NHL MORNING SKATE – JAN. 19, 2016

NHL MORNING SKATE – JAN. 19, 2016

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

SNEAK PEEK AT TUESDAY’S ACTION

All Times Eastern
Calgary @ New Jersey, 7:00 p.m., SNF, MSG+
Vancouver @ NY Rangers, 7:00 p.m., SNP, MSG
Toronto @ Philadelphia, 7:00 p.m., TVAS, TSN4, CSN-PH
Washington @ Columbus, 7:00 p.m., CSN-DC, FS-O
Boston @ Montreal, 7:30 p.m., NESN, SNE, RDS
Edmonton @ Tampa Bay, 7:30 p.m., SNW, SUN
Chicago @ Nashville, 8:00 p.m., NBCSN, SN1, SNO, CSN-CH
Dallas @ Los Angeles, 10:30 p.m., SN, SN1, FS-SW, FS-W

BLACKHAWKS AIM FOR 12TH STRAIGHT WIN IN NASHVILLE

The Blackhawks (31-13-4, 66 points) – who have equaled a franchise record with 11 consecutive victories to move into first place in the Central Division and Western Conference – look to extend that run when they visit the rival Predators (20-17-8, 48 points) at Bridgestone Arena as part of a national broadcast in both the U.S. and Canada (NBCSN, SN1).

This marks the fourth of five meetings between Chicago and Nashville in 2015-16; the Blackhawks have won two of the first three, including a 3-2 triumph last Tuesday at United Center for the eighth victory during its current winning streak.

SHARKS HOST 25TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION

One night after honoring forward Igor Larionov, the Sharks will host their 25th Anniversary Celebration at SAP Center. The evening will bring together San Jose’s roster of players, coaches, alumni and personalities to celebrate the history of the organization.

The program, hosted by Sharks play-by-play announcers Randy Hahn and Dan Rusanowsky, will include a series of speakers as well as a multimedia presentation covering several facets of the team’s history and heritage.

REMINDER: NHL CENTRAL SCOUTING MID-SEASON RANKINGS

NHL Central Scouting will release its mid-season rankings for the 2016 NHL Draft today at 11:00 a.m. ET. The rankings feature the top 210 skaters and 30 goaltenders in North America as well as the top 134 skaters and 15 goaltenders from Europe.

MONDAY’S RESULTS

Home Team in Caps
Edmonton 4, FLORIDA 2
ST. LOUIS 5, Pittsburgh 2
Colorado 2, WINNIPEG 1
Buffalo 2, ARIZONA 1
Ottawa 4, SAN JOSE 3 (SO)

STASTNY’S FOUR POINTS LEAD BLUES OVER PENGUINS

The Blues scored four unanswered goals – powered by 1-3—4 from Paul Stastny – to overcome a 2-1 deficit en route to their fourth victory in their past five games.

* At 27-15-7 (61 points), the Blues moved within two points of the idle Stars (29-12-5, 63 points) for second place in the Central Division. Dallas, however, holds three games in hand and owns the ROW tiebreaker (DAL: 27, STL: 24).
* Stastny recorded his sixth career four-point game and first since Dec. 16, 2013 vs. DAL (2-2—4 w/ COL). He has 5-18—23 this season (31 GP), including 2-8—10 in his last nine outings.
* Brian Elliott made 36 saves, including 16 in the second period, to earn his fourth win in his past five starts and improve to 9-5-4 overall this season. Elliott also upped his record to 6-2-1 in 10 career regular-season appearances vs. PIT.

AROUND THE RINKS

* Taylor Hall (2-1—3) and Teddy Purcell (1-2—3) both registered three points to snap the Oilers’ road losing streak at seven games (0-4-3) and halt the Panthers’ franchise-record home-winning streak at seven contests. Hall – who paces Edmonton in goals (18), assists (27) and points (45) this season – recorded his 12th career multi-goal game and second of the campaign (also Dec. 11 vs. NYR: 2-2—4). He has collected three or more points seven times this season.
* The Senators yielded three consecutive goals, but Zack Smith tied the game via a shorthanded penalty shot – with 5:31 remaining in regulation – and Mika Zibanejad potted the lone tally in the shootout to snap the Sharks’ winning streak at five games. Ottawa, who has won three of its last five outings, registered its ninth shorthanded goal of the season, one ahead of Montreal for the League lead.
* Semyon Varlamov made 36 saves, including 15 in the final period, to backstop the Avalanche to their third victory in as many meetings with the Jets this season as well as a 10-3-1 record versus divisional opponents in 2015-16. At 23-21-3 (49 points), Colorado leapfrogged idle Nashville (20-17-8, 48 points) for the final Wild Card spot in the Western Conference, where six teams are within six points of its position.
* Jack Eichel posted 1-1—2 to power the Sabres to their fourth win in their last five games. Eichel, the second overall selection in the 2015 NHL Draft, shares second among rookies with 14 goals this season and ranks fourth with 15 assists and 29 points. Four of his six career multi-point performances have come since the NHL’s holiday break (5-8—13 in 12 GP).

MILESTONES & BENCHMARKS

* Avalanche forward Jarome Iginla (1-0—1) scored his 602nd career goal to move past Jari Kurri (601) and into sole possession of 18th place in NHL history. Iginla also recorded his 96th career game-winning goal; Elias says that is tied with Mats Sundin for ninth place in League history.
* Sharks forward Joe Thornton (0-1—1) registered his 927th career assist to move past Stan Mikita (926) and into sole possession of 17th place in NHL history. Thornton, who has 2-6—8 during a six-game point streak, has posted at least one point in 14 of his past 15 outings (5-14—19).
* Sabres forward David Legwand played in his 1,100th NHL game.
* Jets forward JC Lipon, a third-round selection (91st overall) in the 2013 NHL Draft, made his League debut.

LOOSE PUCKS

Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko scored his 25th goal of the season to move into a tie for fourth place in the NHL (w/ Tyler Seguin) . . . Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin reached the 20-goal milestone for the eighth time in his 10 NHL seasons. Via Elias, he became the sixth player in Penguins history to record eight or more 20-goal seasons. The others: Mario Lemieux (12), Jaromir Jagr (11), Rick Kehoe (9), Jean Pronovost (9) and Sidney Crosby (8) . . . Senators captain Erik Karlsson posted his 38th assist of the season, two off the League lead (by Patrick Kane). Karlsson paces all defensemen with 9-38—47, six more points than the next-closest blueliner (Brent Burns: 18-23—41) . . . One day after signing a three-year contract extension, Oilers goaltender Cam Talbot made 31 saves for his ninth win of the season . . . ICYMI: Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane, Flames forward Sam Bennett and Kings forward Anze Kopitar were named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the week ending Jan. 17 . . . Rogers announced that it will produce and broadcast the first-ever NHL game in 4K when the Maple Leafs face the Canadiens at Air Canada Centre this Saturday, Jan. 23 (7:00 p.m. ET, NHLN-US, CBC, TVAS).

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