NHL Recap October 4 2019
JETS SOAR TO VICTORY AFTER STAGING FOUR-GOAL COMEBACK
A night after falling short in a back-and-forth affair with the Rangers that featured four game-tying goals (three by Winnipeg), Blake Wheeler netted the shootout winner as the Jets erased a four-goal deficit to spoil the Devils season opener.
Friday’s contest marked the second time in Jets/Thrashers franchise history the team overcame a four-goal deficit to win. The other: Oct. 19, 2016 vs. TOR. That contest featured the first-ever head-to-head matchup between Auston Matthews and Patrik Laine, with the latter completing his first career hat trick 2:40 into overtime.
Wheeler, who tallied two game-tying goals in the second period on Thursday against New York, nearly played the role of hero in regulation against New Jersey after hitting two posts in the final 10 seconds of the third period. He capped the Jets comeback in the fourth round of the shootout Friday.
The Jets became the 32nd road team in NHL history to overcome a deficit of at least four goals to win and second in as many seasons after the Ducks accomplished the feat against the Capitals on Dec. 2, 2018.
The NHL featured 138 multi-goal comeback wins last season, a single-season League record. Meanwhile, the 525 comeback wins in 2018-19 were the second-most in League history (2005-06: 537).
KONECNY NETS A PAIR AS FLYERS OPEN SEASON WITH GLOBAL SERIES WIN
Travis Konecny (2-0—2) scored two goals to propel the Flyers to a season-opening victory at the O2 Arena in Prague, Czech Republic, marking the franchise’s first appearance and win in a regular-season game contested outside of North America.
The victory marked the fourth consecutive season-opening win for the Flyers, tied with the Avalanche (4-0-0) for the second longest active streak, behind only the Lightning (6-0-0).
Konecny’s multi-goal outing was the 19th by an NHL player in a regular-season game played outside North America (32 GP). Only two skaters have netted a hat trick in a regular-season game contested overseas: Theo Fleury (3-2—5 on Oct. 10, 1998 in Tokyo, Japan) and Patrik Laine (3-0—3 on Nov. 1, 2018 in Helsinki, Finland).
New Flyers bench boss Alain Vigneault became the first head coach to win in his debut with a franchise when that game is contested overseas. Four other coaches earned their first win with a franchise in a game contested overseas – but none did so in their first game (Pierre Page w/ ANA on Oct. 4, 1997; Ivan Hlinka w/ PIT on Oct. 7, 2000; Craig Hartsburg w/ OTT on Oct. 5, 2008; Scott Arniel w/ CBJ on Oct. 9, 2010).
GLOBAL SERIES QUICK HITS:
Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane (1-2—3) and defenseman Duncan Keith (0-1—1) have now each recorded a point in a regular-season game in four different countries.
Blackhawks forward Dominik Kubalik (Plzen, Czech Republic) became the first player to make his NHL debut in his home country in a regular-season game played outside North America.
Attendance for the first of three 2019 Global Series games this season was 17,463 – a sellout and a hockey record for the O2 Arena in Prague. The Lightning and Sabres will contest the final two on Nov. 8 and 9 at Ericsson Globe in Stockholm, Sweden.
Hockey Hall of Fame goaltender and Czech hockey legend Dominik Hasek, who captured the Vezina Trophy six times and the Hart Trophy twice, dropped the ceremonial first puck with countrymen Jakub Voracek (Kladno) and David Kampf (Chomutov) as participants.
GOLDEN KNIGHTS SWEEP HOME-AND-HOME SERIES WITH SHARKS
After defeating the Sharks 4-1 at T-Mobile Arena on the NHL’s opening night, the Golden Knights offense struck for five goals – including two shorthanded tallies – on Friday to sweep a home-and-home set with their Pacific-Division rivals to begin 2019-20.
Vegas recorded the 14th instance of a team scoring a shorthanded goal in each of its first two games to begin a season. Of those instances, only three clubs extended their streak to three contests: DET (1990-91), VAN (1995-96) and NJD (2017-18).
Additionally, the Golden Knights’ three shorthanded goals through their first two games to begin 2019-20 matched the highest such total by a team in NHL history, previously accomplished by the Red Wings (2001-02), Oilers (1983-84) and Rangers (1983-84).
MORE HIGHLIGHTS FROM FRIDAY’S ACTION
Auston Matthews scored for the second time in as many games to start 2019-20 and has tallied 28 goals in 34 career games contested in the month of October. His goals-per-game average of 0.82 in that span is the second-highest total in NHL history (min. 25 GP).
Jack Hughes (18 years, 143 days) made his highly-anticipated debut and became the second-youngest player in Devils/Scouts/Rockies franchise history to skate in a season-opening game (15:12 TOI, 1 SOG), trailing only Craig Wolanin (18 years, 75 days on Oct. 10, 1985).
Blue Jackets forward Cam Atkinson extended his streak of season-opening games with a goal to six – tying Mud Bruneteau (6; 1940-41—1945-46 w/ DET) and Yvon Cournoyer (6; 1973-74—1978-79 w/ MTL) for the longest such run in NHL history.
FIRST SATURDAY OF THE SEASON FEATURES GAME 7 REMATCHES
Saturday’s 13-game slate is highlighted by a pair of playoff rematches – with both contests seeing teams face each other for the first time since Game 7 – as the Hurricanes and Capitals square off at Capital One Arena and the Stars and Blues clash at Enterprise Center.
The Hurricanes return to the scene where Brock McGinn scored in double overtime to eliminate the Metropolitan Division champion Capitals and end the third-longest Game 7 in NHL history. Carolina’s Game 7 win capped an unforgettable start to the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs in which all division winners were eliminated in the opening round for the first time in NHL history.
Meanwhile, the Blues host the Stars for the first time since Pat Maroon (now a member of the Lightning) played the role of hometown hero – scoring 5:50 into the second overtime – to help St. Louis eliminate Dallas in seven games and advance to the Western Conference Final.