Thursday, December 31, 2015

Shane Doan Breaks Arizona Coyotes Record for Goals

Shane Doan notched his 380th career goal on Thursday night in Glendale to take over the all-time record for goals for the Winnipeg Jets/ Arizona Coyotes franchise.

Doan, playing in his 1,422nd NHL game, passed Hall of Famer Dale Hawerchuk when he notched his 12th of the season from Max Domi and Niklass Grossman at 9:28 of the first period.

The Halkirk, Alberta native is in his 20th NHL season.

Prior to the game, 'Yotes fans showered Doan with hats in the warmups. Doan promptly picked out a winner and wore it as he saluted the fans.

Doan is currently 3rd on the NHL's all-time active games played list (and he's played them all with one franchise). The 39-year-old is also 10th on the NHL's active goals scored list.

Boychuk Leaves Game with Shoulder Injury

Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk had to leave the ice after this brutal collision with the boards during the Islanders 2-1 win over the Sabres on Thursday in Buffalo.

There was only 4:27 remaining in the game and Boychuk did not return, after skating off under his own power while favoring the left shoulder. We'll keep you updated on Boychuk news as it comes.

Here's a few more angles of the collison.

Update: According to Isles beat writer Arthur Staple, Boychuk is okay, and his coach Jack Capuano told media he is "day to day."

Brendan Gallagher Will Return for Winter Classic

After missing more than a month due to two fractured fingers on his left hand, Montreal Canadiens right wing Brendan Gallagher will make his return for the Winter Classic on Friday at Gillette Stadium. The news could't come at a better time for the Canadiens. They've only mustered 25 goals in their past 15 games, and have slipped out of first place in the Atlantic Division at 21-15-3.

Montreal was 16-4-2 before Gallagher, who is 9-10-19 and a plus-7 on the season, was injured.

"Obviously, a healthy Brendan helps our team," Canadiens left wing Lars Eller said, according to "It helps our depth, it helps a lot of things. Everybody brings something different to this team, and I think early in the year that was really one of our strengths. Hopefully, we can get back to that very soon."

Scott Gomez Released by Blues

16-year NHL veteran Scott Gomez has been released by the St. Louis Blues. The 36-year-old was not picked up by another NHL team after being placed on waivers this week. Gomez had one goal and seven assists in 21 games for the Blues this season.

Gomez signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Blues in October that paid him $575,000 in the NHL and would have paid him $200,000 to play in the American Hockey League. But with his pending release, Gomez will not report to the AHL.

The veteran centerman is a two-time Stanley Cup winner.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Marchand Gets Three-Game Suspension for Clip on Borowiecki

Bruins' winger Brad Marchand received a three-game suspension for the above "clip" on Ottawa's Mark Borowiecki Tuesday night. Marchand, who has been suspended three times for attacks on players' lower bodies--most recently last January--is considered a repeat offender by the NHL's Department of Player Safety.

"It is important to note that in addition to the extremely low point of contact, Borowiecki is not eligible to be checked in any manner, let alone with a sudden check thrown at knee-level," states the video. "The onus here is on Marchand to avoid this hit entirely."

Marchand was busy last night at TD Garden, and he could have received discipline for this hit on Senator's Kyle Turris as well:

Here's what Turris had to say about Marchand's submarine hit on Borowiecki after Tuesday's game, according to Pierre LeBrun of ESPN:

"From our perspective it looked liked he kind of got submarined, his legs taken out from under him by, I mean, playing against Marchand, he’s done it before and [we] come to expect stuff like that."

The Bruins, who are already without David Krejci on a week-to-week basis, will miss Marchand's services for the Winter Classic on New Year's Days vs. the Canadiens at Gillette Stadium in addition to games vs. the Capitals on January 5th and the Devils on January 8th.

Marchand is currently the fourth-leading scorer on the Bruins with 15 goals and 11 assists.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Jagr: 733 and Counting

Jaromir Jagr's climb up the NHL record books continued at full throttle on Tuesday night in Florida. Jags scored the game winner in a 3-1 victory over Montreal to pull within eight goals of Brett Hull for third place on the NHL's all-time goal scoring list. Below are the top five on the list.

