Your 2020-21 NHL on NBC TV schedule

All 31 NHL Teams Featured Throughout Roughly 100 Games Across NBC and NBCSN; 21 Teams Make At Least Four Appearances

Schedule Features Wednesday Night Hockey and Tuesday Hockey Happy Hour Doubleheaders; More Than 75% of Teams Appear on Wednesday Nights

NBC Sports announced its full regular-season schedule that will feature all 31 NHL teams across roughly 100 games on NBC and NBCSN, beginning January 13 with a Wednesday Night Hockey tripleheader on NBCSN headlined by the defending Stanley Cup Champion Tampa Bay Lightning against the Chicago Blackhawks.

NBC Sports will present a record 16 regular-season games on the NBC broadcast network, beginning Sunday, Jan. 17 when the Pittsburgh Penguins host the Washington Capitals.

In December, the NHL announced a 56-game regular-season schedule per team for the 2020-21 season, as well as a divisional realignment which limits team matchups to intra-division play and minimizes team travel as much as possible.

 • No team will have more than seven exclusive appearances on NBC and NBCSN and 21 teams will have at least four national appearances this year.

 • Some teams will appear nationally more than seven times, but those games will be blacked out in the local market and shown on their local RSN.

Additional NHL NBC schedule highlights:

 • Wednesday Night Hockey Presented by New Amsterdam Vodka on NBCSN – More than 75% of NHL teams will appear on Wednesday nights on NBCSN, and most will feature doubleheaders (and in some cases tripleheaders) surrounding its Wednesday Night Hockey coverage, including both early and late start times.

 •Tuesday Hockey Happy HoursThree Tuesday Hockey Hour doubleheaders (Feb. 2, Feb. 9 and March 9) that will begin at 6 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

 • NHL on NBC – NBC Sports will showcase the NHL 16 times on NBC – once per week on average during the 2020-21 season – marking the most-ever NHL regular-season games on NBC. In addition, the final matchup on Saturday, May 8, is TBD and will feature the most compelling game with playoff implications.

 • Sunday Night Hockey on NBCSNThere will be 10 Sunday Night Hockey matchups on NBCSN, featuring teams from all four divisions, all four Conference Final teams from the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs, and a majority of matchups featuring a traditional Western Conference team.

2020-21 NHL NBC REGULAR-SEASON SCHEDULE (ALL TIMES EASTERN)

Wed., Jan. 13 Pittsburgh Philadelphia NBCSN PHI 6-3
  Chicago Tampa Bay NBCSN TB 4-1
St. Louis Colorado NBCSN STL 5-1
Sun., Jan. 17 Washington Pittsburgh NBC PIT 4-3 (SO)
Mon., Jan. 18 Columbus Detroit NBCSN CBJ 3-2
Boston N.Y. Islanders NBCSN NYI 1-0
Buffalo Philadelphia NBCSN BUF 6-1
  Arizona Vegas NBCSN VGK 4-2
Tues., Jan. 19 Washington Pittsburgh NBCSN PIT 5-4
Wed., Jan. 20 Edmonton Toronto NBCSN EDM 3-1
Minnesota Anaheim NBCSN MIN 3-2
Thur., Jan. 21 Tampa Bay Columbus NBCSN TB 3-2 (OT)
Montreal Vancouver NBCSN MTL 7-3
Sun., Jan. 24 Detroit Chicago NBC CHI 6-2
Tues., Jan. 26 N.Y. Islanders Washington NBCSN WSH 3-2
Wed., Jan. 27 Chicago Nashville NBCSN NSH 2-1 (SO)
Mon., Feb. 1 Pittsburgh N.Y. Rangers NBCSN NYR 3-1
Tues., Feb. 2 Buffalo N.Y. Islanders NBCSN PPD
Minnesota Colorado NBCSN COL 2-1
Wed., Feb. 3 Detroit Tampa Bay NBCSN TBL 5-1
Boston Philadelphia NBCSN BOS 4-3 (OT)
Sun., Feb. 7 Philadelphia Washington NBC PHI 7-4
Mon., Feb. 8 N.Y. Islanders N.Y. Rangers NBCSN NYI 2-0
Tues., Feb. 9 Philadelphia Washington NBCSN PPD
Tampa Bay Nashville NBCSN TB 6-1
Wed., Feb. 10 Boston N.Y. Rangers NBCSN BOS 3-2 (OT)
Sun., Feb. 14 Washington Pittsburgh NBC PIT 6-3
Colorado Vegas NBCSN VGK 1-0
Mon., Feb. 15 N.Y. Islanders Buffalo NBCSN NYI 3-1
Tues., Feb. 16 Washington Pittsburgh NBCSN WSH 3-1
Wed., Feb. 17 Chicago Detroit NBCSN CHI 2-0
Winnipeg Edmonton NBCSN EDM 3-2
Sat., Feb. 20 Vegas Colorado NBCSN COL 3-2
Sun., Feb. 21 Philadelphia Boston NBCSN BOS 7-3
New Jersey Washington NBC WSH 4-3
Tues., Feb. 23 Pittsburgh Washington NBCSN PIT 3-2 (OT)
Wed., Feb. 24 N.Y. Rangers Philadelphia NBCSN PHI 4-3
Los Angeles St. Louis NBCSN LA 2-1
Sun., Feb. 28 Boston N.Y. Rangers NBC BOS 4-1
Detroit Chicago NBCSN CHI 7-2
Tues., March 2 Philadelphia Pittsburgh NBCSN PIT 5-2
Wed., March 3 Washington Boston NBCSN WSH 2-1 (SO)
St. Louis Anaheim NBCSN STL 3-2
Sun., March 7 Buffalo N.Y. Islanders NBC NYI 5-2
Tampa Bay Chicago NBCSN TBL 6-3
  New Jersey Boston NBCSN NJ 1-0
N.Y. Rangers Pittsburgh NBCSN PIT 5-1
Tues., March 9 N.Y. Rangers Pittsburgh NBCSN PIT 4-2
Chicago Dallas NBCSN DAL 6-1
Wed., March 10 Vegas Minnesota NBCSN MIN 4-3
Los Angeles Anaheim NBCSN LAK 5-1
Sun., March 14 Los Angeles Colorado NBCSN COL 4-1
Mon., March 15 Philadelphia N.Y. Rangers NBCSN PHI 5-4 (OT)
Tues., March 16 Boston Pittsburgh NBCSN BOS 2-1
Wed., March 17 Philadelphia N.Y. Rangers NBCSN NYR 9-0
  Edmonton Calgary NBCSN EDM 7-3
Sun., March 21 Vegas Los Angeles NBCSN LAK 3-1
Mon., March 22 Anaheim Minnesota NBCSN MIN 2-1
Tues., March 23 New Jersey Philadelphia NBCSN NJD 4-3
Wed., March 24 Anaheim Minnesota NBCSN MIN 3-2
  Buffalo Pittsburgh NBCSN PIT 5-2
Los Angeles San Jose NBCSN SJ 4-2
Sun., March 28 N.Y. Rangers Washington NBC WSH 5-4
Columbus Detroit NBCSN DET 4-1
New Jersey Boston NBCSN NJ 1-0
  Nashville Chicago NBCSN NSH 3-2
Mon., March 29 N.Y. Islanders Pittsburgh NBCSN PIT 2-1
Tues., March 30 Carolina Chicago NBCSN CHI 2-1
Wed., March 31 Philadelphia Buffalo NBCSN BUF 6-1
Los Angeles Vegas NBCSN LAK 4-2
Thurs., April 1 Carolina Chicago NBCSN CAR 4-3
Minnesota Vegas NBCSN MIN 3-2 (SO)
Sun., April 4 Detroit Tampa Bay NBC DET 5-1
Dallas Carolina NBCSN CAR 1-0
Tues., April 6 Pittsburgh N.Y. Rangers NBCSN NYR 8-4
Wed., April 7 Edmonton Ottawa NBCSN EDM 4-2
Montreal Toronto NBCSN TOR 3-2
Tues., April 13 Philadelphia Washington NBCSN WSH 6-1
Wed., April 14 Colorado St. Louis NBCSN COL 4-3
Vegas Los Angeles NBCSN VGK 6-2
Thurs., April 15 Florida Tampa NBCSN TB 3-2 (OT)
Sat., April 17 Pittsburgh Buffalo NBC PIT 3-2
Sun., April 18 Washington Boston NBC BOS 6-3
  N.Y. Islanders Philadelphia NBCSN NYI 1-0 (OT)
Los Angeles Colorado NBCSN PPD
Mon., April 19 Detroit Dallas NBCSN DAL 3-2 (SO)
Tues., April 20 Buffalo Boston NBCSN BOS 2-0
Colorado St. Louis NBCSN PPD
Wed., April 21 Nashville Chicago NBCSN CHI 5-4 (OT)
  San Jose Vegas NBCSN VGK 5-2
Sat., April 24 Colorado St. Louis NBC 3 p.m.
Sun., April 25 Boston Pittsburgh NBC 3 p.m.
  Columbus Tampa Bay NBCSN 7 p.m.
Mon., April 26 Carolina Dallas NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Tues., April 27 N.Y. Islanders Washington NBCSN 7 p.m.
Wed., April 28 St. Louis Minnesota NBCSN 7 p.m.
  Colorado Vegas NBCSN 9:30 p.m.
Thurs., April 29 Florida Chicago NBCSN 8 p.m.
  Calgary Edmonton NBCSN 9:30 p.m. (JIP)
Sun., May 2 Tampa Bay Detroit NBC 3 p.m.
Mon., May 3 TBD TBD NBCSN TBD
Tues., May 4 TBD TBD NBCSN TBD
Wed., May 5 Washington N.Y. Rangers NBCSN 7 p.m.
Thur., May 6 TBD TBD NBCSN TBD
Sat., May 8 TBD TBD NBC 3 p.m.
  TBD TBD NBCSN TBD

