Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 12/22/13 at 12:05 PM ET
RED WINGS EDGE MAPLE LEAFS IN WINTER CLASSIC PREVIEW
In a seesaw affair that featured three consecutive goals from both clubs and a trio of lead changes, Daniel Alfredsson and Pavel Datsyuk potted the lone markers in the shootout to power the Red Wings over the Maple Leafs in a preview of the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic.
Rookies Tomas Jurco (1-1—2) and Riley Sheahan (0-2—2) each had multi-point performances for Detroit, while Jonas Gustavsson made 23 saves, including a diving paddle stop in the second period, for his first career victory against his former team.
The Red Wings improved to 276-273-96 versus the Maple Leafs in their 645 regular-season meetings since 1926-27, holding a 648-646 points edge in the series (TOR: 276-275-94).
“I think this rivalry’s growing and growing. It’s going to continue to grow,” said Maple Leafs forward David Clarkson after the game. “It’s going to be there and they’re a team that’s close by. Any time you have an organization or a team that’s close, you always have that playoff-type feeling. I thought that game had it tonight once we started playing the way we knew we could.”
Reminder: The second episode of “24/7 Red Wings/Maple Leafs: Road to the NHL Winter Classic” debuts in Canada tonight on Sportsnet at 7:30 p.m. ET.
Several teams overcame multi-goal deficits to record points on Saturday:
* Trailing 3-1 after 40 minutes, the Ducks scored four unanswered goals to earn their franchise-record eighth consecutive victory and move into the top spot in the NHL standings (26-7-5, 57 points). The team also has points in each of its past 11 games (9-0-2), including five straight road wins.
* Down 2-0 early in the second period and 3-2 late in the third, Antonie Vermette scored the tying goal and overtime winner to complete his second career hat trick and lead the Coyotes to a victory in their first visit to Ottawa since Oct. 26, 2010. Phoenix picked up its fourth win when trailing after two periods (4-8-3), tied for the second-most such victories in the NHL this season.
* Trailing 3-1 after 40 minutes and 4-2 midway through the third, the Devils scored twice in the final 11 minutes of regulation and Andy Greene (1-2—3) netted his first career overtime goal to complete the team’s comeback. New Jersey improved to 5-11-1 when trailing after two periods, tied for the most such victories in the NHL this season (with the Capitals and Blackhawks).
* Down 2-0 midway through the second period, the Sharks evened the game early in the final frame and Joe Thornton notched the lone goal in the shootout to complete the team’s rally. Alex Stalock made a career-high 44 saves, plus another five in the tiebreaker (the first of his career), for his fifth victory in 10 NHL appearances (5-1-0, 1.96 GAA, .933 SV%).
* Behind 3-0 after the first period, the Predators scored three consecutive goals, including Shea Weber’s tying marker at 13:40 of the third period, before falling to the Canadiens in overtime.
* Trailing 3-1 after 20 minutes, the Maple Leafs scored three straight times to take a one-goal lead, only to see the Red Wings tie the game minutes later and eventually win in a shootout.
* Down 2-0 midway through the second period, the Avalanche scored twice in the final 26 minutes of regulation to even the game before losing in a shootout.
ROOKIE GOALTENDERS MAKE THEIR MARK
A pair of rookie goaltenders continued the incredible starts to their NHL careers:
* Kings goaltender Martin Jones made 23 saves, plus another three in the shootout, to improve to 8-0-0 with a 0.98 goals-against average, .966 save percentage and three shutouts in his first eight NHL games. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he is the second netminder in NHL history to win his first eight games, matching Bob Froese of the 1982-83 Flyers. Jones also is the first goaltender to start and allow two or fewer goals in each of his first eight games since 1938-39, when Bruins netminder Frank Brimsek began his NHL career with a 12-game streak.
* Ducks goaltender Frederik Andersen made 18 saves to improve to 9-1-0 with a 1.87 goals-against average and .932 save percentage in his first 10 NHL appearances. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he is the third netminder in League history to record nine or more wins in his first 10 games, joining Brimsek (9-1-0, Nov. 3-Dec. 20, 1938) and Froese (9-0-1, Jan. 8-Feb. 2, 1983).
