Kukla's Korner Hockey

Kukla's Korner Hockey

NHL Short Notes

02/10/2020 at 4:29am EST

THREE HARD LAPS

* Kyle Connor collected at least three points for the second time in as many days and the Jets scored five goals for the second time in as many days to improve to 4-0-1 in their last five games.

* Igor Shesterkin turned aside 42 shots and became the fourth goaltender since 1955-56 (since shots on goal officially began being tracked) to register multiple 40-save wins through his first six career contests.

* Nathan MacKinnon, Gabriel Landeskog and Cale Makar helped the Avalanche outlast the Wild in a five-goal second period and move within three points of the Blues for first in the Western Conference.

CONNOR COLLECTS ANOTHER THREE POINTS AS JETS RALLY PAST BLACKHAWKS
After Blackhawks rookie Dominik Kubalik opened the scoring 15 seconds into the contest and helped Chicago build an early lead, Jets forward Kyle Connor (2-1—3) factored on three of five straight Winnipeg goals to propel his club to their fourth win in five contests (4-0-1) and second straight to begin a six-game homestand.

* The Jets (29-23-5, 63 points) registered their fourth multi-goal comeback win of the season and opened up a five-point cushion on the Wild (26-23-6, 58 points) - who also suffered a loss Sunday – and Blackhawks (25-22-8, 58 points) in the Western Conference Wild Card race.

* Connor, with his team-leading 27th and 28th goals of the season, collected his second performance of three-plus points in as many days after matching a career high with 1-3—4 against the Senators Saturday. He joined Mark Scheifele (Dec. 13-14, 2018) and Blake Wheeler (March 3-4, 2017) as just the third player in Jets team history to accomplish the feat in consecutive days.

* Sunday also marked the second time in as many days the Jets scored five goals. It marked the 10th time in Jets/Thrashers history in which the team has tallied five-plus goals in consecutive days and just the second since the team relocated to Winnipeg (also April 2-3, 2018).

* Meanwhile, Kubalik, a seventh-round pick (191st overall) in the 2013 NHL Draft, leads all rookies with 22 goals in 2019-20 and became the NHL’s ninth rookie in the last 30 years to score in the opening 15 seconds of a regular-season game.

SHESTERKIN JOINS RARE COMPANY WITH ANOTHER 40-SAVE VICTORY
Twenty-four-year old Igor Shesterkin recorded his second 40-save victory of the season and 18-year-old Kaapo Kakko scored the game-winning goal to lead the Rangers (27-23-4, 58 points) to their fourth win in six contests.

* Shesterkin (42 saves), who improved to 5-1-0 through six career games, duplicated a previous performance Sunday after first posting 46 saves in a victory over the Devils on Jan. 9. He joined rare company in the process.

* Kakko found the score sheet for the second time in as many games and netted his second game-winning goal of the season (also Nov. 12 vs. PIT). He became the second 18-year-old player in Rangers history to score two game-winning goals in a single season, joining Manny Malhotra (Nov. 10, 1998 and Feb. 26, 1999).

COLORADO CONTINUES TO ROLL AHEAD OF STADIUM SERIES SHOWDOWN
Nathan MacKinnon (1-0—1), Gabriel Landeskog (1-0—1) and Cale Makar (0-1—1) helped the Avalanche (32-16-6, 70 points) outlast the Wild in a five-goal second period and move within three points of the idle Blues (32-15-9, 73 points) for first in the Western Conference.

* Colorado captured its seventh win in eight contests and fourth consecutive victory on the road to improve to 18-9-2 as the visitors this season – besting its 2018-19 mark (17-16-8). The Avalanche, who trail only the Capitals (20-6-1) in road wins this season, aim to secure 20-plus such victories in a single season for the first time since 2015-16 (22-19-0).

* Makar (12-30—42) extended his point streak to four games dating to Feb. 4 (1-4—5) and retook the rookie scoring lead from Canucks defenseman Quinn Hughes (8-33—41). The former became the second rookie defenseman in franchise history to collect 30-plus assists in a single season, joining Bruce Bell (31 in 1984-85 w/ QUE).

