NHL Wrap: Blackhawks make history with win

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NHL Wrap: Blackhawks make history with win

Ilya Bryzgalov said he's feeling "exhausted," but made it clear he doesn't need any break (see story).

Meanwhile, with Matt Read now sidelined for the next six weeks, rookie Tye McGinn is excited to be back in the lineup (see story).

Now, here's what happened Friday night around the NHL:

Blackhawks continue historic start
CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks set an NHL record for the best start to a season, beating the San Jose Sharks 2-1 on Friday night to give them at least one point in their first 17 games.

Blackhawks rookie Brandon Saad scored a short-handed goal early in the third period to snap a 1-all tie. Chicago (14-0-3) won its fourth straight game to break a mark set by the 2006-07 Anaheim Ducks, who earned points in their first 16 games.

The Blackhawks equaled that run Tuesday with a shootout win over Vancouver.

Saad closed in on left wing one-on-one with San Jose defenseman Brent Burns. After a quick fake, Saad fired a shot from the circle that beat San Jose's Antti Niemi just under the glove 2:24 into the period (see full recap).

Penguins win despite Malkin injury
PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Penguins overcame the loss of one of their top stars and found a way to beat the Florida Panthers.

Matt Niskanen and Dustin Jeffrey scored third-period goals to send the Penguins to a 3-1 victory on Friday.

But center Evgeni Malkin was injured and missed the last 15 minutes of the game.

Chris Kunitz also scored for the Penguins, and goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury made 22 saves in his first start in five days.

Malkin was injured with 15:09 left in the third period. Pittsburgh's second-leading scorer was driving to the net down the left side and was off-balance after releasing the puck when Erik Gudbranson checked him (see full recap).


Canucks blank the Predators
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Dale Weise broke a scoreless tie at 9:14 of the third period and Roberto Luongo made 23 saves for the shutout and the Vancouver Canucks defeated the Nashville Predators 1-0 Friday.

The Canucks have won consecutive games on their four-game road trip after losing three straight.

Nashville has lost three of its past four.

With the game still scoreless in the third period, Maxim Lapierre had the puck behind the Nashville goal line and carried it up to the right circle (see full recap).

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Steve Mason rediscovers himself in New York just before Flyers return

Steve Mason rediscovers himself in New York just before Flyers return

It had been a while since Steve Mason saw himself.

Walking into the Barclays Center on Sunday, the Flyers’ goalie was 0-6-2 with a 4.03 goals-against average and .844 save percentage over his last 10 appearances (see more recent Flyers numbers and stats).

A far cry of how Mason truly sees himself in net.

But heading into Wednesday’s rivalry clash with the Rangers, Mason will have something to build on, something he couldn’t say since Dec. 21 - the last previous time he had earned a victory. He’s fresh off his first win in over a month, a massive one for Mason considering all the key moments on Sunday the Flyers hope invigorate his confidence.

Without numerous clutch stops from their goalie, the Flyers don’t come back from two goals down to beat the Islanders, 3-2, in overtime. Mason made four saves  — three on four-time All-Star John Tavares — in just over a minute of a third-period power play. The Flyers ended up having to kill two New York man advantages in the final 10 minutes of regulation in order to force overtime.

The extra session is when Mason was just as good, if not better, stoning Tavares on a breakaway attempt that had game-winner written all over it. Mason made four saves in overtime after 13 in the third period.

“I was happy with the way that, personally, this game went for myself,” Mason said Sunday. “It’s been a tough stretch and this is more the type of game that I expect of myself. In recent games, the team was lacking the big saves and tonight it shows what kind of difference it can make.”

It was a massive performance heading into a massive three-game stretch against the Rangers, Maple Leafs and Hurricanes.

“Mase made some huge saves for us,” Simmonds said. “It allowed us to get back in that game.

“It’s not just Mase [with the] ups and downs. Everyone in here has been kind of fighting it and squeezing sticks pretty tight. That one felt good and I think Mase led the charge for sure.”

Mason understands just one game doesn’t turn around a season.

“It’s nice to feel good after a game,” Mason said. “At the same time, whether you’re winning or losing, you have to have a short mindset and get ready for the next one.”

That brings the Flyers to Madison Square Garden Wednesday to face the Rangers, who they’ve lost five straight games to dating back to last season. Mason hasn’t had much luck against New York this season, allowing seven goals in two losses with an .860 save percentage. However, in 2015-16, Mason put up a 1.74 goals-against average and .941 save percentage in five games against the Rangers.

“That’s going to be a tough game going into MSG,” Mason said Tuesday (see story).

The good thing: Mason was in New York two days ago, remembering what he can be.

Manute Bol's 7-foot, 17-year-old son dominates in HS season debut

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Manute Bol's 7-foot, 17-year-old son dominates in HS season debut

Bol Bol, the 17-year-old son of the late Manute Bol, is a top high school basketball prospect with offers from schools like Arizona, Kansas and Creighton. This highlight tape should give you an idea why.
 
Bol, whose father played in the NBA for parts of 12 seasons, including 215 games for the Sixers, now attends the famed Mater Dei High School in California and played in his first game of the season this past weekend. Listed as the No. 16 overall prospect in the 2018 recruiting class by Scout, Bol started his season off with a big 21-point, 10-rebound effort.
 
Take a look at the highlight tape from the 6-foot-11 Bol and expect to see him carry on his father’s legacy on the court at a major NCAA college basketball program soon.