Three players recorded hat tricks:
* Captain Ryan Getzlaf posted his second career hat trick (and second this season, also Nov. 8) to help the Ducks earn their franchise-record eighth consecutive victory. Getzlaf has 19-24—43 in 35 games this season, which ranks third in the NHL. He hasn’t scored more than 19 goals in a season since 2008-09, when he matched a career high with 25 in 81 games.
Getzlaf added an assist for his third four-point game of the season (also Oct. 20: 1-3—4 and Nov. 8: 3-1—4). The only other player to register four or more points in a game at least three times this season is Stars forward Tyler Seguin, who has done so four times.
* Antoine Vermette recorded his second career hat trick, including the tying goal with 2:13 remaining in regulation and winning tally at 2:23 of overtime, to lead the Coyotes to a victory over his former club. A second-round pick (55th overall) by the Senators in the 2000 NHL Draft, Vermette played the first 359 regular-season games of his NHL career for Ottawa, totaling 80-87—167. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he is the second former Senator to record a hat trick against the team (Joe Corvo: March 16, 2008).
Vermette also is the first NHL player to score the tying goal the final three minutes of regulation and then win the game in overtime since Nov. 1, 2011, when Capitals forward Nicklas Backstrom pulled off that feat in a 5-4 victory over the Ducks. Only two other players have done that for the Coyotes/Jets franchise: Dale Hawerchuk (Jan. 9, 1985 vs. NY Rangers) and Brent Ashton (Feb. 19, 1989 vs. Hartford).
* Chris Stewart (3-1—4) posted his third career hat trick, including the game-winning goal, to help the Blues improve to 5-1-1 in their last seven games. Stewart has 8-2—10, including two game-winners, over his past six games; he had 5-6—11, with no game-winners, in his first 29 contests of the season.
OVECHKIN IS FIRST TO 30
Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin scored his League-leading 30th goal in his 34th game of the season. He also was the first player to reach 10 goals (Oct. 24) and 20 goals (Nov. 23) this season, and was the only player to eclipse the 30-goal plateau in 2012-13. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it marks the first time an NHL player has been the first to hit 30 goals in consecutive seasons since 1995-96 and 1996-97, when Jaromir Jagr did so as a member of the Penguins.
* Ovechkin is the only NHL player to score at least 30 goals in every season since 2005-06. He also is one of just six players in League history to record 30 or more goals in each of his first nine NHL seasons, joining Mike Bossy, Mike Gartner, Wayne Gretzky, Jari Kurri and Bryan Trottier.
* Dating to 2012-13, Ovechkin has 62 goals in his past 82 games. He has 4-2—6 during a four-game goal/point streak.
* Ovechkin ranks fourth in the NHL with 30-11—41 in 34 games this season.
CROSBY, PENGUINS STAY HOT AT HOME
Captain Sidney Crosby posted 1-2—3 to lead the Penguins to their seventh consecutive victory and 12th win in their past 13 games. The team also earned its 10th straight victory at CONSOL Energy Center; they lead the NHL with 17 home-ice wins and 34 home-ice points this season (17-3-0).
* Crosby extended his point streak to 10 games (7-11—18). He leads the NHL with 20-34—54 in 38 games this season, including a League-high 18 points in December.
* Crosby also extended his home-ice point streak to 14 games (7-14—21). According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he now has 400 points in 257 career home games. That ties him with Bryan Trottier and Jari Kurri as the fourth-fastest players in NHL history to record 400 home-ice points. Only Wayne Gretzky (165 games), Mario Lemieux (200) and Mike Bossy (241) reached that number quicker.
* The Penguins improved to 16-0-0 this season when Crosby records two or more points.
Devils forward Jaromir Jagr (1-2—3) scored his 694th career goal, tying Mark Messier for seventh on the NHL’s all-time list. Jagr has 2-9—11 during a seven-game point streak . . . David Desharnais netted his first career overtime goal to lead the Canadiens to their third win in their last five games . . . Radko Gudas scored his first career overtime goal to power the Lightning to their fourth consecutive victory . . . Blues goaltender Brian Elliott made 23 saves for his 23rd career shutout and second this season . . . Avalanche forward Matt Duchene (0-2—2) posted his fourth consecutive multi-point game. He has 2-7—9 over that span
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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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