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NHL Short Notes

OVECHKIN FIRST TO 20
Washington captain Alex Ovechkin became the first player to reach the 20-goal plateau this season with a goal at 15:50 of the third period against Toronto. Ovechkin now has 27 points (20-7--27) in 22 games -- tied for second overall in the League. This is the second time in his career, and second time in franchise history, that Ovechkin has scored 20 goals in his first 22 games – he had 20 goals and 32 points (20-12--32) through his first 22 games in 2009-10 en route to a 50-goal season.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, over the past nine seasons, Ovechkin has scored 82 more goals than any other player over that span (391), but this is the first season that he has been the first player to hit the 20-goal mark. Tampa Bay Lightning forward Steven Stamkos has been the first to hit 20 goals in each of the past three seasons.

ANAHEIM AT THE TOP
One night after Ryan Getzlaf took over the League-lead in game-winning goals (5), teammate Corey Perry pulled even by netting his fifth game-winner in a 4-2 win over the Coyotes. With the win, the Ducks remain in first place in the NHL with 37 points (17-6-3). The loss was the first home regulation loss for the Coyotes this season (9-1-2), leaving Anaheim as the only team in the NHL who has yet to suffer a regulation loss on home ice (9-0-1).

WILD, AVALANCHE CONTINUE FRANCHISE BEST STARTS
*Minnesota Wild forward Zach Parise (1-1--2) scored a shorthanded goal to tie the game with 4:55 remaining in the third period, and Charlie Coyle netted the shootout winner to complete the Minnesota comeback win over Winnipeg. The Wild have won six of their last seven games, and continue their best start to a season in franchise history with 34 points (15-5-4) through 24 games. Mikko Koivu (0-1--1) has nine points (3-6--9) over his last six games. Minnesota’s Josh Harding was scheduled to start, but was injured during the warm-up -- recently activated Niklas Backstrom stepped in to make 37 saves.

*A Colorado overtime-winner, courtesy of Jamie McGinn, gave the Avalanche their 17th victory of the season in a 1-0 win over the Los Angeles Kings. Colorado have now won three in a row, the last two in overtime, and have their best start in franchise history through 22 games.

       Best Records in Franchise History (through 22 games)
       17-5-0 34 points 2013-14
       15-4-3 33 points 2000-01
       15-4-3 33 points 1994-95
       14-4-4 32 points 1995-96
       13-5-4 30 points 1996-97

BLUES HIT RIGHT NOTES AT HOME
The St. Louis Blues defeated the Dallas Stars to improve to 10-1-2 on home ice this season, their second best home start in franchise history (11-1-1 in 2001-2002). St. Louis’ six goals came from six different players, and a total of 13 Blues registered at least a point. Goaltender Brian Elliot stopped 34 shots, to remain undefeated in regulation this season (4-0-1) and Alexander Steen notched his 27th point of the year with an assist (17-10--27), moving into a five-way tie for second overall. Head coach Ken Hitchcock earned his 621st career win, passing Bryan Murray for sole possession of eighth on the NHL’s all-time list.

FLYING HIGH IN PHILADELPHIA
The Philadelphia Flyers scored three goals in a 3:02 span of the second period to defeat the New York Islanders 5-2 and have now earned 13 of 14 points over their last seven games (6-0-1).  Matt Read scored twice for the second consecutive game (he has five points (4-1--5) in his last three games) and goaltender Steve Mason made 36 saves for his fourth win in his last five starts.

TALBOT KEEPS THE DOOR SHUT
New York Rangers goaltender Cam Talbot made 17 saves for his second consecutive shutout, and his fifth straight win, improving to 5-1-0 on the season. Talbot has allowed just eight goals in six starts this season, and possesses a 1.32 goals-against average and a .949 save percentage. His shutout streak now stands at 146:28 – he has made 57 consecutive saves since 13:38 of the second period on November 7th against the Blue Jackets.

*Talbot has conceded two or fewer goals in each of his first six career starts. According to the Elias Sports Bureau he becomes both the first Ranger ever and the first goaltender since Gerry McNeil (Montreal) in 1947 to accomplish that feat.

*According to the Elias Sports Bureau Talbot, who shutout the Canadiens in Montreal on Nov. 16, is only the second goaltender in the last 40 years to post consecutive shutouts in one season for the Rangers, both on the road. Steve Valiquette did that with a pair of wins at Philadelphia in the 2007-08 season (Jan. 31 and Feb. 9).

REIMER SEES RUBBER
Toronto goaltender James Reimer tied a career high stopping 49 of 50 shots he faced to lead the Maple Leafs to a 2-1 shootout win over Washington. Reimer has now made 49 saves three times in his career, with both other 49-save performances coming in Ottawa (April 20, 2013 and Feb. 4, 2012). The Maple Leaf netminder improved to 6-2-0 on the season and his .947 save percentage is ranked third in the League.

STREAKING
*Chicago forward Patrick Kane assisted on the Blackhawks’ first goal to extend his point streak to ten games (5-9--14).

*Phoenix captain Shane Doan had two points (1-1--2) against Anaheim to extend his current point streak to eight games (7-4--11), the longest point streak by a Coyotes player this season.

*Anaheim captain Ryan Getzlaf registered an assist on Corey Perry’s game-winning goal and now has 11 points (7-4--11) over his last seven games (he missed three games with an upper-body injury, Nov. 10-14). Getzlaf is tied for second overall with 27 points (13-14--27) and his plus-15 rating is tied for third this season.

*Ottawa defenseman Erik Karlsson picked up his 17th assist to extend his point streak to five games (1-5--6). Karlsson leads all defensemen in scoring with 24 points (7-17--24) in 23 games.

*Carolina captain Eric Staal extended his point streak to five games (2-3--5) with an assist on Carolina’s first goal.

*New York Islanders center Casey Cizikas recorded an assist extending his career-high point streak to five games (3-2--5).

LOOSE PUCKS
The Bruins improved to 6-0-2 in their past eight games at TD Garden… David Krejci’s overtime winner for Boston was his third game-winner of the season and snapped a five-game pointless streak… Jeff Skinner skated in his 200th career NHL game (all with Carolina)…  Patrick Dwyer scored a short-handed goal giving the Hurricanes four short-handed goals in their last four games… Tyler Kennedy became the 11th San Jose player to score a game-winning goal this season… Joe Thornton registered his 1,142 career point with an assist, tying him for 50th place on the NHL all-time points list… Max Pacioretty scored two goals for the Canadiens and now has five goals (5-0--5) in his last two home games… St. Louis forward Vladmir Sobotka scored his 100th NHL point… Montreal native Kris Letang played his 400th career game with the Penguins in front of family and friends…Michael Ryder skated in his 700th NHL contest.
 

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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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