Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 11/18/13 at 11:16 AM ET
OVECHKIN, CAPITALS OUTDUEL STEEN, BLUES
In a meeting of the NHL’s top two goal-scorers, Alex Ovechkin got the best of Alexander Steen, scoring twice (including the game-winner) to lift the Capitals to their third consecutive victory and tie Steen for the League lead in goals (17).
Ovechkin has found the back of the net four times in his past three games and has 7-2—9 in his last seven contests. He now has 80 career multi-goal games (620 GP), including four this season. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the only player in the last 20 NHL seasons to reach 80 multi-goal games quicker than Ovechkin was Pavel Bure, who did so in March 2001 in his 586th career game.
Steen was held off the scoresheet, snapping his career-long, 13-game point streak (13-5—18) – also the longest such streak in the League this season. He still leads the NHL with 17-9—26 in 19 games.
The Capitals have earned at least one point in eight of their last nine games (7-1-1) to climb into first place in the Metropolitan Division (12-8-1, 25 points). The team has won six straight contests at Verizon Center, where it is 8-3-0 this season.
SCRIVENS SHUTS THE DOOR
Kings goaltender Ben Scrivens made a season-high 37 saves to record his second consecutive shutout, League-leading third this season and the fifth of his career (40 GP). Scrivens has not allowed a goal in his last 155:02 of playing time; Jonathan Quick owns the franchise record for the longest shutout streak at 202:11, set Oct. 15-27, 2011.
Scrivens now leads the NHL with a 1.24 goals-against average and .955 save percentage in eight appearances this season. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he is the first goaltender in Kings history to post consecutive road shutouts in one season.
Los Angeles improved to 14-6-1 (29 points), its best record through the first 21 games of a season since 1990-91 (15-5-1, 31 points). The Kings finished their four-game road trip with a 3-0-1 record, including successive wins against the Islanders, Devils and Rangers for the second time in franchise history (also Jan. 5-9, 2002).
KOIVU, HARDING LEAD WILD
Mikko Koivu scored two goals, including the game-winner with 3:12 remaining in regulation, and Josh Harding made 21 saves to lead the Wild to their fourth consecutive victory. Minnesota also is 7-0-1 in its past eight games, its longest point streak since Oct. 4-21, 2007 (7-0-1).
The Wild improved to 13-4-4 (30 points) overall, besting the franchise record for points through the first 21 games of a season (previously, 2011-12: 13-5-3, 29 points). The team also won its sixth straight game at Xcel Energy Center, its longest home-ice winning streak since Oct. 29-Nov. 23, 2011 (6-0-0). At 10-1-2 in Minnesota, the Wild lead the League in home-ice wins and points (22) this season.
Harding improved to 12-2-2 and has allowed one goal or fewer in 12 of his 17 appearances this season. He is a perfect 10-0-0 at Xcel Energy Center, where he has a 1.15 goals-against average, .948 save percentage and two shutouts.
Patrick Sharp recorded 2-1—3, including the first penalty-shot goal of his career, to power the Blackhawks to their eighth victory in their past 10 games (8-1-1). Sharp now has 6-9—15 in his past 10 games, including 4-7—11 over his last six contests. He ranks second on the Blackhawks with 7-13—20 in 21 games this season.
LEHTONEN PACES STARS
Kari Lehtonen made a season-high 42 saves to backstop the Stars to their third consecutive victory and sixth win in their past seven contests (6-1-0). Lehtonen is 8-1-0 in nine road games this season, including a 1.93 goals-against average, .936 save percentage and one shutout. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he improved to 26-13-6 in his career when facing 40 or more shots on goal.
DID YOU KNOW?
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Rangers are just the second team in NHL history to win and lose (or lose and win) 1-0 games on consecutive days (they defeated the Canadiens by that score on Saturday). The only other team in League history to do that was the 1999-2000 Sabres, who defeated the Senators 1-0 on Jan. 28 and lost to the Bruins by that score the following day.
The Blue Jackets scored three power-play goals for the first time since Feb. 21, 2012, and have now earned points in five consecutive games (2-0-3) . . . Blue Jackets forward Nick Foligno collected an assist in his return to Ottawa, where he played the first five seasons of his NHL career . . . Blackhawks forward Kris Versteeg posted 1-2—3 over the weekend in his first two games since being re-acquired by the club . . . Kings forward Tyler Toffoli scored the game’s lone goal and has 4-4—8, including three game-winners, in seven contests since being recalled from the minors . . . Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby made a career-high 46 saves . . . Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane collected an assist to extend his point streak to seven games (4-6—10) . . . Sharks forward Joe Pavelski scored his eighth goal of the season to stretch his point streak to five games (2-3—5) . . . Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien potted the team’s lone goal and now has four tallies over his past four games . . . Blackhawks forward Brandon Pirri scored for the third straight game and has 3-2—5 during a four-game point streak . . . Capitals forward Nicklas Backstrom recorded his third three-assist game of the season and the 24th of his career . . . Stars forward Vernon Fiddler and Canucks forward Ryan Kesler both played in their 600th NHL game . . . NY Rangers forward Derek Dorsett skated in his 300th career contest . . . The Kings recorded their 600th road victory in franchise history.
Thanks to the NHL PR department for the above information
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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.
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