NHL Review February 22, 2021

NHL Review February 21 2021
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NHL Review February 22, 2021


David Pastrnak scored in the opening minute in both the first and second period and completed the second hat trick in NHL outdoor game history in the final frame as the Bruins closed the NHL Outdoors at Lake Tahoe weekend with a 7-3 victory against the Flyers. The 10 combined goals equaled the League benchmark for most in an outdoor game, with Boston matching the highest total by one team outdoors.

Boston improved to 3-1-0 in four all-time regular-season outdoor games and extended its win and point streaks against Philadelphia to six and nine games (6-0-3), respectively. The Bruins’ only longer win streak against the Flyers was a 15-game stretch that spanned from Oct. 25, 1970 to Dec. 17, 1972 – part of a 27-game point streak against the club (23-0-4) from Nov. 27, 1969 to Feb. 9, 1974 that stands as the only one longer than their current nine-game run.

The Bruins’ streaks include a 5-0-0 record in 2020-21, marking the third time in the head-to-head series that either team has claimed five victories against the other in one regular season – the Bruins were 6-0-0 against the Flyers in both 1970-71 and 1971-72.

Sunday was the sixth time that Boston scored at least seven goals in a regular-season game against Philadelphia, with only one other instance coming in the last 28 years.


After scoring his first hat trick of the season on Feb. 3 – also against the Flyers – David Pastrnak joined Tyler Toffoli (2020 Stadium Series w/ LAK vs. COL) as the second player to score at least three goals in an outdoor game.

Pastrnak and the Bruins generated buzz with their pre-game attire and then promptly started the scoring just 34 seconds after the opening face-off to mark the second-fastest goal to begin an NHL regular-season outdoor game.

Pastrnak, 24, scored his 10th career regular-season hat trick to tie John Tavares for fifth among active NHL players behind Alex Ovechkin (27), Eric Staal (14), Evgeni Malkin (12) and Sidney Crosby (11). Pastrnak, who leads the NHL with six such performances since the start of last season, has played between 434 and 855 fewer career games than each of those players.

Pastrnak, who will celebrate his 25th birthday May 25, trails only six players in NHL history for career regular-season hat tricks before age 25.

Pastrnak joined Phil Esposito as the second player in Bruins history with multiple career hat tricks against the Flyers. Pastrnak (6 G in 3 GP) and Esposito (1971-72: 9 G in 6 GP) are the only players on either side of the 53-season Flyers-Bruins rivalry to score at least six goals against the other club within one regular season.

Brad Marchand collected two assists, including one on Pastrnak’s opening tally, before taking to Twitter to share his excitement about playing outdoors.


The 32 outdoor NHL games have been hosted by football venues (19 GP), baseball parks (10 GP), a golf course (2 GP) and a soccer stadium (1 GP).

Teams that score the first goal improved to 18-9-5 in the NHL’s 32 outdoor games, including a 2-0-0 record this weekend.

The Bruins (2) and Flyers (2) combined for four goals in the opening 20 minutes, one shy of the most in the first period of an NHL outdoor game.

Home teams swept the NHL Outdoors at Lake Tahoe series to improve to 15-14-3 in the League’s 32 outdoor games (road teams: 17-11-4).

Bruins forward Trent Frederic became the third player to score his first NHL goal outdoors.

Alain Vigneault, who was serving his 1,300th regular-season game as an NHL head coach, suffered his first loss in an NHL outdoor game (3-1-0 in 4 GC). He joined Joel Quenneville (5 GC; 1-4-0), Mike Babcock (4 GC; 2-1-1) and Claude Julien (4 GC; 2-2-0) as the fourth head coach to serve in at least four outdoor games.

Philadelphia’s Carter Hart (22 years, 192 days) became the youngest goaltender to play in an NHL outdoor game.

James van Riemsdyk (1-2—3) skated in his seventh career outdoor game, the most in NHL history, and boosted his totals to 3-3—6 in those contests. Five players who skated at Lake Tahoe this weekend rank among the top scorers through the NHL’s 32 all-time outdoor games.


Alex Ovechkin scored the last of the Capitals’ four consecutive goals as Washington overcame a 2-0 deficit to edge New Jersey at Capital One Arena – one year ago today, Ovechkin also tallied against the Devils to become the eighth member of the NHL’s 700-goal club.

Ovechkin’s winner was the 262nd power-play goal of his NHL career, moving him within three of tying Brett Hull (265) for second place on the League’s all-time list. He also inched closer to matching Phil Esposito on the NHL’s all-time goals list as well as the all-time game-winning goals list.


Travis Zajac became the fourth player to appear in 1,000 regular-season games with the Devils/Rockies/Scouts franchise, following Ken Daneyko (1,283 GP), Martin Brodeur (1,259 GP) and Patrik Elias (1,240 GP). New Jersey is now the seventh NHL franchise – and second non-Original Six member – to have at least four players appear in 1,000 or more games with the club.


The Hurricanes (12-3-1, 25 points), Islanders (8-6-3, 19 points) and Kings (7-6-3, 17 points) aim to extend streaks Monday.

Carolina, which owns the most points in the Discover Central Division standings, carries a season-opening home point streak of seven games (6-0-1) into its rematch with the defending Stanley Cup champions. The Hurricanes can set a franchise record for longest home point streak from the start of the season; their current run is tied with a 7-0-0 start at home in 2005-06.

New York also can extend its season-opening home point streak (4-0-1) when they welcome Buffalo to Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. The Islanders and Hurricanes are the only teams without a regulation loss on home ice this season.

