Kukla's Korner

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NHL Short Notes

The Los Angeles Kings defeated the Ottawa Senators 5-2 to extend their winning streak to six games, their longest since March 2012. They are 22-7-4, accumulating 48 points, their best record in franchise history through 33 games.  The Kings outscored the Senators 3-0 in the first period and have not allowed a first period goal in 18 straight games -- they are 13-1-4 during that time.

*According to the Elias Sports Bureau the 18 game stretch without allowing a first period goal ties an NHL record set by the original Ottawa Senators franchise in 1927-28. A total of 16 first-period goals have been scored by 11 different Kings in their last 18 games: Anze Kopitar (3), Jeff Carter (2), Jordan Nolan (2), Tyler Toffoli (2), Kyle Clifford, Drew Doughty, Matt Frattin, Dwight King, Mike Richards, Jarret Stoll and Justin Williams.

*Los Angeles forward Anze Kopitar scored two goals, including his fourth game-winning goal of the season (he had three game-winners over his last two seasons combined) and Dwight King and Jeff Carter (1-2--3) each had three point games for the Kings.

*Martin Jones continued his hot streak making 37 saves. He improved to 5-0-0 with a 0.99 goals-against average, .969 save percentage and two shutouts in his first five NHL games.

New Jersey goaltender Martin Brodeur tied a season-high with 33 saves to earn his third shutout of the season and the 124th of his career in a New Jersey Devils 3-0 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning.

*According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Brodeur’s shutout was the first he has faced more than 30 shots on goal in his last 17 shutouts. The shutout was his 65th career shutout in New Jersey (49 at the Meadowlands, 16 at Prudential). Brodeur's home shutout total is the same as Vancouver Canucks Roberto Luongo’s career shutout total – Luongo ranks second among active goaltenders with 65 shutouts.

*The Devils were outshot 33-19 but got a pair of third period goals from Dainius Zubrus (2-0--2) and two assists from Jaromir Jagr (0-2--2). Jagr has six assists (0-6--6) during his four-game point streak and with 1,716 career points he sits seven points behind Mario Lemieux for seventh all-time in NHL history.

The line of Peter Holland (2-1--3), Joffrey Lupul (2-2--4) and Mason Raymond (0-4--4) combined for 11 points as the Toronto Maple Leafs skated to a 7-3 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. The seven goals were the most scored by the Maple Leafs since January 3, 2012 against the Lightning.

*It was the sixth four-point game of Lupul's career while Raymond's four-point game was his second in the NHL. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it was only the third time the Maple Leafs had two players each earn four or more points in the same home game since the Air Canada Centre opened in February 1999. The other pairs of Toronto players to do that at the Air Canada Centre were Steve Thomas (five points) and Steve Sullivan (four) versus Florida on April 10, 1999, and Alexei Ponikarovsky and Kyle Wellwood (five points each) against the Rangers on Dec. 16, 2006

*Holland, acquired from Anaheim in mid-November, had the first multi-goal game of his career and his first three point game (2-1--3).

Pittsburgh goaltender and Detroit native, Jeff Zatkoff, was named the game's second star after making 28 saves in the Penguins 4-1 win over the Red Wings. The 26-year-old rookie has now won five games in a row. He has a .949 save percentage and a 1.48 goals against average during that span.  As a team the Penguins have allowed just eight goals in their past 11 road games. Evgeni Malkin had a goal and two assists (1-2--3) to reach the 600 point milestone (226-375—601) before leaving the game in the third period.

The Dallas Stars top line of Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn and Valeri Nichushkin combined for five goals and two assists in a 6-4 win over the Winnipeg Jets. Seguin now has 17 goals, one more than he had all of last season, and his 31 points (17-14--31) leads the Stars in scoring.

*Nichushkin, an 18-year-old rookie selected 10th overall in 2013, has nine points (3-6--9) in his past six games. His 11 assists (5-11--16) and plus-10 rating rank third among all rookies this season.