* The Avalanche host the Senators on Feb. 11 and the Capitals on Feb. 13 before facing the Kings outdoors in the 2020 Navy Federal Credit Union NHL Stadium Series at the U.S. Air Force Academy’s Falcon Stadium in Colorado Springs, Colo.

DUCKS HOLD OFF SABRES, WRAP UP ROAD TRIP WITH WIN
Captain Ryan Getzlaf scored one of Anaheim’s three first-period goals and Ryan Miller made 31 saves against his former team as the Ducks wrapped up their five-game road trip with a 3-0-2 record.

* The Ducks, who recorded at least one point in each game of a road trip of five-plus contests for the third time in franchise history, joined the Capitals (4-0-1 from Oct. 20-29, 2019) and Hurricanes (4-0-1 from Dec. 10-19, 2019) as the third team to accomplish the feat in 2019-20.

* Meanwhile, Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin (1-0—1) found the score sheet for the fifth time in seven contests as Buffalo’s rally fell one goal short. After collecting 20 power-play points in his rookie season, the 19-year-old joined Phil Housley (34 in 1982-83, 31 in 1983-84) as just the second teenage defenseman^ to collect at least 15 power-play points in each of his first two career seasons (since it officially began being tracked in 1933-34).
^ age based on date of game


RED WINGS CAPTURE FIFTH STRAIGHT VICTORY OVER LEAGUE-LEADING BRUINS
Andreas Athanasiou (2-0—2) scored for the first time since Nov. 16, 2019 to break a third-period tie and lift the Red Wings to their second regulation win over the Bruins in 2019-20 (also Nov. 8, 2019: 4-2 W). With victories in each of its last five games against their Original Six rival, Detroit joined Colorado (Oct. 10, 2019 and Dec. 7, 2019) as the second team to secure two regulation wins over Boston in 2019-20.

QUICK CLICKS

* Player, puck tracking data will enhance fan experience, Bill Daly says
* Jeremy Lauzon suspended two games for actions in Bruins game
* Facts and Figures: Leon Draisaitl, Connor McDavid join elite company for Oilers
* Referee Dan O’Halloran officiates 1,500th regular-season game
* NHL Stadium Series puts impact of Air Force hockey in spotlight


PREVIEW OF TODAY’S ACTION

LIGHTNING, BLUE JACKETS MEET FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE 2019 POSTSEASON
The League’s two hottest teams are set to square off at Nationwide Arena when the Blue Jackets (30-17-9, 69 points) host the Lightning (35-15-5, 75 points). Monday’s contest marks the first meeting between the clubs since Columbus completed an unthinkable First Round sweep of the 2018-19 Presidents’ Trophy winners.

* The Blue Jackets, the last team to clinch a spot in the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs, trailed 3-0 in the first period of Game 1 before becoming the first team in NHL history to sweep a best-of-seven series in the opening round against the team with the best regular-season record.

* Tampa Bay (14-2-1, 29 points) and Columbus (12-3-1, 25 points) sit first and second in wins among all teams, since the turn of the calendar, respectively, thanks in part to their goaltenders.

* Andrei Vasilevskiy boasts an 18-game point streak dating to Dec. 17, 2019 (16-0-2) – including wins in each of his last five contests. He is just one of two active netminders to collect at least one point in as many contests (also Tuukka Rask: 19 GP in 2017-18 w/ BOS).

* Elvis Merzlikins saw his eight-game win streak come to an end Saturday after he posted five shutouts over that span. Only nine different rookie goaltenders in NHL history recorded a win in more than eight consecutive appearances within a regular season.

OVECHKIN RESUMES CHASE FOR GOAL NO. 700
Despite being held without a goal for just the second time since passing Teemu Selanne (684) for 11th place on the League’s all-time goals list on Jan. 13, Alex Ovechkin’s pursuit of becoming the eighth member of the 700-goal club continues against the Islanders.

* At age 34, Ovechkin looks to achieve a rare feat not only from an NHL perspective, but also across the professional sports landscape. Among major career scoring milestone lists with fewer than 10 names for NBA players (30,000 points), MLB hitters (600 home runs) and NFL quarterbacks (400 passing touchdowns), only two players reached the benchmark before age 35: LeBron James and Kobe Bryant.

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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