NHL MORNING SKATE – JAN. 20, 2016
 
 
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TUESDAY’S RESULTS
Home Team in Caps
NEW JERSEY 4, Calgary 2
NY RANGERS 3, Vancouver 2 (OT)
Toronto 3, PHILADELPHIA 2
Washington 6, COLUMBUS 3
Boston 4, MONTREAL 1
TAMPA BAY 6, Edmonton 4
Chicago 4, NASHVILLE 1
LOS ANGELES 3, Dallas 2
 
KANE, CRAWFORD POWER BLACKHAWKS TO 12TH STRAIGHT WIN
Patrick Kane posted 1-1—2 and Corey Crawford made 38 saves to lead the Blackhawks to their 12th consecutive victory, a first in the franchise’s 89-year history.
 
* At 32-13-4 (68 points), the Blackhawks moved five points ahead of the Stars (29-13-5, 63 points) – who lost in regulation – for first place in the Central Division and Western Conference. They were 13 points out of first place when the winning streak began on Dec. 29.
 
* The Blackhawks became the 14th team in NHL history to record a winning streak of 12 or more games in a single season and the second to do so in 2015-16. The other: the Panthers, who reeled off a franchise-record 12 straight victories from Dec. 15 – Jan. 10.
 
* Kane, who registered his third consecutive multi-point game (5-3—8), scored his League-leading 30th goal of the season (49 GP) to equal a career high established in 2009-10 (82 GP). Elias says that Kane became the fourth different Blackhawk to be the first NHL player to reach the 30-goal milestone in one season, and the first to accomplish that feat since Bobby Hull in 1968-69 (7x overall).
 
* “It’s been good, nice to reach that number,” said Kane, who also paces the League in assists (41) and points (71). “I think I was close the past couple years and got hurt, so it was nice to reach that, but more importantly I think getting the franchise record of wins in a row, it’s pretty special and something that we can all be proud about. It’s fun to win 12 in a row. I think it’s fun when you’re winning games, and you want to keep building on it.”
 
* Crawford, who made 16 of his saves in the third period, extended his personal winning streak to a career-high nine games (1.89 GAA, .946 SV%, 1 SO). He ranks second in the NHL with 27 victories this season and leads the League with 1,101 saves and six shutouts.
 
KUZNETSOV’S FOUR ASSISTS HELP CAPITALS CONTINUE TORRID PACE
Two days after posting three assists in a 5-2 victory vs. NYR, Evgeny Kuznetsov dished out a career-high four helpers to propel the Capitals to their seventh win in their last eight games as well as a 25-4-3 record since Nov. 12.
 
* At 35-8-3 (73 points), the League-leading Capitals continued their best start to a season – in terms of wins and points – in the franchise’s 41-year history. That includes 17 wins and 36 points in 24 road games (17-5-2), both tops in the NHL.
 
* Kuznetsov, who had 14-32—46 in 97 career games prior to 2015-16, ranks fourth in the NHL with 15-33—48 in 46 outings this season. That includes 2-9—11 in his last five contests.
 
* Braden Holtby (32 SV) earned his League-leading 30th victory of the season (30-5-2 in 38 GP), sparked by a 22-1-2 record in his past 25 decisions. Per Elias, Holtby became the first goaltender to win 30 of his first 38 games in one season since 1995-96, when Chris Osgood did so with the Red Wings (30-5-3).
 
* Five other Capitals registered multiple points, including Alex Ovechkin (1-1—2), who scored his 11th goal in his past 12 games and 28th of the season – second in the NHL behind Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane (30).
 
LATE GOALS SPARK TEAMS TO VICTORIES
A trio of third-period goals led teams to wins on Tuesday:
 
* Milan Lucic scored the tiebreaking goal at 6:17 of the final frame – off a feed from Anze Kopitar (0-2—2) – to lift the Kings to their ninth victory in their last 12 contests (9-2-1). Both Lucic (1-5—6) and Kopitar (3-7—10) extended their point streaks to five games. Jonathan Quick added 27 saves to improve to 9-1-1 in his last 11 appearances and 17-7-2 in 26 career games vs. DAL.
 
* The Oilers erased a trio of deficits – including a two-goal margin in the third period – but Brian Boyle scored while shorthanded at 7:42 of the final frame to power the Lightning to their sixth consecutive victory, their longest winning streak since Oct. 28 – Nov. 9, 2014 (also 6-0-0). Boyle has eight shorthanded goals since joining Tampa Bay last season (122 GP), equaling his total from his first 391 career outings.
 
* Matt Hunwick scored with 7.5 seconds remaining in regulation – his first goal in a Maple Leafs uniform (43 GP) – to help Toronto snap its five-game losing streak (0-5-0). Via Elias, it was the latest go-ahead goal in the NHL this season and the latest by Maple Leaf since Feb. 11, 1992 vs. DET (Brian Bradley: 19:58). There have been eight tiebreaking goals in the final minute of regulation in 2015-16, including one other this week:
 
Tiebreaking Goals in Final Minute of Regulation, 2015-16 Season
19:52 – Matt Hunwick (TOR) on Jan. 19 at PHI
19:51 – Michael Frolik (CGY) on Oct. 31 at EDM
19:43 – Justin Faulk (CAR) on Dec. 6 vs. ARI
19:43 – Rasmus Ristolainen (BUF) on Nov. 7 vs. VAN
19:41 – Patrick Sharp (DAL) on Dec. 8 vs. CAR
19:39 – Aaron Ekblad (FLA) on Nov. 16 vs. TBL
19:13 – Brad Marchand (BOS) on Jan. 16 vs. TOR
19:06 – Mats Zuccarello (NYR) on Nov. 15 vs. TOR
 
TIGHT PLAYOFF RACES CONTINUE IN THE EASTERN CONFERENCE
Several other Eastern Conference clubs won on Tuesday to continue their playoff pushes:
 
* Mats Zuccarello tied the game midway through the third period and J.T. Miller scored at 3:54 of overtime to lead the Rangers to a 6-1-1 record in their last eight games at Madison Square Garden; their 36 home points rank third in the NHL this season (17-5-2). At 25-16-5 overall (55 points), the Rangers again leapfrogged the idle Islanders (24-15-6, 54 points) for second place in the Metropolitan Division.
 
