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Archive for February, 2018

NHL Morning Skate for Wednesday, February 28, 2018: Five points from Staal, Zucker power Wild’s eight-goal outburst; Josi (five assists) leads Predators to comeback win; Hall extends streaks in Devils victory

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

TUESDAY’S RESULTS

Home Team in Caps

BOSTON 4, Carolina 3 (OT)

New Jersey 3, PITTSBURGH 2

WASHINGTON 3, Ottawa 2

FLORIDA 3, Toronto 2 (OT)

MINNESOTA 8, St. Louis 3

Nashville 6, WINNIPEG 5

DALLAS 2, Calgary 0

Los Angeles 4, VEGAS 1

SAN JOSE 5, Edmonton 2

 

FIVE POINTS FROM STAAL, ZUCKER POWER WILD’S EIGHT-GOAL OUTBURST
Eric Staal (3-2—5) and Jason Zucker (1-4—5) each posted five points as the Wild (36-20-7, 79 points) equaled a franchise record for most goals in a game and extended their win streak to a season-high five contests. Minnesota sits third in the Central Division, four points behind Winnipeg (37-17-9, 83 points) for second place.

 

* Staal scored his 14th career hat trick, trailing only Washington’s Alex Ovechkin (20) for the most among active NHL players. His five points were one shy of his single-game career high, a mark set on March 7, 2009 w/ CAR (4-2—6 at TBL).

 

* Staal has scored at least once in four consecutive games (7-4—11) and boosted his totals to 33-31—64 this season (63 GP). His 33 goals in 2017-18 are tied for fourth in the NHL and his most in a season since posting an equal amount in 2010-11 (81 GP w/ CAR).

 

* Zucker, meanwhile, set single-game career highs for assists and points. He and Staal became the third and fourth different players in franchise history to record at least five points in a game.

 

JOSI (FIVE ASSISTS) LEADS PREDATORS TO COMEBACK WIN

Roman Josi (0-5—5) assisted on five of Nashville’s six goals to help the Predators (39-14-9, 87 points) erase a 5-3 deficit in the third period and extend their win streak to five games. Nashville moved ahead of Vegas (41-17-5, 87 points) for first place in the Western Conference and have a game in hand on the Golden Knights.

 

* Josi matched franchise records for most assists and points in a game and extended his assist/point streak to five contests (1-11—12). Only two other defensemen have recorded five points in a game this season: Ryan Pulock (NYI) on Jan. 20 (1-4—5 at CHI) and Tyson Barrie (COL) on Feb. 20 (1-4—5 at VAN).

* Nashville’s David Poile earned his 1,319th career regular-season win to move into a tie with Glen Sather for the most by a general manager in NHL history.

 

DID YOU KNOW?

* Tuesday was the first day to feature three players each recording at least five points in a game since Oct. 22, 2009, when J-P Dumont (1-4—5 w/ NSH), Ales Hemsky (1-4—5 w/ EDM) and Dustin Penner (2-3—5 w/ EDM) did so.

 

* Fifty-eight games have featured at least 10 combined goals this season (976 GP), including two contests on Tuesday. The last season to feature as many such instances through the first 976 games was 2008-09 (62).

 

HALL EXTENDS STREAKS IN DEVILS VICTORY

Taylor Hall posted 1-1—2 to help the Devils (33-22-8, 74 points) snap the Penguins’ home win streak at 11 contests and extend his point streak to 15 games (10-10—20). New Jersey occupies the first Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference, two points back of Pittsburgh (36-24-4, 76 points) for third place in the Metropolitan Division.

 

* Hall, who began his 15-game point streak upon his return from a three-game absence on Jan. 30, has collected at least one point in 22 consecutive appearances dating to Jan. 2 (15-17—32). His 15-game point streak is the longest in the NHL this season and equaled the franchise record set by Patrik Elias in 1999-00 and matched by Brian Gionta in 2005-06.

 

* Hall’s stretch of 22 consecutive appearances with at least one point is the longest such run in Devils franchise history. He is just the fifth player in the last 25 years (since 1992-93) to record at least one point in 22 or more consecutive appearances.

