McDAVID LEADS OILERS IN RETURN TO THE LINEUP
In his first game back in the Oilers lineup since Feb. 8, captain Connor McDavid tallied 1-2—3, including a solo-effort to outwait Kings goaltender Calvin Peterson, to lead Edmonton (33-22-7, 73 points) past Vancouver (33-22-6, 72 points) for second place in the Pacific Division standings.
* Sunday marked the third time McDavid has tallied the game-winning goal in the contest immediately following his return to lineup from a significant injury. A look back at the previous two instances:
Oct. 12, 2016 (2-1—3 vs. CGY)
* After missing 37 games in his rookie season, McDavid converted on his first career penalty shot in the Oilers’ first-ever game at Rogers Place. Wayne Gretzky tallied the first such goal at Rexall Place (then Northlands Coliseum) on Jan. 19, 1983 vs. WPG.
Oct. 2, 2019 (1-0—1 vs. VAN)
* After suffering a knee injury in the final game of the 2018-19 regular-season, McDavid returned for the Oilers’ 2019-20 season opener. His three game-winning goals in season openers are tied with Zach Parise (3 GWG in 13 GP) for the most among active players.
KARLSSON, THEODORE PROPEL GOLDEN KNIGHTS IN ANOTHER 11-GOAL AFFAIR
After William Karlsson’s third career hat trick gave the Golden Knights a 5-3 lead and Adam Henrique (2-2—4) scored a game-tying goal with 1:15 left in regulation, Shea Theodore netted his second career overtime tally with the Golden Knights as Vegas (34-22-8, 76 points) captured its sixth straight win.
* Karlsson netted his franchise-leading third three-goal performance after accomplishing the feat twice in the team’s inaugural season (Dec. 31, 2017 and March 18, 2018). He and Jonathan Marchessault (2x) are the only players to score multiple hat tricks with the Golden Knights.
* Mark Stone (0-4—4) factored on two of Karlsson’s three goals and collected a helper on Theodore’s game winner to register his third four-plus point performance and second four-assist outing of 2019-20 (also Feb. 13 vs. STL). He joined the League’s leading scorer Leon Draisaitl (3x) as just the NHL’s second player to collect four or more assists on multiple occasions this season.
* Sunday’s contest marked the third time in the month of February that the Golden Knights have competed in an 11-goal affair, after falling short to the Hurricanes on Feb. 8 (6-5 SO) and edging the Blues in overtime on Feb. 13 (6-5 W). They joined the Predators (3x in Oct.) and Rangers (3x in Nov.) as the third team this season to compete in three games with 11 combined goals in a single month (including shootout-deciding goals).
CAPITALS SURVIVE BACK-AND-FORTH AFFAIR WITH PENGUINS
In a contest that featured three game-tying goals, Tom Wilson scored his 20th of the season and John Carlson found the score sheet as the Capitals (38-18-6, 82 points) recorded their 20th comeback win of the season to reclaim first place in the Metropolitan Division standings from the Penguins (37-18-6, 80 points).
* Sunday, which marked the third consecutive regular-season meeting to feature the two clubs combine for at least seven goals (also March 12, 2019 and Feb. 2), was the first of three meetings between the divisional rivals over a 29-day span. The next two are set to take place at PPG Paints Arena (March 7 and March 22).
* Carlson, with 1-6—7 in his last seven games, boosted his career totals to 105-370—475 (750 GP all w/ WSH) and surpassed Calle Johansson (113-361—474 in 983 GP) for the most points by a defenseman in Capitals history – doing so in 233 fewer games played for the franchise.
* Carlson (15-57—72 in 62 GP) is one of three defensemen to lead their team in scoring this season, joining Nashville’s Roman Josi (14-43—57) and San Jose’s Brent Burns (12-30—42). Should the trio maintain their place among the team lead this season, the 2019-20 campaign would be the third in NHL history to feature three-plus blueliners conclude as their team’s point leader (outright or tied). The others: 2013-14 (Niklas Kronwall w/ DET, Shea Weber w/ NSH, Erik Karlsson w/ OTT and Keith Yandle w/ PHX) and 1990-91 (Ray Bourque w/ BOS, Brian Leetch w/ NYR, Phil Housley w/ WIN, Kevin Hatcher w/ WSH).
* Washington, which has collected 20 comeback wins in a single season for the eighth time in franchise history, paces all clubs in 2019-20 - three more than the next-closest teams. The Capitals are one of five franchises in NHL history to reach the benchmark at least eight times, joining the Bruins (14), Penguins (12), Flames (11) and Flyers (9).
BLUES TOP WILD AS NHL ANNOUNCES 2021 WINTER CLASSIC MATCHUP
Four different players scored and Jordan Binnington turned aside 32 shots to help the Blues (36-17-10, 82 points) open up a three-point point cushion over the idle Avalanche (36-18-7, 79 points) for first place in the Central Division standings.
* St. Louis defeated Minnesota on a night the NHL announced the division rivals would face off at the 2021 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, set to take place on Jan, 1, 2021 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minn. The event will mark the Wild’s second NHL regular-season outdoor game (also 2016 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series) and first appearance in an NHL Winter Classic. Meanwhile, the Blues will contest their second after winning the 2017 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Mo.
* Joe Pavelski and Tyler Seguin each scored to lift the Stars (36-20-6, 78 points) to their fifth win in seven contests, while moving within one point of the idle Avalanche (36-18-7, 79 points) for second in the Central Division. Dallas secured its 18th win in one-goal games this season, tied with the Blue Jackets for the most in 2019-20.
* After scoring his first career hat trick on Feb. 17, Andrew Mangiapane scored twice to propel the Flames (32-25-6, 70 points) past the Coyotes (31-26-8, 70 points), Jets (32-27-5, 69 points) and Predators (30-23-8, 68 points) into the first Wild Card spot in the Western Conference. Mangiapane joined Elias Lindholm (5-0—5 from Feb. 12-15) as the second Flames player to score five goals through a three-game span this season
* Islanders captain Anders Lee (2-1—3) recorded his second three-point game of the season (also 1-2—3 on Nov. 1 vs. TBL) and helped the Islanders (35-20-6, 76 points) push their home point streak to six contests dating to Feb. 1 (5-0-1). New York is one of three teams without a regulation loss at home this month (min. 5 GP), joining Vegas (5-0-1) and Tampa Bay (5-0-0).
* Facts and Figures: Canucks score nine, take over second in division
* Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin of Penguins salute Alex Ovechkin on 700th goal
* Capitals acquire Ilya Kovalchuk from Canadiens
* John Carlson credits teammates for helping set Capitals record
* Hurricanes to honor goalie David Ayres at next home game
PREVIEW OF TODAY’S ACTION
Thanks to the NHL PR department for the information above.
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