Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 11/04/13 at 11:26 AM ET
YOUTH IS SERVED . . .
Stars forward Valeri Nichushkin, the 10th overall selection in the 2013 NHL Draft, scored his first NHL goal. At 18 years, 244 days, Nichushkin is the youngest player in Stars/North Stars history to score his first NHL goal since Dec. 10, 1987, when Dave Archibald (18 years, 240 days) did so in a 5-4 loss to the Blues.
Nichushkin also is the seventh 18-year-old to score in an NHL game this season, joining Florida’s Aleksander Barkov, Calgary’s Sean Monahan, Carolina’s Elias Lindholm, Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon, Buffalo’s Rasmus Ristolainen and Buffalo’s Nikita Zadorov. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the last time seven 18-year-olds scored in one NHL season was in 1993-94, when Jason Arnott, Alexandre Daigle, Pavol Demitra, Chris Gratton, Michal Grosek, Vlastimil Kroupa and Rob Niedermayer all did so.
. . . AND SO IS AGE
Stars forward Ray Whitney, 41, also scored his first goal of the season. Whitney is the third player age 41 or older to record a goal in 2013-14, joining Anaheim’s Teemu Selanne (43) and New Jersey’s Jaromir Jagr (41). According to the Elias Sports Bureau, there has only been one other season in NHL history in which three players age 41 or older scored goals. That was in 2003-04, when there were five such goal-scorers: Chris Chelios, Ron Francis, Igor Larionov, Mark Messier and Adam Oates.
BERRA SHINES IN NHL DEBUT
Flames goaltender Reto Berra made 42 saves to earn a victory over the Blackhawks in his NHL debut. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Berra is the sixth netminder in NHL history to defeat the defending Stanley Cup champion in his League debut. The others: Hal Winkler (for the Rangers vs. Maroons in 1926-27), Gerry Cheevers (Maple Leafs vs. Blackhawks in 1961-62), Hardy Astrom (Rangers at Canadiens in 1978-79), Daren Puppa (Sabres at Oilers in 1985-86) and Jonathan Bernier (Kings vs. Ducks in 2007-08).
Berra’s 42 stops also were the most by a Calgary netminder in his NHL debut, surpassing the previous franchise record of 39 set by Leland Irving on Dec. 16, 2011, in a 3-2 shootout loss to the Panthers. A fourth-round pick (106th overall) in the 2006 NHL Draft, the Flames acquired Berra from the Blues last season in a trade that sent Jay Bouwmeester to St. Louis.
HARDING SHUTS THE DOOR
Wild goaltender Josh Harding made 19 saves to post his second shutout of 2013-14 and the ninth of his career. Harding is 7-2-1 in 11 appearances this season, with a League-leading 1.10 goals-against average and .950 save percentage. He also is a perfect 6-0-0 in home games, with a 1.06 goals-against average and .950 save percentage. Harding is now 28-9-2 in his career at Xcel Energy Center, including a 21-4-1 record since Jan. 27, 2010, and wins in 10 of his last 11 starts in St. Paul.
POMINVILLE STAYS HOT
Wild forward Jason Pominville tallied his team-leading 10th goal of the season, which also is tied for third in the NHL. Pominville has scored in four consecutive games, totaling 6-2—8 over that span. His four-game scoring streak is his longest since Nov. 12-19, 2008, when he recorded 4-2—6 over a four-game span (with the Sabres).
RUSSELL NETS RARE WINNER
Flames defenseman Kris Russell scored the game-winning goal at 1:32 of overtime to give Calgary its first win in Chicago since March 16, 2008 (0-9-1). Russell hadn’t recorded a game-winning goal since Nov. 12, 2011, a span of 88 regular-season contests, and has just five in 378 career games. He has 2-3—5 during a four-game point streak and leads all Flames players with a +5 rating in 14 games this season.
PARISE DEFEATS FORMER TEAM
Wild forward Zach Parise played 19:38 and collected an assist in his first game against the Devils, the team he began his NHL career with and captained to the 2012 Stanley Cup Final. Parise, the 17th overall selection in the 2003 NHL Draft, totaled 194-216—410 in 502 regular-season games with the club before signing with the Wild on July 4, 2012.
“As a player, you always hate practicing and scrimmaging against your own team, and that’s what it felt like for me tonight the whole game,” Parise said afterward. “They don’t give you much offensively, they play well systematically. Not a lot of room out there. Fortunately, we were pretty opportunistic. When we did get our chances, we put them in.”
Wild forward Nino Niederreiter, the fifth overall selection by the Islanders in the 2010 NHL Draft, recorded three assists for his first career multi-point game. Niederreiter has 3-6—9 in 15 games since joining the Wild. He totaled 2-1—3 in his first 64 NHL games with the Islanders . . . Senators forward Bobby Ryan scored the game-tying goal with 9.6 seconds remaining in regulation . . . Wild forward Mikael Granlund scored his first goal of the season to extend his point streak to five games (1-6—7) . . . Flames forward Matt Stajan collected an assist to push his point streak to five games (1-4—5) . . . Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson totaled 1-1—2 to move into first place in scoring among NHL blueliners (4-11—15) . . . Wild forward Dany Heatley scored his 141st power-play goal, the most in the League since he began his career in 2001-02 . . . Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw played in his 100th NHL game . . . Outfielder Curtis Granderson played “Shoot to Fly” during intermission of the Blackhawks-Flames game.
The above information was provided by the NHL PR department
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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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