NHL MORNING SKATE – NOV. 23, 2015

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NHL MORNING SKATE – NOV. 23, 2015

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

2015-16 SEASON REACHES THE QUARTER MARK

The 2015-16 regular season passes the quarter mark today, with 307 of 1,230 games (24.96%) in the books as of Sunday. A look at some of the highlights thus far (with the assistance of the Elias Sports Bureau):

* 205 games (66.8%) have been tied or within one goal entering the third period.
* 143 games (46.6%) have featured one-goal margins. Another 34 have been decided by two following an empty-net goal (combined, 57.7%).
* 110 games (35.8%) have seen a team overcome a deficit (at any point in the contest) to win, including 40 in the third period. Of those 110 games, 19 have featured a multi-goal comeback.
* 64 games (20.8%) have gone past regulation, 44 of which have been decided in the 3-on-3 overtime period (68.8%). Last season, under the 4-on-4 format, the percentage of overtime periods with goals was 44.4% (136 of 306).
* 29 of the 30 NHL teams have played in at least one overtime game, led by the Senators (9 GP). The Blue Jackets are the lone team yet to participate in such a contest.
* 20 games (6.5%) have featured a shootout. Through 307 games, 46 (15.0%) required a shootout in 2014-15 and 49 (16.0%) required a shootout in 2013-14.
* The Senators have played in six of this season’s 20 shootouts (3-3). Nine clubs have to yet participate in a shootout (ARI, BOS, CBJ, CHI, COL, DAL, DET, EDM and MIN).
* 50 coach’s challenges have been used, with 33 calls upheld and 17 overturned – 36 of the coach’s challenges have been for goaltender interference (27 upheld/9 overturned), while 14 have been for offside (6 upheld/8 overturned).
* 25 games (8.1%) have seen a tying goal scored in the final five minutes of regulation, including eight in the last 60 seconds.
* 25 games (8.1%) have seen a tiebreaking goal scored in the final five minutes of regulation, including four in the last 60 seconds.
* 26 teams are within six points of a playoff berth. Entering the final day of last season, none of the eight matchups for the First Round of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs had been completely settled (opponents and home-ice advantage); only five of the 16 postseason bracket slots had been locked; and two playoff spots and two titles – for the top teams in the Atlantic Division and Western Conference – remained to be settled.
* 4 teams that did not qualify for the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs currently hold postseason berths (DAL, LAK, NJD and SJS). Last season, seven teams made the playoffs after not qualifying in 2013-14 (CGY, NSH, NYI, OTT, VAN, WPG and WSH). The seven-team turnover marked the largest year-to-year change in NHL history.

LEAGUE LEADERS

A snapshot of the top team and individual performances thus far:

NHL Standings
1. Dallas Stars: 17-4-0 (34 points)
2. Montreal Canadiens: 16-4-2 (34 points)
3. New York Rangers: 15-3-2 (32 points)
Home Points
1. New York Rangers: 9-1-1 (19 points)
2. Montreal Canadiens: 9-2-1 (19 points)
3. Chicago Blackhawks: 8-2-1 (17 points)
Road Points
1. San Jose Sharks: 10-3-0 (20 points)
2. Dallas Stars: 9-2-0 (18 points)
3. Montreal Canadiens: 7-2-1 (15 points)
Power Play
1. Boston Bruins: 33.9% (20 of 59)
2. Dallas Stars: 27.7% (18 of 65)
3. Montreal Canadiens: 24.4% (19 of 78)
Penalty Kill
1. Anaheim Ducks: 88.2% (69 of 76)
2. Montreal Canadiens: 86.8% (66 of 76)
3. New York Rangers: 85.1% (57 of 67)
Goals
1. Jamie Benn (DAL): 14
t-2. Patrick Kane (CHI): 13
t-2. Vladimir Tarasenko (STL): 13
Assists
t-1. Patrick Kane (CHI): 19
t-1. John Klingberg (DAL): 19
t-1. Tyler Seguin (DAL): 19
Points
1. Patrick Kane (CHI): 13-19—32
2. Tyler Seguin (DAL): 11-19—30
3. Jamie Benn (DAL): 14-15—29
Wins
t-1. Devan Dubnyk (MIN): 11
t-1. Braden Holtby (WSH): 11
t-1. Martin Jones (SJS): 11
t-1. Henrik Lundqvist (NYR): 11
Goals-Against Average (Minimum: 6 GP)
1. Henrik Lundqvist (NYR): 1.85
2. Braden Holtby (WSH): 2.01
3. James Reimer (TOR): 2.01
Save Percentage (Minimum: 6 GP)
1. Henrik Lundqvist (NYR): .943
2. Michal Neuvirth (PHI): .939
3. James Reimer (TOR): .936

SNEAK PEEK AT MONDAY’S ACTION

All Times Eastern
St. Louis @ Buffalo, 7:00 p.m., FS-MW, MSG-B, BELL TV
Nashville @ NY Rangers, 7:00 p.m., SN1, SNE, SNO, SNP, FS-TN, MSG+
Carolina @ Philadelphia, 7:00 p.m., FS-CR, CSN-PH
Edmonton @ Washington, 7:00 p.m., SNW, CSN-DC
Boston @ Toronto, 7:30 p.m., TVAS, NESN, TSN4
Los Angeles @ Florida, 7:30 p.m., FS-W, FS-F
Colorado @ Winnipeg, 8:00 p.m., ALT, TSN3

FLYERS HOST RETIREMENT CEREMONY FOR BRIND’AMOUR

The Flyers will host a retirement ceremony for forward Rod Brind’Amour prior to their game against the Hurricanes at Wells Fargo Center. Brind’Amour, the ninth overall selection (by STL) in the 1988 NHL Draft, compiled 235-366—601 over parts of nine seasons in Philadelphia (633 GP). He then spent his final 10 NHL seasons in Carolina (174-299—473 in 694 GP), captaining the team to its first Stanley Cup in 2005-06. Overall, Brind’Amour – who now serves as an assistant coach with the Hurricanes – recorded 452-732—1,184 over 1,484 regular-season appearances and 51-60—111 in 159 playoff contests.

