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NHL Morning Skate for Sunday, February 18, 2018: Vegas matches another NHL record with home win; Penguins extend home streak to 11 contests; Blackhawks’ Kane notches 500th NHL assist

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

SATURDAY’S RESULTS

Home Team in Caps

Los Angeles 4, BUFFALO 2

Anaheim 3, MINNESOTA 2 (SO)

OTTAWA 6, NY Rangers 3

ARIZONA 1, Edmonton 0

VEGAS 6, Montreal 3

New Jersey 4, TAMPA BAY 3

PITTSBURGH 5, Toronto 3

Detroit 3, NASHVILLE 1

CHICAGO 7, Washington 1

VANCOUVER 6, Boston 1

Florida 6, CALGARY 3

VEGAS MATCHES ANOTHER NHL RECORD WITH HOME WIN
Reilly Smith
(2-1—3) and Jonathan Marchessault (0-3—3) each collected three points to guide the Golden Knights (39-15-4, 82 points) to their third straight win and leapfrog the Lightning (39-17-3, 81 points) for first place in the NHL standings.

* Elias notes that the Golden Knights, who sit atop the League standings through 58 GP, are the first expansion team in their inaugural season to hold the outright lead in the standings this late into an NHL campaign. Previously, the expansion franchise to lead the League the latest in a season was the 1967-68 Kings, who sat atop the NHL standings following their 19th game on Nov. 24, 1967.

* Vegas, who already owns the NHL record for most wins by a team in its inaugural season, improved to 22-4-2 at T-Mobile Arena and matched the 1979-80 Whalers (22-12-6) for the most home wins by a team in its inaugural season.

* Smith (19-32—51), who collected his third three-point game of the season, extended his point streak to seven contests (5-7—12) and reached the 50-point mark for the third time in his career (also 20-31—51 in 2013-14 w/ BOS and 25-25—50 in 2015-16 w/ FLA).

* Smith accompanied Marchessault (58), David Perron (53) and William Karlsson (51) as the fourth Golden Knights player to register at least 50 points this season. Vegas joined the Stars (Jamie Benn: 53; Alexander Radulov: 53; John Klingberg: 53; and Tyler Seguin: 51) as the only clubs to feature four 50-point players this season.

PENGUINS EXTEND HOME STREAK TO 11 CONTESTS
The Penguins (34-22-4, 72 points) rode strong performances from Evgeni Malkin (1-2—3) and Bryan Rust (1-2—3) en route to their 11th consecutive win at PPG Paints Arena. Pittsburgh, who moved within one point of the Capitals (33-18-7, 73 points) for first place in the Metropolitan Division, holds the longest active home streak in the NHL and has strung together at least 11 straight home wins for the fourth time in franchise history.

* Malkin, who boosted his career totals to 361-540—901 in 762 GP, became the fourth player in Penguins franchise history to reach the 900-point mark, joining Mario Lemieux (1,723), Sidney Crosby (1,093) and Jaromir Jagr (1,079).

* In search of his third Art Ross Trophy (also 2009 and 2012), Malkin currently sits second (33-36—69) in NHL scoring and trails Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov (31-46—77 in 59 GP) by eight points. In fact, since entering the NHL in 2006-07, only Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin (994) and Crosby (991) have produced more points than Malkin.

* According to Elias, Saturday marked the 61st time in Malkin’s career in which he recorded exactly three points in a game. Through his 12 NHL seasons, the second-overall pick in the 2004 NHL Draft has collected 161 two-point games, 16 four-point games and seven five-point games.

KANE RECORDS 500TH NHL ASSIST, BLACKHAWKS ERUPT FOR SEVEN GOALS
Patrick Kane (1-1—2) collected two points, including his 500th career NHL assist, en route to helping the Blackhawks (25-26-8, 58 points) snap an eight-game skid (0-7-1).

* Kane, who scored his 300th career goal on Dec. 23 at NJD, joined Stan Mikita (541-926—1,467), Bobby Hull (604-549—1,153), Denis Savard(377-719—1,096) and Steve Larmer (406-517—923) as the only players to register 300 goals and 500 assists with the franchise.

* Kane (307-500—807 in 799 GP), who leads the Blackhawks in scoring with 22-33—55 and has paced the club in goals, assists and points in the each of the last two seasons, became the 29th player in NHL history to register 300 goals and 500 assists prior to his 800th career game. In fact, Kane and Pat LaFontaine are the only U.S.-born players to accomplish the feat before skating in their 800th career contest.

 

HALL FINDS THE SCORESHEET (AGAIN) IN DEVILS VICTORY
Four different players scored and Eddie Lack made a career-high 48 saves to help the Devils (30-20-8, 68 points) earn their third straight win and maintain their position in the Eastern Conference’s first Wild Card spot.

Taylor Hall collected an assist to extend the NHL’s longest active point streak to 10 contests (6-7—13), two games shy of the longest by a Devilsplayer since 2010-11 (Ilya Kovalchuk: 7-7—14 in 12 GP). Hall, who’s posted a stretch of 17 consecutive appearances with at least one point, is the eighth different player to string together a point streak of at least 10 contests and sits two away from matching David Pastrnak (5-9—14 in 12 GP from Nov. 22 – Dec. 18) for the longest such streak in 2017-18.
PANTHERS CONTINUE TO CLIMB EASTERN CONFERENCE STANDINGS. . .

Aleksander Barkov tallied 1-2—3 and Roberto Luongo made 30 saves in his first start since Dec. 4 to lead the Panthers (26-23-6, 58 points) to their third consecutive win and their seventh victory in their last eight contests. Florida scored at least six goals in a game for the second time in three games and moved within six points of the Islanders (29-25-6, 64 points), with five games in hand, for the second Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference.

 

. . . HAMILTON NETS HAT TRICK IN 400TH NHL GAME
Despite a loss, Flames defenseman Dougie Hamilton scored his first career hat trick while skating in the 400th game of his NHL career. Hamilton, who netted the 50th hat trick of 2017-18, is the second Flames player to accomplish the feat (also Sean Monahan: Nov. 18 at PHI).

* Hamilton, who established career highs in goals, assists and points during 2016-17 (13-37—50 in 81 GP), joined Carolina’s Justin Faulk (Feb. 13 vs. LAK) and Anaheim’s Hampus Lindholm (Dec. 21 at NYI) as the only defenseman to record a hat trick this season. In fact, Hamilton is just the fifth blueliner in Flames franchise history to post a three-goal performance and first since Al MacInnis on Mar. 16, 1992 vs. HFD.

HIGH SCORING RATE CONTINUES

As the 2017-18 season passed the 900-game mark on Saturday, 25 players are scoring at a point-per-game pace or better (min 40 GP), led by Tampa Bay’s Nikita Kucherov (31-46—77 in 59 GP, 1.30 P/GP). Elias notes that 2017-18 features the most players to produce at a point-per-game clip at this point in a season since 2006-07, when 31 players maintained the pace through 900 contests.

QUICK CLICKS

 

· Panthers wear special patches, decals to honor Parkland tragedy victims

· Nathan MacKinnon will return for Avalanche against Oilers

· Hurricanes first-ever moms trip a time for bonding, pizza, Broadway

 

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