NHL Roundup: Hot Pacioretty lifts Knights, Canucks edge Canes, Predators win again, and more

The NHL schedule on Sunday night was light with just five games on tap.

Max Pacioretty scored on a breakaway to lead Vegas to victory extending his goal and point scoring streak. Plus Bruce Boudreau remains undefeated since taking over the Canucks.

Let’s recap all the action.

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Golden Knights 6, Wild 4

Mark Stone and Max Pacioretty each had a goal and two assists, Zach Whitecloud scored twice and host Vegas outlasted Minnesota.

“It was a big win,” Stone said. “Obviously, Friday (against Philadelphia) wasn’t our best. We had a chance to win that game, but we didn’t have that killer instinct. Tonight, I don’t think we let anything rattle us.”


Evgenii Dadonov contributed a goal and an assist for Vegas, which has won four of its past five. Alex Pietrangelo had a goal and Chandler Stephenson tallied four assists.

Alex Goligoski, Mats Zuccarello, Nick Bjugstad and Marcus Foligno each scored for Minnesota. Jared Spurgeon had three assists but the Wild lost for the second time in as many nights.

Pacioretty made it 4-3 in favor of the Golden Knights with 6:08 remaining in the second period. He scored on a mini-breakaway for his 10th goal of the year.

Since returning from injury on November 24, Pacioretty has an 8 game point scoring streak (14 points). He’s also riding a 6 game goal scoring streak (8 goals).

Avalanche 3, Panthers 2

Andre Burakovsky had three goals to record the first hat trick of his career, Darcy Kuemper had 29 saves and the Colorado Avalanche beat the Florida Panthers 3-2 in Denver on Sunday night in a game that included a brutal hit on Avs defenseman Jacob MacDonald.

MacDonald was taken off the ice on a stretcher at 2:15 of the second period after taking a hard check from Florida’s Ryan Lomberg along the boards in the Colorado zone. MacDonald went down on his back and wasn’t moving when he was attended to by the Colorado medical staff.

He was placed on a stretcher after a few minutes and was carried off the ice. It was later reported he did not need to leave the arena and was alert with feeling in all extremities.

Mikko Rantanen had three assists and Nathan MacKinnon had two for Colorado. Joe Thornton and Brandon Montour scored goals for the Panthers, while Carter Verhaeghe had two assists and Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 23 shots for the Panthers.

Predators 1, Rangers 0

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Dec 12, 2021; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers left wing Chris Kreider (20) looks for the puck while Nashville Predators defenseman Mattias Ekholm (14) and goalie Juuse Saros (74) defend during the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

Juuse Saros made 16 of his 32 saves in the third period for his second shutout of the season and visiting Nashville ran its winning streak to a season-high five games with a victory over New York.

The Predators completed a three-game sweep in the New York area as Saros recorded his 16th career shutout. Rookie Philip Tomasino scored against the Rangers for the second time this year as Nashville improved to 16-6-1 in its past 23 games.

“There was a lot of guys in front of the net there, but I saw an opening and tried to float it in,” Tomasino said. “It was a great play by Forsberg to find me there all alone, and just tried to get one in. I was lucky enough to beat everyone. It was a big goal.”

The Rangers were blanked for the second time and lost for only the third time in 15 games. New York goalie Alexandar Georgiev made 23 saves and only faced 11 shots in the final 40 minutes.

“I didn’t like any of the game to be honest. We played too soft,” Rangers coach Gerard Gallant explained. “It was a man’s game and we didn’t play well. We just didn’t do enough.”

Ducks 3, Blues 2 (OT)

Troy Terry scored twice, including the winning goal on an overtime penalty shot, to lift visiting Anaheim over St. Louis.

Buddy Robinson also scored and Anthony Stolarz made 23 saves for the Ducks, who have earned points in seven of their last eight games (5-1-2).

Oskar Sundqvist and Nathan Walker scored and Brayden Schenn had two assists for the Blues, whose home-ice winning streak ended at seven games. Fill-in goaltender Jon Gillies — who signed as a free agent after Jordan Binnington (COVID-19 protocols) and Ville Husso (lower-body injury) went down — made 36 saves.

Canucks 2, Hurricanes 1

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Dec 12, 2021; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Vancouver Canucks forward Elias Pettersson (40) and forward Vasily Podkolzin (92) battle with Carolina Hurricanes forward Steven Lorentz (78) in the third period at Rogers Arena. Vancouver won 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports

Thatcher Demko made 28 saves as Vancouver defeated visiting Carolina, winning its fourth game in seven days under new coach Bruce Boudreau.

Brock Boeser and Elias Pettersson scored for the Canucks. Martin Necas tallied for Carolina, which had its four-game winning streak snapped and dropped to 3-1-0 on a five-game trip that wraps up Tuesday in Minnesota. Goalie Antti Raanta stopped 24 of 26 shots.

“I’m a player that should score points, score goals,” Pettersson said via NHL.com. “This season, I’ve been kind of overdoing things, overthinking. But we’re winning now. I’m feeling better out there. There’s still stuff I have to work on, especially face-offs. I was horrendous on that (2-for-10) today. I feel good but still I have a lot in me.”

The Hurricanes played without leading scorer Sebastian Aho, who had two goals and an assist Saturday night at Edmonton. The team said Aho was suffering from an illness.

–Field Level Media