* Hall leads the Devils with 27-41—68 overall in 2017-18 (58 GP). He equaled his single-season career high for goals, a mark set in 2011-12 (61 GP w/ EDM) and matched in 2013-14 (75 GP w/ EDM).

 

CAPITALS HEAD TO STADIUM SERIES ON WINNING NOTE

Evgeny Kuznetsov scored twice, including the game winner late in the second period, to lead the Capitals (36-21-7, 79 points) to victory in their final contest before appearing in the 2018 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series. Washington, who reclaimed first place in the Metropolitan Division, will face Toronto (39-20-7, 85 points) outdoors at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium on March 3 (8 p.m. ET on CBC, TVAS, NBC).

 

RECENT ACQUISITIONS HELP BRUINS DEFEAT HURRICANES

Tommy Wingels (1-1—2) and Rick Nash (1-0—1), who were acquired by Boston ahead of Monday’s 2018 NHL Trade Deadline, each found the scoresheet to help the Bruins (38-15-8, 84 points) earn an overtime win over the Hurricanes. Boston sits third in the Atlantic Division, one point behind Toronto (39-20-7, 85 points) for second place.

 

* Wingels became the third player in 2017-18 to record multiple points in his regular-season Bruins debut; he joined Jake DeBrusk and Charlie McAvoy, who each had 1-1—2 on Oct. 5 vs. NSH. The franchise record for most points in a Bruins debut is four, a mark set by Morris Lukowich on Feb. 7, 1985 vs. HFD (1-3—4).

 

* McAvoy (20 years, 68 days) notched the winner to become the youngest defenseman in franchise history to score a regular-season overtime goal. McAvoy is tied for second among rookie blueliners with 7-23—30 this season (57 GP), trailing only Tampa Bay’s Mikhail Sergachev (8-23—31 in 61 GP).

 

* Nash, who made his Bruins debut on Sunday, reached the 800-point milestone (435-365—800 in 1,051 GP).

 

CLUBS SECURE KEY WINS IN RACE FOR PLAYOFF POSITIONS

The Sharks (34-21-9, 77 points), Stars (36-23-4, 76 points), Kings (35-24-5, 75 points) and Panthers (29-25-6, 64 points) each secured key wins on Tuesday:

 

Joe Pavelski (1-3—4) factored on four of five goals and Evander Kane posted two assists in his San Jose debut as the Sharks snapped a three-game slide (0-2-1). San Jose is second in the Pacific Division, trailing only Vegas (41-17-5, 87 points) for first place.

 

* Ben Bishop turned aside all 38 shots he faced to record his fifth shutout of the season (24th career) and backstop the Stars past the Flames. Dallas occupies the first Wild Card spot in the Western Conference, three points back of Minnesota (36-20-7, 79 points) for third place in the Central Division.

 

Jack Campbell made 41 saves to earn the first win of his NHL career (3 GP) and help the Kings sweep their home-and-home set with the Golden Knights. Los Angeles moved into third in the Pacific Division, two points behind San Jose for second place.

 

* The Maple Leafs overcame a 2-0 deficit, but Jared McCann scored at 3:47 of overtime to power the Panthers to victory. Florida improved to 10-3-0 in its last 13 games and moved within five points of Columbus (32-26-5, 69 points) for the final Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference.
QUICK CLICKS

 

· Patric Hornqvist signs five-year contract with Penguins

· David Poile always forward thinking in Nashville (via Barry Trotz)

· How eight contenders loaded up for a playoff run (via Nick Cotsonika)

· Five Questions with Naval Academy Superintendent Walter E. Carter Jr. (via Tom Gulitti)

· Alex Ovechkin can reach milestones with Capitals in Stadium Series (via Tom Gulitti)

 

SNEAK PEEK AT WEDNESDAY’S ACTION

 

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PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY NHL PUBLIC RELATIONS; COURTESY NHLmedia.com

 

NHL Morning Skate for Tuesday, February 27, 2018

 

2018 NHL TRADE DEADLINE RECAP
Teams made 18 trades involving 37 players on Monday prior to the 2018 NHL Trade Deadline. A few highlights:

 

* The Lightning acquired defenseman Ryan McDonagh and forward J.T. Miller from the Rangers in exchange for forward Vladislav Namestnikov, defenseman Libor Hajek, forward Brett Howden, a 2018 first-round pick and conditional second-round pick in 2019.

