Another week of the NHL season is officially in the books, and it was filled with some memorable moments. We’ve been treated to some tremendous hockey lately, and CBS Sports will recap it all with the weekly NHL Rewind.
The NHL went international this past week with the Global Series in Stockholm, Sweden, and the fans in attendance were not disappointed. Tim Stützle scored one of the goals of the year, and Swedish superstar William Nylander cemented his status as royalty in the country.
Elsewhere, the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils took to the ice and reignited their rivalry for the first time since Game 7 of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The highly-anticipated matchup did not disappoint, going back and forth until the very end.
Let’s dive into all the biggest storylines and best highlights from the week that was in the NHL.
Goal of the week: Tim Stützle swats home the OT winner in Sweden
As part of the NHL’s Global Series (more on that later), the Ottawa Senators went to Sweden, and Tim Stützle gave the local fans their money‘s worth. On Thursday, the Senators jumped out to a 4-0 lead over the Detroit Red Wings in what looked like a blowout, but the Wings pushed back.
Detroit scored four consecutive goals of their own and sent the game to overtime, but Stützle bailed out Ottawa. Drake Batherson tried to fire a pass to Stützle in the slot, but it hit Shayne Gostisbehere’s stick and kicked up into the air.
As it was hurtling back to the ice, Stützle swatted the puck out of mid-air and past James Reimer for the game-winning goal.
Reimer’s natural instincts did help out Reimer by telling him to duck right before the puck hit his helmet, but that doesn’t take any style points away from this goal. Stützle was sitting on just three goals prior to that, so he needed one to go in for him. Maybe that dazzling tally will get him going.
Robbery of the week: Anthony Stolarz gives Ryan Strome two for the price of one
Anthony Stolarz has been backing up Sergei Bobrovsky in Florida this season, but he stole the show in Anaheim on Thursday night. Ducks forward Ryan Strome had two excellent chances at a goal, but Stolarz slammed the door twice.
Early in the second period, with the Panthers up 2-0, Strome got a clean breakaway from the neutral zone. Stolarz kicked out his left pad to make the initial stop, but Strome stuck with the play and had an open net on the rebound.
Unfortunately for Strome, Stolarz stuck with the play too. Stolarz flung that same left pad backward and got enough of Strome’s second attempt to keep it out of the net.
Those saves proved to be the difference in the game because the Panthers won a low-scoring battle, 2-1. Stolarz has only seen action in four games this season, but he has performed well in that limited action and might have earned a couple more starts here and there.
William Nylander is the King of Sweden
The Toronto Maple Leafs also made the trip to Sweden for the Global Series, and William Nylander was practically royalty. Even before the games started, fans were flocking from all around for the chance to meet him.
Nylander’s popularity only grew throughout the weekend as he powered the Maple Leafs to a pair of thrilling wins.
In Toronto’s first Global Series game, it trailed the Red Wings 2-0 heading into the third period. Nylander helped get the Leafs on the board with a smooth assist when he sliced through the offensive zone and found Tyler Bertuzzi on the weak side for a goal.
Later in the period, Nylander ripped home a power play goal when Mitch Marner found him all alone between the circles.
Toronto went on to win the game 3-2, and Nylander added a secondary assist on John Tavares’ game-winning goal. That three-point performance was only the beginning of Nylander’s show-stealing weekend in Stockholm.
The Maple Leafs played the Minnesota Wild on Sunday, and Nylander came up with some more Swedish magic. In the first period, Nylander assisted on Auston Matthews’ goal to make it 17 straight games with a point to begin the season. That tied him with Dave Andreychuk, Henrik Zetterberg and Connor McDavid for the eighth-longest stretch of all-time.
Despite taking a 3-1 lead into the third period, Toronto was unable to hold it, and Minnesota came back to tie with a couple of quick goals. That sent the game to overtime, and only one person could send the Global Series out with a bang.
Nylander weaved his way through the neutral zone, turned the corner on fellow Swede Marcus Johansson, and slipped the puck through Marc-Andre Fleury to win the game.
The fans in Sweden came out in droves to see Nylander, and he delivered. Good luck to the teams involved in the next Global Series because he set a very high bar to clear.
Rangers draw first blood in season series with Devils
On Saturday night, the Rangers and Devils met for the first time since New Jersey eliminated its rivals in Game 7 of the 2023 playoffs. The highly-anticipated game didn’t disappoint — unless you were wearing red and black.
