Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 12/31/13 at 11:14 AM ET
RAANTA, BLACKHAWKS EDGE KINGS
Antti Raanta made 26 saves for his first career shutout and Brandon Saad scored the lone goal to extend the Blackhawks’ point streak to seven games (5-0-2). With the win, Chicago (28-7-7, 63 points) leapfrogged Anaheim (28-8-5, 61 points) for the top spot in the NHL standings.
* Raanta improved to 10-1-3 with a 2.21 goals-against average and .913 save percentage in 15 appearances this season.
* Raanta also stopped Kings captain Dustin Brown on a second-period penalty shot. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he is the fifth rookie goaltender in NHL history to post a shutout while also facing a penalty shot. The others: Pittsburgh’s Les Binkley (Dec. 23, 1967), Chicago’s Jack Norris (March 10, 1968), Detroit’s Corrado Micalef (Dec. 8, 1982) and Boston’s Tuukka Rask (March 23, 2010).
* Saad has 14-16—30 in 42 games this season, including 2-2—4 in his past four contests. He is tied for fourth on the Blackhawks in goals and ranks sixth on the team in points.
* Duncan Keith assisted on Saad’s goal, his 36th helper of the season – the most among NHL defensemen. He also leads all blueliners with 3-36—39 in 42 games, including 2-12—14 in his past 10 outings and 0-7—7 during a four-game assist/point streak.
FLYERS SOAR PAST CANUCKS
Brayden Schenn scored the tying goal with 46.8 seconds remaining in regulation and Vincent Lecavalier potted the lone tally in the shootout to propel the Flyers to their third consecutive victory and sixth win in their last eight outings (6-1-1).
* Claude Giroux posted 1-1—2 to extend his career-long point streak to nine games (6-11—17). He leads the Flyers with 11-26—37 in 39 contests this season.
* Steve Mason made a season-high 41 saves to improve to 6-0-2 in his last eight decisions, including five consecutive victories. He is 16-9-4 with a 2.38 goals-against average, .922 save percentage and one shutout in 30 appearances this season.
* The Flyers improved to 70-30-13 all-time versus the Canucks, including a 32-11-12 record in Vancouver.
ANDERSON CLOSES STRONG DECEMBER
Craig Anderson made 34 saves and the Senators scored three unanswered goals to pick up their third win in their last four games.
* Anderson began the season with a 6-8-2 record, including a 3.51 goals-against average and .894 save percentage in 17 appearances, but went 6-1-2 in December with a 2.60 goals-against average and .921 save percentage in 10 games, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
* Kyle Turris scored the decisive goal, his first game-winner of the season. He ranks third on the Senators with 10-21—31 in 42 games.
RED WINGS DROP WINTER CLASSIC TUNE-UP
Mike Fisher (1-2—3) and Colin Wilson (2-1—3) each recorded three points to help the Predators defeat the Red Wings in Detroit’s final game before the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic.
* Fisher posted 2-1—3, including the game-winning goal, Saturday versus the Kings. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he is the first Predator to tally three or more points in consecutive team games since Patric Hornqvist, who did so April 5-8, 2011.
* The Predators improved to 15-1-2 this season when scoring first and 14-0-1 when leading after the first period.
Red Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk scored his 15th goal of the season and now is one point shy of 800 for his NHL career (270-529—799 in 813 GP) . . . Kings goaltender Martin Jones made 29 saves, but suffered his second loss of the season (8-2-0, 1.29 GAA, .955 SV%, 3 SO) . . . Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane was held without a point for the first time since Nov. 29, snapping a 14-game streak (8-17—25).
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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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