Los Angeles looks to push its overall win streak to five games when they visit St. Louis at Enterprise Center; their current four-game win streak is the longest active run in the NHL. The Kings can earn a victory in five or more consecutive games for the first time since closing the 2019-20 regular season with a 7-0-0 stretch. Los Angeles has a combined 14-6-3 record (31 points) since Feb. 26, 2020, when that seven-game run began.


Auston Matthews (18-11—29 in 18 GP) looks to become the first player to reach the 20-goal mark this season when the League-leading Maple Leafs (14-3-2, 30 points) host the Flames (8-9-1, 17 points) at Scotiabank Arena (7 p.m. ET on TVAS, SNW, TSN4).

Aside from Wendel Clark, only three other players in franchise history have reached the 20-goal mark in 20 games played or fewer: Corb Denneny in 1917-18 (19 GP) and 1919-20 (17 GP), Reg Noble in 1917-18 (12 GP) and 1919-20 (19 GP) as well as Babe Dye in 1921-22 (16 GP), 1922-23 (13 GP) and 1924-25 (15 GP). Dye also scored his 20th goal in his 14th game during the 1920-21 season, but he opened the campaign as a member of the Hamilton Tigers before joining the Toronto St. Patricks.

Matthews, who can become the first player in NHL history to open the scoring in five consecutive contests, has at least one point in 16 consecutive games played (18-10—28) including an official point streak of 13 games in which he has 2-2—4 in each of his last two outings (16-8—24). Only two Toronto players have recorded at least one more in more than 16 consecutive games played: Darryl Sittler in 1977-78 (18 GP) and Eddie Olczyk in 1989-90 (18 GP).

Maple Leafs’ Auston Matthews, Frontline Healthcare Hero Elisa Simpson Named NHL ‘First Stars’ of the Week. Oilers’ McDavid, Bruins’ Pastrnak Round Out ‘Three Stars’

Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews and Covenant House BensKids Health Centre lead nurse Elisa Simpson have been named the NHL’s “First Stars” for the week ending Feb. 21.

Throughout the 2020-21 season the NHL is celebrating the remarkable efforts of the off-ice stars who make it possible for us to play our games amid a pandemic by honoring frontline healthcare heroes from the regions represented by the League’s weekly and monthly “Stars.”

Simpson, an RN since 2013, works as the lead nurse at Toronto’s Covenant House BensKids Health Centre, where youth experiencing homelessness and survivors of sex trafficking receive mental and physical health support. Approximately 600 youth visit BensKids Health Centre each year, and the leadership of the facility’s healthcare team – including nurses like Simpson – has been essential throughout the pandemic. Every day, Simpson sees young people who are deeply concerned about the current circumstances. The healthcare team ensures nonjudgmental and holistic care are uninterrupted. Staff continue to nurture the connections critical to establishing trust and assuring youth that they are safe, cared for and not alone. Simpson’s father is a big Maple Leafs fan and the basement of her childhood home still is filled with hockey memorabilia, including the highlight of their collection: an autographed copy of the scoresheet from Darryl Sittler’s 10-point game.

Rounding out the “Three Stars” of the week are Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid and Boston Bruins right wing David Pastrnak. More on each NHL player’s performance can be found below:


Matthews paced the NHL in goals (7), points (12), power-play goals (4) and power-play points (6) across four games to help the Maple Leafs (14-3-2, 30 points) post a 3-0-1 week and extend their lead atop both the Scotia NHL North Division and overall League standings. He collected eight points in three matchups against the Ottawa Senators, registering 2-1—3 in a 6-5 overtime loss Feb. 15, one goal in a 2-1 win Feb. 17 and 2-2—4 in a 7-3 triumph Feb. 18. Matthews then notched his second consecutive 2-2—4 performance, including Toronto’s opening goal for the fourth straight contest, while playing in his 300th NHL game (176-138—314) – a 5-3 victory over the Montreal Canadiens Feb. 20. The 23-year-old Scottsdale, Ariz., native became the first Maple Leafs player with consecutive four-point outings since Peter Ihnacak more than 34 years ago (Feb. 2-4, 1987). Matthews has scored a League-leading 18 goals through his first 18 games of the season (18-11—29), highlighted by points in each of his last 16 appearances (18‑10—28) as well as an official 13-game point streak (16-8—24).


McDavid ranked second in the NHL with 3-6—9 in four contests to power the Oilers (12‑8-0, 24 points) to a trio of wins. He recorded four assists in two meetings with the Winnipeg Jets, collecting two helpers in both a 6-5 loss Feb. 15 and a 3-2 victory Feb. 17. McDavid then was held off the scoresheet in a 2-1 triumph over the Calgary Flames Feb. 19 before bouncing back with 3-2—5, including his eighth career hat trick, in a 7-1 win over Edmonton’s provincial rival Feb. 20. The 24-year-old Richmond Hill, Ont., native and two-time Art Ross Trophy winner tops the NHL with 37 points – seven more than the next-closest players (Leon Draisaitl and Mitchell Marner) – in 20 games this season (12-25—37). He also leads the League in assists (25), power-play assists (t-11) and power-play points (16).


Pastrnak scored four goals in two games, including a hat trick in Honda NHL Outdoors Sunday, as the Bruins (11-3-2, 24 points) split their two contests to maintain first place in the MassMutual NHL East Division. He tallied once in a 3-2 loss to the New Jersey Devils Feb. 18. Pastrnak then registered his 10th career hat trick – as well as the second in outdoor NHL game history (also Tyler Toffoli: 2020 Stadium Series) – in a 7-3 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers Feb. 21 as part of NHL Outdoors at Lake Tahoe. The 24-year-old Havirov, Czech Republic, native has nine goals in nine games this season (9-5—14), highlighted by a pair of hat tricks (also Feb. 3 at PHI: 3-1—4).

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