NHL NEWS JANUARY 22, 2023 – McDAVID CAPS HOCKEY DAY IN CANADA WITH 40TH GOAL
Storylines were aplenty during the 23rd annual Scotiabank Hockey Day In Canada, including Connor McDavid (40-48—88 in 48 GP) scoring his NHL-best 40th goal of the season to help the Oilers (27-18-3, 57 points) extend the League’s longest active win streak to six games. He required the fewest contests by an active player to reach the mark in a campaign, besting Auston Matthews (49 GP in 2021-22).
- McDavid’s tally extended the League’s longest active point streak to 10 games dating to Jan. 3 (8-8—16 in 10 GP) – his third double-digit stretch of the 2022-23 campaign (also 17 GP from Nov. 26 – Dec. 30, 2022 & 10 GP from Oct. 26 – Nov. 12, 2022). His 10 career point streaks of 10-plus games are tied with Sidney Crosby for the most among active skaters.
- The Oilers captain also moved within two assists of 50 in 2022-23 with his 239th career multi-point game – one shy of Glenn Anderson (240 GP) for the fourth most in Oilers history. Wayne Gretzky (472 GP), Mark Messier (300 GP) and Jari Kurri (296 GP) rank first, second and third, respectively. His total is 49 more than the next-closest skater since his debut in 2015-16 (Leon Draisaitl: 190 GP).
- McDavid, set to appear in the NHL All-Star Game under the 3-on-3 format for the sixth time, is one of only three active players with 40 or more goals prior to the All-Star/Olympic break joining Alex Ovechkin (42 in 2009-10 & 40 in 2013-14) and Crosby (42 in 2009-10).
- With the Montreal Canadiens facing a two-goal deficit after the first period, Josh Anderson (Burlington, Ont.) and Rafael Harvey-Pinard (Saguenay, Que.) pulled the Canadiens even before Rem Pitlick (Ottawa, Ont.) scored his first career overtime goal to complete the comeback against the Maple Leafs. Twenty-five of 49 games between Montreal and Toronto since 2012-13 have featured a comeback win, the second-highest combined total between two teams behind Pittsburgh and Philadelphia (26 in 45 GP).
- Dillon Dube (Golden, B.C.) and Tyler Toffoli (Scarborough, Ont.) each had 1-1—2 as the Flames (22-16-9, 53 points) defeated the Lightning and kept pace with the Avalanche (25-17-3, 53 points) for the final Wild Card spot in the Western Conference. Saturday’s matinee at Scotiabank Saddledome also featured Jakob Pelletier (Québec, Que.) making his NHL debut with Calgary.
- Mark Scheifele (Kitchener, Ont.) had 2-1—3 to help lead Winnipeg past Ottawa in an all-Canadian matchup as the Jets (30-16-1, 61 points) eclipsed the 60-point mark in 47 games – the club has hit 60 points in fewer contests just once in franchise history (2018-19: 45 GP). Scheifele’s three-point outing marked the 58th of his career – the most in Jets/Thrashers history and four more than the next-closest skater (Ilya Kovalchuk: 54 GP).
OTHER CANADIAN-BORN PLAYERS LEAVE THEIR MARK SATURDAY
Notable performances by Canadian-born players weren’t limited to Scotiabank Hockey Day In Canada games Saturday:
- Dylan Cozens (Whitehorse, Y.T.) opened the scoring in highlight-reel fashion and Peyton Krebs (Calgary, Alta.) corralled two goals during the afternoon victory for the Sabres. Cozens (33-60—93 in 165 GP) climbed within seven points of 100 in his NHL career and would become the second player born in a Canadian territory to reach a triple-digit total, joining Geoff Sanderson (Hay River, N.W.T.) who had exactly 700 (including 65 with Buffalo from 1997-98 – 1999-00).
- Nineteen-year-old Wyatt Johnston (Toronto, Ont.) scored one of four goals for the Central Division-leading Stars (28-13-7, 63 points). Johnston, who ranks second in goals among rookies in 2022-23 (12-8—20 in 48 GP), is one of three teenagers in Stars team history with at least a dozen tallies in a single season joining Valeri Nichushkin (14 in 2013-14) and Miro Heiskanen (12 in 2018-19).
- Matt Duchene (Haliburton, Ont.) scored two goals, including the game winner, as the Predators (22-18-6, 50 points) earned a comeback win against the Kings to move within three points of the Avalanche (25-17-3, 53 points) for the final Wild Card position in the Western Conference. Duchene’s first goal occurred at 0:39 of the first period following a quick game-opening tally by Mikael Granlund (0:19), making Nashville the 15th team in NHL history to score twice within the first 39 seconds of a contest and the second this season (also CGY: 0:30 on Dec. 20, 2022).
- Alex Pietrangelo (King City, Ont.) assisted on two of Vegas’ six goals to help the Golden Knights (29-16-2, 60 points) overtake the Kraken (27-14-5, 59 points) for first place in the Pacific Division. Pietrangelo boosted his career totals with Vegas to 25-73—98 (159 GP) and surpassed Nate Schmidt (21-76—97 in 196 GP) for second-most points among Golden Knights defensemen – only Shea Theodore (57-171—228 in 371 GP) has more.
- Carter Verhaeghe (Toronto, Ont.) and Sam Reinhart (West Vancouver, B.C.) were among five Panthers players to find the back of the net Saturday as Florida (23-20-5, 51 points) gained ground on idle Pittsburgh (23-15-7, 53 points) for the final Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference. Anton Lundell (19:47 of P1), Verhaeghe (19:32 of P2) and Reinhart (19:21 of P3) combined to mark just the second time in over a decade that a team has recorded a goal in the final 40 seconds of all three periods.
AHO’S NATURAL HAT TRICK
A 14-game Saturday, including Carolina’s Sebastian Aho (3-0—3) saw him scoring the NHL’s third natural hat trick of the season and the first for the Hurricanes since Justin Faulk on Feb. 13, 2018.
- Aho (199-242—441 in 484 GP), who moved within one goal of becoming the sixth player to score 200 with the Hurricanes/Whalers franchise, ranks sixth among Finnish-born players in NHL history with six career hat tricks behind Jari Kurri (23), Teemu Selanne (22), Patrik Laine (10), Tomas Sandstrom (8) and Olli Jokinen (7).
SUNDAY’S SCHEDULE SET TO FEATURE SPORTSNET DOUBLEHEADER
Sunday’s five-game slate is highlighted by a Sportsnet doubleheader with the Penguins (23-15-7, 53 points) visiting the Devils (29-12-4, 62 points) at Prudential Center and the League-leading Bruins (36-5-4, 76 points) hosting the Sharks (14-24-9, 37 points) at TD Garden.