Jagr also stands alone in the game-winning goals category. He added to his record tonight with No. 131:

Flames Don't Take Kindly to Ryan Kesler Shooting a Puck into their Net after Loss

The Flames had their 11-game home winning streak by the visiting Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday at Scotiabank Saddledome, and yeah, they weren't really into it. They were DEFINITELY NOT into Ryan Kesler adding insult to injury after the buzzer, either (see video above). T.J. Brodie threw a body check on Kesler after he fired one into the unmanned net well after the horn sounded and Dennis Wideman followed up (for good measure) with a flurry of (sucker?) punches.

As it turns out, the Ducks tried the same trick on the Flames before the game as well. Get a load of the video below:

Jiri Hudler makes a great save on a Corey Perry floater and then Perry makes a mad dash to the safety of the locker room.

The Ducks took the 1-0 victory and pulled within two points of the fifth place Flames in the Pacific standings. Four points separate second and seventh (last) place in that wide open division.

The Islanders Have Gone 15 Games without Giving up a PP Goal

The New York Islanders have had their problems generating goals of late (though that did change on Tuesday in Toronto). But their penalty kill has been a godsend for more than a month now. The Islanders have not allowed a PP goal since the night before thanksgiving. On that night they allowed a first-period power play goal against the Flyers and promptly killed off four straight to start this current streak. 15 games later, the streak still stands.

The Isles killed four penalties during their 6-3 victory over the Leafs on Tuesday at Air Canada Centre, breaking the franchise record for consecutive games without allowing a power play goal.

According to Islander statistician Eric Hornick, it's the longest penalty kill streak that the Islanders have been on since at least 1987-88.

“It’s our second year here together with [Assistant Coach Greg Cronin] and we’re kind of figuring out what he wants us to do and our routes,” Islanders' center Frans Nielsen, one of their key guys on the PK, said. “We’re working hard, sacrificing and hopefully we can keep it going.”

Thanks to their effort, the Islanders now lead the NHL in penalty killing:

Panthers Match Franchise-Best Win Streak with Win over Tailspinning Habs

Jaromir Jagr scored his 11th goal of the season and Aleksander Barkov added a pair to power the Florida Panthers to a 3-1 lead over the Montreal Canadiens at BB&T Center on Tuesday night.

The Panthers seventh straight win matches the franchise record, which has been achieved three times previously.

The last times the Panthers won seven straight was in 2008. The Panthers have gone 11-3-0 in December to set the franchise record for points in a single month as well.

With the victory the Panthers leapfrog the Canadiens and move back into first place in the Atlantic division with 46 points (21-12-4). They lead the Habs by a point but have two games in hand. Montreal has gone 2-8-0 in their last ten games.

It's been a rough stretch for Montreal. They held a ten-point lead on the Atlantic Division on December 1st. But at least they are still sticking up for themselves (see P.K. Subban's fight below).

But that pugnaciousness hasn't kept Montreal from losing more games in December (11) then they have ever lost in any other month in history:

Monday, December 28, 2015

Johnny Gaudreau Powers Flames to Franchise-Best Home Winning Streak

Johnny Gaudreau is red-hot and so are the Calgary Flames. Calgary notched its 11th straight home victory on Sunday night at the Scotiabank Saddledome, breaking the all-time franchise record which was set nine years ago.

Leading the way once again was the pocket rocket from Salem, New Jersey, who poured in his 16th and 17th goals of the season to pull Calgary within one point of second place in the Pacific Division.

Only two NHL players (Jamie Benn and Patrick Kane) have more points at home than Gaudreau's 29, and only Benn's 17 home goals are more than the 15 that Gaudreau has potted at the Saddledome this year.

In Calgary's last ten home games, Gaudreau has gone 15-6-21. Yes, that's 15 goals in his last ten home games. Not sustainable but hell yeah--impressive.

“He’s a treat to watch, for fans of any team,’’ said Calgary's Mark Giordano, according to the Calgary Herald. “He makes plays that make you say ‘Wow!’ and shake your head when you’re out there with him. He’s been obviously our best offensive player. He’s such a weapon out there. You can see the other team … there’s really no way to defend him.”

Gaudreau is currently seventh in the NHL in scoring at 17-22-39 in 35 games. Last season he was 24-40-64 in 80 total games.

Tortorella Blasts Blue Jackets Veteran Leadership (or Lack thereof)

For a while, it looked like John Tortorella had created an instant turnaround in Columbus. But after a 2-6-2 stretch that has left the 'Jackets mired in last place in the NHL, it appears that there is no simple turnaround for the flailing Blue Jackets.

