Flyers

McDavid stars as Oilers overcome last-minute collapse

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USA Today Images

McDavid stars as Oilers overcome last-minute collapse

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Ryan Strome scored twice and the Edmonton Oilers recovered to beat the Anaheim Ducks 6-5 in a shootout Sunday after giving up two goals in the final 21 seconds of regulation.

Leon Draisaitl scored in his third straight game for the Oilers, who have won three in a row and four of five. Al Montoya made 41 saves, and Anton Slepyshev and Iiro Pakarinen also scored. Connor McDavid had three assists.

Rickard Rakell had a hat trick and Ryan Getzlaf added a goal and two assists for the Ducks, who have earned at least one point in six consecutive home games. Adam Henrique also scored, and Ryan Miller stopped 37 shots.

Rakell scored with 20.9 seconds remaining in the third period to make it 5-4 and then tied it with 6.3 seconds to play. He beat Montoya with a wrist shot from the slot after Derek Grant won the faceoff against Draisaitl.

Draisaitl and McDavid scored in the shootout. Montoya stopped shots by Getzlaf and Ondrej Kase after Rakell made his shot (see full recap). 

Spurgeon scores with 12 seconds left in OT to give Wild win 
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Jared Spurgeon scored with 12 seconds left in overtime to give the Minnesota Wild a 3-2 victory against the San Jose Sharks on Sunday night.

Spurgeon added an assist, and Jason Zucker had two assists, setting up Spurgeon in the extra session as Minnesota tied a season-high with its fourth straight victory.

Matt Cullen and Eric Staal also scored for the Wild, who have earned points in 23 of their past 25 home games. Devan Dubnyk made 26 saves for Minnesota.

Joakim Ryan and Chris Tierney scored for San Jose, which built a two-goal lead and was 23-0-1 when leading after two periods. Martin Jones stopped 38 shots for the Sharks, who lost the final three games of a four-game trip.

Spurgeon managed to collect the puck in the offensive zone after Brent Burns couldn't corral it. Spurgeon sent a cross-ice pass to a uncovered Zucker. Instead of shooting on Jones, who slid across the crease, Zucker passed back to Spurgeon for a wide-open goal (see full recap).

Daley's OT goal lifts Rangers over Red Wings
NEW YORK — Trevor Daley scored on a tip-in with 5.6 seconds showing on the clock in overtime to lift the Detroit Red Wings to a 3-2 victory over the rebuilding New York Rangers on Sunday night.

Andreas Athanasiou and Darren Helm also scored for the Red Wings, and Jimmy Howard stopped 36 shots. Detroit improved to 5-3-2 in its last 10 games and pulled into a tie with Florida five points behind Columbus for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

J.T. Miller and Jesper Fast scored for the Rangers, and Henrik Lundqvist made 31 saves. New York lost its seventh straight, hours after trading star forward Rick Nash to Boston for three players and two draft picks. It also was the Rangers' first game since trading speedy forward Michael Grabner to New Jersey on Friday night.

Ryan Spooner, one of the players acquired from the Bruins, had two assists in his debut for the Rangers, who are 0-6-1 in their last seven and have just three wins in the last 17 games (3-13-1) (see full recap).

Rinne shuts out Blues in milestone victory
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Pekka Rinne showed no signs of a letdown following his milestone 300th victory.

Rinne made 27 saves for his sixth shutout of the season and the Nashville Predators earned a 4-0 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Sunday.

The Predators starting goalie moved into 33rd place on the NHL's career win list, passing former Nashville goalie Tomas Vokoun.

The Predators won their fourth straight game and moved into sole possession of first place in the Central Division.

The Blues lost their sixth straight.

"We scored four goals, but I thought that we had plenty more chances and good looks," Rinne said (see full recap).

One long day should give Flyers prospect Bobby Brink plenty of motivation

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Zack Hill/ Philadelphia Flyers

One long day should give Flyers prospect Bobby Brink plenty of motivation

Bobby Brink will remember waiting.

With the NHL draft, most players will say it doesn't matter where you go or when you're taken, it's just special to hear your name called — a dream realized.

Brink, a 5-foot-8, 165-pound winger from Minnetonka, Minnesota, masterfully delivered in his draft year. He carved up the USHL for 68 points (35 goals, 33 assists) in 43 regular-season games with the Sioux City Musketeers, turning himself into what many viewed as a first-round prospect.

He didn't learn his draft destiny until Saturday, Day 2 of the event, at pick No. 34 overall.

"I landed in a great spot with the Flyers," Brink said last month at development camp, "and I couldn't be happier to be here."

Thrilled, absolutely. But …

"It's motivation that teams passed up on you," Brink said. "It was a long day Friday."

He won't forget.

The Flyers traded up to snag Brink. They were excited he was still available on Day 2, three selections into the second round (see story). Brink said he had met with the Flyers throughout the year and at the NHL Scouting Combine.

"I knew the history of the Flyers," Brink said. "It's such an historic organization.

