NHL MORNING SKATE – JAN. 22, 2016
Welcome to the “NHL Morning Skate,” a daily collection of the latest news and notes from around the League.
Home Team in Caps
Vancouver 4, BOSTON 2
NEW JERSEY 6, Ottawa 3
PITTSBURGH 4, Philadelphia 3
Calgary 4, COLUMBUS 2
Carolina 1, TORONTO 0 (OT)
TAMPA BAY 2, Chicago 1
Nashville 4, WINNIPEG 1
DALLAS 3, Edmonton 2
San Jose 3, ARIZONA 1
Minnesota 3, LOS ANGELES 0
LIGHTNING RUN WINNING STREAK TO SEVEN, HALT BLACKHAWKS’ AT 12 . . .
Nikita Kucherov scored the tiebreaking goal late in the second period to power the Lightning to their seventh consecutive victory and halt the Blackhawks’ franchise-record winning streak at 12 games.
* At 26-17-4 (56 points), the Lightning moved within one point of the idle Panthers (26-15-5, 57 points) for first place in the Atlantic Division. Florida holds one game in hand, but Tampa Bay owns the ROW tiebreaker (TBL: 24, FLA: 21).
* The Lightning, who are one game shy of matching the longest winning streak in franchise history (Feb. 23 – March 6, 2004: 8-0-0), ranked sixth division and sat 12 points out of first place when their current seven-game run began on Jan. 8.
* Kucherov, who paces the Lightning in goals (t-20) and points (40) in 2015-16, reached the 20-goal milestone for the second consecutive season. He also extended his overall point streak to seven games (6-4—10) and home point streak to 12 contests (9-9—18).
* Ben Bishop made 17 saves to earn his fourth consecutive win. He ranks second in the NHL with a 1.94 goals-against average this season and also places eighth with a .928 save percentage.
. . . DID YOU KNOW?
Elias says that Thursday’s game between the Lightning (6 W) and Blackhawks (12 W) marked just the fourth contest in NHL history in which both teams entered on winning streaks of six or more games.
The other such instances:
Nov. 6, 1991: MTL (8 W) at NYR (6 W) – MTL won 4-1
Nov. 13, 1993: NYR (6 W) at WSH (6 W) – NYR won 2-0
Dec. 2, 2010: ATL (6 W) at PIT (7 W) – PIT won 3-2
D. SEDIN SETS FRANCHISE RECORD IN CANUCKS’ VICTORY
Daniel Sedin scored twice, including the tiebreaking goal midway through the third period, to surpass Markus Naslund as the Canucks’ all-time leader in goals and help the team pick up points for the 12th time in its past 15 games (9-3-3).
* At 20-17-11 (51 points), the Canucks moved into third place in the Pacific Division, where teams Nos. 2-7 are separated by just eight points.
* Sedin, who now has 348 goals with the Canucks compared to Naslund’s 346, became the fifth active NHL player to become his franchise’s all-time leader in goals. The others: Arizona’s Shane Doan (384), New Jersey’s Patrik Elias (407), Washington’s Alex Ovechkin (503) and San Jose’s Patrick Marleau (470).
* Sedin, who has spent his entire career with the Canucks, also reached the 20-goal milestone for the 10th time in his 15 NHL seasons (21-22—43). Via Elias, Naslund is the only other player in franchise history to post 10 or more 20-goal seasons (also 10).
* Sedin added to another franchise record with his 78th career game-winning goal. His six such tallies in 2015-16 are one off the League lead, shared by San Jose’s Joe Pavelski and Chicago’s Jonathan Toews.
FIVE FIRST-PERIOD GOALS POWER DEVILS PAST SENATORS
The Devils scored five goals in the first period – led by 1-3—4 from Travis Zajac – to knock off the Senators and pick up their third consecutive victory.
* At 24-19-5 (53 points), the Devils tied the Bruins (24-17-5, 53 points) – in terms of points – for the first Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference. Boston, however, holds two games in hand. The Devils also moved within one point of the idle Islanders (24-15-6, 54 points) for third place in the Metropolitan Division.
* Elias says that the Devils tied a franchise record for goals in the first period, last achieved on March 11, 1997 vs. EDM (5x total).
* Elias adds that Zajac became just the second player in Devils history to record four points in the first period of a game. The other: Patrik Elias, who posted 1-3—4 in the first period of a 4-1 win over the Stars on Dec. 20, 2000.
* Zajac, who totaled 0-4—4 in his last 16 games and had not scored since Nov. 6 vs. CHI, also equaled a career high for points in one contest, last achieved March 31, 2014 vs. FLA (3-1—4).
Several teams snapped losing streaks with victories on Thursday:
* The Penguins scored four consecutive goals to overcome an early 2-0 deficit and snap an eight-game head-to-head losing streak against the intrastate rival Flyers (0-6-2). Phil Kessel (2-0—2) and Sidney Crosby (1-1—2) both collected multiple points. Kessel recorded his third multi-goal performance of the season, while Crosby extended his point streak to five games (3-5—8) – he has 9-11—20 in his past 15 outings.