*subject to change

*Some games will be blacked out in local markets and televised in those markets by a regional carrier.

The Buzzer: Knight wins debut; Beauvillier breaks out (Tuesday in NHL)

3 Stars for Tuesday in the NHL

1. Anthony Beauvillier, New York Islanders

Anthony Beauvillier headed into Tuesday’s NHL action ice-cold. He was on a five-game pointless streak. The Islanders forward also hadn’t scored a goal in seven straight games, managing a single assist during that span. Well, Beauvillier made up for lost time.

In the Islanders’ dominant win over the Rangers, Beauvillier scored a goal and three assists for four points. He scored on his only shot on goal, and registered a +3 rating in 16:14 TOI.

With that four-point outburst, Beauvillier’s now scoring about a point every two games (19 in 37). It’s a step back from last season (18 goals, 39 points in just 68 games), but if he can really get rolling, the already-formidable Islanders get that much scarier.

Naturally, with six goals scored, other Islanders contributed alongside Beauvillier. Josh Bailey enjoyed almost as strong an output, collecting two goals and one assist. Jordan Eberle and Jean-Gabriel Pageau generated one-goal, one-assist nights.

2. Tuukka Rask, Boston Bruins

Thanks mostly to injuries, it’s been a bumpy 2020-21 season for Tuukka Rask. (On the bright side, the Bruins might have unearthed a goalie option for the future in Rask’s absence.)

Like the Bruins, Rask has been heating up lately. On the way to producing the highlight of Tuesday night in the NHL, Rask pitched a 32-save shutout. That’s his first shutout of the season, extending his win streak to three in a row.

Since the full Bruins – Sabres highlights will be spliced in below, enjoy Rask’s brilliant sequence of saves in GIF form, too:

3. Quinn Hughes, Vancouver Canucks

They did it again.

The Canucks were supposed to struggle after a lengthy COVID disruption. That seemed like a particularly good bet against the North-leading Toronto Maple Leafs.

Then again, considering how strange things always seem to follow those Buds, maybe we should’ve expected this development?

This time, the Canucks didn’t need a Bo Horvat overtime-winner to take this one. (They did get a pretty keyed-in Braden Holtby, though.) Hughes scored a goal and two assists, while Tanner Pearson collected two goals on a rough night for Toronto netminding. More on that soon …

There are plenty of honorable mentions, and you could argue they deserve the nod over Hughes. This one stands out the most, at least from a storytelling perspective (sorry, Andreas Athanasiou, but here’s hoping those flashes of offense help you to raise your profile).

Knight bright in NHL debut as Panthers win

Being that the Panthers scored five goals, they probably didn’t need Spencer Knight to be brilliant in his NHL debut. Knight was, though, stopping 33 out of 34 shots.

He wasn’t alone, as Jonathan Huberdeau collected three points (2G, 1A) in a lopsided win for Florida.

The league points out that Knight is the first goalie born in the 2000s to play an NHL game, so such goalies are now undefeated.

(You can consider Spencer Knight one of the three stars for Tuesday in the NHL, really, but it’s fancier to give him his own section.)

Highlights of the night for Tuesday in the NHL

The Bruins clogged things up for the Sabres to the point that there were only so many highlights beyond Rask’s save. But, hey, you get multiple angles if you watch the video. That’s cool, right?

Sidney Crosby and Bryan Rust combined for a goal as pretty as the Penguins’ third period (six goals allowed against Devils) wasn’t:

Stats of the Night

It was not a great night for “Big Save” Dave Rittich. Despite heavy 2021 NHL Trade Deadline investments, Toronto’s goaltending struggles continue.

