Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

NHL Short Notes


* Longtime rivals Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin will face-off in the first NHL On NBC Sunday matchup of the season when the Capitals visit the Penguins.

* Separated by 22 years and 197 days, 41-year-old Joe Thornton and 19-year-old Tim Stützle each scored goals as the Maple Leafs and Senators contested their second game in as many days.

* The Wild have won each of their first two games of the 2020-21 season by overcoming multi-goal third-period deficits to win in overtime.


After posting record viewership with an opening-night tripleheader on NBCSN Wednesday, NBC Sports will air its first of 16 NHL on NBC Sunday matchups with a star-studded showdown between Sidney Crosby and the Penguins against Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals. The game will be available nationally in Canada on Sportsnet.

* Crosby has scored in each of Pittsburgh’s two games in 2020-21 (2-0—2). A goal Sunday would mark the second time that he has netted a goal in each of the team’s first three games of a season (2014-15: 4-3—7 in 3 GP).

* Sitting two goals shy of tying Mike Gartner for seventh place in NHL history, Ovechkin still eyes his first goal of 2020-21. The only time Ovechkin has gone at least his first three games of a season without a goal was 2012-13 – an abbreviated campaign in which he claimed the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy despite being held out of the goal column for each of the first four games.

* Crosby and Ovechkin have met 52 times in the regular season – plus 25 times in the playoffs – with Crosby holding the edge in both scoring and team victories.

Toronto forward Joe Thornton (1-1—2) and Ottawa forward Tim Stützle each scored goals as the Maple Leafs edged the Senators in the second half of their back-to-back set. Thornton (41 years, 198 days) became the second-oldest player to score a goal with Toronto behind Allan Stanley (41 years, 252 days) on Nov. 8, 1967 – on the opposite side, Stützle (19 years, 1 day) was the third-youngest Senators player at the time of his first career NHL goal following Alexandre Daigle (18 years, 244 days) and Pavol Demitra (18 years, 314 days) on Oct. 9, 1993.

* Saturday’s ‘Battle of Ontario’ game marked the first contest to feature opposing goal scorers separated by at least 20 years since Nov. 17, 2018, when Stützle’s teammate Brady Tkachuk (19 years, 62 days) and Pittsburgh’s Matt Cullen (42 years, 15 days) combined for the feat.

* Thornton and Auston Matthews (1-1—2) were each chosen with the No. 1 pick in the 1997 and 2016 NHL Draft, respectively. Only two other sets of teammates that were No. 1 picks 19-plus years apart each scored a goal in the same game: Guy Lafleur (No. 1 in 1971) and Owen Nolan (No. 1 in 1990) on March 5, 1991 with the Quebec Nordiques, as well as Mario Lemieux (No. 1 in 1984) and Sidney Crosby (No. 1 in 2005) on three occasions with Pittsburgh in 2005-06 (Oct. 8Nov. 7 & Nov. 10).

Several players under the age of 25 had noteworthy performances on Saturday:

Yegor Sharangovich, 22, scored his first NHL goal with 1.7 seconds remaining in overtime as the Devils rebounded from their opening-night loss with a win over the 2019-20 Presidents’ Trophy winners.

* Sharangovich became the second rookie in three days to score his first career NHL goal in overtime after Minnesota’s Kirill Kaprizov accomplished the feat against Los Angeles Thursday. Only one other player in Devils franchise history has netted his first career NHL goal in overtime: Jon Merrill (Feb. 7, 2014 vs. EDM).


* Nineteen-year-old Kaapo Kakko scored one of the Rangers’ five unanswered goals and 24-year-old Alexandar Georgiev made 23 saves as New York bounced back from a 4-0 loss to the Islanders in its season opener with a 5-0 win over the crosstown rival.

* Kakko scored the 11th goal of his NHL career (11-13—24 in 68 GP). Only three players in franchise history have scored more regular-season goals before turning 20: Mike Allison (24-36—60 in 71 GP), Alex Kovalev (15-14—29 in 42 GP) and current teammate Filip Chytil (12-14—26 in 84 GP).

Max Comtois opened the scoring and has accounted for all three goals by the Ducks in 2020-21. He became the 10th player in the NHL’s modern era (since 1943-44) to score each of his team’s first three or more goals in a season. 

The Wild and Golden Knights each earned come-from-behind overtime wins after scoring game-tying goals late in regulation:

Ryan Suter (1-1—2) pulled Minnesota even at 19:58 of the third period and Marcus Johansson scored the overtime winner as the Wild earned their second straight win after overcoming a multi-goal deficit in the third period.

* Suter’s strike was one second shy of the latest game-tying goal in franchise history (59:59), a mark set by former teammate Mikko Koivu on Oct. 7, 2017 (5-4 SO L at CAR). Only one other Minnesota player has tied a game at 19:58 of the third period: Dany Heatley on Oct. 20, 2011 (2-1 SO W at EDM).

* The Wild overcame a multi-goal, third-period deficit to win consecutive games for the second time in franchise history (also Oct. 28-30, 2014). Minnesota became the first team in NHL history to do so in each of its first two games of a season.

William Karlsson tied the game with 1:22 remaining in regulation and Max Pacioretty scored seven seconds into overtime as Vegas rallied past Anaheim to move to 2-0-0. Marc-Andre Fleury (21 saves) earned his first win of season No. 17 and the 467th regular-season victory of his NHL career overall – he needs 17 to match Ed Belfour (484) for fourth place in League history.


Jared McCann fined for actions in Penguins game
Flames honor late executive Ken King with pre-game tribute video
Stars grateful for extra prep time for opener after coronavirus delay
Avalanche amuse themselves between periods with classic video games
Players begin wearing Willie O’Ree helmet decals Celebrating Equality

Thanks to the NHL PR department for the information above.

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink


Be the first to comment.

Add a Comment

Please limit embedded image or media size to 575 pixels wide.

Add your own avatar by joining Kukla's Korner, or logging in and uploading one in your member control panel.

Captchas bug you? Join KK or log in and you won't have to bother.


Notify me of follow-up comments?


Most Recent Blog Posts

About Kukla's Korner Hockey

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.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com