 

* The Jets acquired forward Paul Stastny from the Blues in exchange for a 2018 first-round pick and forward Erik Foley.

 

* The Golden Knights acquired forward Tomas Tatar from the Red Wings in exchange for a 2018 first-round pick, 2019 second-round pick and 2021 third-round pick.

 

* The Sharks acquired forward Evander Kane from the Sabres in exchange for forward Daniel O’Regan, a conditional 2019 first-round pick and a conditional 2019 fourth-round pick.

 

* The Predators acquired forward Ryan Hartman and a 2018 fifth-round pick from the Blackhawks in exchange for forward Victor Ejdsell, a 2018 first-round pick and a 2018 fourth-round pick.

 

* The Devils acquired forward Patrick Maroon from the Oilers in exchange for forward J.D. Dudek and a 2019 third-round pick.

 

* The Blue Jackets acquired forward Thomas Vanek from the Canucks in exchange for forwards Tyler Motte and Jussi Jokinen.
Click here for the official 2017-18 trade tracker.

 

MONDAY’S RESULTS

Home Team in Caps

COLUMBUS 5, Washington 1
Philadelphia 1, MONTREAL 0 (SO)

TAMPA BAY 4, Toronto 3 (SO)

COLORADO 3, Vancouver 1

LOS ANGELES 3, Vegas 2 (OT)
MRAZEK’S SHUTOUT LIFTS FLYERS INTO FIRST IN METROPOLITAN DIVISION
Petr Mrazek
turned aside all 28 shots he faced and Sean Couturier scored the decisive marker in the shootout as the Flyers (34-19-10, 78 points) picked up their sixth consecutive victory to leapfrog the Capitals (35-21-7, 77 points) into first place in the Metropolitan Division. Philadelphia improved to 10-0-2 since Feb. 3, their longest point streak since a 12-game run from 2003-04.

 

* Mrazek, who was acquired by Philadelphia on Feb. 19, improved to 3-0-0 with the Flyers (1.30 GAA, .947 SV% and one shutout) to become just the ninth goaltender to win each of his first three appearances with the club (and first since Ilya Bryzgalov in 2011-12: 3-0-0). Mrazek is the only goaltender in franchise history to accomplish the feat following a mid-season trade.

 

* Philadelphia extended its road win streak to seven games, tied for the second-longest such stretch in franchise history. The Flyers’ other road win streaks of at least seven games: Dec. 22 – Jan. 16, 1983 (8-0-0) and Oct. 12 – Nov. 16, 1985 (7-0-0). Boston is the only other club to win seven consecutive road games this season (7-0-0 from Jan. 13 – Feb. 11).
* The Flyers posted a 10-1-2 record in February, marking the second time in franchise history that the club has posted 10 wins in the month (10-0-4 in February 1976).

 

BLUE JACKETS RIDE POTENT FIRST PERIOD TO VICTORY. . .
Seth Jones and Cam Atkinson each collected 1-2—3 as Columbus scored four goals in the first period en route to their third win in four contests. The Blue Jackets (32-26-5, 69 points) increased their lead to four points over the idle Islanders (29-27-7, 65 points) for the final Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference.

 

Mark Letestu scored in his first game with the Blue Jackets since being acquired on Sunday. This is Letestu’s second stint with the club – he collected 43-55—98 in 233 games with Columbus from 2011-12 through 2014-15.

 

* Only nine points separate Nos. 1-5 in the Metropolitan Division. New Jersey has 20 games remaining, while each of the other four clubs among the top five have 19 contests left in 2017-18.

 

. . . OVECHKIN CLIMBS YET ANOTHER CAPITALS FRANCHISE LIST
Alex Ovechkin
scored to move within one tally of his ninth 40-goal season and within three goals of 600 for his career, doing so in his 984th NHL game (all w/ WSH) – an appearance that propelled him past Calle Johansson (983 GP) into sole possession of first place in franchise history.

 

* Ovechkin – who has scored six times in his past seven games – became the 10th player in NHL history to lead a franchise in games played, goals, points, overtime goals, game-winning goals and power-play goals. Rick Nash is the only other active player to hold that distinction (w/ CBJ).