Speaking of the Penguins winning despite that awful third period …

Tuesday’s NHL scores

Bruins 2, Sabres 0
Islanders 6, Rangers 1
Hurricanes 4, Lightning 1
Panthers 5, Blue Jackets 1
Penguins 7, Devils 6
Stars 5, Red Wings 2
Canucks 6, Maple Leafs 3
Kings 4, Ducks 1

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

Bruins stay hot vs. Sabres, have a shot at moving up in East Division

The Bruins have been hot lately, and one thing that makes that more impressive is that they beat the Capitals and Islanders along the way. Now the Bruins can continue their push for East Division positioning by beating the lowly (if recently more energetic) Sabres 2-0. The Bruins took care of the first of a three-game set of games against the Sabres, winning on Tuesday.

Early on, the Sabres put up a pretty good fight vs. the Bruins. Boston kept Buffalo off the board after the first period, taking a 1-0 lead. Following a scrambly 2-0 goal, the Sabres were mainly quiet against the Bruins.

Tuukka Rask‘s save was probably the highlight of the night:

Rask ended up pitching a 32-save shutout, his first goose egg of the season.

Bruins beat Sabres, have a shot at improving East Division position

With Tuesday’s win over the Sabres, the Bruins improved to 26-12-6 for 58 points in 44 games played. While the Bruins remain in fourth place in the East Division after that win, games in hand advantages open up the possibility for upward movement.

East Division standings update

Capitals (idle): 29-13-4, 62 points in 46 games played
Islanders (beat): 28-13-4, 62 points in 46 GP
Penguins: (won vs. Devils despite strangely terrible third period): 29-14-3, 61 points in 46 GP
Bruins (beat Sabres): 26-12-6, 58 points in 44 GP

Beyond a looming back-to-back set on Thursday and Friday, the Bruins also take on the Sabres on April 13, and close the season series vs. Buffalo on April 29 and May 1.

Generally speaking, the Bruins don’t have a ton of games left against East Division teams above them. They’re scheduled to face the Penguins two more times, then close out 2020-21 with one game apiece vs. the Capitals and Islanders.

Boston’s seeding will then rely on: a) taking care of business vs. teams outside the playoff picture and b) the Islanders, Penguins, and/or Capitals not catching fire.

This win isn’t a huge part of Boston moving up, but grinding these out will ultimately be important as things wind down.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

Your 2020-21 NHL on NBC TV schedule

All 31 NHL Teams Featured Throughout Roughly 100 Games Across NBC and NBCSN; 21 Teams Make At Least Four Appearances

Schedule Features Wednesday Night Hockey and Tuesday Hockey Happy Hour Doubleheaders; More Than 75% of Teams Appear on Wednesday Nights

NBC Sports announced its full regular-season schedule that will feature all 31 NHL teams across roughly 100 games on NBC and NBCSN, beginning January 13 with a Wednesday Night Hockey tripleheader on NBCSN headlined by the defending Stanley Cup Champion Tampa Bay Lightning against the Chicago Blackhawks.

NBC Sports will present a record 16 regular-season games on the NBC broadcast network, beginning Sunday, Jan. 17 when the Pittsburgh Penguins host the Washington Capitals.

In December, the NHL announced a 56-game regular-season schedule per team for the 2020-21 season, as well as a divisional realignment which limits team matchups to intra-division play and minimizes team travel as much as possible.

 • No team will have more than seven exclusive appearances on NBC and NBCSN and 21 teams will have at least four national appearances this year.

 • Some teams will appear nationally more than seven times, but those games will be blacked out in the local market and shown on their local RSN.

Additional NHL NBC schedule highlights:

 • Wednesday Night Hockey Presented by New Amsterdam Vodka on NBCSN – More than 75% of NHL teams will appear on Wednesday nights on NBCSN, and most will feature doubleheaders (and in some cases tripleheaders) surrounding its Wednesday Night Hockey coverage, including both early and late start times.

 •Tuesday Hockey Happy HoursThree Tuesday Hockey Hour doubleheaders (Feb. 2, Feb. 9 and March 9) that will begin at 6 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

 • NHL on NBC – NBC Sports will showcase the NHL 16 times on NBC – once per week on average during the 2020-21 season – marking the most-ever NHL regular-season games on NBC. In addition, the final matchup on Saturday, May 8, is TBD and will feature the most compelling game with playoff implications.

 • Sunday Night Hockey on NBCSNThere will be 10 Sunday Night Hockey matchups on NBCSN, featuring teams from all four divisions, all four Conference Final teams from the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs, and a majority of matchups featuring a traditional Western Conference team.

2020-21 NHL NBC REGULAR-SEASON SCHEDULE (ALL TIMES EASTERN)