On Sunday night after Columbus fell to Florida 3-2, Tortorella laid some of the blame for his team's recent struggles on the veteran leadership. Here's some scathing quotes from Torts via Shawn Mitchell of the Columbus Dispatch.

“Let’s call a spade a spade. It’s embarrassing, and that’s what we are. I’m not going to tiptoe around here. That’s how we play right now, and I think I’m going to need to depend on the kids to get us out of this because I’m not getting squat from the top players as far as that stuff.”

“I see weakness,” Tortorella said. “I think we’re weak mentally, and it’s not the kids. I worry about the kids getting into bad habits by watching other people. That’s frightening to me. That has to change.”

On Sunday the Blue Jackets were outshot 19-1 in the first period vs. the Panthers and their record stands at 13-22-3. Columbus is the only team that has yet to reach the 30-point mark in the NHL this season.

Tortorella took over the team after they went 0-7 under coach Todd Richards. Columbus is 13-15-3 under Tortorella.

According to Mike Halford of NBC Pro Hockey Talk, the Jackets are the least disciplined team in the NHL this season. Columbus now leads the NHL in minor penalties (157) and total penalty minutes (518). It's been a bone of contention for Tortorella.

"I don’t think we really know where we’re at as a team," a frustrated Tortorella said, "so I’m going to rely on the kids. Maybe they can help us teach.”

Bruins Krejci to Miss Time with Injury

According to Boston Bruins Insider Joe Haggerty, David Krejci could be out a week or more after suffering an upper body injury during Sunday's 3- loss to the Ottawa Senators.

29-year-old Krejci is tied for the team lead in scoring with 11-22-33 thus far this season.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Kings File Request to Have Muzzin's Match Penalty Rescinded

According to L.A. Kings insider Jon Rosen, the Kings are appealing to have Jake Muzzin's match penalty from Saturday night's OT win over the Coyotes rescinded.

The penalty (see Muzzin's hit on Boyd Gordon in video above), which happened at 13:20 of the third period, led to a five-minute major and a game misconduct for Muzzin. Arizona netted two quick goals in the ensuing power play to level the game and force overtime.

According to Rosen, here's what Sutter saw on the play:

"Muzz’s ass on Boyd’s face. It was a hockey play. It’s not even a penalty. They had their arms up the whole night. It was all penalties. All special teams."

Coyotes coach Dave Tippett had his own take on the play. “It looked pretty nasty,” he said.

Gordon did not dress for Sunday's game vs. Colorado. According to the team he is day to day:

The Florida Panthers are in 1st Place in the Atlantic. Really.

Do not adjust your monitors. The Florida Panthers are in first place in the Atlantic Division and that is no lie.

Aleksander Barkov potted two goals and Roberto Luongo made 16 saves to lead the Cats to their sixth consecutive victory on Sunday at BB&T Center to catapult the Panthers to the top of the divison.

The Panthers have come a long way since Thanksgiving, but they'll have to check their rearview mirrors early and often with Montreal, Boston, Ottawa and Detroit all within two points.

The Panthers, 20-12-4, will face Montreal on Tuesday at home. The Canadiens led the Atlantic by 10 points on the last day in November (Florida was 15 points back and in 6th place at that time). But it's looking like a different division as New Year's Day approaches:

Standings, Nov 30:

Standings, Dec 27:

Watch: Jamie Benn Does his Best Bo Jackson Impersonation

What do Jamie Benn and former two-sport sensation Bo Jackson have in common? Well, Bo knew hockey and Jamie Benn certainly does. That's No. 1. And, they both like to smash their tools of the trade over their knee in frustration. Check out Benn's reaction to a missed chance late in the second period of the Stars-Blues battle today in Dallas. Benn's frustration would not last long. He tallied early in the third, his 23rd of the year, to give the Stars a 2-0 lead.

Next question: Will Benn break a shaft over his head sometime soon? We're all for it.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Once Again, the Calgary Flames are Must-See TV

For those of you who left the Calgary Flames for dead a month ago, look at 'em now!

The Flames are 8-1 in overtime, are riding a six-game winning streak and are tied for a playoff spot in the wide-open Pacific Division after a 2-1 overtime win at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville on Tuesday.