 

STAR PLAYERS LIFT WILD CARD CONTENDERS TO VICTORY

The Kings (34-24-5, 73 points) and Avalanche (33-24-5, 71 points) both earned wins on the strength of strong performances from their stars:

 

* Kings captain Anze Kopitar (1-2—3) converted a pass from Dion Phaneuf (0-1—1) – who has 3-1—4 since being acquired by Los Angeles (7 GP) – to tie the game in with 11.8 seconds remaining in regulation, setting the stage for an overtime goal by Dustin Brown (1-1—2). The Kings won after trailing by multiple goals in the third period for the first time this season, defeating the conference-leading Golden Knights (41-16-5, 87 points) to reclaim the final Wild Card spot in the West.
* Kopitar scored the second game-tying goal in the final 15 seconds of regulation in as many days, following Anaheim’s Rickard Rakell on Sunday vs. EDM. There have been 30 tying goals scored in the final minute of regulation this season, including 10 in the final 15 seconds.

* ICYMI: The gold medal-winning U.S. Olympic Women’s Ice Hockey Team participated in the ceremonial puck drop.

* Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon (2-1—3) collected his 10th game with at least three points – including his ninth game-winning goal – to help Colorado improve to 11-1-0 in their last 12 games at Pepsi Center and move within two points of the Kings for the second Wild Card spot in the Western Conference.
* MacKinnon became the first Avalanche player with 10+ contests with at least three points since 2006-07 when Joe Sakic also had 10. Pittsburgh’s Evgeni Malkin (11) is the only player with more performances with at least three points this season.

LIGHTNING HOLD OFF MAPLE LEAFS IN ATLANTIC-DIVISION AFFAIR
Brayden Point netted the only goal in the shootout to guide the Lightning (43-17-3, 89 points) past the Maple Leafs (39-20-6, 84 points) – who hold second place in the Atlantic Division – and to their fourth straight victory. Andrei Vasilevskiy made 27 saves to earn his NHL-best 37th win of the season, three shy of the single-season Lightning franchise record.

QUICK CLICKS

 

· Eric StaalPekka Rinne and Ryan Getzlaf named Three Stars of the Week

· NHL to host PreGame fan festival at Stadium Series

· Sidney Crosby surprises 100 kids in Little Penguins youth hockey program

· Mike Fisher officially signs one-year contract with Predators

· First Indigenous player in NHL recalls improbable, inspirational journey

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY NHL PUBLIC RELATIONS; COURTESY NHLmedia.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

NHL Morning Skate for Monday, February 26, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

TRADE MARKET HEATS UP AHEAD OF 2018 NHL TRADE DEADLINE
Teams continued to swap players in advance of the 2018 NHL Trade Deadline, which is set for today at 3 p.m. ET. The NHL Network will televise 15 hours of live programming, beginning with a simulcast of Sportsnet’s Hockey Central Trade Deadline coverage at 8 a.m. ET.
* The Bruins acquired forward Rick Nash from the Rangers in exchange for forwards Ryan Spooner and Matt Beleskey, defenseman Ryan Lindgren and Boston’s first-round pick and seventh-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft. Nash and Spooner (0-2—2) debuted for their new clubs.

* The Maple Leafs acquired forwards Tomas Plekanec and Kyle Baun from the Canadiens in exchange for defenseman Rinat Valiev, forwardKerby Rychel and a second-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft.
* Details on Sunday’s other three trades are included in the official 2017-18 trade tracker, which lists every deal since June 14, 2017.

 

* The following documents are available via the League’s Media site: By the Numbers, Deadline Day Trades (since 1980) and Deadline Day Acquisitions by Stanley Cup Champions (since 2006).

 

SUNDAY’S RESULTS

Home Team in Caps

NASHVILLE 4, St. Louis 0
BUFFALO 4, Boston 1
Detroit 3, NY RANGERS 2 (OT)
Edmonton 6, ANAHEIM 5 (SO)
MINNESOTA 3, San Jose 2 (OT)
Vancouver 3, ARIZONA 1

RINNE, POILE APPROACH RECORDS IN PREDATORS WIN
Four different players scored and Pekka Rinne turned aside all 27 shots he faced to power the Predators (38-14-9, 85 points) to their fourth straight win and back into sole possession of first place in the Central Division, two points ahead of the idle Jets (37-16-9, 83 points).

