Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 01/17/14 at 10:27 AM ET
THE PUCK STOPS HERE
Three goaltenders posted shutouts on Thursday, while several others had noteworthy performances:
* Henrik Lundqvist made 38 saves to earn his third shutout of the season and help the Rangers improve to 7-2-1 in their last 10 games, including a 3-1-0 mark on their four-game homestand. Lundqvist has 48 career shutouts, all with the Rangers, one shy of the franchise record held by Ed Giacomin.
* Lundqvist outdueled Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard, who yielded only one goal while making a season-high 47 saves. Howard has recorded 40 or more saves in three of his past four appearances, posting a .957 save percentage over that span.
* Mike Smith made 29 saves to pick up his first shutout of the season and help the Coyotes snap a four-game losing streak. Smith led the NHL with 13 shutouts over the past two seasons, including a career-high eight in 2011-12, his first season in Phoenix.
* Sharks goaltender Alex Stalock stopped all 24 pucks he faced to earn his first career shutout (14 GP). He is 6-2-0 with a 1.80 goals-against average and .938 save percentage in 11 appearances this season.
* Jonathan Quick made 28 saves to help the Kings improve to 16-4-0 in their last 20 meetings with the Blues dating to the start of the 2011-12 season (regular season and playoffs). Quick is 4-1-1 with a 1.32 goals-against average, .947 save percentage and one shutout since being activated from the injured reserve list on Jan. 4.
* Semyon Varlamov recorded 33 saves and denied both shootout attempts he faced to lead the Avalanche to their 30th victory of the season, matching the 2000-01 club as the fastest team in franchise history to reach 30 wins (47 games). Varlamov has not suffered a regulation loss since Dec. 10, posting a 10-0-5 mark since that date.
* Kevin Poulin made 29 saves and stopped all three attempts he faced in the shootout to help the Islanders improve to 8-2-0 in their last 10 games. Poulin is 6-1-0 with a 2.49 goals-against average and .913 save percentage over his past seven appearances; he had four victories, a 3.25 goals-against average and a .892 save percentage in his first 16 outings of 2013-14.
* Darcy Kuemper posted 20 saves to lead the Wild to their 20th victory over the Oilers in their past 22 meetings at Xcel Energy Center. Kuemper improved to 3-1-0 with a 1.23 goals-against average, .957 save percentage and one shutout over his past four starts to help the Wild begin 2014 with a 6-2-0 record.
WORTH THE WAIT
A pair of players ended long droughts to score game-winning goals on Thursday:
* Kings forward Trevor Lewis (2-0—2) registered his first goals of the season to snap a 53-game drought dating to March 28, 2013. It also marked Lewis’ first career multi-goal game in the regular season, following a two-goal performance in the Kings’ Stanley Cup-clinching victory over the Devils in Game 6 of the 2012 Final.
* Wild defenseman Nate Prosser scored his first career game-winning goal to snap a 67-game drought dating to Feb. 7, 2012. He also posted a career-high +3 rating in 20:09 of ice-time, his second-highest total of the season.
PRICE, SUBBAN LIFT CANADIENS IN SEESAW AFFAIR
Carey Price made a season-high 40 saves and P.K. Subban scored 23 seconds into overtime to lift the Canadiens over the Senators in a seesaw affair. Montreal recorded the game’s opening three goals before Ottawa countered with four consecutive tallies. Tomas Plekanec netted the equalizer midway through the third period, setting the stage for Subban to score his third career overtime goal and first game-winner since April 5, 2011, his rookie season.
Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson (1-2—3), Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds (1-2—3) and Predators captain Shea Weber (1-2—3) led all players with three points on Thursday . . . The Jets improved to 2-0-0 under head coach Paul Maurice, outscoring opponents 10-3 . . . The Wild played their 1,000th regular-season game in franchise history (457-400-143) . . . Islanders captain John Tavares collected an assist to move into sole possession of second place in League scoring (21-36—57 in 48 GP) . . . Loui Eriksson registered one shot on goal in 15:16 of ice-time in his return to Dallas, where he spent the first seven seasons of his NHL career . . . Blues forward T.J. Oshie converted his first career penalty shot . . . Lightning captain Martin St. Louis recorded his 21st goal of the season to extend his point streak to six games (4-3—7) . . . Senators forward Kyle Turris scored for the fourth consecutive game (4-1—5) . . . Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman played in his 300th NHL game . . . Slovakia announced that Bruins captain Zdeno Chara will carry its flag during the opening ceremonies of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games . . . Steve Begin announced his retirement from the NHL following a 15-year career. The 35-year-old forward compiled 56-52—108 and 561 penalty minutes over 524 games with the Flames, Canadiens, Stars, Bruins and Predators.
SNEAK PEEK AT FRIDAY’S ACTION
All Times Eastern
Washington @ Columbus, 7:00 p.m., CSN-DC+, FS-O
Anaheim @ Chicago, 8:00 p.m., NHLN-US, NHLN-CA, RDS, FS-W, CSN-CH+
TOP CLUBS SQUARE OFF IN CHICAGO
The Ducks (36-8-5, 77 points), winners of 18 of their past 19 games and eight in a row, visit the Blackhawks (30-8-11, 71 points) at United Center in a matchup of the top two teams in the NHL standings. Anaheim is just the second team in NHL history to win 18 of 19 games, joining the 1967-68 Canadiens, who won 20 of 21 en route to capturing the Stanley Cup. Chicago, meanwhile, has recorded at least one point in 13 of its past 14 outings, going 7-1-6 over that span. The Ducks have won five consecutive games over the Blackhawks, including a 3-2 shootout victory on Dec. 6 that sparked the team’s historic 19-game run.
Above information provided by the NHL PR department
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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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