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January 2020
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NHL Three ‘Stars’ of the Week: Capitals’ Ovechkin, Blue Jackets’ Merzlikins, Blackhawks’ Toews


NEW YORK (Jan. 20, 2020) – Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin, Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Elvis Merzlikins and Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews have been named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the week ending Jan. 19.


Ovechkin led all skaters in goals and tied for second in points with 8-0—8 in three games, including three multi-goal performances highlighted by back-to-back hat tricks for the third time in his career, to propel the League-leading Capitals (33-11-5, 71 points) to a perfect 3-0-0 week. He opened the week with a pair of goals in a 2-0 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes Jan. 13 to bump his career goal total to 686 and surpass Teemu Selanne into 11th place on the NHL’s all-time list. Ovechkin then rattled off back-to-back hat tricks in a 5-2 win over the New Jersey Devils Jan. 16 and a 6-4 triumph over the New York Islanders Jan. 18 – marking the first time in his career he has scored multiple goals in three straight outings. In addition to Selanne, the 34-year-old native of Moscow, Russia, also passed Mario Lemieux (690) and moved into a tie with Steve Yzerman (692) for ninth on the all-time goals list while moving within eight markers of becoming the eighth member of the NHL’s 700-goal club.


Merzlikins recorded a perfect 3-0-0 record in three appearances with a 0.67 goals-against average, .982 save percentage and two shutouts as the Blue Jackets (26-16-8, 60 points) won four games to move into the first Wild Card position in the Eastern Conference. He began the week with a 34-save shutout in a 3-0 win over the Boston Bruins Jan. 14 after also blanking the Vegas Golden Knights in his previous start Jan. 11. In doing so, he became the second rookie in franchise history to record a shutout in consecutive appearances, joining Steve Mason (Dec. 27-31, 2008; 3 GP). He then made 32 saves in a 3-2 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes Jan. 16 and concluded the week with yet another shutout in which he turned aside 41 shots in a 5-0 triumph over the New Jersey Devils Jan. 18 to become just the seventh rookie goaltender in the NHL’s modern era (since 1943-44) to post three shutouts in the span of four starts. Merzlikins, a 25-year-old native of Riga, Latvia, has made 20 appearances with Columbus this season with an 8-6-4 record (2.36 GAA, .928 SV%, 3 SO).


Toews led all skaters with 3-6—9 in four games last week to help the Blackhawks (24-20-6, 54 points) win all four contests and move within three points of the final Wild card position in the Western Conference. Toews opened the week with 1-2—3, including his 15th career overtime winner, in a 3-2 victory over the Ottawa Senators Jan. 14 and followed it up with an assist in a 4-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens Jan. 15. He closed the week with 2-2—4 in a 6-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs Jan. 18 and added an assist in a 5-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets Jan. 19. Toews, a 31-year-old native of Winnipeg, Man., ranks second on the Blackhawks with 14-30—44 in 50 games this season and is currently riding a six-game point streak dating to Jan. 9 (4-9—13 in 6 GP). He boosted his career totals to 341-458—799 in 923 games and now sits one point shy of becoming the sixth player in Blackhawks history to record 800 points with the franchise.




2019-20 NHL Coach’s Challenge Tracker

A list of all challenges in 2019-20 through games played Jan. 19



109 Coach’s Challenges | 48 upheld | 61 overturned

· 37 for goalie interference | 21 upheld | 16 overturned (15 to “no goal” / 1 to “goal”)

· 3 initiated by Situation Room for goalie interference | 3 upheld | 0 overturned

· 57 for offside | 13 upheld | 44 overturned (all to “no goal”)

· 5 initiated by Situation Room for offside | 4 upheld | 1 overturned (all to “no goal”)

· 6 for stoppage | 6 upheld | 0 overturned (all to “no goal”)

· 1 initiated by Situation Room for stoppage | 1 upheld | 0 overturned (all to “no goal”)


Team Requested Opposing Team Requested Opposing
Boston 1 6 Carolina 4 4
Buffalo 5 2 Columbus 3 5
Detroit 6 2 New Jersey 4 3
Florida 1   NY Islanders 4 4
Montreal 4 3 NY Rangers 2 1
Ottawa 3 3 Philadelphia 1 4
Tampa Bay 4 2 Pittsburgh 3 7
Toronto 2 1 Washington 3 5


