Welcome to the “NHL Morning Skate,” a daily collection of the latest news and notes from around the League.
* U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry dropped the ceremonial opening puck as part of an Olympic send-off prior to the Capitals-Jets game. Click here to watch the ceremony.
The Kings also had a special send-off for their six Olympians following the conclusion of their victory over the Blue Jackets. Click here to watch the ceremony.
RASK GETS NEW LOOK
InGoal Magazine released several images of the special mask Bruins goaltenderTuukka Rask will wear for Finland during the 2014 Olympic Winter Games. Click here for more photos.
* Sweden announced that Capitals forward Marcus Johansson will replace injured Canucks captain Henrik Sedin on its roster for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.
* Slovakia announced that Blue Jackets forward Marian Gaborik will miss the 2014 Olympic Winter Games due to injury. He will be replaced by Branko Radivojevic, a forward for Slovan Bratislava (KHL).
Calgary 4, NY Islanders 2
Edmonton 2, NY Rangers 1
Philadelphia 3, Colorado 1
Washington 4, Winnipeg 2
Montreal 5, Vancouver 2
Ottawa 3, Buffalo 2
Toronto 4, Tampa Bay 1
Detroit 3, Florida 1
St. Louis 3, Boston 2 (OT)
Minnesota 3, Nashville 2 (OT)
Los Angeles 2, Columbus 1 (OT)
PACIORETTY DOES THE TRICK
Despite a pair of missed penalty shots in a 1:51 span of the second period, Max Pacioretty recorded his second hat trick of the season and the third of his career to power the Canadiens to their fourth victory in their last six games (4-1-1).
* According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Pacioretty is the second player in NHL history to attempt two penalty shots in one game: Erik Cole scored on one of his two penalty shots against Martin Biron in a 5-3 victory by the Hurricanes over the Sabres Nov. 9, 2005.
* Pacioretty, who will represent the United States in the 2014 Olympic Winter Games, recorded his first hat trick of the season in a 6-2 win over the Wild Nov. 19.
* Elias says that Pacioretty is the second Canadiens player since 2000 to register two hat tricks in one season: Mike Cammalleri had a pair of three-goal games for the team in 2009-10.
* Carey Price made 42 saves to outduel Team Canada teammate Roberto Luongo (24 saves). With the win, Price improved to 3-1-1 with a 1.20 goals-against average, .966 save percentage and two shutouts in his last five starts. He also improved to 5-1-1 with a 2.26 goals-against average, .937 save percentage and one shutout in eight career appearances versus the Canucks.
OVECHKIN IS FIRST TO 40
Alex Ovechkin scored his League-leading 40th goal of the season, the game-winner, to help the Capitals pick up their fourth victory in their last seven games (4-2-1). It marks the fourth time in Ovechkin’s nine NHL seasons that he is the first player to reach 40 goals, following three consecutive seasons from 2007-08 through 2009-10.
* Ovechkin, who will represent Russia in the 2014 Olympic Winter Games, has scored 40 or more goals six times in his NHL career, a franchise record. He reached that number in each of his first five seasons from 2005-06 through 2009-10.
* Ovechkin’s 40th goal came in his 54th game of the season. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he is the only Capitals player to reach the milestone in fewer games, doing so on two occasions (51 games in 2009-10, 52 games in 2008-09).
* Ovechkin extended his point streak versus the Jets to eight games (9-6—15). He has 41-41—82 in 55 career games against the Jets/Thrashers franchise, his most goals and points versus any NHL opponent.
* The Capitals recorded their sixth consecutive victory over the Jets. They are 8-3-2 in their head-to-head matchups since the team relocated to Winnipeg for the 2011-12 season.
Three players scored their first career overtime goals to lead their teams to victories Thursday:
* T.J. Oshie, who will represent the United States in the 2014 Olympic Winter Games, scored 3:29 into overtime to power the Blues to their fifth win in their last seven games (5-1-1). The goal marked Oshie’s fourth game-winner of 2013-14, a career high.
* Nino Niederreiter, who will represent Switzerland in the 2014 Olympic Winter Games, scored 2:16 into the extra session to lead the Wild to their fifth consecutive victory at Xcel Energy Center. Niederreiter has recorded 13 NHL goals (123 GP), but Thursday marked his first game-winner.
* Playing in his 1,002nd NHL game, Robyn Regehr scored 2:33 into overtime to help the Kings snap a four-game losing streak. The goal marked Regehr’s fourth career game-winner and first since Jan. 21, 2006.
MICHALEK SAVES THE DAY
The Senators surrendered a two-goal, third-period lead, but Milan Michalek (2-0—2) scored with 20.9 seconds remaining in regulation to lead the team to its second consecutive victory and fourth win in its past six outings (4-1-1).
* Michalek, who will represent the Czech Republic in the 2014 Olympic Winter Games, registered his first multi-goal game since March 6, 2012, when he posted 3-1—4 in a 7-3 victory over the Lightning.