The Flames have been good at home, winning nine straight games, and they've been AMAZING in overtime, thanks largely to Johnny Gaudreau. The diminutive winger has already tied the NHL record for points in overtime, and we're just 30 games into the NHL season. The new three-on-three overtime format has been a boon for the Flames, and an even bigger boon for Gaudreau, who tied the mark for most OT points in a season set by Markus Naslund in 2003-04 and equalled by Joe Thornton in ’05-06.

Gaudreau has done pretty well in regulation as well--he's tied for 7th in the NHL with 32 points (12g, 20 assists). “Once again, perfect execution from Johnny,” said coach Bob Hartley. “Well, (the win is) huge, because … those points are worth a lot. Plus, I think it’s a good confidence-builder for us. We keep our winning streak alive. This is a huge road trip for us and we wanted to start on a good note.” The Flames have now won six in a row for the first time in four years. And they have managed to climb back into the playoff race despite being woeful on special teams in their last 13 games. They've scored just two powerplay goals on 45 chances and have allowed 10 man-advantage goals to opponents despite only being shorthanded 32 times. Still, they've gone 9-3-1 in that span.

“It’s a start — it’s Step 1,” said Hartley. “Obviously, .500 isn’t good enough to get you into the playoffs. But that’s a huge comeback. Our players deserve lots of credit.”

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Islanders Surging Thanks to Two Hot Goalies

The New York Islanders have employed surprisingly good goaltending and stingy defense to overcome an offense that has been sporadic and inefficient at times. The team's first line, led by all-star John Tavares, has struggled, and they were dangling on the precipice of playoff contention a month ago, but since then the Isles have surged to take 18 out of a possible 20 points in their last ten games. The boys from Brooklyn (still sounds funny, doesn't it?) pulled ahead of the Rangers for second place in the Metropolitan Division after Sunday's 4-0 shutdown of the Devils.

The Islanders have had to eke out quite a few points during the streak, but on Sunday they avoided overtime for the first time in six games thanks to a shutout from backup goalie Thomas Greiss, his first as an Islander. Greiss, 29, has already played 14 games this season, and he was the Islanders main man early in the season when Halak was out with an upper body injury.

It could have been a difficult start to the season for the Islanders but Greiss has been consistent and effective from the start. He's poised, and rarely seems out of position. He's not a flashy puckhandler but he makes sound decisions, puts his defenseman out of harm's way and rarely gets caught making a bonehead play. He's been so good that the Islanders now have a bit of a two-headed monster between the pipes, and that could serve the team well down the stretch when other goalies are weighed down by the weight of 60-plus game seasons.

A quick glance at the stats and it's hard to tell which goalie has been better. Greiss is 9-3-2 with a .933 save percentage and a 2.03 GAA. Halak, who has been exceptional as well since his return, has gone 9-4-3 with a .926 save percentage and a 2.04 GAA.

Either way you slice it, it makes things tough for opposing shooters.

New York improved to 18-8-5 on Sunday, and they have allowed just 18 goals in their 10-game points streak.

More importantly, both Greiss and Halak appear to be fine with their playing time. In other words, Halak doesn't mind a lighter workload (he's still clearly the No. 1 in coach Jack Capuano's eyes) and Greiss is thankful to have the extra reps. The German has never played more than 25 games in an NHL season but he figures to play at least 15 of the Isles final 52 games this season. That would give him five more than his career-high.

“It’s good to get in a rhythm and play some games, of course,” Greiss said. “You just want to be ready. I think it’s worked great so far.”

Celebrating the 20-year Anniversary of Paul Coffey's 1000th Assist

To honor the 20th anniversary of Paul Coffey's 1,000th assist, the Saucer Pass is posting a little tribute video to one of the greatest offensive defenseman to ever lace 'em up. Maybe if defenseman in today's NHL could skate and make plays like Coffey, we wouldn't be suffering the dearth of scoring that is currently plaguing the NHL.

Or maybe not.

In any case, is there ever a wrong time to celebrate the first defenseman to notch 1,000 NHL assists? We think not...

Only 12 NHLers have reached the 1,000 assist mark, and only two of those players are defensemen. Ray Borque (1169 assists) is fourth on the all-time list. Coffey (1135 assists) is right behind Borque at 5th.

But it was Coffey who got their first:

Coffey, whose drop pass set up a goal by Detroit's Igor Larionov late in the first period, joined Wayne Gretzky, Gordie Howe and Marcell Dionne as the one of only four players in NHL history with 1,000 assists at the time.

