NHL Recap January 11 2019
FRIDAY’S RESULTS – Home Team in Caps
CAROLINA 4, Buffalo 3
WINNIPEG 4, Detroit 2
CALGARY 4, Florida 3
Pittsburgh 7, ANAHEIM 4
PENGUINS OVERCOME THREE-GOAL DEFICIT TO EXTEND ROAD WIN STREAK
Jake Guentzel (3-0—3) scored his second hat trick of the season (also Nov. 24 vs. CBJ) to help the Penguins overcome deficits of 3-0 and 4-3 and extend their road win streak to six games, the longest in the NHL this season. Pittsburgh’s six-game road win streak is its longest since a franchise-record eight-game run from March 11 – April 7, 2016.
* Guentzel became the sixth player to score multiple hat tricks in 2018-19, joining Jets forward Patrik Laine (3), Blue Jackets forward Cam Atkinson (2), Jets forward Nikolaj Ehlers (2), Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin (2) and Bruins forward David Pastrnak (2). He also became the 30th player to reach the 20-goal mark this season (21-21—42 in 44 GP), the highest such total through the first 686 games in a campaign since 1996-97 (34).
* Matt Murray (21 saves) improved to 9-0-0 in his last nine appearances dating to Dec. 15 (1.55 GAA, .953 SV%, 2 SO). He became the fourth different goaltender in franchise history to record a personal win streak of at least nine games and first since Marc-Andre Fleury from Feb. 21 – March 17, 2012 (9-0-0).
WILLIAMS EXTENDS GOAL STREAK IN HURRICANES WIN
Justin Williams scored to extend his goal streak to four games (4-0—4) and help the Hurricanes improve to 6-1-0 in their last seven contests.
* Williams (37 years, 99 days) became the third player in Hurricanes/Whalers franchise history to record a goal streak of at least four games at 37 years of age or older, joining 38-year-olds Ron Francis from Dec. 27, 2001 – Jan. 2, 2002 (5-2—7 in 4 GP) and Rod Brind’Amour from March 7-12, 2009 (4-2—6 in 4 GP).
* Curtis McElhinney (30 saves) improved to 11-5-1 this season (2.30 GAA, .921 SV%), including wins in each of his last four appearances dating to Dec. 31 (2.25 GAA, .919 SV%).
SKINNER REACHES 30-GOAL MARK IN RETURN TO PNC ARENA
In his first game at PNC Arena since being traded from the Hurricanes to the Sabres on Aug. 2, Jeff Skinner scored his 30th goal of the season (30-13—43 in 44 GP) to move within two of tying Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin (32-17—49 in 43 GP) for the League lead.
* Skinner, who was awarded one of the final roster spots for the 2019 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend on Friday, became the fifth different Sabres player to reach the 30-goal mark in 45 or fewer appearances and the third to do so in his first season with the franchise.
WESTERN CONFERENCE-LEADING FLAMES RALLY PAST PANTHERS
Facing a 2-0 deficit, the Western Conference-leading Flames (29-13-4, 62 points) scored four consecutive goals to rally past the Panthers and improve to 7-1-1 in their last nine games, including four straight wins.
* Calgary, which tallied twice in the final frame, leads all teams with 69 third-period goals in 2018-19. The Flames’ +35 goal differential in the third period this season is also the highest such total in the NHL.
* Mark Giordano scored to continue his point-per-game pace in 2018-19 (7-37—44 in 44 GP). Giordano (35 years, 100 days) can become the third defenseman in NHL history age 35 or older to conclude a season averaging at least one point per game (min. 50 GP); he would join Boston’s Ray Bourque in 1995-96 (20-62—82 in 82 GP) and Detroit’s Nicklas Lidstrom in 2005-06 (16-64—80 in 80 GP).
LITTLE REACHES 500-POINT MILESTONE AS JETS CLIMB CENTRAL DIVISION
Bryan Little scored the game-winning goal in the second period to reach the 500-point milestone (209-291—500 in 798 GP) and help the Jets improve to 7-2-0 in their last nine home contests. Winnipeg moved to 28-14-2 (58 points) overall this season and surpassed Nashville (27-15-4, 58 points) for first place in the Central Division standings.
* Little, who selected by Atlanta with the 12th overall pick in the 2006 NHL Draft, became the third player to record 500 career regular-season points with the Jets/Thrashers franchise, joining Ilya Kovalchuk (328-287—615 in 594 GP) and Blake Wheeler (180-372—552 in 601 GP).
* Laurent Brossoit (33 saves) improved to 9-1-1 this season (2.10 GAA, .939 SV%, 1 SO), including wins in each of his last six appearances dating to Nov. 24 (2.47 GAA, .930 SV%, 1 SO).
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McDAVID SET TO SKATE IN FINAL GAME AHEAD OF 22ND BIRTHDAY
Fresh off his 37th career three-point performance on Thursday, Saturday will mark Oilers captain Connor McDavid’s final game before celebrating his 22nd birthday on Jan. 13. McDavid sits tied for fourth in scoring this season (26-40—66 in 43 GP) and trails only five players in NHL history for most points prior to turning 22 years of age.
* Despite missing 37 games in his rookie campaign, McDavid leads the NHL with 235 even-strength points since the start of the 2015-16 season. He has 46 such points so far this season, second in the League behind Calgary’s Johnny Gaudreau (47).
RANTANEN SETS SIGHTS ON ANOTHER BENCHMARK SATURDAY
Mikko Rantanen (20-48—68 in 44 GP) and the Avalanche (20-16-8, 48 points) travel to Montreal to take on the Canadiens (23-17-5, 51 points) at Bell Centre.
* An Avalanche/Nordiques player has accumulated 50 assists in 50 or fewer team games only four times in franchise history; Peter Stastny accounts for three of those instances (1981-82: 46 GP, 1983-84: 47 GP and 1985-86: 48 personal GP, 50 team GP), while Peter Forsberg has the other (1995-96: 47 GP).
* Rantanen, who posted 29-55—84 last season (81 GP), has collected at least one point in seven of his last eight games and sits two assists shy of 50 in 2018-19. The last Avalanche player to record at least 50 assists in consecutive campaigns was Joe Sakic, who did so in three straight seasons from 2003-04 to 2006-07.
SKILLED YOUTH TAKES CENTER STAGE AT SCOTIABANK ARENA
Atlantic Division rivals are set to square off when Mitch Marner (21 years, 252 days) and the Maple Leafs (28-13-2, 58 points) host David Pastrnak (22 years, 232 days) and the Bruins (25-15-4, 54 points) at Scotiabank Arena.
* Toronto holds the second seed in the Atlantic Division and are led by Marner’s 57 points in 2018-19 (16-41—57 in 43 GP). Only three players in Maple Leafs franchise history have recorded 60 points within the club’s opening 45 games of a season: Lorne Carr (39 GP in 1943-44), Darryl Sittler (40 GP in 1977-78) and Doug Gilmour (41 GP in 1992-93).
* Pastrnak (25-27—52) leads Boston in goals and points this season, which currently sits third in the Atlantic Division. He has recorded multiple points in both meetings against Toronto in 2018-19 (2-2—4), while collecting 15-16—31 in 21 career games against Toronto (including playoffs). His career points per game average of 1.47 against the Maple Leafs ranks second all-time among Bruins players behind Phil Esposito (1.52 P/GP).