Team Requested Opposing Team Requested Opposing
Chicago 2   Anaheim 3 4
Colorado 7 4 Arizona 2 1
Dallas 4 8 Calgary 3 3
Minnesota 3 5 Edmonton 4 3
Nashville   2 Los Angeles 1 3
St. Louis 4 4 San Jose 5 4
Winnipeg 3 8 Vancouver 6 4
      Vegas 3 4

*Requested column does not include challenges initiated by Situation Room



In the final minute of play in the third period and at any point in overtime (regular season and playoffs), Hockey Operations initiates the review of any scenario that would otherwise be subject to a Coach’s Challenge. This process has been initiated for the following teams:


Atlantic: Montreal (2), Tampa Bay

Metropolitan: NY Islanders, Pittsburgh

Central: Dallas, Winnipeg

Pacific: Arizona, San Jose



Teams to either have their goal taken down or counted based on a challenge of any sort.


Call changed from “goal” to “no goal” – 60
Atlantic: Boston (5), Detroit (2), Montreal (2), Ottawa (3), Tampa Bay (2)

Metropolitan: Carolina (2), Columbus (2), NY Islanders, New Jersey, Philadelphia (3), Pittsburgh (2), Washington (4)

Central: Colorado, Dallas (4), Minnesota (3), Nashville, St. Louis (4), Winnipeg (5)

Pacific: Anaheim (2), Arizona, Calgary, Edmonton, Los Angeles, San Jose (4), Vancouver (3)


Call changed from “no goal” to “goal” – 1
: Pittsburgh





Capitals star Alex Ovechkin heading towards 700 goals, 10th-most in NHL history


Alex Ovechkin scored his second hat trick in as many games and tallied his third straight multi-goal outing – a first in his NHL career – to record the 690th, 691st and 692nd regular-season goals of his NHL career. That propelled Ovechkin ahead of Mario Lemieux (690) and into a tie with Steve Yzerman (692) for ninth place on the NHL’s all-time goals list.

* The Capitals captain has scored hat tricks in consecutive games for the third time in his career, with each instance coming since his 32nd birthday (also Oct. 5-7, 2017 and Dec. 11-14, 2018).

* Ovechkin (34 years, 123 days) is one of three players in NHL history – and just the second in the past 98 years – to record consecutive hat tricks three times in his career. He joins Wayne Gretzky (3x), the NHL’s all-time goals leader with 894, and Joe Malone (4x), widely known as one of the first pure goal-scorers in League history. Both Malone (31 years, 327 days) Gretzky (23 years, 28 days) recorded their last such instances at a younger age than Ovechkin.

* Ovechkin sits eight goals shy of becoming the eighth member of the NHL’s 700-goal club. He will need to overtake two more Hall of Fame members on his way to the illustrious group.


* Ovechkin is on pace to go from 600 to 700 goals in only 157 games, which would mark the fewest games to make that leap for any member of the 700-goal club. It also would be the second-fewest games to get from one 100-goal milestone to another in his career.

* The fewest contests Ovechkin has needed to score any collection of 100 goals is 126 games – after tallying his 124th career goal Dec. 27, 2007, he netted his 224th goal Oct. 6, 2009.

* With multiple goals in three straight games and hat tricks in each of his last two, Ovechkin now is on track to reach the 700-goal mark in only 1,146 career games – which would be the second-fastest in League history. Wayne Gretzky (886 GP) and Brett Hull (1,157 GP) are the only players to hit the milestone in fewer than 1,200 games.

* Ovechkin has averaged 0.61 goals-per-game to this point in his career – to rank fifth in NHL history (min. 300 GP) – including a League-best 0.58 rate since celebrating his 30th birthday on Sept. 17, 2015. Among players in the 700-goal club, only two scored at a rate of 0.50 G/GP or higher from age 30 onward.

By the Numbers: Alex Ovechkin’s Road to 700 NHL Goals
A look at some of the numbers behind the highest-scoring left wing and Russian in NHL history:

5,458 Shots on goal by Alex Ovechkin to date; only Ray Bourque (6,209) and Jaromir Jagr (5,637) have more since the League began tracking in 1959-60.
5,219 Days from his first NHL goal (Oct. 5, 2005) to his 685th NHL goal (Jan. 18, 2020).
430 Even-strength goals by Alex Ovechkin, 11th-most in NHL history.
258 Power-play goals by Alex Ovechkin to date; only Dave Andreychuk (274) and Brett Hull (265) have more since the League began tracking in 1933-34.
258 Assists by Nicklas Backstrom on regular-season goals by Alex Ovechkin. Only three players in NHL history have set up a teammate more: Wayne Gretzky (364; Jari Kurri), Bryan Trottier (310; Mike Bossy) and Henrik Sedin (280; Daniel Sedin).
238 Go-ahead goals by Alex Ovechkin, the third-most in NHL history behind Brett Hull (264) and Jarome Iginla (262).
75 Tiebreaking goals by Alex Ovechkin that have stood as the game-winner; tied with Jaromir Jagr (75) for the most such goals in NHL history.
280 The fewest games played required for any 200-goal span of Alex Ovechkin’s career – he scored career goals 61 to 261 from Nov. 6, 2006 to Feb. 7, 2010. Once Ovechkin passes Mark Messier (694) with goal 695, he will need 200 goals to overtake Wayne Gretzky (894).
217 Times Alex Ovechkin has scored Washington’s first goal of a game, the fifth-most such goals in NHL history (he has given the Capitals a 1-0 lead 119 times).
140 Different goaltenders Alex Ovechkin has scored against during the regular season.
124 Tying goals by Alex Ovechkin, the third-most by a player at the time of his 692nd career goal behind Dave Andreychuk (137) and Joe Sakic (132).
109 Game-winning goals by Alex Ovechkin, tied for sixth place in NHL history.
93 Different players to record an assist on an Alex Ovechkin goal during the regular season (Top 3: Nicklas Backstrom: 258; John Carlson: 110; Mike Green: 70).
48 Goals by Alex Ovechkin against the Lightning, his highest total against one franchise during the regular season (Top 5: TBL: 48, WPG/ATL: 47, CAR: 43, TOR: 41, NYI: 39; FLA: 39).
29 Age, in years, of Wayne Gretzky when he scored his 700th regular-season goal. He is the only player to reach the milestone before age 36.
23 Overtime goals by Alex Ovechkin during the regular season, the most in NHL history.
7 Most regular-season games against a goalie versus whom he has never scored a goal (0 G in 7 GP vs. Mike Condon and Mathieu Garon).
5 Career regular-season goals scored by Alex Ovechkin against Pascal Leclaire – the goaltender against whom he scored his first NHL goal.
4 Shorthanded goals scored by Alex Ovechkin, with his last coming more than 11 years ago against the New York Rangers (Jan. 3, 2009).
0.94 Alex Ovechkin’s career goals-per-game against the Wild, his best against one franchise.




NHL fines Rangers’ Lindgren for Interference


NEW YORK (Jan. 17, 2020) – New York Rangers defenseman Ryan Lindgren has been fined $2,486.56, the maximum allowable under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, for interference against New York Islanders forward Jordan Eberle during NHL Game No. 730 at Uniondale, N.Y., on Thursday, Jan. 16, the National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety announced.


Ryan Lindgren

The incident occurred at 15:20 of the second period. Lindgren was assessed a minor penalty for cross-checking.


The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.






NHL fines Predators’ Arvidsson for Diving/Embellishment

NEW YORK (January 17, 2020) — Nashville Predators forward Viktor Arvidsson has been fined $2,000 as supplementary discipline under NHL Rule 64 (Diving/Embellishment), the National Hockey League announced.


NHL Rule 64 is designed to bring attention to and more seriously penalize players (and teams) who repeatedly dive and embellish in an attempt to draw penalties. Fines are assessed to players and head coaches on a graduated scale outlined below:


Citation #    Player Fine(s)   * Head Coach Fine(s)

1           Warning              N/A

2           $2,000                N/A

3           $3,000                N/A

4           $4,000                N/A

5           $5,000                $2,000

6           $5,000                $3,000

7           $5,000                $4,000

8           $5,000                $5,000


For head coaches, each FINE issued to a player on his club counts toward his total. Four FINES issued to one player or a club collectively results in the head coach receiving his first fine.


Citations are issued by the National Hockey League Hockey Operations Department, which tracks all games, logs all penalties for diving or embellishment, and flags all plays not called on the ice that in its opinion were deserving of such a penalty. A Citation is issued once Hockey Operations, through its internal deliberations, is convinced that a player warrants sanction.

Viktor Arvidsson


Arvidsson was issued a Warning following an incident flagged by NHL Hockey Operations during NHL Game No. 586 against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Dec. 27. His second Citation, which triggered the $2,000 fine, was issued for an incident at 0:14 of the first period during NHL Game No. 671 against the Boston Bruins on Jan. 7. Arvidsson (embellishment) and Bruins forward Brad Marchand (cross-checking) received coincidental minor penalties on the play.


The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.







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