Video: Sick Swiss League Spin-o-Rama by Gaëtan Haas

Check out this gorgeous goal by Gaëtan Haas of EHC Biel of the Swiss League during his team's 5-2 victory over the ZSC Lions on Sunday. It's not the spin-o-rama that blows the mind, it's the perfectly placed backhand that finds the twine. Haas' goal, which came early in the third period, completed a hat-trick and sealed the win for his team.

(S/T: @HockeyWebCast)

Kane Extends Points Streak to 26

If you look very, very hard at the above replay, you will find Patrick Kane's secondary assist on this Duncan Keith power play goal. It may not be the most earth-shattering point in hockey history but it pushes Kane's consecutive points streak to 26 and gives him the longest such streak in the NHL since the 1992-93 season.

Kane, who is 16-24-40 over the course of the 26-game streak, has already notched the longest points streak for an American-born NHLer, as well as the longest streak in Blackhawks history. He'll continue his quest on Tuesday night at the United Center, when the Hawks host the Avalanche in their first of four meetings this season.

Courtesy of the NHL and Elias, here are some more details on Kane's streak:

The next best streak this season is nine games (Erik Karlsson, Ottawa Senators; David Krejci, Boston Bruins; Bobby Ryan, Senators).

Canadiens Tie Franchise Record for Shots in a Period

One period does not make a game, and one game does not make a season, but one period did make a strong statement for the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night.

Losers of four in a row, Montreal came out like gangbusters, peppering Craig Anderson (see video above to witness first-hand how much fun Anderson was having) with 27 shots and tying the franchise record for shots in a period. They ended up riding the wave of that period to a slump-busting 3-1 victory. Here's the deets, per

The Canadiens outshot the Senators 42-26, including 27-8 in the first period. The 27 shots in the first tied the Canadiens record for most shots in any period, established Jan. 20, 1973 against the Philadelphia Flyers (first period) and matched on Feb. 5, 1977 at the Los Angeles Kings (second period). Via Elias, it also was the highest shot total by one team in the first period of a game since March 12, 2009 (DET: 28 shots vs. CGY).

Anderson ended up being pulled in the second, and the Sens ended up righting the ship and keeping it close. Anderson wasn't happy about the game, but he did seem pleased that he got pulled.

"Considering the situation and the body language that I was giving off and the frame of mind we all were in, I think it was the right play to get a jump start by changing the goalie," Anderson said.

Senator bench boss Dave Cameron was quick to come to his goalies' defense. “Wouldn’t you be (upset)? He had every right to be upset after the way we defended today,” he said.

Call of the Night: Heeeeeere's Johnny!

This call by Jim Hughson is actually better than this breakaway goal scored by Johnny Gaudreau during the Flames 5-4 OT win on Saturday over the Rangers. Not that these two fans give a hoot about the call that went out to Canada during last night's Hockey Night in Canada broadcast:

And Gaudreau's goal was pretty spectacular, just like his play at home has been all year (he is second in the NHL in points scored at home with 10-14-24). But we must give credit where credit was due. The call was better than the goal. There were actually two classic calls during last night's NHL action, and we thought that Rick Jeanneret's call of Ryan O'Reilly's OT winner was the best--until we heard this gem by Hughson. Using a line from "The Shining" as Gaudreau ambles in on a breakaway? That's just too good.

Evgeny Kuznetsov Has Officially Reached Wizard Status

For those of you that were wondering why Washington's Evgeny Kuznetsov keeps getting mention as one of the up and coming NHL playmakers--you needn't wonder anymore. Have a look at this fake wraparound stuff shot--and no, it's not a video game you're watching, that's real hockey--and there is your proof. Evgeny Kuznetsov (9-19-28, plus-15) is the real deal.

This goal is so crafty, so well-executed, so sublime. Kuznetsov makes Ben Bishop look like a bantam goalie (no offense, Ben, you're very good) as he neatly tucks the puck in the space between the post and Bishop's left skate to complete the transaction. It was cold. It was hard. It was truth.

Ryan O'Reilly's OT Winner Sends Rick Jeanneret into Frenzy

Maybe this wasn't the best overtime goal of the season--and we say maybe because it was pretty spectular--but it was definitely the best call of an overtime goal. Hands down.

