NHL Roundup: Rangers thump Capitals, Chara sets record, Canucks douse Flames, and more

rangers capitals
Feb 24, 2022; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers center Mika Zibanejad (93) scores a goal past Washington Capitals goaltender Ilya Samsonov (30) during the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The NHL put forth 8 games on their Thursday night schedule. Which was highlighted by ESPN’s national game between the New York Rangers and Washington Capitals.

Although ESPN spent the pre-game hyping up the matchup discussing the Tom Wilson incident, the Blueshirts simply went out a dominated the game for a huge win. Meanwhile, the Vancouver Canucks stopped the Calgary Flames winning streak cold. Plus Pekka Rinne was honored in Nashville and more.

We start the recaps in San Jose, where Zdeno Chara became the all-time leader for most games played by a defenseman.

Sharks 4, Islanders 3

Logan Couture scored in regulation and added the lone goal in the shootout as the San Jose Sharks snapped a seven-game losing streak by edging the visiting New York Islanders, 4-3.

New York’s Zdeno Chara played in his 1,652nd game, breaking a tie with Chris Chelios for the most games played by a defenseman in NHL history. The 44-year-old veteran saw 16:26 of ice time and also became the oldest player ever to earn a fighting major when he tussled with Jeffrey Viel — who was born nine months before Chara made his NHL debut in 1997.

“I would like to start by thanking Chris Chelios, he set such a high standard for many of us,” Chara said. “It’s been very inspiring and a huge motivation. I want to thank him for that. A tremendous player and a leader. … I’m very grateful and I’m very lucky to have many, many great teammates, great coaches, and trainers, and support from my wife and children. … I’m very lucky that I get to still play the game.”

NHL.com

The Sharks also received goals from Alexander Barabanov and Jasper Weatherby, and Tomas Hertl had two assists. San Jose goalie James Reimer made 47 saves in regulation and overtime – including 18 in the third period and the extra session — and he wasn’t beaten in the shootout.

Brock Nelson, Zach Parise and Adam Pelech scored for the Islanders, who have lost nine of 14 (5-7-2). Parise’s tally was the 400th of his career. New York goalie Ilya Sorokin made 25 saves.

Devils 6, Penguins 1

Jesper Bratt had two goals and an assist and rookie Nico Daws made 37 saves as visiting New Jersey clobbered Pittsburgh.

Nico Hischier added a goal and two assists, Yegor Sharangovich, Dawson Mercer and Damon Severson also scored and Jack Hughes added three assists for the Devils, who had lost two in a row, nine of 11, and were coming off an eight-day layoff.

Evgeni Malkin scored for the Penguins, who lost their third straight. Tristan Jarry allowed five goals on 19 shots before being pulled in the second period. Casey DeSmith took over and stopped 16 of the 17 shots he faced.

Canucks 7, Flames 1

Vancouver Canucks
Feb 24, 2022; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Vancouver Canucks forward Elias Pettersson (40) celebrates his goal against the Calgary Flames in the third period at Rogers Arena. Canucks won 7-1. Mandatory Credit: Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports

J.T. Miller scored two goals, including one on a penalty shot, and Bo Horvat also scored twice to highlight a five-goal second period as host Vancouver snapped Calgary’s franchise-record-tying 10-game winning streak with a blowout victory.

Miller also had two assists, Elias Pettersson had two goals and an assist and Conor Garland also scored for Vancouver, which won for the fourth time in its last five games.

“We just set a standard for ourselves for the rest of the year,” Miller said. “Not by winning by six goals, but playing the right way, being sharp on the special teams, being ready to start the game. We have a standard. We need to play to that from here on out. We shouldn’t be satisfied with anything other than that, really.”

Brock Boeser and Quinn Hughes each added two assists for the Canucks, who closed within three points of Edmonton for the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference. Thatcher Demko finished with 29 saves. Andrew Mangiapane scored for Calgary, which lost for the first time since a 5-1 setback to St. Louis on Jan. 27.

Predators 2, Stars 1 (SO)

Mikael Granlund scored the lone goal in the shootout to give Nashville a win against visiting Dallas.

Philip Tomasino scored in regulation for the Predators, who won their second straight game. Juuse Saros made 27 saves, including all four in the shootout. Jason Robertson scored for Dallas, and Jake Oettinger made 19 saves.

Prior to the game, the Predators raised retired goaltender Pekka Rinne’s No. 35 to the rafters. He is the first player in franchise history to have his number retired.

Bruins 3, Kraken 2 (OT)

Jake DeBrusk scored his second goal of the game 33 seconds into overtime to lift visiting Boston past Seattle.

David Pastrnak also scored, Charlie McAvoy had two assists, and Linus Ullmark made 25 saves for the Bruins in the opener of a six-game road trip. Boston earned its third consecutive victory.

Mark Giordano and Jordan Eberle scored and Philipp Grubauer made 36 saves for the Kraken, who have lost six in a row (0-5-1).

Rangers 4, Capitals 1

rangers capitals
Feb 24, 2022; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers center Mika Zibanejad (93) celebrates his goal with teammates against Washington Capitals goaltender Ilya Samsonov (30) during the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Igor Shesterkin made 36 saves and Alexis Lafreniere and Mika Zibanejad each had a goal and an assist as New York collected a win over visiting Washington.

Barclay Goodrow and Chris Kreider also scored for the Rangers, with Kreider collecting his 34th goal of the season to remain near the NHL lead. The Rangers are 5-0-1 in their last six games, a hot streak that has carried New York to second place in the Metropolitan Division.

“It was a good, solid team effort,” Rangers coach Gerard Gallant said. “It wasn’t one of those games where there was a lot of chances both ways. We had some good chances, and we took advantage and buried our chances.”

Washington continues to sit in fourth place in the Metro, treading water with an 8-8-0 record over its last 16 games. Alexander Ovechkin scored with 62 seconds remaining for the Capitals’ lone goal of the game.

Blue Jackets 6, Panthers 3

Patrik Laine extended his points streak to 11 games and Boone Jenner had the go-ahead tally as Columbus stunned Florida in Sunrise, Fla.

Florida still leads the NHL in home wins (23-5-0), and the Panthers rank No. 1 in the NHL in goals scored. However, they have lost two straight home games.

Columbus won its fourth straight game and beat the Panthers for the first time in nine tries. Gabriel Carlsson, Cole Sillinger, Justin Danforth and Oliver Bjorkstrand (empty-netter) added third-period goals for Columbus.

Maple Leafs 3, Wild 1

Auston Matthews
Feb 24, 2022; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews (34) scores the game winning goal against Minnesota Wild goaltender Kaapo Kahkonen (34) during the third period at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Auston Matthews scored his second goal of the game midway through the third period to end a tie, and Toronto defeated visiting Minnesota.

“There wasn’t a whole lot going on out there offensively for both teams, it was a pretty structured game. I thought Mrazek made some pretty incredible saves tonight when we had breakdowns and we capitalized on a couple chances,” Matthews said after the game. “So it was nice to get back in the win column, we just want to keep this moving and going.”

Alexander Kerfoot also scored for the Maple Leafs, who had lost their previous three games. Mitchell Marner added two assists and Petr Mrazek made 29 saves for Toronto.

Frederick Gaudreau scored for the Wild, who have lost four of five. Kaapo Kahkonen stopped 22 shots for Minnesota.

–Field Level Media contributed to this report.