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NHL Short Notes

MATTHEWS, MacKINNON, OVECHKIN, McDAVID VOTED ALL-STAR CAPTAINS

The four divisional rosters for the 2022 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend, including fan-voted captains Auston Matthews (Atlantic), Nathan MacKinnon (Central), Alex Ovechkin (Metropolitan) and Connor McDavid (Pacific), were unveiled live on ESPN’s SportsCenter and on Sportsnet’s Hockey Central.
 

* Thursday’s announcement also marked the launch of the 2022 NHL All-Star Last Men In, which will give fans the ability to vote for the final player on each All-Star roster. Voting now is open at NHL.com/lastmenin and closes Monday, Jan. 17, at 11:59 p.m. ET.  

  

* ICYMI: After setting a Maple Leafs franchise record in Arizona on Wednesday, Matthews joined The Point on ESPN (from a golf course in his home state) to discuss his excitement for the festivities in Las Vegas. 

  

* The League also unveiled the jerseys the 44 players will wear at the 66th NHL All-Star Game in just over three weeks (Saturday, Feb. 5 at 3 p.m. ET, ABC, Sportsnet, TVA Sports). 

 

* Other events happening at All-Star Weekend next month in Las Vegas include 2022 NHL All-Star Skills presented by DraftKings Sportsbook on Friday, Feb. 4 (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN, Sportsnet, TVA Sports) and the 2022 Truly Hard Seltzer NHL Fan Fair – a four-day, 300,000-square foot family-friendly fan festival at Las Vegas Convention Center West Hall from Feb. 3-6. Tickets to NHL Fain Fair are available for purchase at NHL.com/fanfair while supplies last. 
 


VEGAS-BOUND ALL-STARS LEAD THE WAY

Many players headed for the 2022 Honda NHL All-Star Game next month found the score sheet during Thursday’s 11-game slate, with some highlighted below.
 



Andrei Vasilevskiy (24 saves) and Victor Hedman (0-1—1) both contributed to Tampa Bay’s win to help the Lightning (25-9-5, 55 points) surpass the idle Panthers (24-7-5, 53 points) for first place in the Atlantic Division. Vasilevskiy is set to make his fourth All-Star appearance, all since the introduction of the 3-on-3 format in 2016 – Braden Holtby (5) is the only goaltender with more in that span. 
 
* After being named to his first NHL All-Star Game, Kyle Connor (1-1—2) tallied two points and reached the 20-goal mark for a fifth consecutive season. Connor (Shelby Township, Mich.) helped the Jets to victory in front of his family while playing in his home state for the first time since his father’s death in August. 

 

Chris Kreider scored twice, including the game-winner while shorthanded, to reach 200 career goals just hours after being named to the All-Star Game alongside teammate Adam Fox (0-1—1). Kreider, who ranks second in the League with 12 power-play goals this season, notched the first shorthanded point of his NHL career (611 GP). Kreider is one of five players with at least 23 goals this season – all of whom are All-Stars. 

 

Drake Batherson scored his 10th goal and team-leading 29th point of the season to help the Senators win in their first game since New Year's Day. Batherson shares the NHL lead with three four-point games this season (tied with Leon Draisaitl). 

Adam Pelech scored the second Islanders goal and his teammate Mathew Barzal – who is one of 32 players featured on the Last Men In ballot – scored the winner as New York claimed its third straight home win. Pelech is set to become the first Islanders defenseman to lace up in the All-Star Game since Mark Streit in 2009. 
 
Jordan Kyrou, who has found the score sheet in every contest since the calendar turned to 2022, notched an assist on the game-winning goal to extend his point streak to six games (5-7—12), matching his career-high achieved earlier this season. Kyrou has 23 points on tying or go-ahead goals this season, which trails only seven players in the NHL including four All-Stars. 
 



PASTRNAK’S HAT TRICK HELPS BRUINS WIN IN RASK’S RETURN 
David Pastrnak (3-0—3) scored all three goals for the Bruins as they held off a Flyers comeback attempt and earned their NHL-best seventh win of 2022. Tuukka Rask (25 saves) claimed the victory in his first NHL game since June 9, 2021 (a span of 218 days). Pastrnak scored two of his three goals on the powerplay to bring his career total to 75, surpassing Bobby Orr (74) for eighth place in franchise history
 


KOPITAR, DURZI EACH NET THREE POINTS AS KINGS CLAIM THIRD STRAIGHT

Kings captain Anze Kopitar (2-1—3) and rookie Sean Durzi (1-2—3) each contributed in a third period that saw Los Angeles score four unanswered goals – including two in a span of 10 seconds and three in 1:23 – en route to victory. The Kings (19-13-5, 43 points) claimed their third straight win, all at home, and currently sit in third place in the Pacific Division after missing the postseason in each of the last three campaigns. 

* Kopitar notched his 40th career multi-goal game while longtime teammate Dustin Brown (1-1—2) joined him and five others on the list of players to collect 700 career points for Los Angeles
 

 
VISRAM MAKES HISTORY BEHIND KINGS BENCH AS FIRST FEMALE TRAINER 
Aisha Visram became the first woman to work an NHL game behind the bench in any capacity when she served as an athletic trainer for the Kings on Thursday, according to the Professional Hockey Athletic Trainers Society. Visram is the head athletic trainer of the AHL’s Ontario Reign and previously worked with the ECHL’s Adirondack Thunder as well as in the NCAA with St. Lawrence University. 

 
QUICK CLICKS  

  

Chris Wideman suspended one game for actions in Canadiens game 
Eric Staal signs professional tryout contract with Wild AHL affiliate 
Canucks Assistant Equipment Manager “Red”Nadia featured on The Kelly Clarkson Show 
CBS Mornings profiles Willie O'Ree ahead of his jersey retirement on Jan. 18 
#NHLStats Live Updates: Thursday, Jan. 13 
 

TOP HOME TEAMS LOOK TO SEND FANS INTO WEEKEND WITH A WIN 
Florida (.864) and Colorado (.853) rank first and second in home points percentage and enter Friday with five and 12-game home win streaks, respectively. The Avalanche’s 12-game home winning streak is the longest by any team this season, one ahead of the Panthers’ season-opening 11-game run. Minnesota (.767 P%; 5th), meanwhile, is 7-2-1 in its last 10 games on home ice.  

Thanks to the NHL PR department for the information above.

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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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.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com