Update: We have found a better call. Sorry, Rick, you get the silver. But seriously, a toe drag into a backwards fall for an OT winner? That's pretty amazing. Even Tyler Ennis hasn't pulled one of those for Buffalo.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Watch: Zac Rinaldo Brings the Noise, Shawn Thornton Brings the Fisticuffs

It wasn't exactly a routine 3-1 win for the Boston Bruins over the Florida Panthers at TD Garden on Saturday. Bruins enforcer Zac Rinaldo made sure of that. Watch of Rinaldo runs Connor Brickley from behind, drawing the ire of Panthers commentator Denis Potvin -- THAT'S CHARGING -- as well as former Bruin Shawn Thornton, who was quick to respond with his fists.

Will Rinaldo, who has already been suspended multiple times for over-the-edge infractions, be disciplined by the NHL's department of player safety? Our guess is no.

Rinaldo narrowly avoided suspension on October 22nd when he leveled Philadelphia's Sean Couturier. Rinaldo was given two for charging on the play. He finished the game with 9:33 of ice time, seven hits and a minus-1.

A pair of goals by Ryan Spooner helped the Bruins to the victory. They improve to 16-9-3 and jump into third place in the Atlantic Division. Boston is 7-1-2 in its last ten but is still sub-.500 at home with a 6-7-1 record. Boston lost its first four games at home this year.

Jaromir Jagr's bid to pass Marcel Dionne on the NHL's all-time scoring list failed. Jagr was held shotless in 17:48 of ice time for the Panthers.

Penguins Fire Mike Johnston, Replace Him with Mike Sullivan

The Penguins have fired head coach Mike Johnston and replaced him with Mike Sullivan.

More: Sullivan Has Taken Winding Road to Pittsburgh Bench

"I felt it was time for a coaching change because our team has underachieved," general manager Jim Rutherford told the Penguins website. "Our expectations are much higher with this group of players."

Sullivan, 47, was in his first season coaching Pittsburgh's American Hockey League affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, where the Penguins are 18-5-0-0 and leading the Atlantic Division. He coached two seasons with the Boston Bruins, winning a division title in 2003-04 and going 70-56-31.

"We have some areas that we have to be a lot better with," said Rutherford in a press conference. "We have to have more will to win."

Rutherford says that Jacques Martin and Rick Tocchet will be on the Penguins bench to help ease Sullivan into his role with the Pens.

Rutherford hinted that the performance of the Penguins power play was one of the biggest issues leading to Johnston's firing. He also made it clear during the above 15-minute presser that he felt that the players were not being held accountable for their mistakes and shortcomings in Johnston's system. When asked by a reporter when he made the decision to fire Johnston, Rutherford said that the ball really started rolling after consecutive losses to Columbus and New Jersey on November 13 and 14.

"I really saw poor efforts," said Rutherford of the weekend. "Losing a game is one thing--we're gonna go back and forth with the parity in the league, winning and losing games--but it's about the night's work that we put in in trying to win that game. That weekend to me was a real low point. That's when I started thinking about it."

Rutherford hinted that he likes the overall makeup of the Penguins but feels that they could benefit from the addition of a puck-moving defenseman. He even went so far as to blame himself for not providing Johnston with enough talent on the blue line this season.

"Everybody is looking for the same thing," said Rutherford. "I won't stop looking. I'll try to get that type of defenseman."

Friday, December 11, 2015

Oilers Down Rangers to Stay Hot at Home

Taylor Hall recorded two goals and two assists (including an emotional game winner -- see video above) on a night that former GM and five-time Stanley Cup champion Glen Sather took the first star.

Sather, the current President of the New York Rangers and former G.M. of the Oilers 80's dynasty, ended up disappointed after his Rangers failed to make use of a late power play goal by Rick Nash on Friday night in Edmonton. Meanwhile, the Oilers would continue with their recent rejuvanation, completing a perfect five-game homestand with a 7-5 decision over the Rangers.

But nothing on this night could have dampened the good vibes as the Oilers honored the architect of their former hockey dynasty, giving their fans and players a chance to bask in the glory of the Oilers tradition.

Sather was honored before the game and his name was raised to the rafters with some pretty regal company. The Alberta native's banner joins those of Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, Jari Kurri, Paul Coffey, Grant Fuhr, Glenn Anderson, Al Hamilton and former radio play-by-play broadcaster Rod Phillips.

