

“It’s a pretty cool number,” Ovechkin said. “Just keep going.”

Ovechkin reached the 20-goal mark in his 25th game of the season. The Capitals' captain joined Marcel Dionne, Jaromir Jagr and Mats Sundin as the only players to score 20 or more goals in each of his first 17 seasons in the NHL.

After ending a two-game goal drought, Ovechkin now trails Jagr by 16 goals for third on the career list. The 36-year-old Russian superstar needs one more on the power play to tie Dave Andreychuk for the most power-play goals in league history.

Capitals rookie Aliaksei Protas scored his second career goal by following his own rebound in the first. Garnet Hathaway sealed it with an empty-netter with 1:27 remaining in regulation.

Tarasov, playing his second game for Columbus after making his NHL debut Thursday at Dallas, gave up a lot of rebounds early before settling down. He denied Washington's Connor McMichael with a sliding right-pad stop late in the second, the most impressive of his 29 saves on 31 shots.

“It’s more comfortable when you have a lot of shots," Tarasov said. "It’s much easier to play, so you just be focused on the game, don’t thinking about wrong things in your head. You just keep it in the game.”

Capitals goalie Ilya Samsonov made 17 saves for his 10th win in 11 starts this season. He was at his best when the Blue Jackets tilted the ice toward him during a penalty kill in the first, and Samsonov turned aside Zach Werenski on a point-blank scoring chance soon after when play returned to 5-on-5.

Despite missing center Nic Dowd and defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk because they're in league COVID-19 protocol, the Capitals got a boost with the return of wingers T.J. Oshie and Conor Sheary after matching six-game absences. Oshie had missed 16 of the previous 17 games with lower-body injuries.

“They’re both key players for us,” Ovechkin said. "Obviously we’re going right now through injuries, through COVID protocol, but different guys come in and stepping up.”

Eric Robinson scored the only goal of the night for the the Blue Jackets, who lost their fourth in a row in regulation. They have been outscored 18-6 during this losing streak.

"We’re learning some hard lessons here," said Columbus' Brad Larsen, one of four active NHL head coaches who played against Ovechkin. “No one’s going to come hand you a game. They’re not. You got to go get it, and you’re going to have to find a way and grind through not just for 10 minutes or 12 minutes. It’s going to have to be shift after shift.”

NOTES: Defenseman Matt Irwin made his Capitals debut, dressing for the first time this season. ... Capitals winger Daniel Sprong was a healthy scratch for the third time in four games. ... Forward Gregory Hofmann replaced Jack Roslovic in the Blue Jackets lineup. Roslovic was a healthy scratch for the first time this season. ... Players from the National Women's Soccer League champion Washington Spirit received a standing ovation when shown on video screens. Ovechkin and wife Nastya are part of the Spirit's ownership group.


Blue Jackets: Return home to face the San Jose Sharks on Sunday.

Capitals: Continue their four-game home stand Monday against the Anaheim Ducks.


Follow AP Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno on Twitter at


More AP NHL: and