Wed., Jan. 13 Pittsburgh Philadelphia NBCSN PHI 6-3
  Chicago Tampa Bay NBCSN TB 4-1
St. Louis Colorado NBCSN STL 5-1
Sun., Jan. 17 Washington Pittsburgh NBC PIT 4-3 (SO)
Mon., Jan. 18 Columbus Detroit NBCSN CBJ 3-2
Boston N.Y. Islanders NBCSN NYI 1-0
Buffalo Philadelphia NBCSN BUF 6-1
  Arizona Vegas NBCSN VGK 4-2
Tues., Jan. 19 Washington Pittsburgh NBCSN PIT 5-4
Wed., Jan. 20 Edmonton Toronto NBCSN EDM 3-1
Minnesota Anaheim NBCSN MIN 3-2
Thur., Jan. 21 Tampa Bay Columbus NBCSN TB 3-2 (OT)
Montreal Vancouver NBCSN MTL 7-3
Sun., Jan. 24 Detroit Chicago NBC CHI 6-2
Tues., Jan. 26 N.Y. Islanders Washington NBCSN WSH 3-2
Wed., Jan. 27 Chicago Nashville NBCSN NSH 2-1 (SO)
Mon., Feb. 1 Pittsburgh N.Y. Rangers NBCSN NYR 3-1
Tues., Feb. 2 Buffalo N.Y. Islanders NBCSN PPD
Minnesota Colorado NBCSN COL 2-1
Wed., Feb. 3 Detroit Tampa Bay NBCSN TBL 5-1
Boston Philadelphia NBCSN BOS 4-3 (OT)
Sun., Feb. 7 Philadelphia Washington NBC PHI 7-4
Mon., Feb. 8 N.Y. Islanders N.Y. Rangers NBCSN NYI 2-0
Tues., Feb. 9 Philadelphia Washington NBCSN PPD
Tampa Bay Nashville NBCSN TB 6-1
Wed., Feb. 10 Boston N.Y. Rangers NBCSN BOS 3-2 (OT)
Sun., Feb. 14 Washington Pittsburgh NBC PIT 6-3
Colorado Vegas NBCSN VGK 1-0
Mon., Feb. 15 N.Y. Islanders Buffalo NBCSN NYI 3-1
Tues., Feb. 16 Washington Pittsburgh NBCSN WSH 3-1
Wed., Feb. 17 Chicago Detroit NBCSN CHI 2-0
Winnipeg Edmonton NBCSN EDM 3-2
Sat., Feb. 20 Vegas Colorado NBCSN COL 3-2
Sun., Feb. 21 Philadelphia Boston NBCSN BOS 7-3
New Jersey Washington NBC WSH 4-3
Tues., Feb. 23 Pittsburgh Washington NBCSN PIT 3-2 (OT)
Wed., Feb. 24 N.Y. Rangers Philadelphia NBCSN PHI 4-3
Los Angeles St. Louis NBCSN LA 2-1
Sun., Feb. 28 Boston N.Y. Rangers NBC BOS 4-1
Detroit Chicago NBCSN CHI 7-2
Tues., March 2 Philadelphia Pittsburgh NBCSN PIT 5-2
Wed., March 3 Washington Boston NBCSN WSH 2-1 (SO)
St. Louis Anaheim NBCSN STL 3-2
Sun., March 7 Buffalo N.Y. Islanders NBC NYI 5-2
Tampa Bay Chicago NBCSN TBL 6-3
  New Jersey Boston NBCSN NJ 1-0
N.Y. Rangers Pittsburgh NBCSN PIT 5-1
Tues., March 9 N.Y. Rangers Pittsburgh NBCSN PIT 4-2
Chicago Dallas NBCSN DAL 6-1
Wed., March 10 Vegas Minnesota NBCSN MIN 4-3
Los Angeles Anaheim NBCSN LAK 5-1
Sun., March 14 Los Angeles Colorado NBCSN COL 4-1
Mon., March 15 Philadelphia N.Y. Rangers NBCSN PHI 5-4 (OT)
Tues., March 16 Boston Pittsburgh NBCSN BOS 2-1
Wed., March 17 Philadelphia N.Y. Rangers NBCSN NYR 9-0
  Edmonton Calgary NBCSN EDM 7-3
Sun., March 21 Vegas Los Angeles NBCSN LAK 3-1
Mon., March 22 Anaheim Minnesota NBCSN MIN 2-1
Tues., March 23 New Jersey Philadelphia NBCSN NJD 4-3
Wed., March 24 Anaheim Minnesota NBCSN MIN 3-2
  Buffalo Pittsburgh NBCSN PIT 5-2
Los Angeles San Jose NBCSN SJ 4-2
Sun., March 28 N.Y. Rangers Washington NBC WSH 5-4
Columbus Detroit NBCSN DET 4-1
New Jersey Boston NBCSN NJ 1-0
  Nashville Chicago NBCSN NSH 3-2
Mon., March 29 N.Y. Islanders Pittsburgh NBCSN PIT 2-1
Tues., March 30 Carolina Chicago NBCSN CHI 2-1
Wed., March 31 Philadelphia Buffalo NBCSN BUF 6-1
Los Angeles Vegas NBCSN LAK 4-2
Thurs., April 1 Carolina Chicago NBCSN CAR 4-3
Minnesota Vegas NBCSN MIN 3-2 (SO)
Sun., April 4 Detroit Tampa Bay NBC DET 5-1
Dallas Carolina NBCSN CAR 1-0
Tues., April 6 Pittsburgh N.Y. Rangers NBCSN NYR 8-4
Wed., April 7 Edmonton Ottawa NBCSN EDM 4-2
Montreal Toronto NBCSN TOR 3-2
Tues., April 13 Philadelphia Washington NBCSN WSH 6-1
Wed., April 14 Colorado St. Louis NBCSN COL 4-3
Vegas Los Angeles NBCSN VGK 6-2
Thurs., April 15 Florida Tampa NBCSN TB 3-2 (OT)
Sat., April 17 Pittsburgh Buffalo NBC PIT 3-2
Sun., April 18 Washington Boston NBC BOS 6-3
  N.Y. Islanders Philadelphia NBCSN NYI 1-0 (OT)
Los Angeles Colorado NBCSN PPD
Mon., April 19 Detroit Dallas NBCSN DAL 3-2 (SO)
Tues., April 20 Buffalo Boston NBCSN BOS 2-0
Colorado St. Louis NBCSN PPD
Wed., April 21 Nashville Chicago NBCSN 7 p.m.
  San Jose Vegas NBCSN 9:30 p.m.
Sat., April 24 Colorado St. Louis NBC 3 p.m.
Sun., April 25 Boston Pittsburgh NBC 3 p.m.
  Columbus Tampa Bay NBCSN 7 p.m.
Mon., April 26 Carolina Dallas NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Tues., April 27 N.Y. Islanders Washington NBCSN 7 p.m.
Wed., April 28 St. Louis Minnesota NBCSN 7 p.m.
  Colorado Vegas NBCSN 9:30 p.m.
Thurs., April 29 Florida Chicago NBCSN 8 p.m.
  Calgary Edmonton NBCSN 9:30 p.m. (JIP)
Sun., May 2 Tampa Bay Detroit NBC 3 p.m.
Mon., May 3 TBD TBD NBCSN TBD
Tues., May 4 TBD TBD NBCSN TBD
Wed., May 5 Washington N.Y. Rangers NBCSN 7 p.m.
Thur., May 6 TBD TBD NBCSN TBD
Sat., May 8 TBD TBD NBC 3 p.m.
  TBD TBD NBCSN TBD

*subject to change

*Some games will be blacked out in local markets and televised in those markets by a regional carrier.

NHL Horoscopes Week 15: Taurus season a welcome calm

It’s Taurus season, and you know what that means.

A lot of calm. Nearly the exact opposite of Aries’ chaos energy. The Taurus season is all about comforts, which doesn’t always fit the NHL description. Should make for an interesting month.

Stat Leaders

Connor McDavid: 74 points, 50 assists (Capricorn)
Auston Matthews: 33 goals (Virgo)
Mathieu Olivier: 68 PIM (Aquarius)
Andrei Vasilevskiy: .930 Save % (Cancer)

EAST DIVISION

• Boston Bruins: Highest concentration in Taurus

Cancer Mike Reilly is off to a great start.

Horoscope: The Bruins have been playing well for a while, but perhaps the Taurus season will ground them even more.

Do: Mike Reilly Don’t: Too much for the young guys

• Buffalo Sabres: Highest concentration in Sagittarius

The season inches towards a merciful end.

