Kukla's Korner Hockey

Kukla's Korner Hockey

NHL Short Notes

01/25/2023 at 6:10am EST

* Kris Letang returned to the Penguins’ lineup after an 11-game absence and made an immediate impact – recording 2-2—4, which also included scoring the overtime winner.

* The Bruins picked up another two points Tuesday and made NHL history by requiring the fewest games by any team to collect 80 standings points in a single season.

* Andrei Vasilevskiy earned his 250th career victory as the Lightning collected their 10th consecutive win at AMALIE Arena and moved within one of matching their franchise record for longest home win streak.

* The NHL announced details of the 2023 NHL All-Star Skills presented by DraftKings Sportsbook and the format of the seven events on Friday, Feb. 3 at 7:00 p.m. ET (ESPN, Sportsnet, TVA Sports).



LETANG MAKES IMMEDIATE IMPACT IN RETURN AS PENGUINS OUTLAST PANTHERS

In a contest that featured five combined game-tying goals and three lead changes, Kris Letang (2-2—4) returned to the Penguins after missing 11 games between sustaining a lower-body injury and returning to Montreal for the death of his father. His first point of the night helped Pittsburgh initiate a multi-goal comeback in the first period and his fourth marked his ninth career overtime goal.



* The Penguins became the sixth team to overcome three separate deficits en route to a win this month and Tuesday marked the fourth game of 2022-23 to feature two teams combine for five game-tying goals following Nov. 29, 2022 (SEA at LAK: 6), Nov. 1, 2022 (ANA at SJS: 5) and Oct. 27, 2022 (EDM at CHI: 5).


* Sidney Crosby (1-2—3) and Evgeni Malkin (1-2—3) each collected assists on Letang’s 30th career game-winning goal on an evening that featured the trio each post at least three points in the same game for just the second time following March 27, 2022 (regular season or playoffs). Overall, Pittsburgh improved to 36-1-0 when all three have multiple points in the same game (regular season & playoffs).



MORE OT MAGIC FROM THE TUESDAY SLATE

In addition to the high-scoring overtime thriller in Pittsburgh, three other teams also left the ice with a victory in extra time:


* Dougie Hamilton (2-0—2) tied the game with 70 seconds remaining in regulation and netted his second overtime goal in as many games (also Jan. 22 vs. PIT) to help the Devils (31-12-4, 66 points) improve to 7-0-1 in their past eight contests. New Jersey moved into a tie, in terms of standings points, with Carolina (29-9-8, 66 points) atop the Metropolitan Division; the latter holds one game in hand.



* Kevin Fiala (17-34—51 in 50 GP) assisted on Los Angeles’ first goal of the game and reached the 50-point mark on the season before scoring in overtime to help the Kings (27-17-6, 60 points) leapfrog the idle Kraken (27-14-5, 59 points) for second place in the Pacific Division standings. Fiala also became the first player to record his first 50 points with the Kings franchise in 50 games or fewer since Pavol Demitra (41 GP in 2005-06).


* Andrew Copp scored his second career overtime goal to propel the Red Wings (20-18-8, 48 points) to victory and within eight points of the Capitals (25-19-6, 56 points) for the second Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference with four games in hand. Copp (Ann Arbor, Mich.) became the sixth different Michigan-born skater to score a regular-season overtime goal for Detroit, a list topped by teammate Dylan Larkin (7) – who reached the 400-point milestone in the victory.


PASTRNAK PROPELS BRUINS TO 80 POINTS AND AN NHL-FIRST
Patrice Bergeron (1-0—1) netted the go-ahead goal with 2:55 remaining in regulation and David Pastrnak (1-3—4) posted the highest point total by a Boston skater in Montrealin nearly 40 years as the NHL-leading Bruins (38-5-4, 80 points) required the fewest games by a team in League history to reach the 80-point mark in a single season.



