NHL Review January 20, 2021
HUGHES SHINES IN BATTLE OF RECENT NO. 1 PICKS
In the first matchup between the most recent No. 1 picks, Jack Hughes (2-1—3) and the Devils (2-0-1) held off Alexis Lafreniere and the Rangers (1-2-0) for a 4-3 win in the first rendition of the ‘Hudson River Rivalry’ in 2020-21.
* Hughes has collected 2-4—6 through his first three games of the season after taking seven games to record his first point in 2019-20. In the process, he matched the Devils franchise benchmark for the most points through the team’s first three games of a season.
* Tuesday marked Hughes’ second career game with three points after first doing so on Oct. 25, 2019. The 19-year-old became the seventh teenager in franchise history to record multiple three-point games. The others: Petr Sykora (4x), Kirk Muller (4x), Nico Hischier (3x), Jesper Bratt (2x), Scott Gomez (2x) and Pat Verbeek (2x).
* Teammate and 20-year-old defenseman Ty Smith (0-1—1) also continued his recent string of success with his third point in as many games to start his career. The Lloydminster, Alta. native became the first defenseman in franchise history to post a three-game point streak to begin his career.
MacKINNON RECORDS 500TH POINT AS AVALANCHE HOLD OFF KINGS
Nathan MacKinnon (0-2—2) factored on two of Colorado’s three goals to reach the 500-point mark in his career as the Avalanche held off a third-period rally from Andreas Athanasiou and the Kings. Athanasiou’s third goal in as many games halted Colorado’s streak of 11 unanswered goals.
* MacKinnon (191-309—500), who became the seventh player in Avalanche/Nordiques franchise history to reach the 500-point mark, also joined a short list of players to reach the milestone before their 26th birthday.
CROSBY’S THREE-POINTS HELPS PENGUINS COMPLETE RALLY WITH OT WIN . . .
After Pittsburgh overcame 1-0 and 4-2 deficits in regulation, Sidney Crosby (1-2—3) found the back of the net in overtime as the Penguins rallied from multiple deficits to defeat the Capitals for the second time in as many games.
* Crosby’s game-winning goal marked his 17th career overtime tally, and second against the Capitals (April 7, 2016), to tie Ilya Kovalchuk for third place on the NHL’s all-time list. The only two players with more than the Penguins captain are Alex Ovechkin (23) and Jaromir Jagr (19).
* The Penguins became the sixth team in the last 30 years to overcome multiple deficits to win consecutive games against the same opponent and second in as many years after being on the opposing end with the Islanders in 2019-20 (Nov. 19, 2019 and Nov. 21, 2019). The other four teams to do so over that span are the Islanders (2017-18 vs. PHI), Coyotes (2012-13 vs. ANA), Sharks (2005-06 vs. VAN) and Red Wings (1995-96 vs. TOR).
WHILE TRIO OF CLUBS ALSO RALLY TO OT WINS
The Red Wings, Panthers and Jets also overcame deficits to collect overtime wins Tuesday.
* Bobby Ryan scored in regulation and Tyler Bertuzzi found the back of the net 15 seconds into overtime to help Detroit split its back-to-back set with Columbus. Ryan (4-0—4), who has found the back of the net in every appearance this season, became the first player in Red Wings history to score four goals within his first three appearances with the franchise.
* The Stanley Cup pedigree added in the off-season – Carter Verhaeghe (2-0—2) and Patric Hornqvist (2-0—2) – accounted for four of Florida’s five goals, including a game-tying marker in the third period, as the Panthers improved to 2-0-0 to start the season. The 2020-21 campaign marks the first time Florida has scored at least five goals in each of its first two games to start a season.
* Kyle Connor (1-0—1) and Blake Wheeler (1-1—2) helped Winnipeg erase a 3-1 deficit in regulation and set the stage for Nikolaj Ehler’s first career overtime goal. Connor has scored in each of the Jets’ first three games of a season for the second time in his career (also 2018-19). He is one of six active players with multiple season-opening goal streaks of three or more games – only Alex Ovechkin (3) has more.
KYROU, STONE EYE RARE FEATS FOR BLUES, GOLDEN KNIGHTS
Blues forward Jordan Kyrou and Golden Knights forward Mark Stone have played pivotal roles in their teams’ victories in 2020-21:
* Kyrou has scored the game-winning goal in each of St. Louis’ two victories this season. He can become the 10th player in the NHL’s expansion era (since 1967-68) to score each of his team’s first three game-winning goals in a season (regardless of when they occurred). The only Blues player to achieve the feat is Bernie Federko (3 in 1981-82).
* Stone, the newly-minted captain, has helped Vegas to a 3-0-0 start by factoring on the game-winning goal in each contest (1-2—3). Should he do so again Wednesday, he would become the fourth player in NHL history to help his team to a 4-0-0 start to the season by recording a point on the winning goal in each outing. The only players to do so are Radek Bonk (4 w/ OTT in 1999-00), Pat Verbeek (4 w/ DAL in 1996-97) and Jean Beliveau (4 w/ MTL in 1970-71).
McDAVID, MATTHEWS SET FOR FIRST OF NINE MEETINGS IN 2020-21
In a game to be broadcast nationally in the U.S. on NBCSN and in Canada on Sportsnet and TVA Sports, Connor McDavid and Auston Matthews are set to face off in their first of nine meetings this season and eighth head-to-head all-time matchup. McDavid (3-7—10) owns a five-point edge over Matthews (3-2—5) in their seven previous meetings, but Toronto holds a 6-1-0 edge in those contests (EDM: 1-5-1).
* McDavid (3-2—5) was held to just one point in Edmonton’s two-game set with Montreal, including a scoreless effort Monday. Since making his NHL debut in 2015-16, McDavid’s longest stretch of consecutive regular-season games without a point is three (last: Oct. 18-22, 2019) – the shortest such streak among all players over that span (min. 100 GP).
* Matthews (1-3—4) has points in three of Toronto’s four games this season, including his first goal of 2020-21 on Saturday. He has scored 159 career regular-season goals since being selected by Toronto with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 NHL Draft (159-130—289 in 286 GP), the second-most among all players over that span and 10 more than McDavid (149-277—426 in 310 GP).
Wild’s Pateryn Fined for Cross-Checking
Minnesota Wild defenseman Greg Pateryn has been fined $5,000, the maximum allowable under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, for cross-checking Anaheim Ducks forward Sonny Milano during NHL Game No. 45 in Anaheim on Monday, Jan. 18, 2021. The incident occurred at 14:19 of the first period. The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.
Canucks’ Pettersson Fined for Slashing
Vancouver Canucks forward Elias Pettersson has been fined $3,987.07, the maximum allowable under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, for slashing Calgary Flames forward Sean Monahan during NHL Game No. 42 in Calgary on Monday, Jan. 18, 2021. The incident occurred at 18:06 of the second period. Pettersson was assessed a minor penalty for high-sticking.
Flyers’ Aube-Kubel Fined for Roughing
Philadelphia Flyers forward Nicolas Aube-Kubel has been fined $4,633.62, the maximum allowable under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, for roughing Buffalo Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin during NHL Game No. 37 in Philadelphia on Monday, Jan. 18, 2021. The incident occurred at 17:58 of the third period. Aube-Kubel was assessed a double-minor penalty for high-sticking.