* Rinne, who earned the 300th win of his NHL career on Thursday, posted his sixth shutout of the season and trails only Andrei Vasilevskiy (seven) for the most in 2017-18. He sits one shutout shy of matching his career-high and the Predators’ single-season record of seven, set in 2008-09 and matched in 2009-10.

* With the win Sunday, Predators general manager David Poile (1,318) moved within one victory of tying Glen Sather (1,319) for the most regular-season victories by a GM in League history.

LATE GOALS GIVE RAKELL HAT TRICK, BUT OILERS SURVIVE FRANTIC FINISH

Ducks forward Rickard Rakell scored twice in the final 21 seconds of regulation to complete a hat trick and erase a 5-3 deficit, but Oilers forwards Connor McDavid (0-3—3) and Leon Draisaitl (1-1—2) both scored in the shootout to help Edmonton survive the rally for their third straight win.

 

* Rakell, who added the first goal of the shootout, netted the first hat trick of his career (295 GP) to help the Ducks (31-21-12, 74 points) secure a point and leapfrog the idle Flames (32-22-9, 73 points) into third place in the Pacific Division. Elias notes that Anaheim tied a game in which they trailed by multiple goals in the final 30 seconds for the first time in franchise history. Only seven other NHL teams have accomplished the feat since 1967-68, with San Jose recording the last instance on Apr. 4, 2004 vs. LAK.

 

* Rakell, who led the Ducks with 33 goals in 2016-17, netted the 53rd hat trick of 2017-18 and second in as many days (Evgenii Dadonov: 3-0—3 vs. PIT w/ FLA). According to Elias, Rakell is the only player since 1967-68 to score three or more goals in a game, including two or more in the final 30 seconds of regulation.

 

* Meanwhile, McDavid (27-47—74) posted his eighth contest with at least three points to move into a tie with Flyers forward Claude Giroux (22-52—74) for third in NHL scoring.

 

DID YOU KNOW?

The Oilers-Ducks contest also featured an early goal, with Leon Draisaitl scoring 13 seconds after the opening faceoff. Elias notes that Draisaitl scored the fastest goal to start a game by an Oilers player since March 6, 2012, when Jordan Eberle tallied 10 seconds into a game in San Jose.

 

* Elias notes that the last game to feature a goal in the opening 15 seconds and a tying goal in the final 15 seconds was a contest between the Sabres and Blue Jackets on April 10, 2015.

 

* Draisaitl’s goal was the third-fastest to begin a game this season, behind Stars forward Tyler Pitlick (0:10 vs. WPG on Feb. 24) and Wild forward Nino Niederreiter (0:12 vs. PHI on Nov. 14).

 

GETZLAF CONTINUES SUCCESS AGAINST OILERS
Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf collected 1-3—4 and ranks second on the Ducks in points with 9-33—42 despite playing only 40 games this season (1.05 P/GP). He is one of 24 players with at least a point per game this season (min. 40 GP).

 

* Getzlaf has compiled more points against the Oilers than any player in Ducks history (18-34—52 in 47 GP). He also has 6-7—13 in 12 career playoff games against the club, including four multi-point efforts during the 2017 Second Round (5-5—10 in 7 GP).

 

SPURGEON CAPS WILD RALLY WITH OVERTIME GOAL

Jared Spurgeon (1-1—2) scored his second career overtime goal with 12 seconds remaining in the extra frame as the Wild (35-20-7, 77 points) overcame a 2-0 deficit to earn their fourth consecutive victory. Minnesota pulled three points ahead of idle Dallas (35-23-4, 74 points) for third place in the Central Division.
Eric Staal collected his 30th goal of the season to tie the game with 4:44 remaining in the third period. It was the third straight game with a goal for Staal, who reached the 30-goal mark for the sixth time in his career and first since 2010-11, when he scored 33 goals with the Hurricanes (81 GP).

