NHL MORNING SKATE – NOV. 20, 2015

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NHL MORNING SKATE – NOV. 20, 2015

Welcome to the “NHL Morning Skate,” a daily collection of the latest news and notes from around the League.

THURSDAY’S RESULTS

Home Team in Caps
BOSTON 4, Minnesota 2
San Jose 1, PHILADELPHIA 0 (OT)
PITTSBURGH 4, Colorado 3
Dallas 3, WASHINGTON 2
Arizona 3, MONTREAL 2
OTTAWA 3, Columbus 0
TAMPA BAY 2, NY Rangers 1
Anaheim 3, FLORIDA 1
ST. LOUIS 3, Buffalo 2 (SO)

OVECHKIN BECOMES TOP RUSSIAN-BORN GOAL-SCORER IN NHL HISTORY

Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin scored his 484th career goal (777 GP) to pass Sergei Fedorov (483 G in 1,248 GP) for most goals by a Russian-born player in NHL history.

“Obviously it was loud. They cheered for me since day one so it was a great moment. My dad is always there. My mom was there, my brother, my fiancé and her parents, so that was a special moment for me.” – Alex Ovechkin

“What he has accomplished thus far in his career has been nothing short of remarkable. I had a great opportunity to play with Alex in Washington and have seen first-hand the respect, passion and enthusiasm he has not only for the game of hockey but for his country as well.” – Sergei Fedorov

* Nicklas Backstrom (1-1—2) assisted on Ovechkin’s milestone goal. Coincidentally, Backstrom also earned an assist on Fedorov’s goal that broke Alexander Mogilny’s NHL record for career goals by a Russian-born player when they skated together for the Capitals on Oct. 24, 2008 at Dallas.
* Earlier this season, Ovechkin (484-428—912) also became the fourth Russian-born player to record 900 NHL points, following Fedorov (483-696—1,179), Mogilny (473-559—1,032) and Alex Kovalev (430-599—1,029).

MOST CAREER NHL GOALS BY COUNTRY OF BIRTH:

Wayne Gretzky (Canada) – 894
Jaromir Jagr (Czech Republic) – 729
Teemu Selanne (Finland) – 684
Mats Sundin (Sweden) – 564
Mike Modano (United States) – 561
Alex Ovechkin (Russia) – 484

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 19:  Alex Ovechkin #8 of the Washington Capitals celebrates after scoring a goal against the Dallas Stars in the third period of an NHL game at Verizon Center on November 19, 2015 in Washington, DC. Ovechkin scored his 484th career NHL goal passing Sergei Fedorov for the most goals by a Russian-born player in NHL history.  (Photo by Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC – NOVEMBER 19: Alex Ovechkin #8 of the Washington Capitals celebrates after scoring a goal against the Dallas Stars in the third period of an NHL game at Verizon Center on November 19, 2015 in Washington, DC. Ovechkin scored his 484th career NHL goal passing Sergei Fedorov for the most goals by a Russian-born player in NHL history. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images)

STARS CONTINUE FRANCHISE-BEST START, CLIMB TO TOP OF STANDINGS

Jason Spezza scored the go-ahead goal at 11:10 of the third period as the Stars edged the Capitals to pick up their fourth consecutive victory overall and fifth straight win on the road.

* At 16-4-0 (32 points), the Stars are off to their best 20-game start to a season – in terms of wins and points – in the franchise’s 48-year history. Their 16 victories and 32 points lead the League.
* The Stars also improved to 9-2-0 (18 points) in their first 11 games as visitors. They pace the NHL in road wins and road points.
* Kari Lehtonen (33 saves) earned his sixth straight win, improving to 9-1-0 overall this season (2.34 GAA, .923 SV%). According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the only other time in franchise history that a goaltender won at least nine of his first ten games in one season was when Lehtonen did so in 2011-12 (also 9-1-0).
* Lehtonen also improved to 16-6-2 in 24 career appearances vs. WSH (2.56 GAA, .924 SV%, 2 SO), including seven straight wins.
* Tyler Seguin scored for Dallas and now trails CHI’s Patrick Kane (13-17—30) by two points for the League-lead with 11-17—28 in his first 20 games. Per Elias, he is the first member of the Stars/North Stars to record 28 or more points in the first 20 games of a season since Dino Ciccarelli (24-15—39) in 1986-87.
* John Klingberg (0-2—2) leads all blueliners in assists and points with 4-18—22 in his first 20 games of the season. Per Elias, he is the first defenseman in franchise history to record 22 points in the first 20 games of a season.

LIGHTNING SNAP RANGERS NINE-GAME WINNING STREAK

Valtteri Filppula (1-1—2) scored the game-winning goal while shorthanded with 1:05 left in regulation as the Lightning snapped New York’s nine-game winning streak in the first meeting between both clubs since the 2015 Eastern Conference Final (4-3 TBL series win).

