Best of NHL: Blackhawks edge Red Wings on power-play goal in OT

Best of NHL: Blackhawks edge Red Wings on power-play goal in OT

CHICAGO -- Duncan Keith scored a power-play goal 38 seconds into overtime, lifting Chicago to a 4-3 win over the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday night for the Blackhawks' fourth straight victory.

Keith, who also had an assist, beat Petr Mrazek with a rising screened shot from the top of the slot. The man advantage was set up when Justin Adbelkader was called for boarding Chicago's Niklas Hjalmarsson with 15.2 seconds left in the third.

Richard Panik also had a goal and assist for Chicago, while Brian Campbell and Tanner Kero each scored. Ryan Hartman added two assists. Corey Crawford stopped 33 shots.

Andreas Athanasiou, Tomas Tatar and Luke Glendening had Detroit's goals in regulation. Mrazek had 39 saves as the Red Wings fell to 2-2-2 on a season-high seven-game road trip (see full recap).

Marchand, Bruins beat Blues
ST. LOUIS -- Brad Marchand scored twice, including an empty netter, and David Backes got into a fight in his return to St. Louis as the Boston Bruins beat the Blues 5-3 on Tuesday night.

Frank Vatrano, Brandon Carlo and Torey Krug also scored for the Bruins, who improved to 2-0-1 in their last three games. Tuukka Rask made 14 saves.

Backes, who spent his first 10 seasons with St. Louis before signing with Boston as a free agent, fought with former teammate Joel Edmundson late in the second to the delight of the Scottrade Center crowd. Backes dropped the gloves in retaliation for a hit on Bruins teammate David Krejci by Jori Lehtera.

Colton Parayko, Patrik Berglund and Kyle Brodziak scored for the Blues. Jake Allen was pulled for Carter Hutton after allowing three goals on 11 shots in the first period. Hutton finished with 26 saves (see full recap).

Staal lifts Hurricanes over Blue Jackets
RALEIGH, N.C. -- Jordan Staal scored the go-ahead goal on a deflection with 16:10 to play, and the Carolina Hurricanes beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-3 on Tuesday night.

Victor Rask had two assists and an empty-net goal, Jeff Skinner had a goal and two assists and Derek Ryan also had a goal and an assist. Brock McGinn added a goal for Carolina, which has earned points in 13 of 14 home games.

Cam Atkinson scored his 20th goal on the same day he was left off the All-Star team, and Josh Anderson and Brandon Saad also scored for the Blue Jackets, who have a league-best 60 points but have lost three of four.

Cam Ward made 24 saves while making his 17th straight start, his longest streak since 2011.

With All-Star pick Sergei Bobrovsky ill, backup Anton Forsberg stopped 23 shots in his season debut for the Blue Jackets (see full recap).

Ron Hextall talks Flyers' draft focus, scouting reports on top prospects and more

Ron Hextall talks Flyers' draft focus, scouting reports on top prospects and more

While the NHL draft doesn't begin until Friday evening in Chicago, the Flyers' scouting department and management have been in the Windy City since Tuesday.

Talk about getting a head start for Friday's No. 2 overall selection.

"After the last meeting, you sit and we're talking about players," Flyers general manager Ron Hextall said this week. "There might be certain answers we need on players and they go back and do their homework.

"You have a couple more meetings and get back with a little more information. Things will change as we get more information to gather. Things will change a little bit but not too much, but we'll be more prepared."

The Flyers are expected to select either Halifax's Nico Hischier or Brandon's Nolan Patrick — both centermen — depending upon which player the New Jersey Devils tab at No. 1.

NHL Central Scouting's final rankings had the 6-foot-3, 198-pound Patrick ranked first over Hischier, who is 6-foot, 176 pounds. Hextall cautioned that the team doesn't always go by "public opinion," nor does its rankings always mirror those of Central Scouting.

"If you look at every team's list, they're way different," he said. "If you took the 31 lists, there would be a lot of differences."

The Flyers have 11 picks in the draft. Given they are very deep in defensive prospects and goaltenders, but short on wingers, they are expected to load up on forwards (see story).

