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NHL Short Notes

Trailing 3-1 late in the first period, the Rangers scored six unanswered goals, including the tying and winning tallies by Mats Zuccarello, to defeat the Devils in the first of two games at Yankee Stadium as part of the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series.

* Zuccarello (2-0—2) tied the individual record for most goals in a regular-season outdoor NHL game, accomplished by six previous players, most recently Rangers forward Mike Rupp in the 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia.

* Devils forward Patrik Elias also posted two goals to equal that record. He hadn’t scored since Dec. 13 and hadn’t recorded a multi-goal game since April 20, 2013. With 384 career goals (1,128 GP), Elias now is tied for 100th in NHL history with Richard Martin (685 GP).

* The Rangers became the first team to win two regular-season outdoor NHL games, following their 3-2 victory in the 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic. Four other teams – the Red Wings (1-0-1), Canadiens (1-1-0), Penguins (1-1-0) and Flyers (0-1-1) – have played in multiple regular-season outdoor NHL games, but none has more than one victory.

Several other scoring records were matched or set during the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series game between the Rangers and Devils:

* The Rangers set a regular-season outdoor NHL game record with seven total goals, besting the previous mark of six established by the Red Wings in the 2009 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Wrigley Field in Chicago.

* With four goals in the second period, the Rangers also set a record for the most goals by one team in a single period of a regular-season outdoor NHL game. The Devils scored three goals in the first period to tie the previous mark, originally established by the Blackhawks in the first period of the 2009 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic and then matched by the Red Wings in the second period of that game.

* The five combined goals in the first period (NJ: 3, NYR: 2) set a single-period record for a regular-season outdoor NHL game, surpassing the previous mark of four set in the third period of the 2003 Molson Canadian NHL Heritage Classic (EDM: 2, MTL: 2) and equaled in the first period of the 2009 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic (CHI: 3, DET: 1).

* The 10 combined total goals also matched the record set by the Red Wings (6) and Blackhawks (4) in the 2009 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic.

* The Devils-Rangers game drew a 1.6 overnight rating on NBC, a record on the network for a regular-season NHL game (excluding regionals and Winter Classics).

* The game also drew a 5.1 rating in New York, the highest-ever rating in the New York market for a regular-season NHL game on NBC and tied for the best New York game ever (with Game 1 of the 2012 Stanley Cup Final).

* NBC was the No. 1 network in the New York market within the 1:30 – 4:30 p.m. ET time period.

* Saturday’s game between the Kings and Ducks drew a 2.38 rating in Los Angeles, the highest rating ever in the L.A. market for a regular-season NHL game on NBCSN.

* From 10:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m. PT, NBCSN was the No. 1 cable network in market and the No. 2 network overall.

“It was just a great day. I know we won, and it’s easy to say after you’ve won it, but it was an unbelievable atmosphere, and I’m really fortunate to have been part of one of these.” – Rangers coach Alain Vigneault

“I thought the entire event – from the ice, to the production, to the environment, to the crowd – was outstanding.” – Devils coach Peter DeBoer

“Walking out for warm-ups, I was taking it all in. It was a great feeling and a proud feeling.” – Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist

“The atmosphere and the mixed fan colors – the aura of it all was special. The whole thing was unbelievable.” – Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur

“I hope everybody in the League does get the opportunity [to play in an outdoor game]. There’s an atmosphere outdoors that you just can’t get in an indoor stadium.” – Rangers forward Derek Stepan

“It was pretty incredible. We’re used to playing in front of 15, 20,000 people. To walk out and see that many people was a pretty amazing feeling. I think the buildup and the hype and the spectacle was well done.” – Devils goaltender Cory Schneider

“It was loud, [the fans] were on top of us. It was cool. Everyone knows what Yankee Stadium is. It’s really special coming here to play. It’s something you get to say you did 30 years down the road.” – Rangers forward Brian Boyle

“The experience was great and it was one of those games you want to play in and be a part of.” – Devils captain Bryce Salvador

“It’s one thing to come to Yankee Stadium for a practice; it’s another when it’s full. Fans for both teams cheering against each other. The atmosphere was awesome today.” – Rangers defenseman Marc Staal

“From the NHL and from both teams and the Yankee organization, what they did to make sure that everything was set up for us and make us feel comfortable, it was amazing.” – Devils forward Patrik Elias

“I think if you ask all the guys in the room, I think this will be one of their fondest memories after their career is through.” – Rangers forward Dominic Moore

“This is an unbelievable spectacle. Right on cue with our interview, the snow starts falling. This is amazing, I’ve been here so many times. I love New York, so this is great for [hockey] and great for our city.” – Tennis legend John McEnroe

“Again and again the NHL stages these outdoor extravaganzas and again and again the League pulls it off. One after another, from Edmonton in 2003 to Los Angeles this past Saturday night, they have become a collective greeting card for hockey’s Winter Wonderland.” – Larry Brooks (New York Post)

“To use a local phrase from here in this noted hockey hotbed, the Bronx: Holy cow! The game between the Rangers and Devils at Yankee Stadium yesterday was more than a game. It was ‘outstanding,’ in the opinion of the coach whose team got blown out. It was ‘awesome’ for the victorious Rangers. To the rest of us, it was spectacular.” – Mark Herrmann (Newsday)

Seven of the 10 goals were scored by players who will represent their countries in the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. Olympic representatives also combined for 11 of 26 total points on the scoresheet:

Mats Zuccarello: 2-0—2 (Norway)
Carl Hagelin: 1-0—1 (Sweden)
Rick Nash: 1-0—1 (Canada)
Derek Stepan: 1-0—1 (United States)
Ryan Callahan: 0-1—1 (United States)

Patrik Elias: 2-0—2 (Czech Republic)
Jaromir Jagr: 0-2—2 (Czech Republic)
Marek Zidlicky: 0-1—1 (Czech Republic)

Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, who will represent Sweden in the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, made 19 saves to pick up his second regular-season outdoor NHL game victory, matching Ty Conklin for the most such wins. Lundqvist recorded 34 stops, including a penalty-shot save on Daniel Briere in the final seconds of regulation, to secure New York’s 3-2 victory over Philadelphia in the 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Citizens Bank Park.

* Lundqvist improved to 29-14-6 in 49 career regular-season appearances versus the Devils, including a 25-9-6 mark in his head-to-head matchups with Martin Brodeur.

* He also improved to 6-2-0 with a 1.63 goals-against average, .945 save percentage and one shutout in his last eight appearances dating to Jan. 8.

Rangers forward Derek Stepan recorded the first successful penalty shot in a regular-season outdoor NHL game when he beat Cory Schneider at 10:06 of the third period. It marked the second outdoor game penalty shot in as many days, following Anze Kopitar’s unsuccessful attempt against Ducks goaltender Jonas Hiller Saturday at Dodger Stadium.

* Daniel Briere (Philadelphia) unsuccessful against Henrik Lundqvist (NY Rangers), at 19:40 of the third period, Jan. 2, 2012, at Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia. NY Rangers 3, Philadelphia 2. (2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic)

* Anze Kopitar (Los Angeles) unsuccessful against Jonas Hiller (Anaheim) at 9:46 of the first period, Jan. 25, 2014, at Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles. Anaheim 3, Los Angeles 0 (2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series)

* Derek Stepan (NY Rangers) successful against Cory Schneider (New Jersey) at 10:06 of the third period, Jan. 26, 2014, at Yankee Stadium, New York. NY Rangers 7, New Jersey 3 (2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series)

Other records matched or set during the matchup between the Devils and Rangers:

* Devils forward Michael Ryder played in his third regular-season outdoor NHL game, tying forward James van Riemsdyk and goaltender Ty Conklin for the most career appearances in an outdoor game. Ryder also played for the Canadiens in the 2003 Molson Canadian NHL Heritage Classic at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton and for the Bruins in the 2010 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Fenway Park in Boston.

* Rangers defensemen Marc Staal (1-1—2) and Anton Stralman (0-2—2) both finished with a +4 rating, besting the previous regular-season outdoor NHL game record of +3 by Red Wings forward Jiri Hudler in the 2009 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Wrigley Field in Chicago.

* With a pair of helpers, Devils forward Jaromir Jagr passed former teammate and Hockey Hall of Famer Mario Lemieux for sole possession of 10th place in all-time assists (1,035). He has recorded two assists in each of his last two outings and now has 2-4—6 during a four-game point streak.

With the Rangers’ victory, visiting teams improved to 8-1-1 in the 10 regular-season outdoor NHL games to date. The only home clubs to win an outdoor game are the Bruins, who defeated the Flyers 2-1 in overtime in the 2010 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, and the Flames, who shut out the Canadiens 4-0 in the 2011 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic.

The announced attendance of 50,105 at Yankee Stadium pushed total attendance for the first three outdoor games of the 2013-14 season to 209,695. Total attendance for the NHL’s 10 regular-season outdoor games now stands at 573,109, an average of 57,311 per game.

Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa scored twice, including the overtime winner, for his first two-goal performance since May 9, 2010, when he posted 2-1—3 in Game 5 of the Western Conference Semifinals versus the Blackhawks . . . Chicago native Al Montoya made 34 saves in his return to his hometown, helping the Jets improve to 6-1-0 under head coach Paul Maurice . . . The Panthers overcame a late two-goal deficit to pick up their third victory over the Red Wings this season. They were 4-11-8 all-time against Detroit entering 2013-14 . . . Coyotes forward Antoine Vermette scored three goals three different ways (even strength, shorthanded, power play) to record his third career hat trick and second this season . . . Ben Scrivens made 34 saves to earn his first victory since being traded to the Oilers . . . Rangers forward Rick Nash recorded his 11th goal in his past 11 games, extending his scoring streak to five games (7-0—7). He had seven total goals in his first 26 appearances of the season . . . Rangers forward Derek Stepan (3-5—8), Red Wings forward Gustav Nyquist (4-3—7) and Oilers forward Jordan Eberle (4-2—6) all stretched their point streaks to five games . . . Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane played in his 500th NHL game. He has 173-310—483 in his career.

All Times Eastern
Boston @ NY Islanders, 7:00 p.m., NESN, MSG PLUS
Columbus @ Carolina, 7:00 p.m., FS-O, FS-CR
Buffalo @ Pittsburgh, 7:30 p.m., NBCSN, TSN2, RDS2, ROOT
Colorado @ Dallas, 8:30 p.m., ALT, FS-SW
Edmonton @ Vancouver, 10:00 p.m., SNET-W, SNET-P
Los Angeles @ San Jose, 10:00 p.m., NBCSN, TSN2

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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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