Horoscope: The Sabres were the first team to be mathematically eliminated this week.

Do: Best foot forward Don’t: Let Don Granato go

• Washington Capitals: Highest concentration in Taurus/Virgo

Virgo Anthony Mantha has been a welcome addition.

Horoscope: Mantha has been a welcome addition. These Taurus Capitals need to think about goaltending, though.

Do: Toe the line Don’t: Neglect goaltending x3

[NHL Power Rankings: Hurricanes’ surprising strength; Rangers on the rise]

• New York Rangers: Highest concentration in Aquarius

Imagine if they had played like this like a month earlier.

Horoscope: Actually maybe the most Aquarius thing is suddenly improving and performing well way after it’s most likely too late.

Do: Finish strong Don’t: Drama

• New York Islanders: Highest concentration in Aquarius

The Isles still need more offense

Horoscope: Once Aquarius season ended the offensive-challenged Islanders totally forgot how to score entirely.

Do: Scoring Don’t: Late season slump

• New Jersey Devils: Highest concentration in Scorpio/Sagittarius

Taurus Jack Hughes has slowed down significantly.

Horoscope: The Devils are looking towards the future at this point, which means it’s time to focus on the young guys.

Do: Blackwood Don’t: Bad finish

• Philadelphia Flyers: Highest concentration in Taurus

The Flyers need this Sun season to go well.

Horoscope: The Flyers need all the help they can get. Perhaps the Taurus season is what they need.

Do: Carter Hart hot streak Don’t: Horrible finish

• Pittsburgh Penguins: Highest concentration in Leo/Taurus

Perhaps quietly, Leo Sidney Crosby is putting together an excellent campaign.

Horoscope: How can’t you love the way the Penguins are playing? It’s time to finish strong.

Do: Win some road games Don’t: Fall back

Flyers
Getty Images

CENTRAL DIVISION

• Detroit Red Wings: Highest concentration in Aquarius

Seems like a good opportunity for Aquarius Richard Panik to get on track.

Horoscope: The Red Wings have to feel good about how they’re building after the trade deadline. Keep the positive vibes.

Do: Scoring Don’t: Forgot the power play

[Your 2020-21 NHL on NBC TV schedule]

• Tampa Bay Lightning: Highest concentration in Gemini

Perhaps Gemini Nikita Kucherov will give the Lightning a spark.

Horoscope: Losing Aquarius Steven Stamkos to injury is tough luck. Don’t let it get in your head.

Do: Karma Don’t: Overthink

• Florida Panthers: Highest concentration in Virgo

Losing Leo Carter Verhaeghe is tough luck.

Horoscope: The Panthers keep surging. Maybe, just maybe they are for real after all.

Do: Defensive chemistry Don’t: Overthink Spencer Knight

Carolina Hurricanes: Highest concentration in Cancer/Aries

Quietly, the Hurricanes goalie tandem has been one of the best in the league.

Horoscope: The Hurricanes should be on your radar as one of the scariest teams in the league if they aren’t already.

Do: Defense and goalies Don’t: Overextend

• Nashville Predators: Highest concentration in Gemini

Maybe the return of Capricorn Matt Duchene will be a spark.

Horoscope: The Gemini Predators keep pushing for more. Going 6-0 against Chicago can only help.

Do: Beat good teams Don’t: Lose bad games

• Dallas Stars: Highest concentration in Gemini and Cancer

Cancer rookie Jason Robertson has led a playoff push.

Horoscope: Dallas has a clear path to the postseason, but it’s all in their hands now. Don’t overthink, just do.

Do: Rookies Don’t: Injuries

• Chicago Blackhawks: Heaviest concentration in Aries

The schedule might make it so Chicago can’t make that final playoff push.

Horoscope: Losing six games to the playoff team ahead of you isn’t going to help no matter what sign the sun is in.

Do: Consistency Don’t: Lose to the same team a bunch

• Columbus Blue Jackets: Heaviest concentration in Cancer

Aries Patrik Laine has not been a good fit.

Horoscope: Is anyone playing worse than the Blue Jackets right now? What a rough limp to the finish line this has been.

Do: Finish ahead of Detroit Don’t: Oof

Getty Images

WEST DIVISION

• Minnesota Wild: Highest concentration in Virgo and Cancer

Taurus Kirill Kaprizov continues his Calder push.

Horoscope: The Wild seem rather locked into that third playoff spot in the West no matter what happens.

Do: Call up Matt Boldy Don’t: Look back

• St. Louis Blues: Highest concentration in Cancer and Aries

The Blues could sure use Cancer Jaden Schwartz getting hot.

Horoscope: They’re 3-6-1 in their last 10 and have been pushed from a playoff spot by a team not playing its best either.

Do: Any scoring Don’t: Whatever this has been

• Arizona Coyotes: Highest concentration in Leo

Certainly not the time to lose five games in a row.

Horoscope: The Leo Coyotes keep losing games and yet they are in a playoff position. Imagine if they went on a run.

Do: Score Don’t: Throw away a playoff chance

• San Jose Sharks: Highest concentration in Aries

Virgo Patrick Marleau broke the NHL regular season games played record this week.

Horoscope: If the Sharks really wanted a playoff seed they could make a push, but they don’t seem capable of that.

Do: Celebrate Marleau Don’t: Be weird about Marleau’s record

• Vegas Golden Knights: Highest concentration in Leo

The Golden Knights could use more scoring from Capricorn Jonathan Marchessault.

Horoscope: The Knights have won seven in a row. This Taurus season should be good for the fixed sign Golden Knights.

Do: Goaltending Don’t: Let the Avs catch up

• Anaheim Ducks: Heaviest concentration in Aquarius

Adding Cancer Haydn Fleury feels like it was a smart move.

Horoscope: The West has been so weird it’s not impossible mathematically for the Ducks to make a run, not like that’s happening.

Do: Play the kids Don’t: Offensive woes

• Los Angeles Kings: Highest concentration in Libra

The Kings could make a playoff push.

Horoscope: The Kings are just seven points out of a playoff spot with three games in hand, never say never?

Do: Goaltending Don’t: Bad finish

• Colorado Avalanche: Highest concentration in Scorpio 

Taurus Devan Dubnyk is going to be heavily relied on for a bit.

Horoscope: Colorado has won nine of its last 10. Maybe only the Golden Knights can slow them down.

Do: Goalies Don’t: Squander games in hand

Getty Images

NORTH DIVISION

• Vancouver Canucks: Heaviest concentration in Cancer and Libra

In their first game back, the Canucks beat the Maple Leafs.

Horoscope: The Canucks won their first game after dealing with a huge Covid outbreak. Thoughts with everyone still recovering.

