NHL Recap February 14 2020
KREIDER AND COMPANY CONTINUE SUCCESS AS RANGERS EDGE BLUE JACKETS
The trio of Chris Kreider (1-1—2), Pavel Buchnevich (1-0—1) and Mika Zibanejad (0-1—1) factored on two of three Rangers goals Friday, including the game-winning marker, to propel New York (30-23-4, 64 points) to its fourth straight win.
Zibanejad (6-8—14), Kreider (7-4—11) and Buchnevich (6-4—10) have combined for 19-16—35 in the Rangers’ last 10 contests dating to Jan. 21. New York’s trio trails only Tampa Bay’s combination of Nikita Kucherov (5-11—16), Steven Stamkos (8-3—11) and Brayden Point (2-11—13) for the most among all threesomes over that span (15-25—40).
CROSBY GUIDES PENGUINS TO 20TH HOME WIN OF 2019-20
Sidney Crosby (0-3—3) factored on three of Pittsburgh’s four goals, including Jason Zucker’s first two with the franchise (2-0—2), as the Penguins (35-15-6, 76 points) earned their 20th home win of the season and improved to 4-0-1 in their last five games at PPG Paints Arena.
Pittsburgh, who moved within three points of idle Washington (37-15-5, 79 points) for first in the Metropolitan Division and hold one game in hand, joined Boston (20-2-9) as the second team to win 20 home games in 2019-20.
Since Crosby entered the League in 2005-06, the Penguins have captured at least 20 home wins in a single season an NHL-best 13 times – highlighted by a 31-6-4 mark in 2016-17. Of note: the Lightning (19-7-2), Stars (17-9-2), Ducks (12-11-3) and Predators (12-11-4) can join the Penguins with as many such campaigns over that span.
Crosby has factored on a Penguins game-winning goal for the third time in four victories – including his team’s last outing in Florida on Feb. 8 (1-0—1). He has factored on a regular-season game-winning goal 197 times (63-134—197) in his 15-season career – the third most among active players, behind Joe Thornton (67-180—247) and Patrick Marleau (109-108—217).
SVECHNIKOV, AHO LIFT HURRICANES PAST METROPOLITAN DIVISION RIVALS
Andrei Svechnikov (1-0—1) and Sebastian Aho (0-1—1) combined on the game-winning goal to extend their respective streaks and lift the Hurricanes (33-21-3, 69 points) to their third win in four contests. Carolina collected two points to move within two points of Columbus (30-18-11, 71 points) for the second Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference with two games in hand.
Svechnikov, whose second-period tally marked the 90th point of his NHL career (43-47—90 in 139 GP), has already bested his totals from his rookie campaign in 2018-19 (20-17—37 in 82 GP) and is on pace to score 33 goals in 2019-20.
Forty-three of his first career 90 points have been goals. He is one of nine active NHL players to score at least 40 as a teenager – and second to do so with the Hurricanes.
SHARKS WIN IN BURNS’ 1,100TH CAREER REGULAR-SEASON GAME
Skating in his 1,100th regular-season game, Brent Burns assisted on Timo Meier’s game-winning goal as the Sharks collected their third victory in four contests. Burns (210-477—687 in 1,100 GP) became the 66th player listed as a defenseman in NHL history to reach the milestone. His 687 career points however, are the most among the eight active blueliners to accomplish the feat.
PREVIEW OF TODAY’S ACTION – AVALANCHE, KINGS SET FOR STADIUM SERIES AT FALCON STADIUM
The U.S. Air Force Academy’s Falcon Stadium will serve as the backdrop when the Avalanche host the Kings in the 2020 Navy Federal Credit Union NHL Stadium Series in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The 30th regular-season outdoor game in NHL history, and last of three in 2019-20, will be played at 6,621 feet above sea level, a record for an NHL regular-season outdoor game.
The 2020 Navy Federal Credit Union NHL Stadium Series will honor the armed forces and celebrate the contributions of USA Hockey. More than 1,000 Air Force cadets, four F35 Lightning II jets, three F-16 Fighting Falcon jets, one KC-10 tanker aircraft, parachute members from the Air Force’s Wings of Blue, and members of the Air Force Academy’s drum & bugle corps, acapella group, honor guard and spirit team will take part.
The NHL’s transformation of Falcon Stadium for the NHL Stadium Series features the first ever F16 Thunderbird aircraft sitting atop a simulated airfield, runways adorned with working lights, a helipad serving as the musical stage, and landing zones for parachute jumpers.
Exactly one month ago, after four straight losses (0-2-2), the Avalanche sat 12 points behind the Western Conference-leading Blues. Colorado has an 8-2-0 record since then to rank tied for third in the NHL over that span with 16 points, narrowing St. Louis’ division/conference lead to two points.
Avalanche leading scorer Nathan MacKinnon (32-48—80 in 56 GP) enters the game on a six-game point streak (2-6—8 in GP) including multiple points in each of his last two appearances. He is the first Avalanche player to reach 80 points in 56 games or fewer since his current general manager, Joe Sakic, in 1995-96 (55 GP).
This marks the Kings’ third regular-season outdoor game overall (1-1-0), following Stadium Series appearances in 2014 and 2015, both in the state of California. Seven Kings players who participated in their last outdoor game remain with the club: forwards Anze Kopitar, Trevor Lewis, Dustin Brown, Tyler Toffoli and Jeff Carter; defenseman Drew Doughty; and goaltender Jonathan Quick.
Oilers’ Kassian Suspended Seven Games for Kicking
Edmonton Oilers forward Zack Kassian has been suspended for seven games, without pay, for kicking Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Erik Cernak during NHL Game No. 882 in Tampa on Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020. The incident occurred at 17:38 of the first period.
Kassian is considered a repeat offender under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and, based on his average annual salary, will forfeit $166,463.43. The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.
See video for a full explanation of the decision.