RANGERS RETIRE RATELLE’S NO. 19
The Rangers raised the No. 19 of Jean Ratelle to the rafters at Madison Square Garden on Sunday. Ratelle sits third on the franchise’s all-time scoring list with 336-481—817 in 861 GP and became the ninth player to have his number retired by the Rangers. The others: Ed Giacomin (No. 1), Brian Leetch (No. 2), Harry Howell (No. 3), Rod Gilbert (No. 7), Adam Graves (No. 9), Andy Bathgate (No. 9), Mark Messier (No. 11) and Mike Richter (No. 35).

 

QUICK CLICKS

 

· Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School wins state hockey title 10 days after tragedy

· Brent Burns makes Sharks fan’s day by signing her jersey

· Classy Jean Ratelle still most popular among Rangers alumni

· Brian Gionta signed by Bruins, will be eligible for playoffs

· Cody Goloubef signs with Flames after competing for Canada in 2018 Olympics

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY NHL PUBLIC RELATIONS; COURTESY NHLmedia.com

 

 

 

 

 

NHL Morning Skate for Sunday, February 25, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

SATURDAY’S RESULTS 

Home Team in Caps

Philadelphia 5, OTTAWA 3

CALGARY 5, Colorado 1

NEW JERSEY 2, NY Islanders 1

Winnipeg 5, DALLAS 3

TORONTO 4, Boston 3

Tampa Bay 4, MONTREAL 3 (SO)

DETROIT 3, Carolina 1

FLORIDA 6, Pittsburgh 5

WASHINGTON 5, Buffalo 1

COLUMBUS 3, Chicago 2

ARIZONA 2, Anaheim 0

Edmonton 4, LOS ANGELES 3

 

HALL EXTENDS STREAKS AS DEVILS RALLY FOR WIN . . .

Trailing 1-0 in the third period, Taylor Hall (0-2—2) assisted on a pair of Kyle Palmieri (2-0—2) goals to rally the Devils (32-22-8, 72 points) to victory and extend his point streak to 14 games (9-9—18). Hall, who began his 14-game point streak upon his return from a three-game absence on Jan. 30, has collected at least one point in 21 consecutive appearances dating to Jan. 2 (14-16—30).

 

* Hall’s 14-game point streak is the longest in the NHL this season and just one shy of matching the franchise record of 15 games set by Patrik Elias in 1999-00 and matched by Brian Gionta in 2005-06. ICYMI: The Devils retired Elias’ No. 26 before the game.

 

* Hall’s stretch of 21 consecutive appearances with at least one point is the longest such run in Devils franchise history. He is just the sixth player in the last 25 years (since 1992-93) to record at least one point in 21 or more consecutive appearances.

 

. . . PATRICK SCORES AGAIN AS FLYERS EXTEND STREAK TO 11 GAMES

Nolan Patrick scored the game winner, his fourth consecutive outing with a goal (4-0—4), to help the Flyers extend their overall point streak to 11 contests (9-0-2), including five consecutive wins. This marks the first time since 2005-06 that Philadelphia has posted a point streak of at least 11 games (also 9-0-2 from Dec. 17-Jan. 6).

 

* The Flyers (33-19-10, 76 points) moved into second place in the Metropolitan Division, where seeds 1-3 are separated by only one point.

 

* Patrick, the second overall selection in the 2017 NHL Draft, had five goals in 49 contests before his four-game goal streak. He has scored the game-winning goal in each of the Flyers’ last two contests.

 

Claude Giroux (1-1—2) collected multiple points for the sixth time in his last nine games to move into third in the NHL in points (22-52—74 in 62 GP).

 

MARNER NETS FOUR POINTS AS MAPLE LEAFS MATCH FRANCHISE RECORD

Mitchell Marner (1-3—4) factored on all four Toronto goals – including an assist on the go-ahead marker with 1:23 remaining in regulation – to lead the Maple Leafs (39-20-5, 83 points) past the Bruins (37-14-8, 82 points) and to their ninth straight victory at Air Canada Centre.

 

* Toronto leapfrogged Boston into second place in the Atlantic Division, where only five points separate the top three clubs.

 

* The Maple Leafs matched the franchise record for most consecutive home wins. At 10-2-0 this month, Toronto also established a new club benchmark for total wins in the month of February.