* Per Elias, Filppula’s game-winning marker was the latest tiebreaking shorthanded goal in regulation time since Nov. 12, 2005, when Mike Knuble (PHI) did so against Florida at the 19:56 mark of the third period.
* Ben Bishop made 20 saves – including stopping Chris Kreider on a third-period penalty shot attempt – to improve to 9-0-0 in nine career regular-season appearances vs. NYR (1.43 GAA, .947 SV%, 2 SO).
* The Lightning improved to 5-0-0 in their last five regular-season games vs. NYR dating to Jan. 14, 2014 (NYR: 0-5-0).

JONES, ANDERSON POST SHUTOUT WINS FOR SHARKS, SENATORS

The Sharks and Senators each earned shutout victories on Thursday night over the Flyers and Blue Jackets, respectively:

* Melker Karlsson scored his first career overtime goal at 3:45 of the extra frame to lead the Sharks to a 1-0 victory. The Sharks have won the first four games of their current six-game trip, and have won five straight on the road overall. Martin Jones (34 saves) won his fourth straight decision and earned his third shutout of the season, tying Jake Allen (STL) and Michal Neuvirth (PHI) for the League-lead.
* Erik Karlsson (2-1—3) factored in on all three Senators goals and Craig Anderson made 25 saves to blank Columbus. Per Elias, Anderson (Park Ridge, IL) recorded his 30th career shutout and ranks third among active U.S.-born goaltenders in career blank sheets behind Jonathan Quick (38) and Ryan Miller (36).

THIS AND THAT

* Loui Eriksson (3-0—3) recorded his third career hat trick – and first since Dec. 31, 2009 vs. ANA (w/ DAL). Eriksson has 9-8—17 in his first 18 games of the season, including three multi-goal games. Jonas Gustavsson (24 saves) improved to 4-1-0 in his first five appearances with the Bruins (2.20 GAA, .914 SV%).
* Vladimir Tarasenko (1-1—2) scored his 12th goal of the season and  Alexander Steen (0-2—2) assisted on each of the Blues’ goals in regulation and added the decisive tally in the shootout as St. Louis improved to 17-2-0 in their last 19 games vs. BUF dating to Jan. 13, 1999 (BUF: 2-14-3), including seven straight wins.
* Down 1-0, the Penguins scored three consecutive second-period goals in a span of 2:08 and Sidney Crosby netted the decisive marker at 11:56 of the third period to improve to 5-1-0 in their last six home games vs. COL dating to Dec. 10, 2005 (COL: 1-4-1). Per Elias, the Penguins scored three times in a span of 2:08 or faster for the first time since Jan. 3, 2008 vs. TOR (0:48).
* The Coyotes opened the scoring with three consecutive goals and held off a late Montreal rally to edge the Canadiens 3-2. Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored his second game-winning goal of the season to extend his career-high point streak to seven games (3-4—7). Ekman-Larsson paces all blueliners with 18 game-winning goals since he began his career in 2010-11.
* Frederik Andersen made 24 saves and Andrew Cogliano’s first shorthanded goal of the season stood as the game-winner in Anaheim’s 3-1 victory over Florida. The Ducks improved to 6-2-2 in their last 10 games following a 1-7-2 start to the season.

MILESTONES & BENCHMARKS

* Avalanche forward Jarome Iginla registered two assists to pass Peter Stastny (450-789—1,239 in 977 GP) for sole possession of 37th on the NHL’s all-time points list (596-645—1,241 in 1,411 GP). Iginla also skated in his 1,411th career game, passing Norm Ullman (1,410 GP) and moving into a tie with Harry Howell for 31st on the NHL’s all-time games played list.
* Dallas defenseman Alex Goligoski skated in his 500th career NHL game.
* Lightning forward Joel Vermin (10:14 TOI) and Wild defenseman Gustav Olofsson (10:41 TOI) both made their NHL debut.

LOOSE PUCKS

Bruins forward David Krejci (0-2—2) leads the Bruins in assists and points with 8-14—22 in his first 18 games of the season… Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron (0-1—1) extended his point streak to six games (3-4—7)… Wild forward Mikko Koivu (0-1—1) extended his point streak to five games (1-4—5)… Avalanche forward Matt Duchene (2-0—2) extended his point streak to five games (6-5—11)…Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin (1-0—1) has 3-2—5 in his last two games, including two power-play goals…Canadiens forwards Max Pacioretty (1-1—2) and Brendan Gallagher (0-1—1) both extended their point streaks to six games (3-5—8 each)… Senators forward Bobby Ryan (0-1—1) extended his point streak to seven games (3-5—8)…ICYMI: Coyotes forward and Pointe-Claire, QC native Anthony Duclair (0-1—1) had many family and friends on hand for his game in Montreal and spotted a group of former teammates in the crowd at Bell Centre and took a selfie with them.

SNEAK PEEK AT FRIDAY’S ACTION

All Times Eastern
Toronto @ Carolina, 7:00 p.m., SNO, FS-CR
Nashville @ Columbus, 7:00 p.m., FS-TN, FS-O
Los Angeles @ Detroit, 7:30 p.m., FS-W, FS-D+
Montreal @ NY Islanders, 7:30 p.m., RDS, SNE, MSG+
Chicago @ Calgary, 9:00 p.m., CSN-CH, SNW
New Jersey @ Edmonton, 9:00 p.m., MSG+ 2, SNOL

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