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NHL Morning Skate for Friday, February 16, 2018: League leaders Kucherov, Ovechkin post four points apiece; former Blue Jacket William Karlsson scores 30th goal, Vegas continues to make history during inaugural season

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

THURSDAY’S RESULTS

Home Team in Caps

NEW JERSEY 5, Carolina 2

NY ISLANDERS 3, NY Rangers 0

PITTSBURGH 3, Los Angeles 1

OTTAWA 3, Buffalo 2 (OT)

TAMPA BAY 4, Detroit 1

Calgary 4, NASHVILLE 3

Washington 5, MINNESOTA 2

Anaheim 3, CHICAGO 2

ARIZONA 5, Montreal 2

VEGAS 4, Edmonton 1

SAN JOSE 4, Vancouver 1

 

LEAGUE LEADERS KUCHEROV, OVECHKIN POST FOUR POINTS APIECE

Nikita Kucherov and Alex Ovechkin each collected 1-3—4 to power the League-leading Lightning (39-16-3, 81 points) and Metropolitan Division-leading Capitals (33-17-7, 73 points) to wins, respectively.
* Kucherov extended his point streak to five games (4-6—10) and boosted his totals to 31-45—76 in 58 games this season, opening an eight-point lead over Johnny Gaudreau (19-49—68) in the race for the Art Ross Trophy.

 

* Ovechkin scored his 34th goal of the season, tops in the NHL, and became the first player in Capitals history to record 1,100 career points (592-508—1,100 in 978 GP). In pursuit of his seventh Maurice Richard Trophy, Ovechkin moved within eight tallies of becoming the 20th player in NHL history to score 600 goals.

 

BEHIND THE NUMBERS: ALEX OVECHKIN

Alex Ovechkin became the 61st player in NHL history to reach the 1,100-point milestone, reaching the feat in his 978th career game. Only 23 players required fewer games to accumulate 1,100 career points, with Jaromir Jagr (825 GP on Nov. 30, 2001) the last to hit the mark in less than 1,000 games.

 

* Ovechkin, who on Jan. 11, 2017 became the first (and still only) Capitals player to compile 1,000 career points (880 GP), became the 26th player in NHL history to require fewer than 100 contests to move from 1,000 to 1,100 (98 GP).

 

* The NHL record for fewest games to go from 1,000 to 1,100 career points is 37 games, a mark set by Mario Lemieux (Wayne Gretzky required 40 contests).

 

* Ovechkin has collected at least four points in a game 24 times in his career (including three times this season) – second-most in the NHL since he made his debut in 2005-06 (Sidney Crosby: 31).

 

* Ovechkin has compiled 15-10—25 in 14 career games against the Wild – his best points per game average against any opponent (1.79). In addition, he has 12 goals in seven career games against Minnesota’s Devan Dubnyk.

 

 

ROOKIES BARZAL, HISCHIER, KELLER CONTINUE TO SHINE

Islanders forward Mathew Barzal (0-3—3), the League’s rookie scoring leader, Devils forward Nico Hischier (1-2—3), the first overall pick in the 2017 NHL Draft, and Coyotes forward Clayton Keller (1-3—4), the seventh overall pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, collected at least three points apiece to power their clubs to victory:

 

* Barzal assisted on all three Islanders goals to increase his rookie scoring lead (16-46—62) and become the third rookie in franchise history to hit the 60-point mark in a season, joining Bryan Trottier (32-63—95 in 1975-76; 80 GP) and Mike Bossy (53-38—91 in 1977-78; 73 GP).

 

* Hischier ranks second on the Devils with 11-26—37 this season (57 GP), one of three rookies on the team with at least 30 points (also JesperBratt: 12-21—33 and Will Butcher: 2-28—30). Only one other season in franchise history has seen three rookies each hit 30 points: Kirk MullerJohn MacLean and Bruce Driver combined for the feat in 1984-85.

 

* Keller registered a career-high four points to increase his season totals to 17-27—44 and surpass Yanni Gourde (22-21—43) into third place in rookie scoring, behind Barzal and Brock Boeser (27-22—49). Keller became the first Coyotes rookie to record four points in a game since Kyle Turris (March 17, 2009 vs. SJS: 2-2—4).

 

BEHIND THE NUMBERS: MATHEW BARZAL

Mathew Barzal recorded at least three points in a game for the seventh time this season – a number highlighted by a trio of five-point efforts. Thursday’s contest marked his fourth contest with at least three assists.

 

* Barzal is just the fifth rookie since 1993-94 to post 3+ points in a game seven or more times in a season, joining Sidney CrosbyAlex OvechkinNicklas Backstrom and Artemi Panarin. Only one Islanders rookie has posted at least seven outings of 3+ points in a season: Bryan Trottierachieved the feat nine times in 1975-76.

