Kukla's Korner

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NHL Short Notes

DUCKS USE STRONG SECOND PERIOD TO DEFEAT AVALANCHE . . .
The Ducks scored a franchise-record six second-period goals, including two from Kyle Palmieri in a 47-second span, to snap a four-game losing streak.

* With the win, the Ducks (44-16-7, 95 points) moved within two points of the Blues (45-14-7, 97 points) for the top spot in the Western Conference and NHL standings.

* The Ducks’ previous record for goals in a single period was five, set Oct. 29, 1995 vs. CGY (1st period) and equaled Jan. 23, 2004 vs. MIN (3rd period).

* The Ducks’ six goals were scored in 16:03, besting the previous franchise mark of six goals in 20:15 (Dec. 20, 1994 at WPG).

* The Ducks’ first five goals – scored in 8:45 – also set a club record, besting the previous mark of five goals in 10:04 (March 21, 2004 vs. DET).

* The teams combined for nine goals in the second period, a single-period record for a game involving the Ducks (previously, 8: Nov. 14, 2009 at DET – 3rd period) and one shy of the franchise record for a game involving the Avalanche/Nordiques (10: Dec. 7, 1982 vs. BOS – 2nd period).

. . . SHARKS KEEP PACE IN PACIFIC RACE
Antti Niemi (35 saves) outdueled longtime Shark Evgeni Nabokov (22 saves) to backstop San Jose to its fifth consecutive victory.

* With the win, the Sharks (44-17-7, 95 points) kept pace with the Ducks for the top spot in the Pacific Division. Anaheim, however, has played one fewer game and holds the ROW tiebreaker (ANA: 42, SJ: 34).

* The Sharks improved to 9-1-1 in their past 11 games and 20-6-3 versus Eastern Conference opponents this season.

* Nabokov, San Jose’s franchise leader in games played (563), wins (293) and shutouts (50), played his first game against the Sharks since his departure following the 2009-10 season. Niemi, who was brought in to replace Nabokov at the start of 2010-11, now ranks second among Sharks goaltenders in games played (224), wins (126) and shutouts (19).

KUZNETSOV SHINES FOR CAPITALS
Playing in his third career game, Evgeny Kuznetsov collected three assists – his first NHL points – to help the Capitals end a two-game skid.

* According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the last rookie to record three or more assists in one of his first three NHL games was Kings forward Anze Kopitar, who posted three assists in his second career game Oct. 7, 2006 vs. STL.

* Kuznetsov became the first Capitals rookie to earn three assists in a game since Nicklas Backstrom did so March 3, 2008 vs. BOS.

* Jaroslav Halak made a season-high 38 saves to improve to 2-2-0 with a 2.53 goals-against average and .922 save percentage in four games with the Capitals.

* Alex Ovechkin scored his League-leading 45th goal of the season and 19th via the power play.

* Backstrom collected an assist and now has 2-13—15 in his last 14 games. He also went 13-of-14 (92.9%) in the face-off circle.

HAGELIN POWERS RANGERS
Carl Hagelin recorded his first career hat trick to help the Rangers snap a two-game skid and improve to 6-3-0 versus the Jets since the franchise relocated to Winnipeg.

* With the win, the Rangers (36-28-4, 76 points) leapfrogged the idle Blue Jackets (34-26-6, 74 points) for second place in the Metropolitan Division.

* Henrik Lundqvist made 30 saves to pick up his 301st career victory, tying Mike Richter for the most in Rangers history.

* Lundqvist improved to 10-3-1 with a 2.14 goals-against average, .941 save percentage and two shutouts when making 30 or more saves this season.

* Derek Stepan posted an assist and now has 2-9—11 in his past nine games.

PATTERNS OF SUCCESS
* Former Canucks teammates Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider dueled for the third time this season, with Luongo (28 saves) picking up his third win in as many outings – but his first as a Panther.

* Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard made 21 saves – and denied all three shootout attempts he faced – to record his 10th consecutive victory over the Oilers. Howard lost his first three games against Edmonton, but is now 10-1-2 with a 1.87 goals-against average, .928 save percentage and two shutouts in 13 career appearances versus the Oilers.

LOOSE PUCKS
Defenseman Roman Josi posted a career-high three assists to lead the Predators to their third consecutive victory . . . Mike Cammalleri scored twice in regulation and Corban Knight netted the shootout winner to help the Flames overcome a two-goal, third-period deficit . . . Devils captain Bryce Salvador tallied his first regular-season goal since March 10, 2010 . . . Islanders forward Anders Lee recorded 1-1—2 and now has 7-4—11 in his first 10 NHL games . . . Stars forwards Jamie Benn (4-5—9) and Tyler Seguin (4-6—10) extended their point streaks to six and four games, respectively . . . Devils forward Jaromir Jagr scored his 22nd goal of the season to stretch his point streak to five games (3-3—6) . . . Jets captain Andrew Ladd played in his 600th career game . . . Panthers forward Tomas Fleischmann skated in his 500th NHL game . . . Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford appeared in his 200th career game . . . Canucks forward Nicklas Jensen and Panthers forward Vincent Trocheck scored their first NHL goals . . . Red Wings forward Teemu Pulkkinen and Islanders forward Johan Sundstrom made their League debuts . . . The Avalanche signed forward John Mitchell and goaltender Reto Berra to three-year contract extensions . . . Fans at American Airlines Center paid tribute to the Stars medical staff for their efforts in tending to Rich Peverley, who was in the crowd for Friday’s game versus the Flames.

SNEAK PEEK AT SATURDAY’S ACTION
All Times Eastern
Carolina @ Boston, 1:00 p.m., FS-CR, NESN
Pittsburgh @ Philadelphia, 1:00 p.m., NHLN-US, ROOT, CSN-PH
Ottawa @ Montreal, 7:00 p.m., NHLN-US, CBC, RDS
New Jersey @ Tampa Bay, 7:00 p.m., MSG, SUN
Buffalo @ NY Islanders, 7:00 p.m., MSG-B, MSG PLUS
St. Louis @ Nashville, 8:00 p.m., FS-MW, FS-TN
Columbus @ Minnesota, 8:00 p.m., FS-O, FS-N
Calgary @ Phoenix, 10:00 p.m., CBC, FS-A
Anaheim @ Los Angeles, 10:30 p.m., PRIME, FS-W

CBC SCHEDULE FEATURES PAIR OF GAMES
CBC’s “Hockey Night in Canada” telecast features a pair of games. First, the Senators visit the Canadiens in the fourth of five meetings this season. Ottawa is 2-0-1 in their first three matchups, but suffered a 5-4 overtime loss in their most recent battle Jan. 16 at Canadian Tire Centre. Following that game, the Coyotes play host to the Flames in their fifth and final meeting of 2013-14. The clubs have split their first four encounters, with Calgary earning a 3-2 victory in their most recent matchup Jan. 22 at Scotiabank Saddledome. Phoenix, however, is 8-1-0 in their last nine meetings at Jobing.com Arena, including three consecutive wins.

PENGUINS, FLYERS OPEN HOME-AND-HOME ON NHLN-US
The Penguins and Flyers play the first half of a back-to-back, home-and-home series with a matinee at Wells Fargo Center. The clubs have split their first two meetings of 2013-14, with each earning a victory on the other’s home ice. In fact, the Penguins have won six of their last nine visits to Philadelphia, while the Flyers have posted seven wins in their last nine trips to Pittsburgh.

Prior to the game, the Flyers will honor Hall of Fame head coach Fred Shero – the father of Penguins general manager Ray Shero – with an eight-foot tall, 1,300-pound bronze statue at XFINITY Live! Shero led the Flyers to back-to-back Stanley Cups in 1974 and 1975, the only two championships in franchise history.

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

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