Welcome to the “NHL Morning Skate,” a daily collection of the latest news and notes from around the League.
A SNEAK PEEK AT MONDAY’S ACTION
All Times Eastern
Edmonton @ Buffalo, 7:00 p.m., SNET-W, MSG-B, BELL TV
Ottawa @ Pittsburgh, 7:00 p.m., RDS, TSN, ROOT
Vancouver @ Detroit, 7:30 p.m., SNET-P, FS-D+
Colorado @ New Jersey, 7:30 p.m., NBCSN
Columbus @ Anaheim, 10:00 p.m., FS-O, KDOC
Chicago @ Los Angeles, 10:30 p.m., NHLN-CA, WGN, FS-W
Philadelphia @ San Jose, 10:30 p.m., TCN-PH, CSN-CA
FRIENDLY FOES FACE-OFF IN DETROIT
With just one week from the Olympic break, the Canucks and Red Wings feature a combined 17 players* slated to suit up for their country in Sochi, including eight from Team Sweden:
Detroit Red Wings (10): F Pavel Datsyuk (Russia); F Tomas Jurco and F Tomas Tatar(Slovakia); G Jonas Gustavsson, D Jonathan Ericsson, D Niklas Kronwall, FDaniel Alfredsson and F Henrik Zetterberg (Sweden); G Jimmy Howard (United States).
Vancouver Canucks (7): G Roberto Luongo and D Dan Hamhuis (Canada); DAlexander Edler, F Daniel Sedin and F Henrik Sedin (Sweden); D Yannick Weber(Switzerland); F Ryan Kesler (United States).
* Datsyuk is out for the Red Wings with a lower body injury while Henrik Sedin has missed the last six games for the Canucks with an upper body injury.
COLORADO, MACKINNON VISIT NEW JERSEY
The Colorado Avalanche make their first stop on a four-game Eastern road trip in New Jersey having won three straight and eight of their last 10 games (8-2-0). The Devils, who have earned points in 10 of the past 13 games (6-3-4), will look to stop rookie forward Nathan MacKinnon who led Colorado, and all NHL rookies, with nine goals (9-4—13) in January.
BLUE JACKETS FACE TEST IN ANAHEIM
The Blue Jackets continue to make a case to be in the Stanley Cup Playoffs with 11 wins in their past 15 games. Talented center Ryan Johansen continues to produce for Columbus with three goals and two assists in his past four games – he leads the Blue Jackets with 22 goals and 42 points (22-20–42) this season. Anaheim, the League’s top team with 85 points, is in the middle of a five-game homestand and looking to regain dominance on home ice. A loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Jan. 21 ended the Ducks’ season-opening home unbeaten streak (20-0-2) and the team is 2-2-0 at Honda Center since then.
Washington 6, Detroit 5 (OT)
Winnipeg 2, Montreal 1
OVI ENDS OT THRILLER
An overtime goal from Alex Ovechkin ended a high-scoring affair in Washington, giving the Capitals a 6-5 win against Detroit. Jason Chimera opened the scoring early in the first period, and Washington was able to fend off several comeback attempts, with Detroit responding to deficits of 2-0, 3-1, and 4-2 before Justin Abdelkader’s third period strike sent the game to extra time.
* Ovechkin’s 15th career overtime winner ranks tied for third in NHL history with Sergei Fedorov and Mats Sundin behind only Jaromir Jagr (18) and Patrik Elias (16). Over the past nine seasons, Ovechkin has scored 142 power play goals, but Sunday’s game-winner was only his second career power play goal in overtime (Jan. 19, 2009 vs. Islanders).
* Ovechkin has earned a point in each of the 11 games he has played against Detroit accumulating 16 points (9-7—16). According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Detroit is the only team Ovechkin has registered a point against in every career contest.
* Washington forward Joel Ward scored twice and added an assist, and is now on his second three-game goal streak of the season. In 2013-14, Ward has 33 points (17-16—33), just two points shy of his career high (17-18—35 in 79 games in 2008-09 with Nashville). His 17 goals also match a career-best.
* Nicklas Backstrom’s two assists both came on the power play, giving him a League-leading 31 points with the man advantage (3-28—31). He sits in fourth place overall with 42 assists this season.
JETS CONTINUE TO ROLL
The Winnipeg Jets improved to 8-2-0 under head coach Paul Maurice after earning a 2-1 victory against Montreal. The Jets have now allowed two or fewer goals in seven of ten games since their coaching change.
* Al Montoya made 31 saves to improve to 8-2-0 in his last ten games, allowing two or fewer goals in each of the eight wins. With his tenth win of the season, Montoya (10-4-1) set a new career best for wins in a season (he had nine wins in 2010-11 and 2011-12).
* Dustin Byfuglien was credited with 10 of Winnipeg’s 29 hits against Detroit, setting a single-game career-high. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Byfuglien did not record more than five hits in any of his first 53 games this season, but he’s registered six-or-more hits (31 total) in each of his last four games.
Detroit forward Gustav Nyquist (3-1—4) earned his first career hat trick and four-point game. He has scored in six of his last seven games, and has 8-4—12 in his last eight games… Detroit captain Henrik Zetterberg posted 0-3—3 and has 2-9—11 in his last six games… Washington rookie Connor Carrick earned two assists, marking his first career multi-point game… Defenseman John Carlson posted 1-1—2, giving him back-to-back multi-point games for the first time since December 5-7, 2011. He set a new career-best with his 10th goal of the season for Washington… Canadiens defensemanDouglas Murray skated in his 500th NHL contest.