"It was great," Sather said. "People are terrific here, and I think a lot of these standing ovations in Edmonton are because people are proud of us."

"I want them to take it all in. I think there is value in that," Oilers coach Todd McLellan said. "I want them to sit there and listen and absorb and recognize what that Oilers generation had on the community and the hockey world and bank it somewhere. It's our goal to put a team together like that, that can come back in 2030, 2035, whenever it is, and talk about some of our feats. But we have a lot of work before we get there."

The Oilers, winners of five straight, are finally showing signs of promise. They have now won six straight at Rexall Place and are currently just one point out of a playoff spot in the shaky Pacific Division.

Patrick Kane Extends His Points Streak to 25

Patrick Kane. Skate, snipe, repeat.

That's pretty much your story, here, folks.

Kane roofed a wrister past Jets netminder Connor Hellebuyck after playing give-and-go with teammate Teuvo Teravainen during a power play midway through the second period to extend his points streak to 25 games on Friday in Chicago.

The Buffalo native is a cool 16-23-39 during the streak and he leads the NHL with 45 points.

Kane's tally ties him with Sidney Crosby for the longest NHL consecutive games points streak since 1992-93.

He's still behind Wayne Gretzky, who holds the all-time NHL record in this category. The Great One tallied points in 51 consecutive games during the 1983-84 season.

According to, Kane is the fifth NHL player since 1990-91 to have a point streak of at least 25 games, joining Crosby; Mats Sundin (30 games, Quebec Nordiques, 1992-93); Brett Hull (25, St. Louis Blues, 1991-92); and Gretzky (25, Oilers, 1990-91).

Kane's Blackhawks will next face Vancouver on Sunday at home.

Palmieri's Roof Job Beats Red Wings in OT

The Detroit Red Wings pushed their points streak to 13 games, but it was the New Jersey Devils that came away with the victory in overtime on Friday night. Kyle Palmieri buried his 13th of the season to give the Devils the 3-2 win over Detroit on Friday at the Prudential Center.

New Jersey improves to 15-10-4 on the season with the win. Palmieri also assisted on the game-tying goal by Sergey Kalinin at 14:40 of the third.

Here's another look at Palmieri's sweet OT goal:

Palmieri now has six goals in his last seven games. The 24-year-old is in his first season with the Devils and he's already within one of his career best total of 14, which he posted in the last two seasons with Anaheim.

The Wings got goals from Tomas Tatar and Gustav Nyquist but they could not make their 2-0 lead stand up. Still, they've gone 8-0-5 in their last 13 games and tied the Rangers for the longest run of consecutive points in the NHL this season.

Watch: Kings' Center Jordan Nolan Shoves Linesman in Pittsburgh

Kings center Jordan Nolan commits a major faux pas when he shoves linesman Shandor Alphonso during an altercation tonight as the Kings battle the Penguins at Consol Energy Center in Pittburgh.

There was no call against Nolan. Maybe the NHL wants to just have an off-the-record chat with the kid?

Hockey is a rough game but roughing the refs creates some pretty poor optics.

Watch: Tootoo Misses Team Bench on Change, Bench Minor Ensues

Great job by the Detroit Red Wings Fox Television crew to show fans a clip of this gaffe from the first period of the Devils-Red Wings battle at the Prudential Center in New Jersey on Friday.

Watch as Jordin Tootoo heads off on a change but when he's not on course to hit the team bench he decides to flop face-first into the box between the benches. It doesn't elicit any sympathy from the refs. The Devils end up with a bench minor for too many men on the play.

Here's a great look at more video of the play:

Five on the Fly: Wings Flying with Magic Man Datsyuk in Lineup

Every day, TSP will break down five random stats that might be of interest to you. Here's today's stipend:

1. Pavel Pushing Detroit Higher

There are a lot of reasons that the Detroit Red Wings have been able to power up the standings in the last month. The emergence of Dylan Larkin is one. The comfort level of Mike Green in a new system is another. But it is not a coincidence that Detroit began its recent 12 game points streak just two games after magic man Pavel Datsyuk returned to the lineup. If you're scoring at home, that's the Wings longest points streak since the spring of 2010.

