NHL MORNING SKATE – NOV. 17, 2015
Welcome to the “NHL Morning Skate,” a daily collection of the latest news and notes from around the League.
Home Team in Caps
NY ISLANDERS 5, Arizona 2
Anaheim 4, CAROLINA 1
MONTREAL 4, Vancouver 3 (OT)
Detroit 4, OTTAWA 3 (OT)
FLORIDA 1, Tampa Bay 0
ST. LOUIS 3, Winnipeg 2
EKBLAD’S LATE HEROICS (AGAIN) LIFT PANTHERS OVER LIGHTNING . . .
Aaron Ekblad scored the lone goal with 20.2 seconds remaining in regulation to lift the Panthers to a sweep of their home-and-home series with the Lightning.
* On Saturday, Ekblad registered the tying goal with 37.9 seconds left in the third period en route to a 5-4 shootout win at TBL. Per Elias, Ekblad became the first player to score a tying or go-ahead goal in the final minute of consecutive games since March 17-19, 2003, when Thrashers forward Dany Heatley did so vs. CBJ (19:47 in 3-2 W) and vs. DAL (19:24 in 5-4 SO L), respectively.
* Elias adds that the Panthers became the first team to record a tying or go-ahead goal in the final minute of consecutive games since Feb. 25-26, 2014, when the Sabres did so vs. CAR (19:16 in 3-2 W) and vs. BOS (19:07 in 5-4 OT W), respectively.
* Ekblad, the reigning Calder Memorial Trophy winner, has 3-1—4 during a four-game point streak after collecting 1-2—3 in his first 14 appearances of the season.
. . . LUONGO MOVES UP THE ALL-TIME CHARTS
Panthers goaltender Roberto Luongo – the NHL’s active leader in wins, shutouts and games played by a netminder – stopped all 39 shots he faced, including 15 in the third period, to continue his climb up the League’s all-time charts:
* Luongo earned his 407th career win to tie Glenn Hall for eighth place in NHL history.
* Luongo recorded his 69th career shutout to move within two of tying Harry Lumley (71) for 12th place in NHL history.
* Luongo made his 878th appearance to move within four of tying John Vanbiesbrouck (882) – who was in attendance on Monday – for eighth place in NHL history.
CANADIENS OVERCOME THREE-GOAL DEFICIT TO DEFEAT CANUCKS
The Canadiens scored four unanswered goals, including the winner by David Desharnais at 3:25 of overtime, to overcome a 3-0 deficit and improve to 8-1-1 this season at Bell Centre.
* Via Elias, the Canadiens overcame a three-goal deficit to win for the first time since April 4, 2014 at OTT, when the team registered seven consecutive goals – powered by a five-point performance from Max Pacioretty (3-2—5) – to rally from an early 3-0 deficit en route to a 7-4 victory.
* Desharnais, who posted his fourth career overtime goal, has recorded the decisive tally in each of Montreal’s past three victories (also Nov. 7 vs. BOS and Nov. 5 vs. NYI). His three game-winning goals this season (19 GP) are one shy of his career high, set in 2014-15 (82 GP).
* Tomas Fleischmann (1-1—2), who signed with the Canadiens following a PTO, notched the tying goal with 3:08 remaining in regulation. He has 5-8—13 in his first 19 games with the club.
TATAR, RED WINGS WITHSTAND SENATORS’ RALLY
The Senators erased a two-goal deficit in the third period, but Tomas Tatar scored at 2:04 of overtime to propel the Red Wings to their fourth win in their past five road games, including their second at Canadian Tire Centre (also Oct. 31: 5-3 W).
* Tatar, who led the Red Wings and established career highs in both goals (29) and game-winning goals (7) last season, posted his fifth tally and first decisive marker of 2015-16. He also notched his first career overtime goal.
* The Red Wings improved to 7-1-0 in their past eight visits to Canadian Tire Centre dating to Oct. 11, 2008 (OTT: 1-5-2).
Four players – Blues captain David Backes (2-1—3), Islanders teammates John Tavares (2-1—3) and Kyle Okposo (0-3—3), and Ducks forward Carl Hagelin (1-2—3) – registered three points to power their teams to victories:
* Backes factored on all three of his team’s goals to help the Blues rebound from a pair of losses and improve to 12-1-2 in their last 15 meetings with the Jets/Thrashers dating to Oct. 30, 2010 (WPG/ATL: 3-8-4). Backes posted his 12th career three-point performance and first since March 17 at CGY (1-2—3).
* Tavares and Okposo combined to lead the Islanders to their third victory in their past four games overall as well as a 6-3-2 record in their first 11 contests at Barclays Center. The Islanders improved to 6-0-1 this season when Tavares scores. Okposo, who matched a career high for helpers in one game, also collected his 200th NHL assist.
