NHL Recap February 8 2020
OILERS, FLAMES, CANADIENS COLLECT TWO CRUCIAL POINTS ON HOCKEY DAY IN CANADA
Tkachuk was one of six different Calgary goal scorers as the Flames, who snapped the Canucks’ nine-game home win streak, joined the Oilers as the second Pacific Division club to collect two crucial standings points Saturday – where seeds 1-5 are separated by four points.
With points in five of his last six games, including a team-leading 18-26—44 (tied) and 61 penalty minutes, Tkachuk is on pace to join Theo Fleury in 1997-98 (27-51—78; 197 PIM) as the second player in franchise history to lead the team in points and penalty minutes at season’s end.
Kovalchuk scored 1:43 into the extra frame to register his 17th career regular-season overtime goal and second this season (also Jan. 11 at OTT). The 13-season NHL veteran sits third on the League’s all-time list, behind Alex Ovechkin (23) and Jaromir Jagr (19).
Leon Draisaitl (2-0—2), Matthew Tkachuk (1-0—1) and Ilya Kovalchuk (1-0—1) each found the back of the net to help the Oilers (29-20-6, 64 points), Flames (28-22-6, 62 points) and Canadiens (27-23-7, 61 points) continue their respective playoff pushes.
NHL points leader Draisaitl (31-54—85) scored twice to help the Oilers erase a one-goal, third-period deficit and join teammate Connor McDavid (30-51—81) with 30 goals and 80 points. The last time teammates on any club each had 30 goals and 80 points through the team’s first 55 games was 1996-97 (Pittsburgh’s Mario Lemieux: 39-50—89 and Jaromir Jagr: 44-42—86).
Saturday marked the 51st contest of 747 all-time regular-season matchups between the Canadiens and Maple Leafs to be decided in overtime and 285th to result in a one-goal margin (including ties). Their 285 such contests are the second-most between two teams in NHL history, behind Montreal and Boston (300).
LAINE, JETS ALSO SOAR
Patrik Laine (3-0—3) initiated the Hockey Day in Canada festivities with his eighth career hat trick and Kyle Connor (1-3—4) registered his fourth career four-point game as the Jets (28-23-5, 61 points) moved past the Coyotes (27-23-7, 61 points) and Predators (26-21-7, 59 points) for the second Wild Card spot in the Western Conference.
Laine, who became the fourth different player in franchise history to score three power-play goals in a regular-season game, has found the back of the net eight times in his last eight contests dating to Jan. 19 (8-0—8).
The 21-year-old’s current scoring stretch boosted his career totals to 133-102—235 in 291 contests. In the process, the second-overall pick in the 2016 NHL Draft surpassed Sidney Crosby (132) and tied Brian Bellows (133) for the seventh-most goals in NHL history by a player prior to their 22nd birthday.
Connor (26-30—56) sits one point behind Mark Scheifele (23-34—57) in team scoring this season and previously posted four-point performances on Nov. 19, 2018 (at VAN), Nov. 24, 2018 (at STL) and March 23, 2019 (vs. NSH) – the second-most by any player in Jets/Thrashers history prior to his 24th birthday. Ilya Kovalchuk paces the list with 12 (all w/ ATL).
KUCHEROV NOTCHES FIFTH 10-GAME POINT STREAK IN THREE SEASONS
Nikita Kucherov (0-2—2) posted his eighth multi-point game in nine contests to extend his point streak to 10 games, while Andrei Vasilevskiy (17 saves) improved to 16-0-2 in his last 18 appearances to lift the Lightning (35-15-5, 75 points) to their ninth straight win at AMALIE Arena.
Kucherov (8-10—18 in 10 GP since Jan. 14), who holds a share of the League’s longest active point streak with teammate Steven Stamkos (10 GP dating to Jan. 14), has collected five such stretches of 10-plus games since 2017-18. Wayne Gretzky is the only player in the last 30 years to collect more in a three-season span.
Vasilevskiy boosted his personal point streak to 18 games (16-0-2) dating to Dec. 17, 2019 – including wins in each of his last five contests. He became just the second active netminder to collect at least one point in as many contests (also Tuukka Rask: 19 GP in 2017-18 w/ BOS).
The 2019-20 campaign marks the second time in as many seasons that Tampa Bay has registered a home win streak of nine-plus games (also 9-0-0 from Nov. 29, 2018 – Jan. 10, 2019). The Lightning have posted a run of that length in consecutive seasons for the second time in franchise history after initially doing so in 2014-15 (10 GP from Dec. 11, 2014 – Jan. 31, 2015) and 2015-16 (9 GP from Jan. 2 – Feb. 12, 2016).
METROPOLITAN DIVISION TEAMS WIN HIGH-SCORING AFFAIRS
Sebastian Aho (1-1—2) reached the 30-goal mark in an 11-goal, back-and-forth affair while Claude Giroux (1-2—3) capped Philadelphia’s seven-goal outburst with his 800th career point as the Hurricanes (32-20-3, 67 points) and Flyers (30-18-7, 67 points) kept pace with one another in the Eastern Conference Wild Card picture.
Carolina, which captured its second multi-goal, third-period comeback win of the season (also Oct. 5, 2019 at WSH), holds the second Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference due to regulation wins (CAR: 22; PHI: 21).
Aho’s 30th goal of 2019-20 was one of six third-period goals as the Hurricanes became the NHL’s 10th team to register multiple multi-goal, third-period comeback wins this season. The Capitals and Panthers lead all teams with four.
Only one player in Canes team history has required fewer games to score their 30th goal of a season than Aho (55 GP) – Eric Staal (46 GP in 2005-06).
Bruins’ Lauzon Suspended Two Games for Illegal Check to the Head
Boston Bruins defenseman Jeremy Lauzon has been suspended for two games, without pay, for an illegal check to the head of Arizona Coyotes forward Derek Stepan during NHL Game No. 844 in Boston on Saturday, Feb. 8, the National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety announced today.
The incident occurred at 19:39 of the first period. Lauzon received a match penalty for illegal check to the head.
Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and, based on his average annual salary, Lauzon will forfeit $8,037.64. The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.