NHL NEWS NOVEMBER 23, 2022 – SABRES SCORE EARLY AND OFTEN TO HALT EIGHT-GAME SLIDE
Jeff Skinner (2-3—5) and Tage Thompson (1-3—4) each found themselves all over the score sheet Tuesday as the Sabres beat the Habs 7-2, including three in the opening 2:13 of the game, to snap their eight-game slide with a win against the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre. It marked the 10th time in NHL history – regular season or playoffs – that a team scored three goals within the first 134 seconds of action.
- Skinner became the first player in NHL history to record multiple five-plus point games as a visiting player in Montreal (also 4-1—5 on Feb. 13, 2022). Skinner is one of three active players to record at least five points in a game against the Canadiens – with Alex Ovechkin and Eric Staal accounting for the other spots on that list – and is the only one to do so on the road.
- The Sabres (3) and Canadiens (1) combined for four goals in the opening 2:57 of the game, marking the fourth contest in NHL history to feature at least four goals within the first three minutes of play (regular season & playoffs, regardless of team). The other instances were on Oct. 27, 1976 (PIT 3, BUF 1 in 2:52), Feb. 9, 1993 (DET 3, NJD 2 in 2:54) and Jan. 2, 1983 (BUF 2, HFD 2 in 2:54). Four of the first five goals in the Red Wings-Devils game came in the opening 2:28 of play, the fastest four goals from the start of a game in NHL history.
RANGERS RALLY TO EARN FIRST MULTI-GOAL COMEBACK VICTORY OF THE SEASON
In a back-and-forth game that saw both teams battle back from deficits, Kings goaltender Cal Petersen made a highlight-reel save in the third period to temporarily deny the Rangers a multi-goal lead, allowing his club to even the score shortly thereafter. That was short-lived as Chris Kreider added two goals for the Rangers – including the eventual game winner just 54 seconds after Los Angeles tied the contest – to help New York earn its first multi-goal comeback win of the season.
- New York became the 24th club to stage a multi-goal comeback win this season, bringing the total to 41 such victories in 2022-23 – the fourth most at this stage of a campaign (302 GP) behind 2018-19 (44), 2019-20 (43) and 1986-87 (42).
- The Rangers-Kings game was the 219th contest this season decided by a one-goal margin or multiple goals following an empty-net tally – tied for the highest such total at this stage of a season (302 GP) in NHL history, equaling 2020-21 and 2021-22 on that list.
NHL’S GOAL-SCORING RACE HEATS UP AS PLAYERS INCH CLOSER TO MCDAVID
The NHL’s goal-scoring race continued to heat up Tuesday as Gabriel Vilardi, Tage Thompson and Cole Caufield each found the score sheet to gain ground on Connor McDavid, who has held the outright lead since Oct. 27. Of the 28 players who have a double-digit goal total this season, 25 are with clubs who will hit the ice during tonight’s 15-game schedule.
NOT ONE PATH: PHIL KESSEL
Phil Kessel is the most-recent feature on the Not One Path series, after a cancer diagnosis almost derailed his NHL career just as it was starting. While his achievements – like winning two Stanley Cups, becoming the NHL’s “Ironman” and skating in 1,000 consecutive games – may not have seemed possible at one point, Kessel is an inspiration to others impacted by cancer. He’ll be on the ice Wednesday when the Golden Knights host their Hockey Fights Cancer Night.
FILL UP WITH A 15-GAME SERVING AHEAD OF U.S. THANKSGIVING
For the second time in five days, 30 teams will be in action as another 15-game day is upon us highlighted by a doubleheader on TNT that will begin in Washington – where Alex Ovechkin will continue his pursuit of the 800-goal club – and conclude in Vegas – where the Western Conference-leading Golden Knights will host their #HockeyFightsCancer night.
- The two highest-scoring defensemen over the past four seasons in terms of goals (Cale Makar) and assists (Quinn Hughes) will square off for the fifth time in the NHL when the Canucks visit the Avalanche on Sportsnet. The contest will also include two of the League’s top 10 scorers this season in Mikko Rantanen (11-15—26) and Nathan MacKinnon (5-21—26).
A ONE-DAY BREAK IS NIGH, BUT FIRST: ANOTHER 15-GAME DAY
Wednesday will mark the quickest turnaround between 15-game days, but before we jump into a schedule that will feature 11 games simultaneously, a quick snapshot of highlights from Saturday’s action:
- Seven games were decided by a one-goal margin and another three finished with a multi-goal spread following at least one empty-net tally.
