NHL MORNING SKATE – JAN. 28, 2016

NHL MORNING SKATE – JAN. 28, 2016

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

REMINDER: NHL ALL-STAR BREAK

The NHL’s All-Star break begins today and runs through Monday, Feb. 1.
There will no scheduled practices and dressing rooms must be closed through Sunday, Jan. 31.

2016 HONDA NHL ALL-STAR GAME INFORMATION GUIDE

The 2016 Honda NHL All-Star Game Interactive Information Guide is now available for download via the League’s Media site.

The guide features this weekend’s schedule of events as well as a roster of participants and rules for the 2016 Honda NHL All-Star Skills Competition and 2016 Honda NHL All-Star Game. It also includes a complete history of the NHL All-Star Game as well as records and a register for skaters, goaltenders and head coaches.

NHL ADDS KUZNETSOV, NEAL TO ALL-STAR GAME ROSTER

The NHL announced that Capitals forward Evgeny Kuznetsov and Predators forward James Neal have been added to the roster for the 2016 Honda NHL All-Star Game.

Kuznetsov replaces Capitals teammate Alex Ovechkin on the Metropolitan Division roster, while Neal replaces Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews on the Central Division roster. Islanders captain John Tavares replaces Ovechkin as the captain of the Metropolitan Division team.

Click here for more information.

VOTING FOR BREAKAWAY CHALLENGE CLOSES TODAY

Voting for the Honda NHL Breakaway Challenge – the second event in the 2016 Honda NHL All-Star Skills Competition – closes today at 5:00 p.m. ET.

While five shooters for this event will be determined by team captains, one guaranteed participant will be selected by fans via the Honda NHL Breakaway Challenge Fan Vote. The three eligible candidates are forwards Matt Duchene (COL), Dylan Larkin (DET) and Brandon Saad (CBJ).

Fans can vote via Twitter for their favorite eligible player by including his corresponding hashtag: #NHLBreakawayDuchene, #NHLBreakawayLarkin or #NHLBreakawaySaad.

ICYMI: SCHNEIDER UNVEILS ALL-STAR GAME PADS

Devils goaltender Cory Schneider, who will represent the Metropolitan Division at the 2016 Honda NHL All-Star Game in Nashville, unveiled his pads for the midseason showcase that pay homage to Music City:

2016 BMO CHL/NHL TOP PROSPECTS GAME

The 2016 BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game takes place tonight at Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver (9:00 p.m. ET / 6:00 p.m. PT, SN, TVAS). All 40 players scheduled to participate in the game – representing the OHL, QMJHL and WHL – are eligible for selection in the 2016 NHL Draft.

Click here for the full rosters.

WEDNESDAY’S RESULTS

Home Team in Caps
TAMPA BAY 1, Toronto 0
Philadelphia 4, WASHINGTON 3 (OT)
Nashville 2, CALGARY 1
Colorado 4, LOS ANGELES 3

VORACEK, FLYERS SNAP CAPITALS’ HOME WINNING STREAK AT 12 GAMES

Washington erased 2-0 and 3-2 deficits, but Jakub Voracek (2-0—2) scored 38 seconds into overtime to help the Flyers end a three-game skid (0-3-0) and snap the Capitals’ home winning streak at 12 games.

* At 21-18-8 (50 points), the Flyers moved within five points of the idle Penguins (24-17-7, 55 points) for the final Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference. Philadelphia holds one game in hand, but Pittsburgh owns the ROW tiebreaker (PIT: 23, PHI: 19).
* The Flyers earned their eighth overtime victory of the season (8-4), tied for first in the NHL with the Flames (8-1) and Blackhawks (8-4).
* Voracek recorded his sixth career overtime goal and second of the campaign (also Nov. 14 at CAR). He also posted his 14th career multi-goal game and first since Dec. 21, 2014 at WPG (2-0—2, including OT GWG).
* Voracek ranks second on the Flyers with 8-28—36 overall this season, including 4-6—10 in his past seven games.

VASILEVSKIY, STAMKOS POWER LIGHTNING PAST MAPLE LEAFS

Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped all 30 shots he faced and Steven Stamkos scored the lone goal early in the first period to guide the Lightning to their eighth victory in their past nine games overall as well as their sixth straight win at Amalie Arena.

* At 27-18-4 (58 points), the Lightning climbed back into second place in the Atlantic Division, where teams Nos. 2-4 are separated by just one point. They also moved within five points of the idle Panthers (29-15-5, 63 points) for first place.
* Vasilevskiy – a native of Tyumen, Russia – earned his second career shutout (also March 3, 2015 vs. BUF: 28 SV) while playing his first NHL game in front of his parents.
* “It was their first NHL game and I did well . . . I showed them I can play in the NHL,” said Vasilevskiy, who won his sixth consecutive decision. “A shutout is always amazing for a goalie, but the most important thing is the win.”
* Stamkos notched his team-leading 21st goal of the season and 10th via the power play, tied for fifth in the NHL with Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin. He also picked up his fifth game-winning goal of the campaign.

AVALANCHE, PREDATORS CONTINUE WILD PLAYOFF PUSH

Both the Avalanche and Predators earned one-goal victories to head into the All-Star break occupying the two Wild Card spots in the Western Conference:

* Nathan MacKinnon scored the tiebreaking goal with 9:25 remaining in regulation to help the Avalanche rally from 2-0 and 3-2 deficits en route to their fifth victory in their last six games. Per Elias, Colorado overcame a two-goal deficit to win for the fourth time this season – second in the NHL behind Dallas (5x). MacKinnon posted his fifth game-winning goal of the campaign, while Gabriel Landeskog (2-0—2) registered his eighth career multi-goal game and second of 2015-16 (also Oct. 10 vs. DAL: 2-2—4).
* Shea Weber scored what stood as the game-winning goal and Carter Hutton made 26 saves to lead the Predators to a sweep of their four-game road trip through Western Canada. Weber ranks fifth among defensemen with 12 goals this season; his nine strikes via the power play also place second among blueliners, behind Carolina’s Justin Faulk (12). Hutton improved to 5-2-1 in eight appearances this season (2.36 GAA, .916 SV%, 1 SO).

MILESTONES & BENCHMARKS
* Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner played in his 423rd consecutive games (all w/ WSH) to pass Bobby Carpenter (422) for the longest such streak in franchise history.

LOOSE PUCKS

Despite suffering the overtime loss, Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby (28 SV) has earned at least one point in 25 of his past 26 decisions dating to Nov. 12 (22-1-3) . . . Kings defenseman Drew Doughty scored his first career shorthanded goal (573 GP) . . . Capitals forward Andre Burakovsky (2-0—2) registered his second career multi-goal game (also Feb. 15, 2015 at ANA: 2-0—2) . . . Maple Leafs goaltender Jonathan Bernier turned aside 28 of 29 shots . . . Predators defenseman Mattias Ekholm (0-1—1) extended his assist/point streak to a career-high five games (1-5—6) . . . ICYMI: Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick (15 SV) made a helicopter paddle save.

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