Do: Be safe Don’t: Pressure, they literally just all had Covid

• Calgary Flames: Heaviest concentration in Pisces

Doesn’t seem like this is going anywhere.

Horoscope: They are Flaming out, so to speak.

Do: Figure out next season Don’t: Lose 13 road games

Edmonton Oilers: Heaviest concentration in Cancer and Libra

Aries goalie Mike Smith has been surprisingly good.

Horoscope: The Oilers have fallen behind the surging Jets, but have room to win some games and move back into second. Use the calmness of the Taurus season.

Do: McDavid highlight goals Don’t: Collapse

• Winnipeg Jets: Heaviest concentration in Aries

Perhaps Cancer Pierre-Luc Dubois has a run in him.

Horoscope: The Jets have a big opportunity in front of them with two games against the Maple Leafs this week. The end of Aries season will perhaps give some stability.

Do: Big week Don’t: Defensive woes

• Ottawa Senators: Heaviest concentration in Pisces

Gemini goalie Matt Murray seems to be taking a step forward.

Horoscope: Ottawa has actually won two in a row and hasn’t looked too bad. There’s more hope going into next season.

Do: Take the good vibes Don’t: Let Taurus Mercury make for a lax plan

• Montreal Canadiens: Heaviest concentration in Leo and Taurus

If Leo goalie Carey Price gets hot, the Habs might have a chance.

Horoscope: If Price is out that’ll hurt the Habs, who could use a strong Taurus season to close things out.

Do: Call up Cole Caufield x2 Don’t: Late collapse

• Toronto Maple Leafs: Heaviest concentration in Gemini

A two-game set with Winnipeg this week will be interesting.

Horoscope: All things considered the Leafs are really good, but we won’t know how Gemini they truly are until they sink or swim outside of the North.

Do: Beat the teams chasing you Don’t: External pressure

Marisa Ingemi is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop her a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow her on Twitter @Marisa_Ingemi.

Push for the Playoffs: Hurricanes could get boost with Teräväinen return

Push for the Playoffs will run every morning through the end of the 2020-21 NHL season. We’ll highlight the current playoff picture in both conferences, take a look at what the first-round matchups might look like, see who’s leading the race for the best odds in the draft lottery and more.

Teuvo Teräväinen is inching closer to a return to the Hurricanes’ lineup as he recovers from a concussion that he’s been dealing with for two months.

Teräväinen has played once since Feb. 19, but joined the team for practice on Friday — an encouraging sign that a comeback is in the offing. Carolina opened a six-game road trip Monday with an overtime loss to the Lightning. Head coach Rod Brind’Amour is hoping that Teravainen could return while they’re away from PNC Arena.

“Not sure. I hope so,” he said. “Just waiting on him to say, ‘Book me in,’ and then he’ll go in. Positive side is that he’s at least practicing with us so he’s part of the group now. Hopefully he’ll get the bug and feel good and he’ll get in there.”

Teräväinen opened the season by testing positive for COVID-19, then took a hit from Blackhawks defenseman Nikita Zadorov on Feb. 19 causing him to miss seven games. He last played March 4.

Since Teräväinen has been skating now for a few weeks, whether he’s back playing will be up to him and how he feels at this point. He’s played 13 of Carolina’s 44 games this season and if he recovers 100% could be a key addition as the Hurricanes battle with the Lightning and Panthers for the top spot in the Central Division.

Entering play on Tuesday, Carolina and Florida are tied atop the division with 63 points with Tampa right behind them with 62. The Hurricanes currently have the edge via points percentage (.716) as they have 12 games to play.

[Your 2020-21 NHL on NBC TV schedule]

IF PLAYOFFS STARTED TODAY (matchups by total points)

EAST DIVISION
1. Capitals vs. 4. Bruins
2. Islanders vs. 3. Penguins

NORTH DIVISION
1. Maple Leafs vs. 4. Canadiens
2. Jets vs. 3. Oilers

WEST DIVISION
1. Golden Knights vs. 4. Coyotes
2. Avalanche vs. 3. Wild

(NOTE: St. Louis currently holds a better points percentage than Arizona — .512 to .489.)

CENTRAL DIVISION
1. Hurricanes vs. 4. Predators
2. Panthers vs. 3. Lightning

(NOTE: Dallas currently holds a better points percentage than Nashville — .545 to .543.)

TODAY’S KEY GAMES
Rangers vs. Islanders, 7 p.m. ET
Hurricanes vs. Lightning, 7 p.m. ET
Maple Leafs vs. Canucks, 9 p.m. ET

TUESDAY’S CLINCHING SCENARIO
The Golden Knights can become the first NHL team to clinch a playoff spot if the Ducks top the Kings in regulation.

PLAYOFF PERCENTAGES (via MoneyPuck)

Capitals – 98.4%
Penguins – 97%
Islanders – 92.9%
Bruins – 90%
Rangers – 21.3%
Flyers – 0.4%
Devils – 0%
Sabres – eliminated

PLAYOFF PERCENTAGES (via MoneyPuck)

Maple Leafs – 100%
Jets – 99.93%
Oilers – 99.7%
Canadiens – 81.6%
Flames – 13%
Canucks – 5.7%
Senators – 0%

PLAYOFF PERCENTAGES (via MoneyPuck)

Hurricanes – 100%
Lightning – 99.99%
Panthers – 99.99%
Stars – 49.6%
Predators – 44.3%
Blackhawks – 6.1%
Blue Jackets – 0%
Red Wings – 0%

PLAYOFF PERCENTAGES (via MoneyPuck)

Avalanche – 100%
Golden Knights – 100%
Wild – 100%
Blues – 42.7%
Coyotes – 34.4%
Kings – 12.5%
Sharks – 10.4%
Ducks – 0%

draft lottery
Getty Images

DRAFT LOTTERY PICTURE (via MoneyPuck)

Sabres – 17.2%
Ducks – 11.4%
Devils – 9.9%
Senators – 9.8%
Blue Jackets – 9.3%
Red Wings – 9%
Kings – 5.3%
Sharks – 5.2%
Canucks – 5%
Flames – 3.3%
Coyotes – 2.9%
Blackhawks – 2.9%
Blues – 2.5%
Flyers – 2.5%
Predators – 1.1%

ART ROSS TROPHY RACE
Connor McDavid, Oilers – 74 points
Leon Draisaitl, Oilers – 63
Patrick Kane, Blackhawks – 57
Auston Matthews, Maple Leafs – 54
Mitch Marner, Maple Leafs – 54
Brad Marchand, Bruins – 54

ROCKET RICHARD RACE
Auston Matthews, Maple Leafs – 33 goals
Mikko Rantanen, Avalanche – 26
Alex Ovechkin, Capitals – 24
Connor McDavid, Oilers – 24
Brad Marchand, Bruins – 23
Alex DeBrincat, Blackhawks – 23

————

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

PHT Morning Skate: Ranking top pending UFAs; Canucks’ playoff race

Welcome to the PHT Morning Skate, a collection of links from the NHL and around the hockey world. Have a link you want to submit for the PHT Morning Skate? Email us at phtblog@nbcsports.

