NHL Diary: Jan 29, 2014 - Sneak Peek At Wednesday's Action
Welcome to the NHL Morning Skate, a daily collection of the latest news and notes from around the League.
STADIUM SERIES QUICK HITS
* The Islanders and Rangers face off tonight at Yankee Stadium in the third matchup of the four-game 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN, RDS2, SiriusXM Radio).
* The Islanders and Rangers have met 247 times in the regular season, with the Rangers (120-101-26) holding a 266-241 edge in total points (NYI: 108-114-25). The Islanders, however, have won two of their first three games in 2013-14, including their most recent matchup Jan. 21 at Madison Square Garden.
* The clubs also have faced off eight times in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, including four straight years from 1981-84. The Islanders hold a 5-3 edge in series victories.
* Their first postseason meeting in 1975 went to a decisive Game 3, whenJ.P. Parisescored 11 seconds into overtime to give the underdog Islanders an upset victory over their metropolitan rivals. Only one other series went the distance, a meeting in the 1984 Patrick Division Semifinals in whichKen Morrowscored at 8:56 of overtime to give the Islanders the win.
* The Islanders are 10-5-1 in their last 16 games overall, but have dropped three in a row (0-2-1) entering tonights matchup.
* The Rangers are 12-5-1 in their last 18 games, including wins in seven of their past 10 outings.
* Islanders forwardKyle Okposoenters tonights game on a six-game point streak (4-711), while Rangers forwardsDerek Stepan(3-58) andRick Nash(7-07) have collected points in each of their past five games.
* At 28-23-3 (59 points), the Rangers are nine points ahead of the Islanders (21-26-8, 50 points) in the Metropolitan Division. The Rangers also hold one game in hand.
* With tonights game, the Rangers will become the first team to compete in three regular-season outdoor NHL games, following their participation in the 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia and Sundays game at Yankee Stadium as part of the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series.
*ICYMI:Islanders forwardJosh Baileypenned hislatest blog entryabout playing in the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series: Obviously, its a different feel on a bigger stage and a bigger atmosphere. Its still two big points for us. But were going to try and enjoy it. The best way to enjoy it is by getting a win. . . . Check out a photo gallery from theIslanders practiceat Yankee Stadium.
*Reminder:From 5:30 p.m. ET to the start of the third period, Yankee Stadiums Great Hall and Concourse will transform into a hockey-themed fan zone for attendees of all ages, with interactive attractions, prizes and giveaways as well as tents with an extensive selection of officially-licensed 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series merchandise and collectibles.Click herefor more information.
WHAT THEYRE SAYING
You want to really enjoy it and take it all in and take advantage of this moment . . . You get to play this game, this opportunity and its a very exciting thing . . . Its obviously a very big game for us. Our games with the Rangers are always very unpredictable. Islanders captainJohn Tavares
Definitely warm-ups will be fun, looking around, skating around . . . Were going to enjoy the moment. [But] we need every point we can get, and this [game] is no different. Islanders forwardKyle Okposo
You never really get used to playing outside, but you kind of know what to expect after playing Sunday . . . That excitement is still there. The crowd, the atmosphere. Its easy to get up for these games. Rangers captainRyan Callahan
I thought the atmosphere was great. You can feel it. Islanders goaltenderEvgeni Nabokov
New game, new team, at night theres a lot to look forward to. Rangers goaltenderHenrik Lundvqist
I feel extremely fortunate . . . You get into this building, youre in the Bronx, youre in Yankee Stadium, a great venue, and its pretty amazing what the NHL has done with these events. I think when we get out there [tonight] it will be all business. But [yesterday] was a day for our guys to enjoy a good, spirited practice, lot of time with their families. Its not every day you get to do that. Islanders head coachJack Capuano
OUTDOOR GAME GUIDE
The latest edition of theNHL Outdoor Game Interactive Information Guide, including updated stats from Sundays game at Yankee Stadium, is available for download via theLeagues Media site. The guide features information on the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series, 2014 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic and 2014 Olympic Winter Games. It also includes the history of outdoor games as well as a register, records and metrics.
Boston 6, Florida 2
Toronto 3, Tampa Bay 2
Philadelphia 5, Detroit 0
Ottawa 3, Columbus 2
Washington 5, Buffalo 4 (OT)
Montreal 3, Carolina 0
St. Louis 3, New Jersey 0
Nashville 4, Winnipeg 3
Phoenix 3, Los Angeles 0
Calgary 5, Chicago 4 (OT)
Minnesota 4, Anaheim 2
HALAK, BLUES TAKE OVER TOP SPOT IN CENTRAL DIVISION
Jaroslav Halak(23 saves) recorded his fourth shutout of the season and the 29th of his NHL career to lead the Blues to their third consecutive victory. With the win, St. Louis (36-11-5, 77 points) leapfrogged Chicago (32-10-13, 77 points) for first place in the Central Division.
* The Blues 36 victories are their most ever through the first 52 games of a season.
* Halak andBrian Elliott(3) have combined for seven shutouts, the most by any team this season.
* Halak also improved to 7-1-1 in his last nine starts dating to Dec. 19, including a 1.77 goals-against average, .940 save percentage and two shutouts.