NINE IN NINE FOR NYQUIST
Gustav Nyquist scored the tiebreaking goal late in the second period to power the Red Wings to their fifth win in their last eight games (5-1-2). Nyquist, who will represent Sweden in the 2014 Olympic Winter Games, has nine goals in his past nine contests, matching his total from the first 63 games of his NHL career.
* Ben Scrivens made 35 saves to lead the Oilers to their fifth victory in their last six games. Scrivens has faced 30 or more shots in five of his six starts since joining the team, posting a 3-3-0 record with a 2.01 goals-against average, .948 save percentage and one shutout.
* Steve Mason recorded 38 saves to backstop the Flyers to their third straight win. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Mason is 10-3-2 with a 2.22 goals-against average in his last 16 games versus the Western Conference.
* Jonathan Bernier made 33 saves to help the Maple Leafs pick up their fourth victory in their last five games. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Bernier has 16 wins this season when recording 30 or more saves, tied for the most in the NHL with Avalanche goaltender Semyon Varlamov.
The Rangers became the second team this week, and fifth in League history, to play their 6,000th regular-season game. The Blackhawks reached the milestone Monday, while the Red Wings will do so Saturday . . . Alex Pietrangelo recorded his 34th assist and 40th point of the season, becoming the first defenseman in Blues history and first overall since Dion Phaneuf (2005-06 through 2007-08) to earn 40 or more points in each of his first three full NHL seasons . . . Oilers forward Taylor Hall (0-1—1) posted his 200th NHL point . . . Panthers forward Tomas Kopecky collected his 100th career assist . . . Blues forward Brenden Morrow played in his 900th NHL game, becoming the 47th active player to reach the milestone . . . Sabres forward Matt D’Agostini and Maple Leafs defenseman Cody Franson both skated in their 300th career game . . . Red Wings forward Daniel Alfredsson (439-703—1,142 in 1,223 GP) scored his 13th goal of the season to tie Nicklas Lidstrom (264-878—1,142 in 1,564 GP) for the second-most points by a Swedish-born player in NHL history . . . Ken Hitchcock earned his 110th win behind the Blues’ bench, tying Scotty Bowman for fourth in franchise history . . . Kings forward Anze Kopitar recorded his 333rd career assist, matching Rob Blakefor seventh in team history.
Flyers captain Claude Giroux scored his 19th goal of the season, giving him 3-3—6 over his last three games . . . Sabres forward Drew Stafford posted 1-1—2 and now has 6-3—9 in his past seven games . . . Capitals forward Troy Brouwer (2-0—2) recorded his first multi-goal game since April 20, 2013 . . . Senators captain Jason Spezza collected two assists for his 13th multi-point game of the season. The club improved to 10-0-3 when he posts two or more points, versus 16-21-8 when he fails to do so . . . Flames goaltender Reto Berra made 28 saves to earn his eighth career victory, but first in regulation-time . . . Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog recorded an assist to extend his point streak to eight games (3-7—10), matching a career high set earlier this season (Dec. 23-Jan. 8: 3-8—11) . . . Rookie teammate Nathan MacKinnonalso collected an assist to stretch his point streak to a career-long seven games (4-6—10) . . . Rangers forwards Derick Brassard (3-4—7) and Mats Zuccarello (2-5—7) both pushed their point streaks to five games . . . The Blackhawks acquired forwardsPeter Regin and Pierre-Marc Bouchard from the Islanders in exchange for a fourth-round pick in the 2014 NHL Draft . . . ICYMI: The Flyers wore special patches and hats during pregame warm-ups in honor of the Philadelphia Fire Department.
SNEAK PEEK AT FRIDAY’S ACTION
All Times Eastern
Edmonton @ New Jersey, 7:00 p.m., SNET-W, MSG PLUS
NY Rangers @ Pittsburgh, 7:00 p.m., NHLN-US, RDS, MSG 2, ROOT
Florida @ Carolina, 7:00 p.m., FS-F, FS-CR
Chicago @ Phoenix, 9:00 p.m., CSN-CH, FS-A
Columbus @ San Jose, 10:30 p.m., NHLN-CA, FS-O, CSN-CA
“MIRACLE ON ICE TEAM” TO SEND OFF OLYMPIANS
Thirteen members of the United States’ 1980 “Miracle on Ice” men’s hockey team will take part in an Olympic send-off and ceremonial puck drop prior to the Coyotes-Blackhawks game at Jobing.com Arena. Among the players confirmed for the event are former Team USA captain Mike Eruzione and teammates Neal Broten, John Harrington, Steve Janaszak, Rob McClanahan, Ken Morrow, Mike Ramsey, Buzz Schneider, Dave Silk, Eric Strobel, Bob Suter, Phil Verchota and Mark Wells.
Source: NHL Media