* Hagelin equaled a career high for points in one contest to guide the Ducks a 5-1-2 record in their past eight outings following a 1-7-2 start to the season. Hagelin, who totaled 1-1—2 in his first 17 games with the Ducks, notched his fourth career three-point game and first since March 14, 2014 at WPG (3-0—3 w/ NYR).
MILESTONES & BENCHMARKS
* Hurricanes defenseman Noah Hanifin, the fifth overall selection in the 2015 NHL Draft, scored his first career goal (15 GP). At 18 years, 295 days, Elias says that Hanifin became the youngest defenseman in Hurricanes/Whalers history to register a goal. Only three other defensemen have notched a goal with the franchise prior to their 19th birthday: Mickey Volcan (in 1980-81), Sylvain Cote (in 1984-85) and Dana Murzyn (in 1985-86).
* Ducks forward Nick Ritchie (10:39 TOI), the 10th overall selection in the 2014 NHL Draft, and Canucks forward Hunter Shinkaruk (9:35 TOI), the 24th overall selection in the 2013 NHL Draft, both made their League debuts.
* Coyotes captain Shane Doan played in his 1,412th career game to surpass Harry Howell (1,411 GP) and move into sole possession of 30th place on the NHL’s all-time games played list.
* Islanders defenseman Marek Zidlicky (800) and Canadiens forward Tomas Fleischmann (600) both played in milestone games.
* Canucks forward Daniel Sedin (1-0—1) moved within two points of 900 in his NHL career (333-565—898).
* Forward Steve Bernier scored his first goal with the Islanders (10 GP).
Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko (1-1—2) recorded his 11th goal of the season, third in the NHL behind Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane (13) and Stars captain Jamie Benn (12) . . . Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson (2-4—6) and Senators forward Bobby Ryan (3-4—7) both extended their point streaks to six games . . . Canadiens forward Brendan Gallagher (3-4—7), Panthers forward Jonathan Huberdeau (1-4—5) and Canadiens captain Max Pacioretty (2-4—6) all stretched their point streaks to five games . . . Ducks goaltender Anton Khudobin (24 SV), who compiled a 27-31-7 record over the past two seasons with the Hurricanes, earned the win in his return to Carolina . . . Red Wings forward Dylan Larkin (1-0—1) and Blues defenseman Colton Parayko (0-1—1) both have 5-7—12 this season (18 GP), tied for third among rookies . . . ICYMI: Avalanche forward Matt Duchene, Rangers forward Mats Zuccarello and Maple Leafs goaltender James Reimer were named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the week ending Nov. 15 . . . The Red Wings signed defenseman Xavier Ouellet to a one-year contract extension . . . New York Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard attended the Coyotes-Islanders game.
SNEAK PEEK AT TUESDAY’S ACTION
All Times Eastern
San Jose @ Boston, 7:00 p.m., CSN-CA, NESN
Dallas @ Buffalo, 7:00 p.m., FS-MW, MSG-B, BELL TV
Los Angeles @ Philadelphia, 7:00 p.m., FS-W, CSN-PH
St. Louis @ Columbus, 7:00 p.m., FS-MW, FS-O
Minnesota @ Pittsburgh, 7:30 p.m., NBCSN, ROOT
Colorado @ Toronto, 7:30 p.m., TVAS, ALT2, TSN4
Anaheim @ Nashville, 8:00 p.m., PRIME, FS-SD, FS-TN
New Jersey @ Calgary, 9:00 p.m., MSG+, SNW
STARS AIM TO CONTINUE RECORD-SETTING START
The Stars, who at 14-4-0 (28 points) are off to their best 18-game start – in terms of wins and points – in the franchise’s 48-year history, look to continue their record-setting run when they visit the Sabres at First Niagara Center. Dallas, which boasts two of the top three point-producers in the NHL (Tyler Seguin: 9-17—26 and Jamie Benn: 12-13—25) as well as the top defensive scorer (John Klingberg: 4-16—20), shares first in the League with seven road wins and 14 road points (7-2-0). Buffalo, however, has won six of the last seven meetings between these clubs at First Niagara Center dating to Feb. 28, 2003 (DAL: 1-5-1).
FLYERS HOST RETIREMENT CEREMONY FOR GAGNE
The Flyers will host a retirement ceremony for forward Simon Gagne prior to their game against the Kings at Wells Fargo Center. Gagne, the 22nd overall selection by Philadelphia in the 1998 NHL Draft, totaled 291-310—601 during 14 seasons (822 GP). He played 11 of those 14 campaigns (including each of his first 10) with the Flyers, compiling 264-271—535 in 691 appearances. Gagne also spent parts of two seasons with the Kings, posting 7-15—22 in 45 outings.
“It’s going to be fun to go back to where everything started, where my son was born, and we’re really excited,” Gagne told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “We’re going to stick around more than just one night. We’re going to stay there for the week and just have some really good memories that happened there when I was in Philly for more than 10 years.”