NHL MORNING SKATE – DEC. 15, 2014
 
 
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WINTER CLASSIC ICE TRUCK ARRIVES IN D.C.
The NHL officially takes over Nationals Park today with the arrival of the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic Ice Plant presented by York.
 
The 53-foot trailer, the world’s largest mobile refrigeration unit, houses the state-of-the-art ice-making and ice-monitoring equipment used to create an NHL-caliber sheet of ice. The truck departed Toronto on Wednesday, Dec. 10, to make the 480-mile journey to Washington, D.C., in preparation of the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on Thursday, Jan. 1.
 
Click here for more details.
 
SUNDAY’S RESULTS
Home Team in Caps
TORONTO 4, Los Angeles 3 (SO)
CHICAGO 2, Calgary 1
NY Rangers 2, EDMONTON 0
 
MAPLE LEAFS EDGE KINGS FOR FIFTH STRAIGHT WIN
Down 3-2 midway through the third period, James van Riemsdyk scored the tying goal and Joffrey Lupul potted the lone marker in the shootout to lead the Maple Leafs to their season-high fifth consecutive victory.
 
* The Maple Leafs improved 9-1-1 in their last 11 games dating to Nov. 20 vs. TBL. With an 18-9-3 overall record (39 points), they hold the first Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference, trail the Canadiens (19-10-2, 40 points) by one point for the No. 3 seed in the Atlantic Division, and trail the Lightning (19-9-3, 41 points) and Red Wings (17-7-7, 41 points) by two points for the top spot in the division.
 
* The Maple Leafs also improved to 13-7-0 this season at Air Canada Centre, including four straight victories and eight wins in their last nine such outings. They lead the NHL with 13 home victories, while their 26 home points are tied for the most in the League (w/ DET).
 
* Per Elias, the Maple Leafs have won 13 of their first 20 home games in one season for the first time since 2001-02, when they started 14-5-1 at Air Canada Centre.
 
* van Riemsdyk recorded his 13th goal of the season, which ranks second on the club and tied for 14th in the NHL. The Maple Leafs improved to 12-0-0 when he has found the back of the net in 2014-15.
 
* Celebrating his 29th birthday, Mike Santorelli posted 1-1—2 for his fifth multi-point performance of the season. He has 3-10—13 in his past 10 outings after recording 3-6—9 in his first 20 games of the season.
 
* James Reimer made 33 saves – and denied all three shootout attempts he faced – to improve to 3-0-1 with a 1.83 goals-against average and .950 save percentage in four career appearances against the Kings.
 
* Cody Franson added 1-1—2 for his fifth multi-point game of the season. Phil Kessel (0-1—1) extended his point streak to four contests (2-2—4).
 
* The Maple Leafs improved to 13-0-0 when scoring first this season. The Canadiens (11-0-0) are the only other team yet to suffer a loss (of any kind) when registering the game’s opening goal.
 
DID YOU KNOW?
Through 450 games, there have been 187 comeback victories (41.6%) in the 2014-15 season. That includes 81 games in which a team overcame a third-period deficit to win.
 
SAAD POWERS BLACKHAWKS PAST FLAMES
Knotted at 1-1, Brandon Saad scored the tiebreaking goal midway through the third period to power the Blackhawks to their 12th win in their last 14 games dating to Nov. 16 vs. DAL.
 
* At 21-9-1 (43 points), the Blackhawks leapfrogged the Blues (20-8-2, 42 points) for the top spot in the Central Division. They also moved within four points of the Ducks (21-6-5, 47 points) for the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference and NHL standings.
 
* Saad recorded his seventh marker of the season, including his third game-winning goal (also Oct. 21 vs. PHI and Dec. 5 vs. MTL). He has 7-14—21 overall (31 GP), including 4-3—7 in his past eight outings.
 
* Down 1-0 early in the second period, Patrick Sharp scored a power-play goal to even the game, marking his first tally since returning from injury. All four of Sharp’s goals this season have come on the man-advantage; he shared the team lead with 10 power-play goals in 2013-14.
 
* Jonathan Toews collected 0-2—2 for his eighth multi-point performance of the season. He ranks second on the club with 11-14—25 overall (31 GP).
 
* Making just his sixth start of the season, Antti Raanta recorded 23 saves to improve to 4-2-0 with a 1.85 goals-against average, .944 save percentage and one shutout.
 
* The Blackhawks extended their point streak against the Flames to nine contests dating to Feb. 2, 2013 (6-0-3).
 
LUNDQVIST, RANGERS SHUT THE DOOR ON OILERS
Henrik Lundqvist stopped all 16 shots he faced to record his fifth shutout of the season (tied for the League lead) and help the Rangers pick up their third consecutive victory.
 
* At 14-10-4 (32 points), the Rangers leapfrogged the Panthers (12-8-8, 32 points) and Bruins (15-13-2, 32 points) for the second Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference. They also moved within one point of the Capitals (14-10-5, 33 points) for the No. 3 seed in the Metropolitan Division.
 
* The Rangers earned their League-leading seventh shutout of the season (28 GP). Via Elias, the team last posted seven or more shutouts in its first 28 games of one season in 1937-38, when it also recorded seven blank sheets through 28 contests.
 
* Lundqvist registered his 55th career shutout, moving past Bernie Parent and Ed Giacomin for sole possession of 20th place in NHL history. He improved to 12-7-3 with a 2.51 goals-against average and .911 save percentage in 22 appearances this season.
 
* Rick Nash collected one assist to extend his point streak to a career-long 10 games (6-6—12). He has posted at least one point in 23 of the team’s 28 games this season (18-13—31). Only four other Rangers players since 1991-92 have recorded points in at least 23 of the club’s opening 28 games of one season: Mark Messier (24 in 1991-92), Jaromir Jagr (23 in 2005-06), Brendan Shanahan (23 in 2006-07) and Marian Gaborik (23 in 2009-10).
 
* Dan Girardi scored his eighth career game-winning goal and first since April 13, 2013 at NYI.
 
* The Rangers improved to 5-1-3 against Western Conference opponents this season, including a 3-1-0 mark against the Pacific Division. They have won three of their past four visits to Rexall Place dating to Nov. 5, 2009.
 
LOOSE PUCKS
Flames forward Johnny Gaudreau collected one assist. He has 6-17—23 in 31 games this season, ranking second among rookies in points and tied for first in assists . . . Justin Williams (1-1—2) and Alec Martinez (0-2—2) both recorded multi-point games for the Kings . . . The Maple Leafs improved to 9-0-0 this season when forward Daniel Winnik (0-1—1) has registered a point . . . The Blackhawks acquired defenseman Tim Erixon from the Blue Jackets in exchange for forward Jeremy Morin. Erixon then made his debut with the Blackhawks, logging 10:43 of ice-time vs. CGY . . . ICYMI: Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin granted the wish of Kids Wish Network child Lauren Santora, an 8-year-old hockey player from Norwalk, Conn., who has Type 1 diabetes.
 
 
 
SNEAK PEEK AT MONDAY’S ACTION
All Times Eastern
New Jersey @ NY Islanders, 7:00 p.m., MSG, MSG+
Tampa Bay @ Pittsburgh, 7:00 p.m., NBCSN, SN, TVA, ROOT
Ottawa @ Buffalo, 7:00 p.m., TSN5, RDS, MSG-B, BELL TV
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