NHL Morning Skate – Dec. 29th Winter Classic Update
WINTER CLASSIC QUICK HITS
* The Red Wings and Maple Leafs have met 645 times in the regular season since 1926-27. Their records are virtually identical:
DET: 276-273-96, 648 points (170-107-48 at home)
TOR: 276-275-94, 646 points (109-170-46 on the road)
* 145 players have worn both the famed Winged Wheel and Maple Leaf. One player managed to play in at least 500 games for both clubs – Hockey Hall of Fame forwardNorm Ullman (875 games for Detroit, 535 for Toronto).
MICHIGAN STADIUM READIES FOR WINTER CLASSIC
The Big House continues to ready itself for the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic (photo courtesy of @Dave_Sandford). Check out the latest time-lapse video of the rink build.
Sunday’s Schedule of Events
Ontario Hockey League Doubleheader, Comerica Park
London Knights vs. Saginaw Spirit – 1:30 p.m. ET
Windsor Spitfires vs. Plymouth Whalers – 5:00 p.m. ET
Reminder: The third episode of “24/7 Red Wings/Maple Leafs: Road to the NHL Winter Classic” debuts in Canada tonight on Sportsnet at 7:30 p.m. ET.
ICYMI: Justin Kovacs scored at 2:01 of overtime to give Western Michigan a 1-0 victory over Michigan Tech in the championship game of the 2013 Great Lakes Invitational (photo courtesy of @DetroitRedWings).
Ottawa 4, Boston 3
Montreal 2, Tampa Bay 1 (SO)
Detroit 4, Florida 3
New Jersey 2, NY Islanders 1
St. Louis 6, Chicago 5 (SO)
Nashville 3, Los Angeles 2
Anaheim 3, Phoenix 2 (OT)
Philadelphia 4, Edmonton 3 (SO)
CLOSE GAMES, LATE HEROICS
All eight games contested Saturday featured one-goal margins, with four requiring overtime or a shootout and three decided in the final seven minutes of regulation:
* Kevin Shattenkirk scored the decisive goal in the fifth round of the shootout to complete the Blues’ comeback from three separate two-goal deficits, including a 5-3 margin with less than four minutes to play in regulation. Vladimir Tarasenko cut the lead to one at 16:09 of the third period before Patrik Berglund tied the score at 17:26.
* The Predators and Kings combined for three go-ahead/tying goals in the final four minutes of regulation. Mike Fisher (2-1—3) gave Nashville a 2-1 lead at 16:42 of the third period before Jeff Carter knotted the game with 36.7 seconds remaining. Fisher potted the winning goal 10 seconds later to propel the Predators to a 14-1-2 record when scoring first this season.
* The Coyotes scored two goals in the final five minutes of regulation, including Mike Ribeiro’s tying marker with 44 seconds left on the clock, to force overtime. Saku Koivu(2-1—3) tallied 51 seconds into the extra period to give the Ducks their franchise-record 10th consecutive victory.
* Bruins defenseman David Warsofsky scored the tying goal early in the third period (his first in the NHL), but Bobby Ryan posted the winning marker, his team-leading 18th of the season, with 4:35 remaining in regulation to lift Ottawa to its second victory over Boston in their last 13 meetings at Canadian Tire Centre (2-9-2).
* Islanders forward Frans Nielsen tied the game midway through the third period, butTravis Zajac recorded the winning goal less than three minutes later (at 13:03) to give New Jersey points in six of its past seven outings (4-1-2).
* Scott Hartnell tied the game with 5:32 remaining in regulation and Michael Rafflscored the decisive goal in the shootout to lead the Flyers to their first victory in Edmonton since March 19, 2001 (0-3-1) and third win overall against the Oilers since 2001-02 (3-7-1).
* Lars Eller scored the lone goal in the shootout and Carey Price made 23 saves, plus another three in the tiebreaker, to help the Canadiens improve to 2-1-0 on their six-game road trip.
* Brendan Smith and Gustav Nyquist tallied 38 seconds apart early in the third period to break a 2-2 tie and power the Red Wings to a 9-1-4 all-time record in Florida.
* The Ducks improved to 28-7-5 (61 points), their second-best 40-game start in franchise history (2006-07: 28-6-6, 62 points).
* They also improved to 14-0-2 at Honda Center, continuing their best home start in club history. The only other NHL team since 2005-06 to play its first 16 home games without suffering a regulation defeat was the 2008-09 Sharks (20-0-2).
* The last NHL team to win 10 or more consecutive games was the Penguins, who won 15 straight from March 2-30, 2013. The Ducks, however, are just the third team from the Western Conference to win 10 or more consecutive games since 2005-06, joining the Blackhawks (11 in 2012-13) and Sharks (11 in 2007-08).
* The Ducks also have recorded points in 13 consecutive games (11-0-2), three shy of the club record set Oct. 6-Nov. 9, 2006 (12-0-4).
* Saku Koivu recorded his first multi-goal game since Jan. 10, 2012, including his 10th career overtime goal (first since March 19, 2010) and 11th career shorthanded goal (first since Jan. 5, 2010).
