LAINE, JETS SOAR ON HOCKEY DAY IN CANADA . . .
Patrik Laine (3-0—3) initiated the Hockey Day in Canada festivities with his eighth career hat trick and Kyle Connor (1-3—4) registered his fourth career four-point game as the Jets (28-23-5, 61 points) moved past the Coyotes (27-23-7, 61 points) and Predators (26-21-7, 59 points) for the second Wild Card spot in the Western Conference.
* Laine, who became the fourth different player in franchise history to score three power-play goals in a regular-season game, has found the back of the net eight times in his last eight contests dating to Jan. 19 (8-0—8).
* The 21-year-old's current scoring stretch boosted his career totals to 133-102—235 in 291 contests. In the process, the second-overall pick in the 2016 NHL Draft surpassed Sidney Crosby (132) and tied Brian Bellows (133) for the seventh-most goals in NHL history by a player prior to their 22nd birthday.
* Connor (26-30—56) sits one point behind Mark Scheifele (23-34—57) in team scoring this season and previously posted four-point performances on Nov. 19, 2018 (at VAN), Nov. 24, 2018 (at STL) and March 23, 2019 (vs. NSH) – the second-most by any player in Jets/Thrashers history prior to his 24th birthday. Ilya Kovalchuk paces the list with 12 (all w/ ATL).
. . . WHILE OILERS, FLAMES, CANADIENS ALSO COLLECT TWO CRUCIAL POINTS
Leon Draisaitl (2-0—2), Matthew Tkachuk (1-0—1) and Ilya Kovalchuk (1-0—1) each found the back of the net to help the Oilers (29-20-6, 64 points), Flames (28-22-6, 62 points) and Canadiens (27-23-7, 61 points) continue their respective playoff pushes.
* NHL points leader Draisaitl (31-54—85) scored twice to help the Oilers erase a one-goal, third-period deficit and join teammate Connor McDavid (30-51—81) with 30 goals and 80 points. The last time teammates on any club each had 30 goals and 80 points through the team’s first 55 games was 1996-97 (Pittsburgh’s Mario Lemieux: 39-50—89 and Jaromir Jagr: 44-42—86).
* Tkachuk was one of six different Calgary goal scorers as the Flames, who snapped the Canucks’ nine-game home win streak, joined the Oilers as the second Pacific Division club to collect two crucial standings points Saturday – where seeds 1-5 are separated by four points.
* With points in five of his last six games, including a team-leading 18-26—44 (tied) and 61 penalty minutes, Tkachuk is on pace to join Theo Fleury in 1997-98 (27-51—78; 197 PIM) as the second player in franchise history to lead the team in points and penalty minutes at season’s end.
* Kovalchuk scored 1:43 into the extra frame to register his 17th career regular-season overtime goal and second this season (also Jan. 11 at OTT). The 13-season NHL veteran sits third on the League’s all-time list, behind Alex Ovechkin (23) and Jaromir Jagr (19).
* Saturday marked the 51st contest of 747 all-time regular-season matchups between the Canadiens and Maple Leafs to be decided in overtime and 285th to result in a one-goal margin (including ties). Their 285 such contests are the second-most between two teams in NHL history, behind Montreal and Boston (300).
KUCHEROV NOTCHES FIFTH 10-GAME POINT STREAK IN THREE SEASONS
Nikita Kucherov (0-2—2) posted his eighth multi-point game in nine contests to extend his point streak to 10 games, while Andrei Vasilevskiy (17 saves) improved to 16-0-2 in his last 18 appearances to lift the Lightning (35-15-5, 75 points) to their ninth straight win at AMALIE Arena.
* Kucherov (8-10—18 in 10 GP since Jan. 14), who holds a share of the League’s longest active point streak with teammate Steven Stamkos (10 GP dating to Jan. 14), has collected five such stretches of 10-plus games since 2017-18. Wayne Gretzky is the only player in the last 30 years to collect more in a three-season span.
* Vasilevskiy boosted his personal point streak to 18 games (16-0-2) dating to Dec. 17, 2019 – including wins in each of his last five contests. He became just the second active netminder to collect at least one point in as many contests (also Tuukka Rask: 19 GP in 2017-18 w/ BOS).
* The 2019-20 campaign marks the second time in as many seasons that Tampa Bay has registered a home win streak of nine-plus games (also 9-0-0 from Nov. 29, 2018 – Jan. 10, 2019). The Lightning have posted a run of that length in consecutive seasons for the second time in franchise history after initially doing so in 2014-15 (10 GP from Dec. 11, 2014 – Jan. 31, 2015) and 2015-16 (9 GP from Jan. 2 – Feb. 12, 2016).
METROPOLITAN DIVISION TEAMS WIN HIGH-SCORING AFFAIRS
Sebastian Aho (1-1—2) reached the 30-goal mark in an 11-goal, back-and-forth affair while Claude Giroux (1-2—3) capped Philadelphia’s seven-goal outburst with his 800th career point as the Hurricanes (32-20-3, 67 points) and Flyers (30-18-7, 67 points) kept pace with one another in the Eastern Conference Wild Card picture.
* Carolina, which captured its second multi-goal, third-period comeback win of the season (also Oct. 5, 2019 at WSH), holds the second Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference due to regulation wins (CAR: 22; PHI: 21).
* Aho’s 30th goal of 2019-20 was one of six third-period goals as the Hurricanes became the NHL’s 10th team to register multiple multi-goal, third-period comeback wins this season. The Capitals and Panthers lead all teams with four.
* Only one player in Hurricanes team history has required fewer games to score their 30th goal of a season than Aho (55 GP) – Eric Staal (46 GP in 2005-06).
* Giroux, selected 22nd overall by Philadelphia in the 2006 NHL Draft, became the fourth player in franchise history to record 800 career regular-season points and just the third in his draft class to reach the 800-point mark. The others: Nicklas Backstrom (241-674—915) and Phil Kessel (369-486—855).
* Rangers fan completes 1,000-mile bike ride for dad, Hockey Fights Cancer
* Annie Pankowski returns home to Southern California for Rivalry Series
*Chris Pronger to have No. 44 retired by Blues
* Jeremy Lauzon to have hearing for actions in Bruins game
* Senators fan on 60th week of chemo gets special gift from Mark Borowiecki
PREVIEW OF TODAY’S ACTION
Thanks to the NHL PR department for the information above.
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