* Two division-leading teams tallied wins Friday, while Lawson Crouse scored a late go-ahead goal as the Coyotes stunned the League-leading Bruins at Mullett Arena.
* Alex Ovechkin scored the 500th even-strength goal of his NHL career and is now just four away from reaching the 800-goal milestone.
* The 2022-23 NHL season is set to eclipse the one-third mark as 16 teams take to the ice Saturday.
VEGAS, WINNIPEG WIN GAMES AGAINST PHILADELPHIA, CHICAGO The Western Conference-leading Golden Knights (20-8-1, 41 points) earned an overtime win Friday, while the Central Division-leading Jets (18-7-1, 37 points) also picked up a victory to keep pace:
* Jonathan Marchessault scored his seventh overtime goal with Vegas to match Shea Theodore for the most in franchise history and help the Golden Knights open an eight-point lead on the Kraken (15-8-3, 33 points) atop the Pacific Division standings. Vegas, which became the first Western Conference club to reach the 40-point mark this season, plays host to League-leading Boston (21-4-1, 43 points) at T-Mobile Arena on Sunday.
* Josh Morrissey (5-25—30 in 26 GP) recorded two assists to become the fourth NHL defenseman with 30 points this season and help Winnipeg improve to 7-1-0 in its last eight games while also opening a two-point lead on idle Dallas (15-7-5, 35 points) atop the Central Division standings. Morrissey became the fastest defenseman in Jets/Thrashers franchise history to reach the 30-point or 25-assist mark in a season.
NEW YORK CLUBS WIN AS WILD CARD MOVEMENT CONTINUES IN EAST
The Islanders (17-11-0, 34 points) and Rangers (14-10-5, 33 points) each won as movement continued in the Eastern Conference Wild Card picture. At least one Eastern Wild Card team has changed by end-of-day 16 times over the past month (since Nov. 10), with nine different clubs as part of that rotation.
* Brock Nelson (2-0—2) extended his point streak to seven games (5-3—8 in 7 GP), establishing a career high. He has not gone consecutive contests without a point this season, finding the scoresheet in 22 of 28 outings. Mathew Barzal collected two assists and also has not been held off the scoresheet in consecutive games this season, notching a point in 21 of 28 appearances.
* Igor Shesterkin made 41 saves and stopped both shootout attempts by Colorado. Shesterkin secured the 11th 40-save win of his NHL career, tying Mike Richter and John Vanbiesbrouck for the third most among Rangers goaltenders (since 1955-56). The only New York netminders with more in that span are Gump Worsley (22) and Henrik Lundqvist (21).
PITTSBURGH RALLIES PAST BUFFALO IN REMATCH OF FIRST-EVER WINTER CLASSIC Ahead of the Penguins and Bruins squaring off outdoors at Fenway Park in the 2023 Winter Classic on Jan. 2, Jeff Carter scored the overtime winner while Tristan Jarrymade 28 saves as the Penguins earned a come-from-behind road win against the Sabres. Pittsburgh and Buffalo contested the first-ever Winter Classic, which took place roughly 10 miles from KeyBank Center on Jan. 1, 2008, and will celebrate its 15-year anniversary a day before the 2023 edition of the event.
* Carter’s overtime winner marked the 16th of his NHL career, tied with Brent Burns, Jonathan Toews and Max Pacioretty for the fourth most among active players behind only Alex Ovechkin (25), Sidney Crosby (19) and Brad Marchand (17). Carter is one of six active players who dressed in the 2010 Winter Classic at Fenway Park (also Patrice Bergeron, Claude Giroux, David Krejci, James van Riemsdyk & Blake Wheeler).
* Click here to read the 2023 Winter Classic #NHLStats Pack, which features notes on the Penguins and Bruins, past outdoor games as well as hockey’s ties to Fenway Park and the state of Massachusetts. The 2023 Discover NHL Winter Classic Information Guide is also available to download via the League’s Media site.
MORE McDAVID, MORE DRAISAITL, MORE KAPRIZOV & MORE OVECHKIN IN LIVE UPDATES
The Friday edition of #NHLStats: Live Updates featured the League’s hottest scorers continuing their recent string of success, while Alex Ovechkin (1-1—2) reached yet another NHL milestone with his 500th career even-strength goal.
* Connor McDavid (9-9—18 in 7 GP) extended his goal streak to a career-high seven games as the Oilers (16-12-0, 32 points) moved past the Kings (14-11-4, 32 points) for third place in the Pacific Division. It marks the first time that a team other than Vegas, Seattle or Los Angeles ranks among the top three in the division since entering play Nov. 5, when Edmonton occupied second place.
* Leon Draisaitl (19-27—46 in 28 GP), who ranks second in the 2022-23 Art Ross Trophy race behind McDavid (25-29—54 in 28 GP), scored the 105th power-play goal of his NHL career to move within two of tying Jari Kurri (107) for fourth place in franchise history.
* Lawson Crouse scored twice, including the game winner in the final 14 seconds of regulation (59:46), to lift the Coyotes past the League leading-leading Bruins at Mullett Arena. It marked the latest go-ahead goal by a Coyotes player since Keith Tkachuk found the back of the net with one second remaining in Phoenix’s game against Detroit on March 17, 1999 (59:59).
SATURDAY SKATES US THROUGH THE FIRST THIRD OF THE 2022-23 SEASON
More than one-third of the 2022-23 NHL season will be complete following Saturday’s slate, with offense, comebacks and resurgence by teams that missed the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs defining the first 65 days of the campaign.
* Four of the League’s top 10 teams missed the playoffs last season (NJD, VGK, WPG & NYI). Only five other campaigns since 1970-71 were this way at the one-third mark: 2017-18 (TBL, LAK, WPG, NJD & NYI), 2009-10 (LAK, COL, BUF & NSH), 2002-03 (DAL, MIN, EDM & TBL), 2001-02 (NYR, CGY, NYI, CHI & BOS) and 1996-97 (DAL, HFD, NJD & EDM). Bold in the brackets means that club went on to reach the playoffs.
* Two teams are on pace for an improvement of 40 or more points relative to their 2021-22 total (NJD: +68 & SEA: +44). Only six clubs in NHL history have had a +40-point improvement YOY (min. 80 GP in each season), with the largest standing at +58 points by the Sharks in 1993-94.
* Three of four division leaders missed the playoffs last season, with the Devils, Golden Knights and Jets pacing the Metropolitan, Pacific and Central Divisions, respectively.
* Both conferences have seen a shift in Wild Card positioning at the end of a game day 16 times over the past month (since Nov. 10). In the East, nine clubs have factored into that movement; in the West, eight.
* There has been at least one comeback victory on 93% of game days this season (56 of 60 game days). Overall, 44% of contests in 2022-23 have seen the winning club overcome a deficit (188 of 431 GP).
* The 6.4 goals-per-game scoring rate is the highest at this stage of a season since 1995-96 (6.4). There are 23 clubs averaging 3.00 goals-per-game or higher (excluding shootout-deciding goals).
* Seven different birth countries are represented among the top 15 point-getters, led by the U.S. with four representatives. Furthermore, there are six U.S.-born players among the top 25 in scoring – all of whom were born in California (JasonRobertson, 1st; AustonMatthews, 5th), Arizona (TageThompson, 2nd; MatthewTkachuk, 3rd; BradyTkachuk, 6th) or Florida (JackHughes, 4th) and are age 25 or younger. Player ranks are relative to other U.S.-born skaters.
Thanks to the NHL PR department for the information above.
The goals from Friday in the NHL.
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