* Pastrnak (37-32—69 in 47 GP) sits third in the Art Ross Trophy race this season and is one of five players with 30-plus goals and 30-plus assists – reaching the mark in 47 games or fewer for the second time in his career (2019-20: 42 GP). He joined Phil Esposito (5x; last: 33 GP in 1974-75) as the second player in Bruins history to do so multiple times.

SABRES SCORE EARLY AND OFTEN, INCH CLOSER TO A PLAYOFF SPOT
Jeff Skinner (1-1—2) became Buffalo’s fourth 20-goal scorer of the season 60 seconds into the contest and Owen Power found the back of the net for the second time in as many games as the Sabres (25-19-3, 53 points) benefited from an early 4-0 lead en route to their fourth straight victory. Their four 20-goal scorers are tied with Edmonton for the most among all teams in 2022-23.

* Buffalo, which moved within three points of Washington (25-19-6, 56 points) for the second Willd Card spot in the Eastern Conference and hold three games in hand, have scored six goals within the opening minute of a contest this season. The only other campaigns in which they have scored as many are 1975-76 (8), 1982-83 (7), 1985-86 (7) and 1984-85 (6).



VASILEVSKIY, MacKINNON REACH MILESTONES IN #NHLSTATS: LIVE UPDATES A pair of League veterans reached milestone marks in victories as Andrei Vasilevskiy (33 saves) earned his 250th career win and Nathan MacKinnon (0-1—1) collected his 700th career point. More notes from the NHL’s 11-game slate can be found here.

* Vasilevskiy (250-113-25 in 399 GP), who backstopped the Lightning to their 10th straight victory at AMALIE Arena, is one of three goaltenders with 250 wins since making his NHL debut in 2014-15 (also Sergei Bobrovsky: 253 & Frederik Andersen: 250). The 2018-19 Vezina Trophy winner, 2021 Conn Smythe Trophy winner and two-time Stanley Cup champion required the second-fewest games in NHL history to reach the mark behind only Ken Dryden (381 GP).

* MacKinnon (255-445—700) assisted on Colorado’s opening goal to hit 700 career points and became the sixth player in Avalanche/Nordiques history to reach the milestone, joining Joe Sakic (1,641), Peter Stastny (1,048), Michel Goulet (946), Milan Hejduk (805) and Peter Forsberg (755).



QUICK CLICKS

* 2023 NHL All-Star Skills highlighted by three new events

* Mark Recchi: Rick Tocchet facing big challenges as Canucks coach

* Senators assistant coach Bob Jones diagnosed with ALS

* Brian Gionta discusses Devils goal record, life after NHL in Q&A with NHL.com

* Garnet Hathaway’s great-grandfather inspired Hath’s Heroes



McDAVID CAPS TNT DOUBLEHEADER WITH PURSUIT OF 50TH ASSIST IN 2022-23 The Rangers (26-14-7, 59 points) and Maple Leafs (29-11-8, 66 points) will open the night with Toronto looking to become the fifth team to 30 wins this season, while Connor McDavid (40-48—88 in 48 GP) and the Oilers (27-18-3, 57 points) cap the doubleheader on TNT as the club eyes their seventh straight win.


* McDavid, who enters the contest with the NHL’s longest active point streak (8-8—16 in 10 GP), has only been held off the score sheet five times in 2022-23 and looks to collect his 50th assist of the season in fewer than 50 games for the second time in his career following 2020-21 (44 GP).

* The Oilers captain’s 40 goals are three more than the next closest skater (David Pastrnak: 37 in 47 GP) and should he collect two helpers against the Blue Jackets, he would become the eighth different player in NHL history with 40 goals and 50 assists prior to his 50th game. Mario Lemieux (48-69—117 in 49 GP) and Jaromir Jagr (41-56—97 in 49 GP) both last did so with the Penguins in 1995-96.


* ICYMI: Derek Ryan has found the score sheet in two of Edmonton’s past three games and is the most recent feature in the “Not One Path” series – highlighting unconventional paths to the NHL.

Thanks to the NHL PR department for the information above.

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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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