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NHL Recap January 8 2020

NHL Recap January 8 2020

SCHEIFELE, JETS WITHSTAND MATTHEWS’ 30TH, 31ST GOALS

Auston Matthews (2-0—2) scored two game-tying goals, including one with 14 seconds remaining in regulation after Mark Scheifele (1-0—1) gave the Jets the lead in the second period, but Blake Wheeler tallied the decisive marker in the shootout to lead Winnipeg to its 14th road win of 2019-20.

Scheifele has scored in four of his last five games (4-5—9) and now sits one point shy of becoming the 12th player to reach the 50-point mark in 2019-20 (21-28—49 in 44 GP). Winnipeg’s 26-year-old forward has tallied the second-most goals among all players since Dec. 1, 2019 (12-13—25 in 17 GP), trailing only Wednesday’s opponent: Matthews (15-8—23 in 17 GP).

The Jets improved to 3-0-1 in their last four road games and hold a 14-7-2 record as the visitor this season. Their 14 road victories are tied with the Coyotes (14-6-3) and Avalanche (14-8-2) for the most among Western Conference clubs in 2019-20. Only the League-leading Capitals (17-6-1) have registered more.

Matthews (31-23—54 in 45 GP) scored his 30th and 31st goals to reach the 30-goal mark for the fourth straight season to begin his career. The 22-year-old forward became the 16th player in NHL history to reach the benchmark in each of his first four campaigns and joined Alex Ovechkin (14) as the only active players to accomplish the feat.

The native of San Ramon, Calif. became the sixth different player in franchise history to score 30-plus goals in four or more consecutive seasons and first to do so from the start of his tenure with Toronto (NHL debut or otherwise).

Matthews, with 24 goals at Scotiabank Arena in 2019-20, became the first player to score as many home goals through their first 22 home games of a season since Cam Neely (27 in 1993-94 w/ BOS) in 1993-94. Meanwhile, Charlie Conacher (27 in 1933-34) is the only player in Maple Leafs history with more in that span.

STARS RALLY AGAIN, CAPTURE FIFTH STRAIGHT WIN
Jamie Benn tied the game and Blake Comeau gave the Stars the lead 37 seconds later as Dallas (25-14-4, 54 points in 43 GP) captured its fifth straight comeback win and overtook the Avalanche (25-15-4, 54 points in 44 GP) for second place in the Central Division.

Dallas has overcome a deficit in every contest since Dec. 28 vs. Colorado and matched its franchise record for longest run of consecutive comeback wins (also 5-0-0 from Jan. 23-30, 2006).

In a show of depth, a different player has risen to the occasion and scored a game-tying goal in each contest during the Stars’ current streak: Denis Gurianov (Dec. 28 vs. COL), Alexander Radulov (Dec. 29 at ARI), Mattias Janmark (Jan. 1 vs, NSH), Roope Hintz (Jan. 3 vs. DET) and Benn (Jan. 8).

FLYERS KEEP PACE IN TIGHTLY-CONTESTED METROPOLITAN DIVISION

Travis Konecny opened the scoring and Kevin Hayes scored the game-winning goal as the Flyers (23-15-6, 52 points) edged the League-leading Capitals (30-10-5, 65 points) at Wells Fargo Center. Philadelphia snapped a five-game winless skid against Washington dating to Jan. 8, 2019 (PHI: 0-4-1).

Konecny extended his home point streak to five contests (2-5—7). It marked his fourth career run of at least that length and second of 2019-20 (6 GP in 2018-19, 6 GP in 2017-18 and 5 GP in 2019-20). Konecny (9-11—20 in 20 GP) is joined by teammate Sean Couturier (8-12—20 in 20 GP) among Flyers players to average at least a point-per-game at home this season.

The Flyers find themselves among five Metropolitan Division clubs separated by seven standings points: Islanders (27-12-3, 57 points), Penguins (26-12-5, 57 points), Hurricanes (25-16-2, 52 points) and Blue Jackets (21-15-8, 50 points).

PREVIEW OF TODAY’S ACTION – McDAVID EYES 70TH POINT AS OILERS VISIT CANADIENS
Three days after scoring a highlight-reel goal in Toronto, Connor McDavid leads the Oilers (23-17-5, 51 points) into the Bell Centre as they face off against the Canadiens (18-19-7, 43 points)

McDavid, in pursuit of his third Art Ross Trophy in the last four years (a feat accomplished by only six different players in NHL history), needs one point to boost his League-leading total to 70 on the season (24-45—69 in 45 GP).

The Oilers captain can reach the 70-point mark in 46 games or fewer for the second time in as many seasons after posting 29-41—70 through 46 contests in 2018-19. The last NHL player to achieve the feat in consecutive seasons was Jaromir Jagr with the Penguins in 1998-99 (46 GP) and 1999-00 (38 GP).

PASTRNAK SETS SIGHTS ON NHL FIRST
David Pastrnak puts his 11-game point streak (6-10—16) on the line when the Bruins (25-8-11, 61 points) host the Jets (24-16-4, 52 points). His 11-game stretch currently sits tied with Predators defensemen Roman Josi (7-12—19 in 11 GP) – also in action Thursday – for the NHL’s longest active run.

Pastrnak’s 11-game point streak also includes factoring on the game’s opening goal in each of Boston’s last six contests dating to Dec. 27 at Buffalo. The 23-year-old forward can become the first player in NHL history to factor on a game-opening goal in seven consecutive team games.

The NHL’s leading goal scorer in 2019-20 can also register a point streak of at least 12 games for the second time this season after stringing together a 13-game run from Oct. 8 – Nov. 5, 2019. The last Bruins players to register multiple such stretches in a single campaign were Phil Esposito (15 GP, 13 GP and 13 GP) and Bobby Orr (15 GP and 12 GP) in 1973-74.

PANARIN LOOKS TO CONTINUE 100-POINT PACE WITH RANGERS IN 2019-20
Artemi Panarin (23-35—58 in 42 GP), with at least three points in each of his last two home games, enters Thursday’s contest against the Devils as one of nine players on pace to reach the century mark in 2019-20.

With another outing of three or more points, Panarin can join 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) as the fourth player in Rangers history to achieve the feat in three or more consecutive home contests.

Canadiens’ Cousins Fined for Boarding

Montreal Canadiens forward Nick Cousins has been fined $2,688.17, the maximum allowable under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, for boarding Detroit Red Wings defenseman Mike Green during NHL Game No. 669 in Detroit on Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020. The incident occurred at 12:11 of the first period. Cousins was assessed a minor penalty for cross-checking. The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.

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