NHL Review February 17, 2021
AVALANCHE OUST GOLDEN KNIGHTS AHEAD OF LAKE TAHOE OUTDOOR GAME
After Brandon Saad (1-1—2) helped Colorado take two separate leads, Nazem Kadri (1-0—1) scored the game-winning goal with 41 seconds remaining in regulation as the Avalanche earned a win in their final matchup against the Golden Knights before the two teams meet at Lake Tahoe for Bridgestone NHL Outdoors Saturday.
Both Saad and Kadri travel to Lake Tahoe with the most experience in NHL outdoor games on the Avalanche roster. Saad collected 1-1—2 in three games with Chicago, while Kadri had one goal in three contests with Toronto.
Kadri is no stranger to scoring late go-ahead goals, after solidifying a win on Aug. 2 during the 2020 Stanley Cup Qualifiers (59:59). He became the first player in Avalanche/Nordiques history to record multiple go-ahead goals in the final minute of regulation (regular season and playoffs).
SHARANGOVICH, BLACKWOOD PROPEL DEVILS OVER RANGERS
Yegor Sharangovich (1-0—1) scored one of New Jersey’s three third-period goals in the final 10 minutes of regulation and Mackenzie Blackwood made 37 saves as the Devils improved to 2-0-0 vs. the Rangers in 2020-21.
Sharangovich, who netted the game-winning goal Tuesday after also doing so in overtime on Jan. 16 with his first NHL goal, became the seventh player in franchise history to have each of his first two regular-season goals stand as game winners.
Blackwood improved to 3-0-1 in 2020-21, including three straight wins and a 47-save performance in his last outing on Jan. 19 (also at NYR). Only three goaltenders in Devils/Scouts/Rockies history have registered a longer season-opening point streak: Martin Brodeur (3-0-2 in 2012-13), Chris Terreri (5-0-0 in 1993-94) and Glenn Resch (3-0-2 in 1982-83).
SOROKIN’S FIRST CAREER SHUTOUT BACKSTOPS ISLANDERS TO VICTORY
Jean-Gabriel Pageau (1-1—2) factored on two of three Islanders goals and 25-year-old rookie goaltender Ilya Sorokin (20 saves) recorded his first career shutout as New York extended its point streak to eight games (5-0-3).
Sorokin, who led the KHL in shutouts in each of the last two seasons (11 in 2018-19 & 9 in 2019-20) and earned KHL Playoffs MVP in 2018-19, became just the seventh rookie goaltender in Islanders history to post a regular-season shutout. Only two have posted multiple such performances with the franchise.
He also joined Anders Nilsson (March 4, 2012) as just the second goaltender in Islanders history to record a shutout in his first career regular-season win. Overall, three other goaltenders over the last two seasons have accomplished the feat: Florida’s Chris Driedger (Nov. 30, 2019), St. Louis’ Jordan Binnington (Jan. 7, 2019) and Anaheim’s Kevin Boyle (Feb. 13, 2019).
WHILE QUICK BLANKS THE WILD FOR THE FIRST TIME
Rookie Jaret Anderson-Dolan (1-1—2) recorded his second multi-point outing in as many games and veteran Jonathan Quick turned aside all 28 shots he faced to help the Kings extend their home point streak against the Wild to five games dating to Nov. 12, 2019 (3-0-2).
Quick, who holds the Kings’ franchise record with 53 shutouts, blanked the Wild for the first time in his career. He has now recorded a shutout against 23 different franchises. Only three active goaltenders have done so against more: Marc-Andre Fleury (26), Tuukka Rask (25) and Jaroslav Halak (25).
NATIONAL BROADCASTS PUT FOCUS ON REMATCHES
Wednesday will start with an early battle for division supremacy in the Discover Central Division followed by a pair of rematches broadcast nationally in both the U.S. and Canada.
A doubleheader on NBCSN will open with an Original Six showdown between the Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings after Chicago squeaked out a 3-2 overtime win on Monday and finish with a Scotia North Division matchup between the Jets and Oilers after Winnipeg secured a high-scoring 6-5 victory Monday.
In Canada, the Maple Leafs will host the Senators in the second of three straight ‘Battle of Ontario’ matchups on Sportsnet and TVA Sports after Ottawa rallied from a four-goal deficit to win for the first time in franchise history Monday. That will be followed by the fourth straight game between the Canucks and Flames – Calgary has won two of the previous three including an overtime victory Monday.
RACE FOR FIRST IN DISCOVER CENTRAL DIVISION HEATS UP
An early 5:00 p.m. ET start will see the Panthers (9-2-2, 20 points) visit the Hurricanes (10-3-0, 20 points) – the winner will leapfrog the idle Lightning (10-3-1, 21 points) for the top spot in the Discover Central Division standings. With a win tonight, the Blackhawks (8-5-4, 20 points) would also have 22 points but cannot overtake first place based on the games played tiebreaker.
This will mark the first meeting of the 2020-21 campaign between Florida and Carolina, one of 15 head-to-head matchups we have yet to see this season. The Hurricanes had a slight edge in the season series in 2019-20 with a 2-1-0 mark (FLA: 1-2-0).
Did You Know? Three teams in the Discover Central Division currently sit with a points percentage of .700 or more – no other division has more than one.
McDAVID ONE POINT FROM 500
Oilers forward Connor McDavid, who has recorded at least one point in 14 of 17 appearances this season including a League-leading nine multi-point outings, enters Wednesday’s contest against the Jets one shy of the 500-point milestone.
McDavid (171-328—499 in 368 GP) can tie Sidney Crosby (369 GP) for the fewest games by an active player to reach 500 career points. Only one other active skater reached the milestone prior to their 400th game: Alex Ovechkin (373). Should he reach the mark tonight, McDavid would be tied for the eighth fastest in NHL history to reach 500 points – a list topped by Oilers legend Wayne Gretzky (234 GP).