* Tuukka Rask made 38 saves, including 29 over the final two periods, to backstop the Bruins past the Canadiens in their fifth and final meeting of the season – and first since the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic. At 24-16-5 (53 points), Boston maintained the first Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference and also remained within one point of both Detroit (23-14-8, 54 points) and Tampa Bay (25-17-4, 54 points) in the Atlantic Division.
 
* Three Devils – Reid Boucher, Adam Larsson and Lee Stempniak – registered 1-1—2 to lift the team to its second consecutive victory. At 23-19-5 (51 points), New Jersey leapfrogged a trio of teams – Ottawa (22-18-6, 50 points), Montreal (23-20-4, 50 points) and Pittsburgh (21-17-7, 49 points) – to climb into the final Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference, with five clubs within three points of its position.
 
MILESTONES & BENCHMARKS
* Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban (0-1—1), who extended his point streak to six games (2-4—6), recorded his 200th NHL assist.
 
* Canadiens defenseman Mark Barberio (1-0—1) and Oilers forward Zack Kassian (1-1—2) notched their first goals with their respective teams.
 
* Blue Jackets forward Kerby Rychel (1-1—2), the 19th overall selection in the 2013 NHL Draft, scored his first career goal (21 GP).
 
* Stars defenseman Esa Lindell, a third-round selection (74th overall) in the 2012 NHL Draft, made his League debut.
 
* Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner played in his 422nd consecutive game to tie forward Bobby Carpenter for the longest such streak in franchise history.
 
NHL CENTRAL SCOUTING RELEASES MID-SEASON RANKINGS
NHL Central Scouting released its mid-season rankings for the 2016 NHL Draft. The rankings feature the top 210 skaters and 30 goaltenders in North America as well as the top 134 skaters and 15 goaltenders from Europe.
 
Forward Auston Matthews (Scottsdale, Ariz.), who plays for Zurich in Switzerland’s National League, leads the top draft-eligible skaters from Europe. Forward Matthew Tkachuk (St. Louis, Mo.), who plays for the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League, sits atop the North American rankings.
 
Click here for the full rankings.
 
LOOSE PUCKS
The Flyers saw their overall point streak end at six games (5-0-1) and home point streak stop at eight contests (6-0-2) . . . Despite suffering the overtime loss, the Canucks have earned at least one point in 11 of their past 14 games (8-3-3) . . . Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov (1-1—2) extended his point streak to a career-high six games (5-4—9). He also has 8-9—17 during an 11-game home point streak . . . Teammate Alex Killorn (1-2—3) equaled a career high for points in one game (also Nov. 2, 2013 vs. STL: 1-2—3) . . . Jake Muzzin (0-1—1) extended his point streak to a career-high eight games (1-7—8), the longest such run by a Kings defenseman since Dec. 10-28, 2005 (Lubomir Visnovsky: 1-11—12 in 9 GP) . . . Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere scored his eighth goal of the season, tops among rookie blueliners . . . Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky made 22 saves in his first start since Dec. 8, including a denial of Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin on a third-period penalty shot . . . Devils forward Mike Cammalleri collected one assist in his first appearance since Dec. 30 . . . ICYMI: The NHL announced its list of attractions for the 2016 NHL Fan Fair presented by Bridgestone, which will be open Jan. 28-31 at Music City Center in Nashville . . . The NHL announced that it will auction the Bruins’ and Canadiens’ autographed game-worn jerseys from Tuesday’s contest at Bell Centre, with all proceeds going to support Boston Pride forward Denna Laing in her rehabilitation and recovery from the injury she suffered while playing in the Outdoor Women’s Classic presented by Scotiabank. The Bruins and Canadiens also aired a special video for Laing prior to puck drop.
 
SNEAK PEEK AT WEDNESDAY’S ACTION
All Times Eastern
St. Louis @ Detroit, 8:00 p.m., NBCSN, SN, TVAS
Buffalo @ Colorado, 10:00 p.m., MSG-B, BELL TV, ALT
Minnesota @ Anaheim, 10:30 p.m., NBCSN, SN
NBCSN Channel Finder
Sportsnet Channel Finder
NHLN Channel Finder
 
NATIONAL BROADCASTS HIGHLIGHT WEDNESDAY’S SCHEDULE
A doubleheader of national broadcasts in both the U.S. and Canada highlight Wednesday’s schedule:
 
* Former division rivals face off when the Blues (27-15-7, 61 points) visit the Red Wings (23-14-8, 54 points) at Joe Louis Arena (NBCSN, SN, TVAS). Both clubs are looking to climb the ladder in their respective divisions: St. Louis, who ranks third in the Central, is within two points of Dallas (29-13-5, 63 points) for second place; Detroit, who sits second in the Atlantic, is within three points of Florida (26-15-5, 57 points) for first place.
 
* Two teams battling for playoff spots in the Western Conference then meet when the Wild (22-15-8, 52 points) play the Ducks (19-18-7, 45 points) at Honda Center (NBCSN, SN). Minnesota currently occupies the first Wild Card spot in the conference, with a three-point cushion over Colorado (23-21-3, 49 points). Anaheim sits four points back of a playoff spot both in the Pacific Division and Wild Card race.
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