NHL MORNING SKATE – DEC. 2, 2015

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NHL MORNING SKATE – DEC. 2, 2015

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

TUESDAY’S RESULTS

Home Team in Caps
Colorado 2, NEW JERSEY 1
MONTREAL 2, Columbus 1
Philadelphia 4, OTTAWA 2
DETROIT 5, Buffalo 4 (SO)
Florida 3, ST. LOUIS 1
NASHVILLE 5, Arizona 2
Minnesota 2, CHICAGO 1
CALGARY 4, Dallas 3 (SO)
LOS ANGELES 2, Vancouver 1 (OT)
Pittsburgh 5, SAN JOSE 1

DOWN TO THE WIRE

Of the 10 games contested on Tuesday:

* Eight were tied or within one goal during the third period (COL-NJD, CBJ-MTL, PHI-OTT, BUF-DET, ARI-NSH, MIN-CHI, DAL-CGY and VAN-LAK).
* Four saw a team overcome a third-period deficit to win (BUF-DET, ARI-NSH, DAL-CGY and VAN-LAK). That included a three-goal comeback victory by the Flames.
* Three extended into overtime (BUF-DET, DAL-CGY and VAN-LAK).

DID YOU KNOW?

There have been 136 comeback wins through the opening 368 games of the 2015-16 season (37.0%). That includes 55 third-period comeback victories, including three by three goals (also MIN at COL on Oct. 8 and DAL at MIN on Nov. 28).

FLAMES BURN STARS WITH THIRD-PERIOD COMEBACK . . .

The Flames scored three unanswered goals in the third period and converted all three of their shootout attempts to overcome a 3-0 deficit, earn their fifth consecutive win at Scotiabank Saddledome and halt the Stars’ road winning streak at six games.

* Via Elias, the Flames overcame a three-goal, third-period deficit to win for the first time since March 26, 2011 at EDM (5-4 SO W).
* The Stars played their second consecutive game that featured a three-goal comeback win after 40 minutes. On Saturday, they rallied from a 3-0 deficit in the third period to defeat the Wild, 4-3.
* Dougie Hamilton potted the tying goal with 2:28 remaining on Tuesday, while Johnny Gaudreau scored in both the third period and shootout. Sean Monahan added a pair of assists in regulation and also notched the clinching goal in the tiebreaker.

. . . NEVER SAY NEVER

Three other teams also posted comeback wins on Tuesday, all by overcoming third-period deficits:

* Justin Abdelkader (2-1—3) scored the tying goal with 6:29 remaining in regulation and Brad Richards potted the lone goal in the shootout to help the Red Wings extend their point streak to eight games (5-0-3), including seven contests that have gone past regulation. The Red Wings also improved to 17-1-2 in their last 20 meetings with the Sabres dating to Feb. 13, 2003 (BUF: 3-14-3).
* Drew Doughty notched the tying goal at 6:54 of the third period and Anze Kopitar scored at 2:02 of overtime to lift the Kings to a 3-0-1 record in their past four games overall as well as their fourth consecutive victory at STAPLES Center. Kopitar picked up his sixth career overtime goal (all w/ LAK) to surpass Ziggy Palffy and Luc Robitaille for the most such goals in franchise history.
* Down 2-1 after 40 minutes, the Predators scored four unanswered goals – including a pair by Filip Forsberg (2-1—3) – to improve to 8-2-2 this season at Bridgestone Arena. Forsberg matched a career high for points in one game, last achieved March 28 at WSH (1-2—3), while Shea Weber posted his sixth career three-assist game and first since Nov. 18, 2014 at TOR.

PACIORETTY (AGAIN) LIFTS CANADIENS OVER BLUE JACKETS

Max Pacioretty snapped a 1-1 tie with 2:09 remaining in regulation to help the Canadiens extend their point streak to six contests (5-0-1).

* At 19-4-3 (41 points), the Canadiens moved two points ahead of the Stars (19-5-1, 39 points) – who lost in a shootout – for first place in the NHL standings. Elias says that Montreal’s 41 points are its most through the first 26 games of a season since 1976-77 (also 19-4-3).
* Pacioretty extended his point streak to five games (3-3—6) and paces the team with 13-12—25 overall this season, including three game-winning goals.
* Pacioretty, who leads the NHL with 24 game-winning goals since 2013-14, also registered the decisive tally in Montreal’s prior three games vs. CBJ: Jan. 14, Feb. 21 and Feb. 26.

LONG TIME COMING

A pair of teams – the Penguins and Panthers – snapped lengthy losing streaks against their respective opponents on Tuesday:

* Evgeni Malkin recorded 1-2—3 to lead the Penguins to their first win over the Sharks in San Jose since Oct. 22, 1997, halting a 12-game drought (0-9-3). Malkin has picked up points in six of his last seven outings (8-5—13), including four multi-point performances, and paces the team with 12-13—25 overall this season (24 GP).
* Derek MacKenzie scored twice to power the Panthers to their first victory over the Blues since Oct. 31, 2009, ending a six-game skid in the head-to-head series (0-5-1). MacKenzie notched his second career multi-goal performance (413 GP) and first since March 12, 2011 at CAR (2-0—2 w/ CBJ).

AROUND THE RINKS

* Ryan Suter registered the tiebreaking goal with 7:56 remaining in regulation to lift the Wild over the Blackhawks in their final meeting before the 2016 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series on Sunday, Feb. 21, at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.
* Wayne Simmonds (1-1—2) collected the game-winning goal for the second straight contest to propel the Flyers to their third consecutive victory. Simmonds, who notched 2-1—3 on Saturday at NYR, posted a career-high six game-winning goals last season.
* Matt Duchene and Tyson Barrie scored 4:05 apart in the second period to lead the Avalanche to their third victory in their last five outings. Duchene, who paced all players with 11 goals in November (14 GP), picked up his 13th of the season.