*39-year-old defenseman Sergei Gonchar recorded four assists (0-4--4) in one game for the first time in his career. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, only one other player has recorded their first four-assist game in the NHL at the age of 38 years old or older. Hall-of-Fame defenseman Tim Horton was three days past his 42nd birthday when he tallied four assists in a game for the first (and only) time (Jan. 15, 1972 in a 4-2 Pittsburgh win over the Flyers).

In their first meeting in Vancouver since the 2011 Stanley Cup Final, the Canucks got a small measure of revenge, by defeating the Bruins 6-2. With his team being outshot 4-0, and having just given up the tying goal early in the second period, John Tortorella took a timeout and his Canucks responded with two goals in a 3:15 span. The Canucks then scored the first three goals of the third period to solidify the win.

*Vancouver extended their winning streak to seven games and have started the month of December 7-0-0 for the first time in franchise history. The Philadelphia Flyers were the last team to achieve the feat in 2011, winning their first seven games in December.

Former Buffalo Sabre Paul Byron scored his first goal since February 14, 2012 and earned an assist on Matt Stajan's overtime winner as the Flames won 2-1 for their first victory in Buffalo since March 15, 1996.  Byron has recorded his first two career multi-point outings in back-to-back games. Karri Ramo continued his hot play in net for Calgary, making 26 saves. Ramo has stopped 131 of 138 shots for a .949 save percentage over his past six outings. He is 4-1 in his last five starts, allowing just one goal in each of those wins.

Despite allowing three first period goals, the St. Louis completed their comeback with a goal by David Backes 22 seconds into overtime to give the Blues a 4-3 win over the Blue Jackets. Backes now has five points (4-1--5) in his last four games and the overtime goal was the first of his career. It was Backes' 10th goal in his last 15 games, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, that is the most he's scored over any 15-game span since the 2010-11 season (10 goals, Jan. 6-Feb. 11).

*Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Mike McKenna, a St. Louis native, made 27 saves in his first NHL start since Nov. 20, 2010. Prior to last night’s loss, the Blue Jackets had won 36 straight games when leading after two periods under head coach Todd Richards (since January 9, 2012

*Chicago forward Patrick Kane scored two goals to extend his point streak to eight games (4-12--16). Kane leads the NHL with 13 road goals and 25 road points.

*Columbus forward Ryan Johansen scored a goal to extend his point streak to eight games (4-6--10). Drafted fourth overall by Columbus in 2010, Johansen leads the Blue Jackets in scoring with 26 points (12-14--26) this season.

*Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby scored twice to extend his points streak to six games (5-5--10). Crosby continues to lead the League in scoring with 46 points (18-28--46) in 34 games.

*Vancouver forward Chris Higgins scored a goal to extend his point streak to five games (3-4--7).

Ottawa defenseman Joe Corvo scored a goal against Los Angeles exactly 11 years after he made his NHL debut as a member of the Kings... Dallas forward Colton Sceviour scored his first NHL goal... Maple Leafs forward Jerry D'Amigo scored his first NHL goal... Winnipeg’s Blake Wheeler scored two goals and now has six goals (6-2--8) in his past six games after not scoring during the entire month of November (14 games)... Max Pacioretty scored his fourth game-winning goal 1:51 into overtime; his 12 goals (12-3--15) leads Montreal this season… Canadiens goaltender Carey Price made 21 saves to earn his second shutout of the season... Pittsburgh is 11-2-1 in their last 14 games... Eric Staal had a goal and two assists... Jeff Skinner has eight goals (8-2--10) in his last seven games… Blackhawks goaltender Kent Simpson played in his first NHL game...The Avalanche scored the first goal, but for the first time this season lost – they were the last unbeaten team when scoring first, and have a record of 17-0-1 when scoring the first goal… Vancouver forward Mike Santorelli celebrated his 28th birthday by picking up two assists (0-2--2).

*Winnipeg Jets forward Anthony Peluso will have a telephone hearing Sunday with the NHL Department of Player Safety for a hit on Dallas Stars defenseman Alex Goligoski.

*Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Deryk Engelland will have an in-person hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety on Wednesday for a hit on Justin Abdelkader of the Detroit Red Wings. Engelland was offered the opportunity for an in-person hearing as required by provisions of the Collective Bargaining Agreement for any suspension that can exceed five games.

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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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