Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 01/04/14 at 12:06 PM ET
LOVEJOY HAS MEMORABLE NIGHT AS DUCKS CONTINUE TO ROLL AT HOME
Three nights after his wife, Avery, gave birth to their first child (daughter Lila), Ducks defenseman Ben Lovejoy recorded his first NHL two-goal game in Anaheim's 5-2 win over Edmonton. Lovejoy scored twice, including the game-winner, in a 2:43 span late in the first period.
* According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Lovejoy’s two goals in 2:43 were the fastest pair of tallies by a Ducks defenseman in franchise history (Tom Kurvers had tallied twice in 2:59 on Jan. 23, 1995.
* The Ducks remain undefeated in regulation at home, improving to 16-0-2. Only the 2008-09 Sharks (20-0-2) and the 1979-80 Flyers (19-0-7) have started a season with longer home point streaks. Anaheim is 13-1-2 in its last 16 games and 30-8-5 overall.
* The game featured two goals in the opening 46 seconds of play (Edmonton's Boyd Gordon at 0:35, Anaheim's Kyle Palmieri at 0:46), the fastest pair of goals to start a contest this season. The last time a quicker pair were scored from the opening face-off was on Nov. 23, 2011, when Andrej Meszaros and Kyle Okposo scored for the Flyers and Islanders, respectively, in the game’s first 37 seconds (Elias).
* Ducks goaltender Jonas Hiller extended his franchise-record and career-best winning streak to 10 games. Hiller improved to 19-4-4 on the season.
SHARP PULLS OUT BAG OF TRICKS
Patrick Sharp recorded a hat trick for the second time in five games and the Blackhawks scored four third-period goals in a 5-3 victory against New Jersey. Chicago has picked up a point in each of their last nine games (6-0-3), and their 66 points lead the NHL (29-7-8).
* According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the last player to net two hat tricks in five games or fewer was Buffalo's Drew Stafford, who had two in a three-game span on Feb. 8 and 13, 2011. Sharp has tallied 9-2—11 in his last six games and ranks sixth in the League scoring race with 25-20—45 in 44 games this season.
* Sharp joins Anaheim's Ryan Getzlaf, Carolina's Jeff Skinner and Dallas' Tyler Seguin as players who have scored multiple hat tricks this season.
* Duncan Keith (0-3—3) had his second three-assist game of the season. Keith leads all defensemen with 3-39—42.
* Antti Raanta made 24 saves to improve to 6-0-2 in his last eight starts. Raanta leads all rookie goaltenders with 11 wins (11-1-3).
PENGUINS HAPPY AT HOME
The Penguins recorded their 11th consecutive home victory in a 5-2 victory over the Rangers. Pittsburgh, whose last loss at CONSOL Energy Center came on Nov. 13 when they dropped a 2-1 decision to the Flyers, matched the second-longest home winning streak in franchise history (Jan. 5-March 7, 1991). They recorded their 30th victory of the season (30-12-1), tied with Anaheim for the most in the NHL, and pushed their lead in the Metropolitan Division to 15 points.
* Penguins captain Sidney Crosby tallied 1-2—3 for his eighth three-point game of the season. He leads the League with 23-39—62. Crosby extended his home point streak to 15 games (8-16—24), the second-longest such streak of his career (19 games, 19-18—37, Oct 9 to Dec.28, 2010).
* Crosby tallied his 261st career goal, moving past Kevin Stevens into sole possession of fifth place on the Penguins' all-time list.
* Forward Chris Kunitz scored his 22nd and 23rd goals of the season, tying Crosby for the team lead in that category.
* Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury made 33 saves for his League-leading 23rd win of the season.
BISHOP STAYS HOT AGAINST FLAMES
Tampa Bay goaltender Ben Bishop made 19 saves in posting his fourth shutout of the season, tied with Boston's Tuukka Rask for the League lead, in the Lightning's 2-0 win at Calgary. Bishop improved to 8-0-2 in his last 10 starts and 22-5-3 overall. He leads all goaltenders in save percentage (.936), ranks second in goals-against average (1.83) and is tied for second in wins (22).
* The Lightning (25-12-4) improved to 7-1-1 in their last nine games and moved within two of points of first-place Boston in the Atlantic Division.
The Sabres on Friday claimed forward Zenon Konopka off waivers from Minnesota... Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane, Penguins forward Sidney Crosby and Ducks goaltender Jonas Hiller were named the NHL's "Three Stars" for the month of December, while Kings goaltender Martin Jones and Blackhawks netminder Antti Raanta shared honors as NHL Co-Rookies of the Month... Steve Yzerman and Nicklas Lidstrom are among the five players and one builder to be inducted into the International Ice Hockey Federation Hall of Fame in May during the 2014 IIHF World Championship in Belarus. In addition to Yzerman and Lidstrom, the IIHF will recognize players Vyacheslav Bykov, Andrei Khomutov, Ruslan Salei and builder Murray Costello. Dr. Mark Aubry will receive the Paul Loicq Award for his contributions to international hockey... Lightning forward Ondrej Palat broke open a scoreless game in the second period and earned an assist on the other Tampa Bay goal in the win at Calgary, extending his point streak to five games (2-4—6)... New Jersey forward Adam Henrique had an assist against Chicago to extend his point streak to five games (3-3—6).
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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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