"You kind of look at it that we do have a lot of defensemen," Hextall said. "Right now, in a perfect world, sit here and say, 'If we got seven forwards, three defensemen and a goalie,' [that would be ideal]. We're not going to pick a goalie if we don't see a goalie as a value pick.

"If we get to a guy we like and he's still there, then we'll take a goalie, but we're not going to chase a goalie this year. I would expect we'll pick one, but we're not going to chase one. On D? If we get two, I'm OK with that."

There is separation after Patrick and Hischier in terms of how other players in the first round relate to them.

It's fair to say that had the Flyers been picking at No. 13 — their original spot before they got lucky in the draft lottery — the field would have been wide open with a number of players of equal ability at 13, whereas, at No. 2, there's a defined two.

"It's harder to sort," Hextall said of his original draft position. "Because there's a lot of good players. There really is. We were sitting there at 13 and we were kind of zeroing in and we were pretty excited about the player we were going to get at 13.

"People talk about this draft, they say it's not a very good draft. They're wrong. It's a good draft. It might not be like the last two were, but the last two were bumpers. This is a good draft."

Here's Hextall's quick take on a few of the top players in the first round, in no particular order after Patrick and Hischier:

"We had dinner with both of them," Hextall said of the top two players in the draft. "And we met with them at the combine. So we've got certain more information on those two than some other guys. There were some other guys we had more time with, too.

"They're both two-way players. They both make plays. They can both score goals. They both compete hard. Hischier has a little bit more quickness and speed to his game. Patrick's a little bit more looks for the right play and makes the play. They're both really good players. Both should be top NHL players."

Gabriel Vilardi: 6-2, 193-pound center, who played for Windsor in the OHL (see story).

"I was in Europe during the Memorial Cup," Hextall said. "He's another good player. Smart, really skilled, big body."

Klim Kostin: 6-3, 198-pound center/left wing, who played for Dynamo Moscow in Russia.

"He's a big horse, talented guy," Hextall said. "That's another thing, the Russian thing. How much do you put into it? But he's a high-end talent."

Cale Makar: 5-10, 175-pound defenseman, who played with Brooks in the Alberta Junior League.

"Really good," Hextall said. "He skates really well. He's got a really high skill level. Moves the puck well. Right-handed shot. Played in Brooks. Played at a level that's not the major junior level, but he's a really good player."

Miro Heiskanen: 6-0, 174-pound Finnish defenseman, who played with HIFK.

"Heiskanen's a really good player," Hextall said. "Very well-rounded defenseman, moves the puck. He's a good one."

Although he is not expected to be among the top 100 players taken in the draft, Keith Primeau's son, Cayden, a 6-2¾, 181-pound goalie, who played with Lincoln in the USHL, is expected to be drafted (see story).

Primeau was ranked seventh by Central Scouting among North American goalies.

"I saw Cayden here at the prospects game," Hextall said. "He's good, he's got good size, good positioning, he moves well. Seems to read the game pretty well. He's a good prospect."

Ron Hextall: Vegas 'obviously did their homework' on Pierre-Edouard Bellemare

Ron Hextall: Vegas 'obviously did their homework' on Pierre-Edouard Bellemare

Flyers general manager Ron Hextall on Wednesday night reacted to losing alternate captain Pierre-Edouard Bellemare to the Vegas Golden Knights in the NHL expansion draft (see story).

"There were a number of guys I felt like there was a chance we would lose," Hextall said. "And Belly was on that list.

"Vegas obviously did their homework and have themselves a good player. Pierre-Edouard is a character member of our organization and he'll be missed."

Bellemare is the Flyers' second alternate captain to depart the club in the same calendar year. Mark Streit, whose "A" Bellemare inherited, was traded to Pittsburgh via Tampa at the NHL trade deadline.

Streit will likely see his name engraved on the Stanley Cup. The Penguins plan to petition to get his name on the Cup even though Streit did not play in the Final against Nashville.

As for Bellemare, the 32-year-old center was left unprotected by the Flyers last weekend. He signed a two-year contract in March that carries a $1.45 million cap hit per.

Bellemare had 17 goals and 34 points in 237 games in three seasons with the Flyers after signing with the team in June 2014.

"He's a terrific team player and an even better human being," Hextall said. "He was great in the community and he'll be a real nice piece for Vegas."