“It’s great because I left Philadelphia and it felt kind of weird; one day I was there and then I was gone and that was it, and I never got the chance to thank the people that meant so much to me there,” Brind’Amour told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “So this is kind of a long time coming.”

SUNDAY’S RESULTS

Home Team in Caps
CAROLINA 4, Los Angeles 3
San Jose 5, COLUMBUS 3
MONTREAL 4, NY Islanders 2
New Jersey 3, VANCOUVER 2

SHARKS RALLY TO COMPLETE PERFECT SIX-GAME ROAD TRIP

The Sharks scored four unanswered goals in the third period, including the tiebreaker by Brenden Dillon with 6:45 remaining in regulation, to overcome a 3-1 deficit and complete their season-high, six-game road trip with a perfect 6-0-0 record.

* Per Elias, the Sharks became the sixth team in NHL history to win every game of a road trip of six or more contests. The others (all 6 GP): the 1971-72 Bruins, 1982-83 Flyers, 2001-02 Red Wings, 2007-08 Flames, and 2010-11 Bruins.
* Overall, the Sharks have won seven consecutive road games dating to Nov. 1. That is their longest road winning streak since Dec. 21, 2009 – Jan. 8, 2010 (9-0-0) and three shy of the franchise record established Nov. 14 – Dec. 31, 2007 (10-0-0).
* Dillon snapped a 53-game drought with his first goal since Jan. 29 vs. ANA. He also recorded his fourth career game-winning goal and first since Jan. 13 at ARI.
* Joe Pavelski scored twice for his second multi-goal performance of the season, both against the Blue Jackets (also Nov. 3 vs. CBJ: 2-0—2). He leads the Sharks and ranks fourth in the NHL with 12 goals overall (21 GP).

LATE GOAL LIFTS CANADIENS TO SWEEP OF HOME-AND-HOME

Alex Galchenyuk scored the tiebreaking goal with 3:29 remaining in regulation to lift the Canadiens to a sweep of their home-and-home series with the Islanders as well as their sixth consecutive victory in the head-to-head series dating to Dec. 23, 2014 (NYI: 0-6-0).

* Galchenyuk snapped a 10-game drought with his first goal since Oct. 29 at EDM. He recorded his seventh career game-winning goal and second of the season (also Oct. 7 at TOR).
* Carey Price made 21 saves, including 10 in the second period, to improve to 9-2-0 in his first 11 appearances of the season (2.10 GAA, .933 SV%, 2 SO). He also moved to 11-3-3 in 17 career outings vs. NYI (2.51 GAA, .912 SV%, 1 SO).
* The Canadiens posted four goals via special teams (3 PPG, 1 SHG) for the first time since Feb. 9, 2011 at BOS (4 PPG).

SCHNEIDER LEADS DEVILS IN RETURN TO VANCOUVER

Cory Schneider turned aside 36 shots, including 17 in the final frame, to backstop the Devils to their seventh victory in their past 11 contests.
* Schneider, the 26th overall selection by the Canucks in the 2004 NHL Draft, improved to 2-1-2 in five career appearances against his former club (2.17 GAA, .927 SV%). He compiled a 55-26-8 record while playing his first five NHL seasons in Vancouver (2.20 GAA, .927 SV%, 9 SO).

* Schneider improved to 10-5-1 overall this season (2.05 GAA, .928 SV%, 1 SO). That includes a 6-2-0 clip on the road (2.23 GAA, .929 SV%).
* Mike Cammalleri (1-2—3) registered his fourth three-point performance of the season. He paces the Devils with 14 assists and 21 points in 20 outings.

FAULK POWERS HURRICANES PAST KINGS

Justin Faulk scored twice via the power play, including what stood as the game-winning goal, to help the Hurricanes snap a five-game skid (0-2-3).
* Faulk, who recorded his career multi-goal performance (282 GP), has scored all eight of his goals this season via the power play – tops in the NHL. His eight overall goals also share first among defensemen (w/ Brent Burns).
* Faulk extended his point streak to a career-high five games (3-3—6). He leads the Hurricanes with 8-7—15 overall this season (20 GP).

MILESTONES & BENCHMARKS

* Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty scored to pick up his 300th NHL point (155-145—300 in 421 GP).
* Hurricanes defenseman Brett Pesce, a third-round selection (66th overall) in the 2013 NHL Draft, recorded his first career goal (13 GP).

LOOSE PUCKS

Blue Jackets forward Boone Jenner notched his 11th goal of the season, tied for fifth in the NHL . . . Islanders captain John Tavares scored his 10th goal of the season, tied for ninth in the League . . . Kings forward Anze Kopitar (2-0—2) registered his first multi-goal performance of the season . . . Canucks forward Daniel Sedin collected one assist to extend his point streak to five games (5-3—8) . . . Islanders forward Kyle Okposo also posted one helper to extend his assist/point streak to five games (0-7—7) . . . Canadiens forward Tomas Fleischmann scored his second career shorthanded goal and first since Jan. 29, 2013 at TBL (w/ FLA) . . . Blue Jackets defenseman Andrew Bodnarchuk played in his first NHL game since April 11, 2010 at WSH (w/ BOS).

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