Dougie Hamilton, Tuukka Rask, Jaden Schwartz. Ranking the top pending 2021 NHL unrestricted free agents. [NBC Sports Edge]

• They have a grind in front of them, but Sunday’s win for the Canucks could catapult them in the North Division playoff race. [The Hockey News]

• A good look at the NHL teams that are getting plenty of offense from their defense. [JFresh]

• Why this summer could see plenty of change for the Flames. [Spector’s Hockey]

• Should he pick up his game, Jason Zucker could play an impactful role for the Penguins down the stretch. [Pensburgh]

• Why Florida-born Jakub Chychrun has eyes on playing on Canada’s blue line in the 2022 Olympics. [ESPN]

Conor Sheary has become a productive staple in the Capitals’ lineup. [Japers’ Rink]

• The Devils have signed 2020 first-rounder Alexander Holtz to an entry-level deal. He’ll join AHL Binghamton after quarantine and his NHL contract will begin with the 2021-22 season. [All About the Jersey]

• Barry Trotz is hoping to get more from Noah Dobson as the Islanders eye a playoff berth. [NY Hockey Now]

Nick Foligno could exit quarantine and be ready to play for the Maple Leafs by Thursday. [NHL.com]

————

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

NHL Power Rankings: Hurricanes’ surprising strength; Rangers on the rise

In this week’s edition of the NHL Power Rankings we look at one team that is a legit Stanley Cup contender, and another that could be one in very short order. Maybe as soon as a year or two from now.

In Carolina, the Hurricanes remain a top-five team  thanks to a great core of young talent, an exceptional defense, and a surprising strength in goal. For years the biggest question mark with them was always whether they could get enough goaltending. Right now, they boast one of the best goaltending performances in the league with the trio of Petr Mrazek, Alex Nedeljkovic, and James Reimer combining for a .915 all situations save percentage (per Natural Stat Trick). That is one of the best marks in hockey, and combined with their defense makes them one of the toughest teams to score against in the league.

That can take you a long way.

Meanwhile, the Rangers are starting to see their pieces all come together for an impressive 13-4-3 stretch over their past 20 games. They are not only winning, but they have been one of the NHL’s most exciting teams. They are top-10 in goals per game and goals against per game; have the fifth-best goal differential, and a core of talent that is rapidly improving. It may not be enough to get them in the playoffs this season, but they are not far away. They are closing in on the top-10 this week.

Where does your team sit in this week’s NHL Power Rankings?

To this week’s NHL Power Rankings!

1. Colorado Avalanche. They have not played in a while and are on pause for the next couple of days, but they have the NHL’s best points percentage, an insane plus-53 goal differential in 43 games (also best in the league) and are 17-1-2 in their past 20 games. The best team in hockey.

2. Vegas Golden Knights. No weakness here. Right there with Colorado among the league’s top teams. They could meet in the Second Round.

3. Carolina Hurricanes. Their goaltending has been insanely good this season. Third-best team save percentage in hockey, behind only Vegas and the Islanders. Scary team.

4. Washington Capitals. Anthony Mantha has been an incredible fit so far with four goals in his first four games.

5. Tampa Bay Lightning. They have been a little off for a couple of weeks now, but that is not a huge concern. It happens to even the best teams at some point in a season.

[MORE: Steven Stamkos placed on LTIR by Lightning, out until May]

6. Florida Panthers. Carter Verhaeghe has been one of the best stories in the NHL, so his injury is tough to see.

7. Pittsburgh Penguins. Sidney Crosby just keeps rolling along with 50 points in 44 games and another top-10 year in the scoring race.

8. Boston Bruins. Do not count them out in the East. They could still win it. With the way they are playing right now and their remaining schedule, they might.

9. Toronto Maple Leafs. When this team is playing well it looks unbeatable. But it also has stretches where it looks very beatable. Little bit of a concern for the playoffs.

10. New York Islanders. Just 13 goals in the past eight games is not ideal. They have won two games during that stretch by a 1-0 score. That might be Lou Lamoriello and Barry Trotz’s dream situation, but you are going to need more than that in the playoffs

11. New York Rangers. You can see the potential in this group. It is scary. Also one of the most exciting teams in the NHL right now. They jump from No. 17 in last week’s NHL Power Rankings.

12. Minnesota Wild. Their reward for a strong season that has seen them take a big leap forward is going to be a First Round matchup with Vegas. Congratulations!

13. Winnipeg Jets. With those forwards and that goaltending you do not want to count them out. The right ingredients in the right division in the right season to maybe surprise you.

[Your 2020-21 NHL On NBC TV Schedule]

14. Edmonton Oilers. Mike Smith has been great this season. Can he maintain that? It seems like the Oilers are banking quite a lot on his ability to do just that.

15. Dallas Stars. They are not going away quietly. A couple of rookies (Jason Robertson and Jake Oettinger) are helping to lead their playoff push.

16. Nashville Predators. They have four head-to-head matchups with Chicago (three) and Dallas (one) the rest of the way. Winning at least three of them would do wonders for their playoff chances.

17. Chicago Blackhawks. The Blackhawks probably have the toughest remaining schedule of the three teams fighting for that fourth playoff spot in the Central. If they get in, they will have definitely earned it.

18. Montreal Canadiens. Given their record before and after the coaching change it seems that this is just a middle of the pack team.

19. Calgary Flames. That little three-game winning streak this past week was way too little, way too late. Very disappointing season here.

20. St. Louis Blues. That loss to Arizona this past week could loom large. They play the top-three teams in the division in nine of their remaining 12 games.

21. Arizona Coyotes. Beating St. Louis in regulation to snap a five-game losing streak was massive. While the Blues finish the season playing Vegas, Minnesota, and Colorado in most of their games, the Coyotes finish while playing the Sharks and Kings.

22. Philadelphia Flyers. A Carter Hart bounce back next season would produce a Flyers bounce back.

23. Vancouver Canucks. Credit to them for coming back and beating Toronto. It still seems like it was too soon for them to be back on the ice.

24. Buffalo Sabres. Credit to them for not mailing in the rest of the season. They look like a wildly different team under Don Granato. Not really a particularly good team, but definitely better. Also no longer a pushover.

[Related: Coaching change helping Sabres finish strong]

25. Detroit Red Wings. Like the Sabres, the Red Wings have also been surprisingly competitive down the stretch. I want to see what Jakub Vrana can do with an increased role.