* Darcy Kuemper stopped all 32 shots he faced, including 13 in the final period, to earn his seventh career shutout (second this season) and help the Wild end a five-game skid (0-5-0). Zach Parise provided what stood as the game-winning goal, his fifth of the season. He paces the team with 17 total goals in 2015-16 despite missing nine contests due to injury.
* Antti Niemi made 23 saves to backstop the Stars past the Oilers, helping the team halt a four-game slide (0-3-1) and pick up its first victory in regulation since Dec. 31 vs. NSH (1-5-2). Niemi improved to 12-1-3 in 16 career games vs. EDM (2.39 GAA, .909 SV%). He also upped his record to 17-8-5 in 2015-16 (2.45 GAA, .913 SV%, 3 SO).
AROUND THE RINKS
* Martin Jones turned aside 23 shots to backstop the Sharks to a 6-0-1 record in their last seven games, their longest point streak since March 2-16, 2014 (7-0-1). Jones, who has won his past five starts, improved to 14-3-2 on the road this season (2.25 GAA, .923 SV%, 2 SO) – tied for the most such wins in the NHL (w/ Washington’s Braden Holtby: also 14-3-2).
* Down 1-0 less than five minutes after the opening face-off, the Predators scored four unanswered goals to earn their second win in their last three outings on the heels of a five-game skid (0-4-1). Ryan Johansen led the way with 1-1—2; he has recorded 3-6—9 in seven games since joining Nashville on Jan. 6.
* Eddie Lack denied all 32 shots he faced and Jordan Staal scored at 2:54 of overtime to lift the Hurricanes to a 5-1-1 record in their last seven games. Lack earned his seventh career shutout and first with Carolina. Staal established a Hurricanes/Whalers record with his third overtime goal of the season (also Nov. 7 vs. OTT and Jan. 9 at CBJ).
* Sam Bennett scored twice and Johnny Gaudreau provided the tiebreaking goal to propel the Flames to a 1-1-1 record on their current five-game road trip. Bennett has eight goals over his past five outings, three more than his total from his first 40 career appearances. Gaudreau reached the 20-goal milestone for the second time in as many NHL seasons (20-26—46).
MILESTONES & BENCHMARKS
* Devils forward Joseph Blandisi (1-2—3), a sixth-round selection (162nd overall) by the Avalanche in the 2012 NHL Draft, scored his first career goal (9 GP).
* Maple Leafs forward Brad Boyes (800) and Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask (300) both played in milestone games.
Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford (31 SV) saw his career-high winning streak end at nine games . . . Senators captain Erik Karlsson (0-2—2) reached the 40-assist milestone for the fourth time in his seven NHL seasons. Only Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane (42) has more helpers in 2015-16 . . . Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne made 26 saves to snap a personal five-game losing streak (0-4-1) and improve to 9-2-1 in 13 career appearances vs. WPG/ATL (2.12 GAA, .920 SV%, 2 SO) . . . Sharks forward Joe Thornton (0-1—1) extended his point streak to seven games (2-7—9). He has posted at least one point in 15 of his past 16 outings (5-15—20) . . . Maple Leafs goaltender James Reimer (40 SV) recorded his third 40-save performance of the season . . . The Kings aired a tribute video for Wild forward Jarret Stoll in his return to Los Angeles. Stoll won two Stanley Cups with the Kings over the past seven seasons (81-133—214 in 506 GP) . . . The Blackhawks acquired forward Jiri Sekac from the Ducks in exchange for forward Ryan Garbutt . . . The Rangers signed forward Daniel Paille . . . ICYMI: The NHL announced that country music stars Dierks Bentley, Vince Gill, Charles Kelley and Chris Young will serve as celebrity coaches for the 2016 Honda NHL All-Star Game . . . Boston Pride forward Denna Laing, who was injured during the Outdoor Women’s Classic presented by Scotiabank, recorded an inspirational message for fans at TD Garden. Her sisters, Brianna and Lexie, then dropped the ceremonial opening puck prior to the Canucks-Bruins game. Visit BostonBruins.com/DennaLaing for more information about fundraising efforts . . . The Coyotes honored captain Shane Doan (384) for surpassing Dale Hawerchuk (379) as the franchise’s all-time leader in goals.
SNEAK PEEK AT FRIDAY’S ACTION
All Times Eastern
Anaheim @ Washington, 5:00 p.m., FS-W, CSN-DC
Detroit @ Buffalo, 7:00 p.m., NHLN-US, FS-D, MSG-B, BELL TV
NY Rangers @ Carolina, 7:00 p.m., MSG 2, FS-CR
NY Islanders @ Ottawa, 7:30 p.m., MSG+, TSN5, RDS
Chicago @ Florida, 7:30 p.m., CSN-CH, FS-F
St. Louis @ Colorado, 9:00 p.m., FS-MW, ALT
ICYMI: TIME CHANGE FOR DUCKS-CAPITALS GAME
The NHL announced that the start time for tonight’s game between the Ducks (20-18-7, 47 points) and Capitals (35-8-3, 73 points) at Verizon Center has been changed from 7:00 p.m. ET to 5:00 p.m. ET due to the severe snowstorm impacting the Washington, D.C., area and in light of Metro’s service changes.
All tickets for tonight’s game will be honored for the new start time.
Click here for more information.