The game got off to a very physical start when Rangers captain Jacob Trouba did what he does best: flatten opponents into the ice. Trouba buried Tomas Nosek into the ice, and the Devils forward left the game with an injury.
That play was the tone-setter, and there was plenty more drama to come. The two sides traded goals in a chaotic first period, but things settled down in the second, and the Rangers and Devils entered the third period tied at 2-2.
Just over a minute into the final frame, Erik Haula shoveled home a loose puck in front to give New Jersey its first lead of the game.
The Prudential Center was rocking, but that only lasted for about 10 minutes. With just under nine minutes left, Artemi Panarin zipped a B.B. past Vitek Vanecek off an offensive zone face-off to level the score yet again.
After that, it felt like the game was destined for overtime, but Jimmy Vesey had other planes. With about three minutes left in the third, Vesey entered the zone and dropped a pass to Tyler Pitlick, who put a quick shot on Vanecek.
Vesey continued his path toward the net and was rewarded with a juicy rebound, which he slid into the net with a gorgeous spin-o-rama.
The Rangers added an empty-net goal and took the first meeting between the bitter rivals, 5-3. The Blueshirts are now alone atop the Metro Division while the Devils sit down in sixth place. I’d expect that to change eventually, and by the time they meet again, both teams should be among the top three in the division.
Penguins shut out Golden Knights
The Pittsburgh Penguins made one of the big splashes of the summer when they acquired star defenseman Erik Karlsson from the San Jose Sharks. However, the Penguins had a rough start to the 2023-24 campaign with a 3-6-0 record.
It appears the Penguins are starting to find their groove. On Sunday, Pittsburgh shut out the defending Stanley Cup champion Vegas Golden Knights 3-0 behind a stellar effort from goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic.
Nedeljkovic, who scored a goal in a start for the AHL’s Wilkes Barre/Scranton Penguins on Friday, stopped all 37 shots that he faced from the Golden Knights. It marked the eighth shutout of his career and the first since April 24, 2022 when he was a member of the Red Wings.
The Penguins jumped out to an early advantage on the Golden Knights after defenseman Ryan Graves scored his first goal with the Penguins. Graves was able to blast a rebound shot past Golden Knights netminder Adin Hill off of a few initial shots from Pittsburgh.
It proved to be a night of firsts as Penguins forward Noel Acciari also netted his first goal of the season to give the team a 2-0 lead. In addition, Penguins winger Jake Guentzel extended to point streak to eight consecutive games as he assisted on an empty-net goal from Evgeni Malkin to put the contest out of reach.
Pittsburgh has now been victorious in six of its last eight games, including a five-game winning streak earlier this month. Karlsson, who had gotten off to a slow start, had registered points in eight straight games, and he tallied four goals and nine assists during that span.
This could be one of the last chances for the Penguins to make a run at the Stanley Cup. If they can continue to impose their will against some of the NHL’s elite, a Stanley Cup run is something that could be in the cards.
Appointment viewing this week
Bruins at Panthers | Wednesday, Nov. 22: The Panthers are one of the hottest teams in the NHL right now, and they have worked their way up to second place in the Atlantic Division with Aaron Ekblad and Brandon Montour returning to the lineup. Can Florida keep chipping away at Boston’s lead?
Golden Knights at Stars | Wednesday, Nov. 22: The top two teams in the Western Conference (by points percentage) will face off against one another on Thanksgiving Eve. These two heavyweights should provide an incredible appetizer for the upcoming feast on Thursday.
Flyers at Rangers | Friday, Nov. 24: The Flyers have been one of the bigger surprises around the league as they sit near the top of the Metro. On the other hand, the Rangers have also been thriving following an underwhelming end to the 2022-23 season. This will be one of the biggest tests for Philadelphia thus far.
Lightning at Hurricanes | Friday, Nov. 24: Neither team has really lived up to the billing throughout the early portion of the 2023-24 season. Even though both teams are in the middle of the pack in their respective divisions, these are still two Stanley Cup contenders that will be looking to make a statement.
Maple Leafs at Penguins | Saturday, Nov. 25: The Penguins are making a charge after a less-than-stellar start to the year. This veteran group is starting to hit their stride, while the Maple Leafs are also playing some of their best hockey. This certainly could be a playoff preview.