* Nikita Kucherov had three points to help the Lightning earn their 11th straight victory on home ice as Tampa Bay snapped Boston’s seven-game winning streak as the visitor in the process.
* A pair of young defensemen shone Thursday as 20-year-old Owen Power extended his goal streak to three games while 21-year-old Moritz Seider collected his third career three-assist performance.
* Thursday marked the third straight day to feature at least three games requiring overtime. The longest stretch of days with three or games being decided past regulation is five (March 5-9, 2011).
KUCHEROV, VASILEVSKIY HELP LIGHTNING BEST BRUINS The Bruins entered the contest with seven straight road victories, but the duo of Nikita Kucherov (0-3—3) and Andrei Vasilevskiy (37 saves) ensured the Lightning (31-15-1, 63 points) would withstand Boston’s two game-tying goals to match a franchise record with their 11th straight victory at AMALIE Arena (also 11 GP in 2019-20).
* Tampa Bay, whose 89 home victories since 2019-20 are the most among all teams and one more than the next closest (BOS: 88-25-17), picked up a crucial regulation victory against NHL-leading Boston (38-6-4, 80 points) to move within five points of idle Toronto (30-11-8, 68 points) for second place in the Atlantic Division. The Lightning hold two games in hand.
* Vasilevskiy improved to 22-12-1 (2.52 GAA, .918 SV%) this season and outdueled the NHL’s wins leader, Linus Ullmark (25-3-1, 1.86 GAA, .937 SV%, 2 SO), in his 400th career game. The Lightning goaltender has made 35 or more saves in 53 of his 251 wins.
20-YEAR-OLD DEFENSEMAN POWERS SABRES TO VICTORY. . . The Sabres-Jets contest included two of the top three highest-scoring defensemen in RasmusDahlin (14-41—55 in 47 GP) and JoshMorrissey (8-43—51 in 50 GP), along with 20-year-old Owen Power (3-16—19 in 45 GP) who scored to move into sole possession of second in points among rookie blueliners this season.
* Power became the first rookie defenseman in Sabres history to record a goal streak of three or more contests and now sits two games shy of the franchise rookie record for any skater. Among all Buffalo defensemen, only two have had a goal streak of four or more games: Dahlin (5 GP in 2022-23) and PhilHousley (4 GP in 1988-89).
* At 20 years, 65 days, Power is among the top 10 youngest rookie defensemen in League history to record a goal streak of three or more games. A goal in Buffalo’s next contest (Saturday at MIN) would make Power the youngest blueliner in NHL history to record a goal streak of at least four games. Only three rookie defensemen, of any age, have extended their goal streak beyond three games: BarryBeck (6 GP in 1977-78), Brian Benning (4 GP in 1986-87) and Stan Brown (4 GP in 1926-27).
* Power also became the third-youngest defenseman (rookie or veteran) to record a goal streak of three or more games over the past 35 years, helping the Sabres (26-19-3, 55 points) move within two points of the Penguins (24-15-9, 57 points) for the second Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference.
. . . WHILE 21-YEAR-OLD SEIDER SHINES IN OVERTIME VICTORY FOR RED WINGS Montreal tied the game three times but 21-year-old Moritz Seider (0-3—3), with his dad in attendance, collected his third assist of the game on Robby Fabbri’s goal in overtime to help the Red Wings (21-18-8, 50 points) gain ground on the Penguins (24-15-9, 57 points) for the second Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference.
* Thursday marked Seider’s third career outing with three or more assists, with each coming in 2022-23 (also 0-4—4 on Jan. 10 & 0-3—3 on Nov. 19, 2022). He became the first defenseman in Red Wings history to post three three-assist games at age 21 or younger, with Steve Chiasson (Nov. 12, 1988 & Dec. 1, 1988) being the only other Detroit blueliner to record multiple such performances.
AROUND THE RINKS
* Nick Schmaltz (3-1—4) scored his first NHL hat trick – with all three goals coming in consecutive fashion – as the Coyotes skated to a 5-0 win, the club’s highest-scoring shutout victory in over three years (5-0 W vs. NYR on Jan 6, 2019). Schmaltz became the first Coyotes skater to score a natural hat trick since Phil Kessel on March 27, 2021 and recorded his third career four-point performance with Arizona – the most among all active players.
* The defending Stanley Cup-champion Avalanche entered the contest with six consecutive wins and built a 3-1 lead through the first 36:09 of play, but Frank Vatrano (3-0—3) completed the first hat trick by a Ducks player this season to guide Anaheim to victory. The Ducks secured their fourth multi-goal, third-period comeback win of the season – the most among all teams, with the Kings, Blues and Islanders close behind (all w/ 3).
* Patrick Kane (0-1—1) factored on one of five Chicago goals and rookie Jaxson Stauber made 34 saves to lead the Blackhawks to victory. Stauber became the third goaltender in Blackhawks history to win each of their first two NHL appearances, joining Gilles Meloche (2 GP from March 16-19, 1971) and Hugh Lehman (2 GP from Nov. 17-20, 1926).
FORMER FASTEST SKATER WINNERS FACE OFF ON ESPN With the 2023 NHL All-Star Skills presented by DraftKings Sportsbook just a week away (Friday, Feb. 3 at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN, ESPN+, Sportsnet, TVA Sports), two former winners of the Fastest Skater competition will be featured on ESPN tonight when Dylan Larkin and the Red Wings visit Mathew Barzal and the Islanders at UBS Arena.
* Larkin leads all Detroit skaters with 15-28—43 this season (46 GP) and recently became the fifth-youngest player in Red Wings history to reach the 400-point milestone. The Detroit captain, who is set to make his third career All-Star appearance, won the Fastest Skater event in 2016.
* Barzal (11-31—42 in 49 GP), who leads Islanders skaters in assists and ranks second on the team in points behind BrockNelson (who will represent the club alongside Ilya Sorokin next week in South Florida), won the Fastest Skater event in 2020 while edging out three-time defending champion Connor McDavid in the process. Since Barzal’s debut season in 2016-17, he has more assists (251) and points (353) than any Islanders skater.
Thanks to the NHL PR department for the information above.
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