* Jonas Hiller made 23 saves to set a career high and match a franchise record with his eighth consecutive victory. Viktor Fasth also won eight straight games for the Ducks from Jan. 26-Feb. 16, 2013.
BLUES DOWN BLACKHAWKS AGAIN
* The Blues earned their fourth consecutive victory over the Blackhawks (third this season), their first four-game winning streak in the series since March 3, 1998-Jan. 7, 1999.
* The Blues improved to 11-0-1 versus the Central Division, the best intra-division mark in the NHL this season.
* Kevin Shattenkirk improved to 3-for-9 all-time in the shootout, with all three goals being game-winners. He also recorded an assist to extend his point streak to five games (2-3—5).
* Vladimir Tarasenko tied a career high with 1-2—3. His only other three-point performance came on Jan. 21, 2013 (1-2—3), his second career game.
* Dmitrij Jaskin scored his first NHL goal (4 GP) to tie the game at 3-3 midway through the second period.
Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane posted 1-2—3, his 16th multi-point game of the season and third with three or more points, to extend his career-long point streak to 14 games (8-17—25). Kane has recorded at least one point in 26 of his past 27 games dating to Nov. 3. He has 23-30—53 in 41 contests this season, placing second in the League in points and third in goals.
FISHER PUTS PREDS AHEAD TWICE
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Predators forward Mike Fisher is the first NHL player to score a pair of go-ahead goals in the final five minutes of regulation since Feb. 21, 1988, when Peter Stastny did so for the Nordiques in a 6-5 victory over the Sabres.
SIMMONDS JOINS RARE COMPANY
Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds posted 2-0—2, his third consecutive multi-goal game (6-1—7). According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he is just the third player in Philadelphia history to record multiple goals in three straight team games of one season. The others:Reggie Leach, who did so twice (Jan. 3-7, 1976 and Oct. 11-15, 1981), and Ross Lonsberry (Feb. 5-8, 1976). Simmonds is the first player on any NHL team to tally multiple goals in three or more consecutive games since Sharks forward Patrick Marleau, who compiled a four-game streak Jan. 20-26, 2013.
Simmonds also extended his point streak to five games (7-2—9), one shy of his career long set Nov. 25-Dec. 5, 2009 (4-4—8).
Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg scored his 12th goal of the season in his return from an 11-game absence . . . Devils forward Jaromir Jagr (694-1,028—1,722) recorded an assist to move one point behind former teammate Mario Lemieux (690-1,033—1,723) for seventh on the League’s all-time points list . . . Oilers goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov made 35 saves in his first game against the Flyers since they bought out his contract over the summer . . . Flyers forward Jakub Voracek posted two assists to extend his career-long point streak to nine games (6-9—15), while teammate Claude Giroux added two helpers to stretch his assist/point streak to a career-long eight games (5-10—15) . . . Lightning captain Martin St. Louis scored his 17th goal of the season to push his point streak to six games (4-4—8) . . . Islanders forward Kyle Okposocollected an assist to extend his point streak to five games (2-3—5) . . . Ducks defenseman Ben Lovejoy posted an assist to stretch his assist/point streak to five games (0-5—5) . . . Oilers captain Andrew Ference recorded his 200th NHL point, while teammate David Perron scored his 100th career goal . . . Panthers forward Marcel Gocposted his 100th NHL assist . . . Coyotes forward David Moss skated in his 400th career game, while teammate Kyle Chipchura appeared in his 300th NHL contest . . . Devils defenseman Mark Fayne played in his 200th career game.
SNEAK PEEK AT SUNDAY’S ACTION
All Times Eastern
Washington @ Buffalo, 5:00 p.m., CSN-DC, MSG-B, BELL TV
Montreal @ Florida, 5:00 p.m., TSN, RDS, FS-F
Pittsburgh @ Columbus, 6:00 p.m., ROOT, FS-O
St. Louis @ Dallas, 6:00 p.m., FS-MW, FS-SW
Carolina @ Toronto, 7:00 p.m., FS-CR, LEAFS TV
NY Rangers @ Tampa Bay, 7:00 p.m., MSG, SUN
Vancouver @ Calgary, 7:30 p.m., SNET-P, SNET-W
NY Islanders @ Minnesota, 8:00 p.m., MSG PLUS, FS-N
Winnipeg @ Colorado, 8:00 p.m., RDS2, TSN-JETS, ALT
Anaheim @ San Jose, 10:30 p.m., NHLN-CA, PRIME, CSN-CA
CALIFORNIA CLUBS CLASH IN TOP-FIVE BATTLE
Two of the top five teams in the NHL clash when the Ducks (28-7-5, 61 points) visit the Sharks (24-8-6, 54 points) in their second meeting of the 2013-14 season. San Jose picked up a 4-3 shootout victory in the clubs’ first matchup Nov. 30, with Joe Pavelskiscoring the lone goal in the tiebreaker. The Ducks have won a franchise-record 10 consecutive games as well as six straight on the road, one shy of the club record (Nov. 28-Dec. 13, 2006). The Sharks have won three in a row and are 8-0-1 in their last nine at SAP Center dating to Nov. 21.
Source: NHL MediaNHL Morning Skate – Dec. 29th Winter Classic Update by Sports Talk Florida