 

LAINE ECLIPSES 30 GOALS (AGAIN) AS JETS CLOSE GAP IN CENTRAL

Patrik Laine scored twice to extend his goal streak to five games (6-3—9), eclipse 30 goals for the second time in as many NHL seasons and help the Jets (37-16-9, 83 points) stretch their road point streak to five contests (4-0-1).

 

* Winnipeg moved into a tie with Nashville (37-14-9, 83 points) for the most points in the Central Division; the Predators, however, hold two games in hand.

 

* Laine (31-20—51), who scored 36 goals as a rookie in 2016-17, became the eighth player to hit the 30-goal mark this season. Laine has 67 career goals and will celebrate his 20th birthday on April 19; only six players in NHL history have scored more goals as a teenager.

 

CLUBS SECURE KEY WINS IN EASTERN CONFERENCE PLAYOFF RACE

The Lightning (42-17-3, 87 points), Capitals (35-20-7, 77 points) and Blue Jackets (31-26-5, 67 points) each secured key wins to strengthen their positions in the Eastern Conference playoff race:

 

Brayden Point scored in regulation and netted the only goal of the shootout as the Lightning swept their three-game road trip and reclaimed first place in the NHL standings. Point extended his point streak to seven games (5-3—8), including at least one goal in each of his last four outings (5-0—5). Nikita Kucherov (1-1—2), meanwhile, stretched his point streak to nine contests (6-10—16) and leads the NHL with 33-49—82 in 2017-18.

 

Alex Ovechkin scored twice and Evgeny Kuznetsov collected 1-3—4 as the Capitals reclaimed first place in the Metropolitan Division standings. Ovechkin leads the NHL with 38 goals this season, two goals shy of becoming the sixth player in NHL history to record at least nine 40-goal seasons and four tallies from becoming the 20th player to score 600 career goals.

 

Josh Anderson scored the go-ahead goal with 8:46 remaining in regulation to power Columbus past Chicago. The Blue Jackets occupy the final Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference, two points ahead of the Islanders (29-27-7, 65 points) and three up on the Hurricanes (27-25-10, 64 points).

 

DADONOV (HAT TRICK) HELPS PANTHERS CONTINUE RECENT SUCCESS

The Penguins overcame deficits of 4-2 and 5-3 in the third period, but Evgenii Dadonov (3-0—3) scored the go-ahead goal with 1:53 remaining in regulation to complete his first career hat trick and power the Panthers (28-25-6, 62 points) to a 9-3-0 record in their last 12 outings.

 

* Florida sits five points back of Columbus for the final Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference.

 

* Saturday’s contest between the Panthers and Penguins marked the 55th game to feature at least 10 combined goals in 2017-18 (956 GP). The last season to feature as many such instances through the first 956 games was 2008-09 (60).

QUICK CLICKS

 

· Patrik Elias validated Devils’ faith by surpassing expectations (via Mike Morreale)

· Andrei Vasilevskiy makes another incredible behind-the-back save

· Chicago fans show support to Devante Smith-Pelly

· Henrik Lundqvist‘s new mask celebrates 50 years of Madison Square Garden moments

· Jets get in the spirit of ugly suit trip with hideous threads

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY NHL PUBLIC RELATIONS; COURTESY NHLmedia.com

Former A’s pitching great Dave Stewart to work with pitchers during early days of Spring Training

Dave Stewart waving to crowd 2009 By John-Morgan on Flickr, CC BY 2.0, https commons.wikimedia.org

Dave Stewart is slated to serve as a Special Instructor for the Oakland Athletics for the first five days of camp at the team’s training facility in Mesa, Ariz.

Stewart, who spent eight seasons with the A’s (1986-92, 95) is a three-time World Series champion, including winning the World Series MVP award in 1989. He was also named ALCS MVP twice (1990, 93), was an All-Star in 1989, led the American League in wins in 1987, received the Roberto Clemente Award in 1990, and threw a no-hitter on June 29, 1990 with the A’s.

After his playing career, Stewart worked in the front offices of various Major League organizations including the A’s and Padres before serving as General Manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks from 2014-16.

Today is the first workout for pitchers and catchers, and the first full-squad workout is on Feb. 19. The A’s first game of the spring comes on Feb. 23 at home against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

Read more: Oakland Athletics
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