*Alexander Steenscored his 27th goal of the season, tied for fourth in the NHL withSidney CrosbyandPhil Kessel. He has 3-47 during a five-game point streak.
* Steens goal also stood up as the game-winner. He has seven such goals this season, tied for second in the League withRyan Getzlaf.
* The Blues improved to 17-3-1 in inter-conference play this season, including a 9-0-0 record at Scottrade Center.
*InGoal Magazinereleased several images of the mask Halak will wear when he competes for Slovakia at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.Click herefor more photos.
OVECHKIN SPARKS CAPITALS
Alex Ovechkin(2-24) recorded his second four-point game of the season, including the primary assist onMike Greens overtime winner, to power the Capitals to their second consecutive victory.
* Ovechkin scored his League-leading 37th and 38th goals of the season. He also paces the NHL with seven multi-goal performances and has 4-37 over his past three games.
* Ovechkin has 409-381790 in 650 career games, all with the Capitals. He now ranks second on the franchises all-time scoring list, moving one point ahead ofMike Gartner(397-392789 in 758 GP).Peter Bondra(472-353825 in 961 GP) is the clubs all-time leader.
* Green (2-13) reached the 100-goal mark in his 483rd career game. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he is the second-quickest active defenseman to record 100 goals, behind onlySergei Gonchar(461 GP). The only other active blueliner to do so in fewer than 500 games isShea Weber(495 GP).
* Green now has eight overtime goals in his career, which ranks second in NHL history among defensemen. Only Hockey Hall of FamerScott Niedermayer(13) has more such goals.
BRUINS SPOIL THOMAS RETURN
The Bruins scored six goals for the third consecutive game to spoilTim Thomas return to Boston, where he played the first 378 regular-season games of his NHL career and earned the Conn Smythe Trophy in helping the team win the Stanley Cup in 2010-11.
* The Bruins improved to 5-0-1 in their last six games, including four straight wins. They also improved to 17-2-2 in their past 21 contests at TD Garden.
* According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Bruins last scored six or more goals in three consecutive games Nov. 5-12, 2011 (four straight games).
*Zdeno Chararecorded his fourth goal in his past three games. He now has 13 goals this season, tied for first among NHL defensemen withShea Weber.
*Reilly Smithscored his fifth power-play goal of the season to extend his career-long point streak to seven games (3-58).
WILD HAND DUCKS RARE HOME LOSS
Zach Pariseposted 1-23, including the game-winning goal, to lead the Wild to their fourth victory in their past six games (4-1-1), in the process handing the Ducks their second regulation home loss of the season (21-2-2).
* The Wild improved to 9-3-1 in 2014. At 29-20-6 (64 points), they moved into the first Wild Card spot in the Western Conference.
* Parise recorded his seventh multi-point game of the season and second with three points. He ranks fourth on the team with 16-1430 despite missing 15 games due to injury.
*Darcy Kuempermade 31 saves to improve to 6-3-1 with a 2.26 goals-against average, .924 save percentage and one shutout in 11 appearances this season.
Three other goaltenders recorded shutouts Tuesday:
*Steve Mason(33 saves) picked up his second shutout of the season and the 21st of his career to help the Flyers snap a four-game losing streak. Philadelphia extended its regular-season home winning streak over Detroit to eight games, with its last such loss coming Jan. 25, 1997.
*Carey Price(36 saves) earned his third shutout of the season and the 22nd of his career to help the Canadiens snap a four-game skid. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Price is the first Canadiens goaltender to post three or more shutouts in each of four consecutive seasons sinceKen Drydendid so in five straight from 1974-75 through 1978-79.
*Thomas Greiss(30 saves) recorded his second shutout of the season and the third of his career to lead the Coyotes to their second victory in their past three games (2-0-1). He improved to 7-3-1 with a 2.00 goals-against average and .935 save percentage in 13 appearances this season.
T.J. Brodiescored at 2:26 of overtime to power the Flames to their first three-game winning streak of the season . . . Maple Leafs goaltenderJonathan Bernier(40 saves) improved to 7-1-2 when facing 40 or more shots this season. His seven such victories lead the NHL . . .Jason Spezzascored the tiebreaking goal with 4:58 remaining in regulation to move the Senators within one point of a Wild Card spot . . . Flames captainMark Giordanostretched his point streak to seven games (3-47), a career long . . . Coyotes forwardsAntoine Vermette(6-28) andLauri Korpikoski(0-66) both extended their point streaks to five games . . . Predators forwardColton Sissonsmade his League debut . . . Sabres forwardPhilip Varonescored his first NHL goal (4 GP) . . . Coyotes captainShane Doancollected his 500th career assist . . . Panthers defensemanTom Gilbertplayed in his 500th NHL game . . . ICYMI:Jaden Schwartzand the Bluesdiscussed their recent visitto New Haven, Conn., in support of White Out for Mandi.
SNEAK PEEK AT WEDNESDAYS ACTION
All Times Eastern
NY Rangers @ NY Islanders, 7:30 p.m., NBCSN, TSN, RDS2
San Jose @ Edmonton, 9:30 p.m., CSN-CA, SNET-W
Chicago @ Vancouver, 10:30 p.m., TSN, WGN
Source: NHL Meda