NHL Recap February 9, 2024 – KANE’S HAT TRICK PROPELS OILERS TO 30TH WIN

Evander Kane (3-0—3) scored his fifth hat trick in an Oilers uniform and guiding Edmonton (30-16-1, 61 points) to victory. The Oilers reached the 30-win mark in a single season in 47 or fewer games for the fifth time in franchise history following 1983-84 (41 GP), 1985-86 (43 GP), 1984-85 (43 GP) and 1986-87 (45 GP); the club went on to win the Stanley Cup on three of those previous four campaigns.

  • Kane’s five hat tricks since joining the Oilers in 2021-22 are tied with Tage Thompson for the third most among all players. Auston Matthews (8) and David Pastrnak (6) are the only skaters with more. With every hat trick this season, AstraZeneca will donate $5,000 to the Hockey Fights Cancer Fund of the V Foundation up to $500,000.

FLOWER POWER TAKES CENTRE STAGE AS FLEURY HELPS WILD DEFEAT FORMER CLUB

The night at Xcel Energy Center began with Marc-Andre Fleury watching his children read the starting lineup in the Wild dressing room before having them by his side during a pre-game ceremony to celebrate his 1,000-game milestone in front of the Minnesota faithful, and concluded with all eyes on the 20-season veteran once again as he denied former teammates Sidney Crosby (1-0—1) and Evgeni Malkin (0-1—1) from a game-tying goal in the final minute of regulation with a flurry of stops.

  • Fleury (34 saves) registered his 189th career win with 30 or more saves and tied Craig Anderson for the second most by a goaltender on record (since 1955-56) – Roberto Luongo (226) paces the list. The only others with at least 170 such performances are Henrik Lundqvist (184) and Ryan Miller (173).
  • Kirill Kaprizov (1-1—2) and Brock Faber (0-1—1) provided the offense for Minnesota, with Kaprizov (20-27—47 in 44 GP) becoming the first player in franchise history with four consecutive 20-goal seasons and Faber (4-27—31 in 51 GP) establishing Wild single-season records for most assists and points by a rookie defenseman.

RANGERS DOWN ORIGINAL SIX RIVAL, CLOSE IN ON MATCHUP WITH STATE RIVAL
The Blackhawks erased a two-goal deficit in the third period to force overtime, but Adam Fox (0-2—2) assisted on Mika Zibanejad’s franchise-record eighth career overtime goal to lift the Metropolitan Division-leading Rangers (33-16-3, 69 points) to their fourth straight win. The club has two games remaining (Feb. 12 vs. CGY & Feb. 15 vs. MTL) before squaring off with the Islanders at the 2024 Navy Federal Credit Union NHL Stadium Series on Sunday, Feb. 18 (3 p.m. ET on ABC, ESPN+, SN, TVAS).

  • Fox sits sixth in points per game by defensemen this season and will celebrate his 26th birthday during 2024 Navy Federal Credit Union NHL Stadium Series weekend on Feb. 17. The Rangers blueliner, with 44-230—274 in 327 career games, ranks among the top five in assists by U.S.-born defensemen at age 25 or younger behind Phil Housley (369), Brian Leetch (332), Gary Suter (268) and Quinn Hughes (267).
  • The Rangers and Islanders, who previously went head-to-head outdoors during the 2014 Stadium Series, will contest the fourth NHL outdoor game rematch following the Bruins-Flyers (2010 WC & 2021 LT), Flyers-Penguins (2017 SS & 2019 SS) and Maple Leafs-Red Wings (2014 WC & 2017 CC).

ABC HOCKEY SATURDAY TWO-PACK, HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA HIGHLIGHT SLATE

Saturday’s 13-game schedule opens with several matinees, including an ABC Hockey Saturday doubleheader. Both contests are also available on ESPN+ and will be followed by three Hockey Night in Canada games.

  • The Blues, Sabres, Capitals and Bruins will skate in the contests on ABC, with Buffalo and Washington looking to inch closer to the final Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference and Alex Ovechkin aiming to continue closing the gap on NHL’s all-time goals leader Wayne Gretzky after rediscovering his scoring touch.
  • Ovechkin carries a three-game goal streak into Saturday’s contest against David Pastrnak and the Eastern Conference-leading Bruins, which includes two of his League-record 304 power-play tallies. Ovechkin can record his first four-game goal streak since March 19-25, 2023, and become the first player in franchise history with a run of that length at age 38 or older.
  • Alex Tuch and the Sabres sit 10 points pack of the “playoff line” in the Eastern Conference entering their matchup with Tage Thompson’s former team, who occupy the final Wild Card spot in the Western Conference. Tuch, who is skating in his third season as a member of his childhood favorite team, sits tied for third on his club in scoring and continues to impact the community off the ice through charitable initiatives that include his foundation AT9 Foundation.
  • The Maple Leafs, Senators, Penguins, Jets, Oilers and Kings will be featured on Hockey Night in Canada.
  • Connor McDavid and the Oilers can earn their 18th win in 19 games before returning to Rogers Place on Tuesday. Anze Kopitar and the Kings enter Saturday five points back of Edmonton for third place in the Pacific Division.
  • Auston Matthews, William Nylander, Mitchell Marner and John Tavares combined for 5-4—9 on Wednesday and will look to help the Maple Leafs earn their fifth win in six games. Brady Tkachuk and the Senators secured two straight victories before the NHL All-Star break and aim to conclude their four-game “Battle of Ontario” season series with a 3-1-0 record.
  • Sean Monahan is set to skate his first game with the Jets at Canada Life Centre as Winnipeg looks to snap a five-game slide and strengthen its grip on third place in the Central Division. Sidney Crosby collected an assist in the Penguins’ 3-0 win Tuesday and has 18-42—60 in 43 games against the Jets/Thrashers, which marks the sixth highest point total versus the franchise in NHL history.

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