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NHL Recap January 7 2020

Columbus Blue Jackets CAM ATKINSON. Photo by Tim Jarrold - In Play! magazine

NHL Recap January 7 2020

WERENSKI JOINS ELITE COMPANY WITH ANOTHER MULTI-GOAL GAME
Zach Werenski (2-0—2) recorded his third multi-goal game in five contests, including the game-winning goal, to help the Blue Jackets (21-15-8, 50 points) extend their road point streak to nine games (6-0-3) and move into a tie in terms of points with the Flyers (22-15- 6, 50 points) for the second Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference.

Werenski (15-13—28) – who overtook the NHL’s goal lead among defensemen – became just the third different blueliner in the NHL’s expansion era (since 1967-68) to register three multi-goal outings in a span of five team games, joining Hockey Hall of Fame members Paul Coffey (3x in 1985-86 and 2x in 1984-85 w/ EDM) and Bobby Orr (Jan. 31 – Feb. 9, 1971 w/ BOS).

The Blue Jackets, who were last in a playoff position on Oct. 25, 2019, have posted both a win and point streak of five and 12 games, respectively, since Dec. 9. Columbus has re-entered playoff contention without the help of nine skaters who possess a combined 2,389 games of NHL regular-season experience: Brandon Dubinsky (823 GP), Cam Atkinson (562 GP), Ryan Murray (344 GP GP), Josh Anderson (267 GP), Oliver Bjorkstrand (233 GP), Joonas Korpisalo (122 GP) and Alexandre Texier (38 GP).

LIGHTNING ERUPT FOR NINE GOALS IN SHOWDOWN OF STREAKING CLUBS

Brayden Point (1-3—4) registered his second four-point game of the season and Carter Verhaeghe (3-0—3) scored his first career-hat trick as the Lightning (25-13-4, 54 points) erupted for nine goals in the NHL’s second-ever showdown between two clubs with win streaks of at least seven games.

The Lightning, who matched a franchise record for goals in a regular-season game, accomplished the feat for the second time in 2019-20 after initially doing so on Nov. 14, 2019 vs. the Rangers.

A matchup between the League’s two surging clubs also produced the 30th game of 2019-20 with 11 combined goals. The Penguins and Canucks (Nov. 27, 2019), as well as the Maple Leafs and Hurricanes (Dec. 23, 2019) hold the highest such total of the season (14).

Tampa Bay’s offensive outburst Tuesday was highlighted by a six-goal second period, which matched its franchise record for most in a single period. Two other teams have tallied a six-goal frame in 2019-20: Colorado (Nov. 7, 2019 vs. NSH) and Pittsburgh (Nov. 27, 2019 vs. VAN).

Point, who recorded his first four-point outing of the season in the Lightning’s first game of their current win streak (1-3—4 on Dec. 23 vs. FLA), leads the club in scoring through their eight-game run. Point collected three second-period assists to match the franchise record for most in a single period – a feat also accomplished by Victor Hedman earlier this season (Dec. 28).

Tampa Bay has earned eight consecutive wins for the fifth time in franchise history and moved within two of the club record set during its unprecedented run in 2018-19 (10-0-0 from Feb. 9-27, 2019).

OVECHKIN CLIMBS ALL-TIME GOALS LIST IN CAPITALS’ 30TH WIN
Alex Ovechkin netted his 138th multi-goal game and Ilya Samsonov turned aside 26 shots as the Capitals (30-9-5, 65 points) became the first team to 30 wins in 2019-20. His 683rd and 684th career regular-season tallies moved the 34-year-old veteran into a tie with Teemu Selanne (684-773—1,457 in 1,451 GP) for 11th on the NHL’s all-time list.

Ovechkin (684-569—1,253 in 1,128 GP), continuing his journey to become the eighth player in NHL history to score 700 regular-season goals, also moved within one multi-goal performance of tying Marcel Dionne (139 in 1,348 GP) for sixth on the NHL’s all-time list.

