NHL Recap October 8 2019
NEAL NETS FOUR GOALS AS HIS SCORING RESURGENCE CONTINUES
James Neal (4-0—4), acquired by the Oilers in a trade with the provincial-rival Flames on July 19, netted the NHL’s second four-goal game in three nights to propel the Oilers to a 3-0-0 record. He stands as the only active NHL player to score at least one hat trick with four different franchises (also Pittsburgh: 3, Nashville: 2 and Dallas: 1).
Neal’s career outing boosted his 2019-20 goal totals to 6-0—6 in 3 GP, the most by an Oilers player through his first three games with the franchise. Playing in his 12th NHL season, Neal sits one shy of matching his 63-game total with the Flames in 2018-19 (7-12—19).
With 10 20-goal seasons on his resume, Neal became the third different player in Oilers franchise history to score four goals in a regular-season road game. The others: Wayne Gretzky (5x), Paul Coffey (Dec. 26, 1984 at CGY) and Alexander Selivanov (Nov. 14, 1999 at CHI).
Neal registered the NHL’s second four-goal performance of the season, doing so just two nights after Anthony Mantha accomplished the feat with the Red Wings (Oct. 6). The 2019-20 campaign is just the fifth in NHL history to feature two such outings through the first seven days.
18-YEAR-OLD HEINOLA SCORES FIRST NHL GOAL
Defensemen accounted for three of four unanswered Jets goals, including 18-year-old Ville Heinola’s first in the NHL, as Winnipeg earned its first road win in Pittsburgh since Dec. 27, 2006 (as ATL) to snap an 18-game winless streak against the club.
Heinola, selected with the 20th overall pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, became the second 18-year-old defenseman in Jets/Thrashers franchise history to score his first NHL goal, joining Zach Bogosian (Jan. 17, 2009).
After spending the majority of 2018-19 with Lukko of the Finnish Elite League (2-12—14 in 34 regular-season games), Heinola (1-2—3) sits tied for second in rookie scoring and became the first player from the 2019 NHL Draft to score this season.
HURRICANES SCORE EARLY AND OFTEN, MOVE TO 4-0-0
After overcoming a deficit in each of their first three games to begin the season, the Hurricanes benefited from four different goal scorers in the first period en route to matching the best start to a season in franchise history (also 4-0-0 in 1995-96 as the Hartford Whalers).
Tuesday’s contest marked the third time in Hurricanes team history they scored at least four goals in the first period (also April 6, 2010 at TBL and March 4, 2006 at PIT), with all of which occurring on the road. Additionally, current head coach Rod Brind’Amour contributed a first-period tally in each of those previous instances.
WHILE DUCKS, BRUINS REMAIN UNDEFEATED AS WELL
The Ducks and Bruins also benefited from stretches of consecutive goals to overcome respective deficits and remain undefeated in 2019-20:
The Ducks scored three third-period goals to improve to 3-0-0 – allowing one goal against in each game – and match the longest season-opening win streak in franchise history (also 3-0-0 in 2006-07). John Gibson, who has started each of Anaheim’s first three games and has turned aside 98 of 101 shots, sits tied for the highest career save percentage (.922) among goaltenders with at least 200 games played.
After the Bruins trailed 2-0 midway through the first period, Brad Marchand (2-1—3) factored on three of four unanswered Boston goals to lift his club to its third straight win to start the season. The 2019-20 campaign marks the first time in franchise history the Bruins have won each of their first three games of a season-opening road trip.
YANDLE SKATES IN 800TH CONSECUTIVE CONTEST
After establishing single-season franchise records for assists (53) and points (62) in 2018-19, Panthers defenseman Keith Yandle scored his first goal of 2019-20 while skating in his 800th consecutive game. Yandle, who holds the League’s longest active ‘Ironman’ streak, became the fifth player in NHL history to appear in 800 straight contests.
PREVIEW OF TODAY’S ACTION – CANUCKS TO NAME CAPTAIN, CELEBRATE 50TH ANNIVERSARY SEASON
The Canucks host the Kings at Rogers Arena in Vancouver – the home opener for their 50th Anniversary Season. The date and opponent are the same as the franchise’s NHL debut at Los Angeles’ Pacific Coliseum on Oct. 9, 1970 (LAK: 3-1 W).
Vancouver has 111 regular-season wins against Los Angeles, their highest such total against any club (including a high of 65 wins on home ice).
The Canucks are set to name a new captain during the pre-game ceremony – exactly 49 years after Orland Kurtenbach wore the “C” in the team’s first game. Kurtenbach was captain in each of his four seasons with the club before retiring in 1973-74.
Two eventual Canucks captains (Kurtenbach and Andre Boudrais) skated in that inaugural game, as did two eventual team head coaches (Kurtenbach and Pat Quinn).
The announcement will mark Vancouver’s first captain since Henrik Sedin’s eight-season run from 2010-11 to 2017-18.
SIMMONDS RETURNS TO PHILADELPHIA FOR FIRST TIME
Devils forward Wayne Simmonds returns to Philadelphia for the first time since the Flyers traded him to the Predators on Feb. 25, 2019. Simmonds recorded 203-175—378 in 584 regular-season contests with Philadelphia from 2011-12 to 2018-19 – no Flyers skater scored more goals than Simmonds over that span.