20 AND COUNTING

Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane scored the team’s lone goal to stretch his point streak to a career-high 20 games (12-20—32), extending his record for the longest such run by a U.S.-born player in NHL history.
* Per Elias, Kane’s point streak is the second-longest by any player in Blackhawks history, one game shy of the franchise record set by Bobby Hull from Dec. 5, 1971 – Jan. 23, 1972 (23-12—35 in 21 GP).
* Elias adds that Kane is the fourth player to register a point streak of 20 or more games since the 1997-98 season:

Point Streaks of 20+ Games, Since 1997-98
25 – Sidney Crosby, PIT: Nov. 5 – Dec. 28, 2010 (26-24—50)
22 – Dany Heatley, OTT: Oct. 5 – Nov. 29, 2005 (17-21—38)
20 – Patrick Kane, CHI: Oct. 17 – Dec. 1, 2015 (12-20—32)^
20 – Paul Stastny, COL: Feb. 3 – March 17, 2007 (11-18—29)
^ Active

MILESTONES & BENCHMARKS

* Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville became the seventh head coach in NHL history to reach the 1,400-game milestone (tied w/ Pat Quinn). Quenneville (767) ranks third all-time in wins, behind only Scotty Bowman (1,244) and Al Arbour (782).
* Canadiens head coach Michel Therrien served his 700th game behind an NHL bench.
* Avalanche forward Jarome Iginla played in his 1,417th career game to surpass Al MacInnis (1,416) and move into a tie with Luke Richardson for 28th place on the NHL’s all-time games played list.
* Flyers defenseman Evgeny Medvedev scored his first NHL goal (14 GP).
* Defenseman Zach Bogosian notched his first goal with the Sabres (29 GP).

NHL ANNOUNCES ROSTERS FOR MINNESOTA ALUMNI GAME

The NHL, Wild and Blackhawks released the current rosters for the 2016 NHL Stadium Series Alumni Game that will be played on Saturday, Feb. 20, at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis (4:00 p.m. CT / 5:00 p.m. ET).

Approximately 50 former players and coaches are scheduled to participate in this highly anticipated game in this unique outdoor setting.

Click here to view the rosters.

* ICYMI: The Wild and Blackhawks wore special tuques on Tuesday in advance of their final meeting before the 2016 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series, which will be played on Sunday, Feb. 21 (2:30 p.m. CT / 3:30 p.m. ET, NBC, SN, TVAS).

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LOOSE PUCKS

Flyers forward Sean Couturier (1-2—3) registered his third career three-point performance (in the regular season) and first since Oct. 22, 2014 at PIT (1-2—3) . . . Red Wings forward Tomas Tatar celebrated his 25th birthday with a goal 94 seconds after the opening face-off . . . Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne (13 SV) made a sprawling stick save to preserve a scoreless tie in the first period . . . Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen (0-3—3) equaled career highs for assists/points in one game (also April 3 vs. CHI: 0-3—3) . . . Teammate Evander Kane (2-0—2) notched his first multi-goal performance since Nov. 25, 2014 at CBJ (2-0—2 w/ WPG) . . . Senators forward Mike Hoffman (6-2—8), Sharks forward Patrick Marleau (4-4—8) and Sharks forward Joel Ward (1-5—6) all extended their point streaks to five games . . . ICYMI: Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane, Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby and Avalanche forward Matt Duchene were named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the month of November . . . Red Wings forward Dylan Larkin was named the NHL’s Rookie of the Month for November.

SNEAK PEEK AT WEDNESDAY’S ACTION

All Times Eastern
Toronto @ Winnipeg, 7:30 p.m., SN
NY Rangers @ NY Islanders, 8:00 p.m., NBCSN, TVAS
Boston @ Edmonton, 9:30 p.m., SN1, NESN
Tampa Bay @ Anaheim, 10:30 p.m., SUN, FS-W

ISLANDERS-RANGERS RIVALRY MAKES BROOKLYN DEBUT

The Islanders and Rangers meet for the first time at Barclays Center in Brooklyn when the clubs face off on NBCSN’s Wednesday Night Rivalry. This marks the first of four meetings this season between these intrastate rivals, who now are separated by less than six miles. The Islanders won three of their five head-to-head games in 2014-15 (NYR: 2-3-0), but the Rangers won their final two visits to Nassau Coliseum, including a 2-1 victory in the series finale on March 10. Overall, the Islanders have points in four straight (3-0-1), while the Rangers rebounded from three consecutive losses with a 4-3 win on Monday vs. CAR.

SPORTSNET AIRS WEDNESDAY NIGHT DOUBLEHEADER

Sportsnet airs a doubleheader as part of its Scotiabank Wednesday Night Hockey. First, the Maple Leafs visit the Jets at MTS Centre on the heels of Garret Sparks (24 SV) earning a shutout in his NHL debut on Monday vs. EDM. This marks the second and final matchup of the season between these clubs; Winnipeg posted a 4-2 victory in their lone other contest on Nov. 4 at Air Canada Centre. Edmonton general manager Peter Chiarelli then faces his old team for the first time when the Oilers welcome the Bruins to Rexall Place. Chiarelli spent the past eight seasons as the general manager of Boston, guiding the team to the Stanley Cup in 2010-11.

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