Samsonov, a 22-year-old from Magnitogorsk, Russia, has earned a win in each of his last seven starts dating to Nov. 30 (1.83 GAA, .932 SV%). His current stretch marks the second-longest run by a rookie goaltender in Capitals history, trailing only Bob Mason (8-0-0 from Dec. 2, 1984 – Jan. 17, 1985).

After overcoming a multi-goal deficit in the final minute of regulation Sunday against the Sharks, the League-leading Capitals rallied from an early one-goal deficit Tuesday and required the second fewest games to reach the 30-win benchmark in a season in franchise history (44 GP) – trailing only 2015-16 (40 GP).

STREAKING PASTRNAK HELPS BRUINS TOPPLE JOSI, PREDATORS
Bruins forward David Pastrnak (1-0—1) scored the first of six Bruins goals and counterpart Roman Josi (0-1—1) also found the score sheet as the League’s longest active point streaks were extended Tuesday.

Pastrnak scored the first goal of the contest to extend his point streak to 11 contests dating to Dec. 14 (6-10—16). The 23-year-old forward has factored on the opening goal of a game for the sixth straight contest, joining rare company in the process.

Josi, who established the longest point streak by defenseman in Predators franchise history Sunday, also stretched his current run to 11 games dating to Dec. 16 (7-12—19). The nine-season NHL veteran (all w/ NSH) tied Sergei Kostitsyn (11 GP in 2010-11) for the second-longest streak by any Predators player – trailing only J-P Dumont (16 GP in 2007-08).

BINNINGTON COMES FULL CIRCLE, COLLECTS WIN ON ONE-YEAR ANNIVERSARY
Jordan Binnington turned aside 27 shots to backstop the Blues (27-10-7, 61 points) to their sixth straight home win as St. Louis became the first Western Conference team to collect 60 standings points. Binnington’s 20th win of 2019-20 came a year to the day of his first NHL start.

PANARIN SHINES AS 24-YEAR-OLD SHESTERKIN WINS NHL DEBUT
After the Rangers erased a two-goal first-period deficit, Artemi Panarin (1-2—3) collected his second three-point outing in as many home games to help 24-year-old rookie goaltender Igor Shesterkin (29 saves) win his NHL debut.

Panarin, two points shy of reaching the 60-point mark (23-35—58 in 42 GP), also registered 1-2—3 against the Hurricanes on Dec. 27. Only three players in Rangers history have at least three points in three or more consecutive home games: Andy Bathgate (4 GP in 1961-62 and 3 GP in 1957-58), Bill Cook (3 GP from 1929-30) and Frank Boucher (3 GP from 1929-30).

Shesterkin, selected by the Rangers in the fourth round (118th overall) of the 2014 NHL Draft, turned aside all 13 shots he faced in the third period and became the franchise’s fifth goaltender in the last 40 years to win his NHL debut with the club. The others: Mackenzie Skapski (Feb. 20, 2015), Dan Cloutier (Jan. 3, 1998), Mike Richter (Oct. 19, 1989) and John Vanbiesbrouck (Dec. 5, 1981).

NO LEAD IS SAFE ON A TUESDAY NIGHT
The Coyotes (25-16-4, 54 points) and Hurricanes (25-16-2, 52 points) each benefited from five-goal performances and were two of nine teams to register a comeback win Tuesday.

At least nine teams registered a comeback win on the same night for the second time in 2019-20, after 10 of 13 contests featured a team rally to victory on Nov. 27, 2019. Tuesday’s 12-game slate fell two such instances shy of the League’s single-day high accomplished on Oct. 29, 2005 (11).

Phil Kessel (0-3—3) assisted on Taylor Hall’s (1-1—2) game-winning goal as the Coyotes scored four unanswered tallies to maintain their position atop the Pacific Division and earn their first win at BB&T Center since March 11, 2014. Kessel, who was acquired by Arizona in the offseason, collected his ninth career game with three assists and first with his new club.

After the Flyers and Hurricanes traded two-goal leads respectively, Dougie Hamilton scored the overtime winner in a matchup between two club jockeying for position in the Metropolitan Division. Hamilton, who leads all defensemen with 32 goals since the start of 2018-19, trails only Anton Babchuk (3) for the most overtime goals by a blueliner in Hurricanes/Whalers history.

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