26. Los Angeles Kings. Keep your eyes on the future, Kings fans. It is bright.

27. San Jose Sharks. They played their way back into the playoff race and then lost six out of seven, including four losses to Anaheim and LA. You just can not let that happen.

28. Ottawa Senators. Hopefully that shutout against Montreal is something Matt Murray can build on. He needed a positive game. The Senators need him to be good.

29. Anaheim Ducks. The Ducks seem further away from seriously contending than any almost other team in the league.

30. New Jersey Devils. It has been a struggle lately, but there is some very good young talent here.

31. Columbus Blue Jackets. They may not be the worst team in the league, but nobody is playing worse than them right now. Only two regulation wins since March 5, and they’re tied for the lowest total in the league. The team they are tied with, Vancouver, has only played 11 games during that stretch. Columbus has played 21 games. Overall the Blue Jackets have lost eight of their past 10 games and looked bad while doing so.

Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.

The Buzzer: Canucks win in return from COVID-19 protocol (Sunday in NHL)

3 Stars for Sunday in the NHL

1. Boston Bruins’ top line

Honestly, you could probably pick Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, and David Pastrnak for each of the three stars for Sunday in the NHL and call it a night. Even if, uh, they played during the afternoon.

Either way, it isn’t easy to distinguish the top star from the Bruins’ 6-3 win against the Capitals.

From a volume perspective, Brad Marchand led the way. He generated two goals and two assists for four points. Interestingly, it’s been feast-or-famine for Marchand lately. Over the last five games, Marchand’s been held pointless on three occasions, yet two outbursts put him at six points (4G, 2A) in his past five contests.

With Taylor Hall bolstering what now looks like a strong Bruins second line, Boston’s in a better position to handle the occasional pointless night from one or more members of “The Perfection Line.”

Speaking of the others, Bergeron didn’t get involved in a late empty-net goal, but ended up with three points (2G, 1A) and matched Marchand’s +4 rating. Pastrnak grabbed one of his assists on that ENG, yet was still prolific with three helpers and a +3 rating.

While 1,000 Games Club Member Nicklas Backstrom enjoyed a strong showing with two assists of his own, it wasn’t enough as the Capitals fell to the Bruins and that “Perfection Line.”

2. Ilya Sorokin, New York Islanders

For a significant chunk of Sunday’s OT loss to the Islanders, the Flyers likely believed they deserved better.

Through the first 40 minutes, the Flyers generated 23-15 shots on goal advantage, firing 15 on Sorokin during the second period alone. The Flyers couldn’t beat Sorokin once, though, as the young goalie put together a 30-save shutout.

Going forward, the Islanders shouldn’t hesitate to give Sorokin reps. He’s now won four of five games, allowing two goals or fewer in each of those appearances. A lot of the Islanders’ success comes down to their defensive system, but Sorokin’s looking solid in his own right.

3. Braden Holtby/Bo Horvat, Vancouver Canucks

No doubt about it, the Canucks came into Sunday’s return from a lengthy COVID-related absence with some self-doubt. They also faced a Maple Leafs team that would be a challenge under even the most optimal circumstances.

Now, the Canucks fighting through that COVID disruption isn’t about one game. If anything, they might actually feel it more and more as the grind of their schedule truly sets in. But on Sunday night, Braden Holtby was absolutely brilliant in helping the Canucks squeeze out an OT win vs. the Maple Leafs.

It’s not as if the Maple Leafs laid an egg in the Canucks’ COVID return. Toronto fired 39 shots on goal, testing Holtby often. The veteran goalie made 37 saves, including the highlight of the night for Sunday in the NHL.

If allowing two goals disqualifies Holtby in your mind, you could instead roll with Bo Horvat. The Canucks’ captain helped his team rally from a 2-0 deficit, scoring two goals (including the overtime game-winner) and an assist.

Highlight of the night for Sunday in the NHL: Windmill save from Canucks’ Holtby

Braden Holtby left Wayne Simmonds (and the rest of us) stunned with a beautiful windmill save. Shades of Dominik Hasek here:

Stat of the Night

This is a quirky one from the NHL. That said, if the Rangers defy the odds and make the playoffs, they’ll do so in part based on dominating the Devils:

Sunday’s NHL scores

Bruins 6, Capitals 3
Rangers 5, Devils 3
Sabres 4, Penguins 2
Golden Knights 5, Ducks 2
Islanders 1, Flyers 0 (OT)
Canucks 3, Maple Leafs 2 (OT)

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

Islanders keep pace for East Division title, outlast Flyers in overtime

Through regulation, neither the Flyers nor the Islanders could score a single goal on Sunday. The two teams weren’t always sharp, but that doesn’t tell the whole story, as Brian Elliott and especially Ilya Sorokin played very well.

Ultimately, the Islanders nabbed the extra point in overtime, beating the Flyers 1-0 on Sunday. The Flyers ended up losing track of Islanders defenseman Nick Leddy, whose attempted setup to Jordan Eberle ended up going off of Travis Sanheim for the overtime-winner.

Before Sunday’s Islanders – Flyers game, the two teams honored Oskar Lindblom as part of their Hockey Fights Cancer initiative. Definitely a nice display:

Islanders stay in East Division playoff picture; Too little, too late for Flyers?

Going forward, the Islanders eye an interesting schedule. As far as seeding goes in the upper crust of the East Division, they don’t face the Penguins again. The Islanders do, however, face the Capitals quite often, and perhaps the top spot will boil down to how those games play out.

From Thursday (April 22) through Tuesday (April 27), the Islanders and Capitals are scheduled to play three games.

Otherwise, the Islanders see the Rangers quite often (three times), the Devils twice, the Sabres twice, and then close their season vs. the Bruins. Overall, the Islanders have some “control over their destiny” when it comes to the East Division title (or seeding), but may end up needing some help, too.

(The Islanders also closed off their season series with the Flyers on Sunday.)

East Division standings update: Islanders chase seeding, Flyers’ chances are faint

Capitals: 29-13-4, 62 points in 46 games played
Islanders: 28-13-4, 60 points in 45 GP
Penguins: 28-14-3, 59 points in 45 GP
Bruins: 25-12-6, 56 points in 43 GP
Rangers: 23-16-6, 52 points in 45 GP
Flyers: 20-18-7, 47 points in 45 GP

Really, it’s tough to imagine the Rangers being hot enough to catch the Bruins, especially as Boston gathers steam. So the Flyers’ odds are even longer of making a credible playoff run.

(To be fair, the Flyers could make things interesting if they mop up a schedule heavy on matchups vs. the Devils, though. Ultimately, the most pertinent questions regarding Philly revolve around next season, and beyond.)

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.