 

* Barzal (1.05) is one of 24 players averaging at least a point per game in 2017-18 (min. 40 GP). Since 1993-94, only five rookies have ended the season averaging at least one point per game (min. 40 GP): Peter Forsberg (1.06) in 1994-95, Ovechkin (1.31) and Crosby (1.26) in 2005-06, Evgeni Malkin (1.09) in 2006-07 and Connor McDavid (1.07) in 2015-16.

 

KARLSSON SCORES 30TH GOAL, VEGAS INCHES CLOSER TO MORE HISTORY

William Karlsson scored his 30th goal of the season as the Golden Knights opened a 4-0 lead en route to their 21st home win, one shy of tying the 1979-80 Whalers for the most such wins by a team in its inaugural season.

 

 

* Karlsson became the 20th player in NHL history to record 30 goals for a team in its inaugural season – and just the fourth to do so for a club to make its League debut in the 1990s or later. The others: Brian Bradley (42) in 1992-93 w/ TBL, Scott Mellanby (30) in 1993-94 w/ FLA and Geoff Sanderson (30) in 2000-01 w/ CBJ.

 

* At 38-15-4 (80 points), the Golden Knights remain atop the Western Conference standings and one point back of the Lightning (39-16-3, 81 points) for the League lead.

 

HALL EXTENDS POINT STREAK IN DEVILS WIN

Taylor Hall notched an assist to extend his point streak to nine games (6-6—12), the longest active run in the NHL and the longest by a Devilsplayer since 2010-11 (Ilya Kovalchuk: 7-7—14 in 12 GP).

 

* Hall’s point streak began Jan. 30 when he returned from a three-game absence. Prior to that, Hall had points in seven consecutive games from Jan. 2-20 (5-7—12).

 

* Overall, Hall’s stretch of 16 consecutive appearances with at least one point is the longest such run in Devils franchise history, besting the previous mark set by Patrik Elias from Dec. 27, 1999 – Jan. 28, 2000 (15-9—24 in 15 GP) and matched by Brian Gionta from March 21 – April 18, 2006 (12-13—25 in 15 GP). Elias and Gionta achieved their runs in consecutive team games.

 

MURRAY ACCOMPLISHES RARE FEAT, PENGUINS EXTEND HOME STREAK

Matt Murray made 34 saves and Zach Aston-Reese scored the tiebreaking goal in the third period as the Penguins picked up their 10th consecutive victory at PPG Paints Arena, matching the longest home win streak in the NHL this season – equaling WSH and COL (active) – and fourth-longest in franchise history.

 

* Murray extended his personal point streak to eight contests (7-0-1) while playing in the 100th regular-season game of his career (62-24-7).

 

* Murray is one of 15 goaltenders in NHL history with 60+ wins through his first 100 career games. Furthermore, his 62 victories are the most through 100 career games among goaltenders to debut in 2005-06 or later.

 

HALAK JOINS SHORT LIST WITH 50-SAVE SHUTOUT

Jaroslav Halak made a career-high 50 saves to become the 11th goaltender to register a shutout when making at least 50 saves (since 1955-56 when shots on goal became an official NHL statistic).

 

* Halak became the second Islanders goaltender to achieve the feat, joining Glenn Healy who made 51 stops in a 3-0 victory vs. VAN on Jan. 16, 1990. The benchmark for most saves in a regular-season shutout (since 1955-56) was set on Jan. 29, 2014 when Edmonton’s Ben Scrivens posted 59 saves in a 3-0 win vs. SJS.

 

QUICK CLICKS

 

· 2017-18 NHL Trade Tracker

· Golden Knights practice aerial acrobatics with Cirque du Soleil

· Ryan Reaves gets goal after telling Willie O’Ree he would score for him

· Marian GaborikDion Phaneuf each score in first game for new teams

· Lightning observe moment of silence in honor of Parkland shooting victims

 

SNEAK PEEK AT FRIDAY’S ACTION

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KEY POINTS UP FOR GRABS ACROSS FOUR INTRADIVISIONAL MATCHUPS

All eight teams playing Friday either sit in a playoff position or are within two points of one, with four teams from both the Metropolitan Division and Central Division facing off in interdivisional matchups:

 

* In the Metropolitan Division, the Flyers (28-19-10, 66 points) face the Blue Jackets (29-24-4, 62 points) and the Islanders (28-25-6, 62 points) take on the Hurricanes (27-22-9, 63 points). The divisional foes are separated by only four points, with Philadelphia holding third place in the division and both Columbus and New York sitting one point back of Carolina for the final Wild Card spot in the East.

 

* In the Central Division, the Avalanche (31-21-4, 66 points) visit the Jets (33-15-9, 75 points) and the Blues (34-21-4, 72 points) clash with the Stars (33-20-4, 70 points). The four clubs are separated by nine points, with the Jets sitting two points back of the Predators (34-13-9, 77 points) for first place and the Avalanche sitting two points outside the playoff picture.

 

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