"They didn't tell me they were going to draft me or anything, but I thought I was on their radar."

For good reason.

Brink isn't regarded as the biggest, fastest or strongest, but there's a deceptive quickness to his skating, he thrives on outsmarting the opposition and he's exceptionally skilled. 

I rely on the scouts to put the list together and Bobby was a player that our entire staff highly endorsed, scouted and very much liked as a hockey player. I've known Bobby and his family for many years. His dad Andy coached my son and also taught him in school. So there's a long relationship there. 

In terms of the background, I felt comfortable giving my opinion to the staff about what a quality kid from a quality family. Watched him play at every level, and it's remarkable — he was a star player in squirt and peewee, and he's a star player in the USHL. It's been amazing to watch his rise. He's a high-quality prospect.

- Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher

During the 5-on-5 scrimmage to finish off development camp, Brink stood out playing alongside top prospects Morgan Frost and Isaac Ratcliffe.

"He's a small guy, but he works hard," the 6-foot-6 Ratcliffe said. "He seemed to control the puck and it was on a string for him out there.

"He's a really good player."

Brink, who is headed to the University of Denver, said growing up he has admired smaller players in the NHL like Johnny Gaudreau and Patrick Kane.

"Seeing them do that, I realize that I can do it, too," Brink said. "They're providing me opportunity, for the smaller guys, by having so much success."

Gaudreau, the 25-year-old five-time All-Star, is a 5-foot-9, 165-pound winger who was drafted out of the USHL in 2011. He heard his name called in the fourth round.

Sometimes waiting can be a good thing.

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Noah Cates is a prospect the Flyers 'can't stop bragging about'

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Zack Hill/Philadelphia Flyers

Noah Cates is a prospect the Flyers 'can't stop bragging about'

The Flyers selected Noah Cates during the fifth round of the 2017 NHL draft, plucking him out of Stillwater Area High School in Minnesota with the 137th overall pick.

At the time, Brent Flahr, Chuck Fletcher and the Minnesota Wild were sitting at No. 147.

"A kid like Cates was right in our backyard," Flahr said. "One thing in Minnesota when you are there, you hate when Minnesota players, especially the good ones, go ahead of you."

Flahr can now thank Flyers amateur scout Nick Pryor. As the assistant general manager of the Flyers, Flahr no longer has to kick himself for missing out on Cates.

"Nick Pryor did a good job," Flahr said last month at development camp. "He was right near his house. They got him. He looks like a real good prospect for us."


(Zack Hill/Philadelphia Flyers)

As a fifth-round pick out of high school, Cates was once well below the surface in the Flyers' prospect pool. With time and hard work, he's beginning to blossom — and the Flyers see it. 

"We talk about him every day and we can't stop bragging about him," Flyers player development coach Kjell Samuelsson said. "He's quietly gotten better and better every year, and everything we ask him to do, he's doing it."

In 2017-18, Cates scored nearly a point per game (21 goals, 34 assists) over 60 contests with the USHL's Omaha Lancers. He then followed it up by playing an important role for 2019 national champion University of Minnesota Duluth, recording 23 points (nine goals, 14 assists) and a plus-12 mark through 40 games as a freshman.

What made the national title even sweeter was winning it alongside his brother Jackson Cates, for a school just shy of a 2½-hour drive from his parents Jeff and Jenny Cates.

"Awesome," Cates said. "I think they were at every game this year. It was so much easier for them that we were in the same spot, a couple hours from home. They're obviously so proud of us."

Couple his freshman year with a goal and two assists for the U.S. in the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship, and it was a productive 2018-19 for Cates.

"Just grew so much, developed so much with the college game — living on my own, going to school and everything like that," Cates said. "Just an awesome year all around and capping it off with that national championship was so special with my family."

Cates is far from the skinny, offense-first player he was in high school. He's gone from 6-foot-1, 165 pounds to 6-foot-2, 180 pounds. He's a smart, all-situation thinker — in large part because of his development with the Bulldogs and trust from head coach Scott Sandelin.

"My role kind of grew as the year went on, got more comfortable," Cates said. "A little bit of power play, some penalty kill, last-minute stuff — that's important to play in all those key situations, so important moving on to have that experience. To do it for a team like that, it was really special. I can't say enough good things about that program and the whole year in general. Coach Sandelin gave me a lot of opportunity and I'm so grateful for that opportunity and took advantage of it."

The Flyers noticed.

"He scored goals, he's on the ice when you're protecting leads, he's killing penalties," Samuelsson said. "He's a very rounded hockey player."

Cates said it's too early to tell how long he'll stay in school.

"When you're on a team like that and with a program like that, you don't want to leave too early and maybe hurt your career," Cates said, "especially with the opportunity that's in Duluth."

After all, there's no real rush. Flahr, Fletcher and the Flyers know him well.

"So happy to be in Philadelphia," Cates said.

"I just need to play the way I can play, especially these next couple years with my development. They're on board with that, they're happy with where I'm at, but I've got to keep making strides."

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