- Nine games saw the score tied or within one goal during the third period, including six that extended beyond regulation – four were decided in overtime and two in a shootout. Overall, 73% of games this season that have required extra time have been decided in the overtime period (45 of 62 games).
- Six of the League’s 140 comeback wins so far this season came on the 15-game Saturday. The most comeback wins on a 15-game day in NHL history is 10, seen on April 29, 2022 (the most on any day is 11, achieved during a 13-game day on Oct. 29, 2005).
- Two players recorded four points on Saturday, with Blues forward Pavel Buchnevich (2-2—4) and Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy (0-4—4) each doing so. There have been 19 player showings of four-plus points on 15-game days in NHL history.
- The most saves by a goaltender on Saturday was 41 by Sharks netminder James Reimer in a 2-1 defeat against the Rangers. Shutouts by Colorado’s Alexandar Georgiev and Pittsburgh’s Tristan Jarry brought the total to 41 perfect showings on 15-game days (including one “team” shutout recorded by the Blues on Oct. 25, 2008) – all detailed on page five here.
- Mathew Barzal was one of nine players to score multiple goals Saturday. Those were his first two tallies of the season following 19 consecutive assists to begin 2022-23 – the fourth most by a forward before his first goal of a campaign in NHL history.
DETROIT CLAIMS GOALTENDER MAGNUS HELLBERG FROM SEATTLE
The Detroit Red Wings have claimed goaltender Magnus Hellberg off waivers from the Seattle Kraken.
Hellberg, 31, has split the 2022-23 season between the Ottawa Senators and Kraken. The 6-foot-6, 209-pound netminder became the first goaltender in NHL history to earn his first three career wins with three different clubs when he made 29 saves for Ottawa in a 4-2 win on Oct. 24 against Dallas. Hellberg appeared in one game with the Red Wings in 2021-22, stopping 20 shots in a 5-3 victory on April 29 at New Jersey. Prior to joining the Red Wings, Hellberg spent the 2021-22 season with Sochi HC of the Kontinental Hockey League, posting a 2.42 goals-against average, 0.917 save percentage and five shutouts in 37 games. In all, Hellberg suited up the last five seasons in the KHL for Kunlun Red Star (2017-18), St. Petersburg SKA (2018-21) and Sochi (2021-22), compiling an 81-64-14 record in 169 appearances. A native of Uppsala, Sweden, Hellberg also represented his country at the 2022 Winter Olympics, showing a 1-0-1 record with a 2.46 goals-against average and a 0.933 save percentage in two appearances. Additionally, Hellberg played for Team Sweden at the 2018 IIHF World Championship and posted a 3-0-0 record in three starts en route to helping his country win the gold medal.
Originally drafted by the Nashville Predators in the second round (38th overall) of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, Hellberg spent five seasons (2012-17) in North America before playing in the KHL. Hellberg has made six NHL appearances for the Predators, New York Rangers, Red Wings and Senators, holding a 3-0-0 record with a 2.60 goals against average and a 0.891 save percentage. He also suited up in 187 American Hockey League games between the Milwaukee Admirals (2012-15) and Hartford Wolf Pack (2015-17), building an 84-71-28 record, a 2.49 goals against average and a 0.914 save percentage, including a 30-win season for the Wolf Pack in 2015-16. Hellberg was named to the AHL All-Star Classic during the 2014-15 season as a member of the Admirals. He also made nine appearances in parts of two seasons for the ECHL’s Cincinnati Cyclones, posting a 6-2-1 record.
MAPLE LEAFS ACQUIRE DEFENCEMAN CONOR TIMMINS IN TRADE WITH ARIZONA
The Toronto Maple Leafs have acquired defenceman Conor Timmins from the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for forward Curtis Douglas.
Timmins, 24, has recorded three assists through six games with the Tucson Roadrunners this season and also skated in two games with the Arizona Coyotes. The Thorold, ON native has posted 34 points (4G, 30A) through 52 career AHL games split between Tucson and the Colorado Eagles. Timmins has also recorded seven assists through 41 career NHL games split between Arizona and Colorado Avalanche.
Internationally, Timmins won a gold medal with Team Canada during the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship. He recorded five points (1G, 4A) through seven games during the tournament and was named a Top 3 Player on the Team.
Timmins was selected by Colorado in the second round (32nd overall) of the 2017 NHL Draft.