And it's just not Pavel that has been good. The 37-year-old Russian has also played a positive role in the breakout of Darren Helm. Here's what Tommy Chalk of Fox Sports Detroit had to say about that:

With his return, the Red Wings added a versatile two-way forward capable of playing with anyone in the lineup and generating a ton of offense. His most recent partner in crime? Darren Helm, who scored two goals in Detroit's most recent victory. After scoring just one goal in his last 24 games, he slid right in with Datsyuk, who took him right under his arm and instantly made him a better player.

Detroit was 8-6-1 without Datsyuk, who missed the team's first 15 games while recovering from off-season ankle surgery. Since his return the Wings are 8-2-4, and have moved up to second place in the Atlantic Division standings.

2. Kane Goes for 25:

Patrick Kane already has the longest points streak among American-born NHL players and among Chicago Blackhawks. The Buffalo native has a long way to go to match Wayne Gretzky's 51-game streak from 1984, but Kane can tie Sidney Crosby for the longest consecutive games points streak since 1002-1993 at 25 games tonight when Chicago takes on Winnipeg at the United Center on Friday.

Kane is 15-23-38 during his streak and he leads the league with 44 points.

3. Ristolainen Turns the Trick:

Rasmus Ristolainen became the first Buffalo defenseman to register a hat-trick in the same period when he potted three goals during the third period of Buffalo's 4-3 loss to the Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome on Thursday night. Ristolainen is the first NHL defenseman to score three goals in the same period since Al MacInnis scored three for the Blues in October of 1998 vs. the Rangers.

Yup, Al could shoot it:

4. Johnny Gaudreau on Fire at Home for Flames:

21 of Johnny Hockey's 28 points have come at home, which goes a long way to explaining why the Flames are on an 8-game winning streak at home and still a sub .500 team.

Here are the NHL's Top eight scorers at home this season:

Last season Gaudreau had 35 points in 41 games. This year he's nabbed 21 points in 14. He's on pace for 61 points at home. Can he possibly keep it up?

5. Jagr in Hot Pursuit of Brett Hull:

Jaromir Jagr pulled within 10 goals of Brett Hull for 3rd on the NHL's all-time goals scored list. But before the 43-year-old Jagr catches Hull he will need to put Marcel Dionne in the dust. Jagr tied Dionne with 731 career goals last night and his next tally will put him in sole possession of fourth on the NHL's all-time list.

Here's the top five goals scorers in NHL history:

Here's Jagr's milestone goal from Thursday night's win over the Caps (sweet tip):

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Video: Molly Engstrom Earns NWHL's First Suspension for Sucker Punch

Molly Engstrom of the Connecticut Whale earned a one-game suspension for this all-out assault of Meghan Duggan of the Buffalo Beauts. It's the first player suspension in NWHL history (woo hoo!). Watch video above as Engstrom first bullies, then sucker-punches Duggan behind the play. According to Yahoo's Puck Daddy, Greg Wyshynski, the NWHL used video from a rink security camera to mete out its case against Engstrom.

Duggan did not return to the game and Engstrong was given a major and a game misconduct on the play.

One game seems a bit lenient, but since the NWHL only has an 18-game season, it's equivalent to a five and a half game suspension in the NHL.

Vine: Winnipeg Fans Give Torts the Business

Well, 21-stick salute to the fans at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg tonight. This cardboard cut-out of Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella is just too friggin awesome.

The Jets, behind three first-period goals against Curtis McElhinney, won the contest, 6-4. McElhinney was making his first start since November 19 in replacement of injured Blue Jackets starter Sergey Bobrovsky.

Watch: Cody Franson Checks Michael Frolik from Behind, Blood Drawn

Cody Franson gave Michael Frolik a nice ride to the ice during the third period of Thursday night's battle between the Flames and the Sabres. After the check, Frolik lands face-first on the ice.

No penalty was made on the play, but some treatment was needed for Frolik's face.

Video: Tom Wilson Gets Tossed out for Boarding Brian Campbell

Tom Wilson is quickly developing a reputation as one of the most effective body checkers in the NHL. But tonight against the Panthers at BB&T Center, Wilson may have taken it too far. See video above as Wilson tattoos Panthers' defenseman Brian Campbell into the boards, sending the defenseman face-first into the glass.

Wilson was given a five-minute major and a game misconduct and could receive further discipline for the hit. Campbell returned to the game after being treated.

For those not familiar with Wilson's game, he's got a knack for big hits and he plays the game with an edge.

Video: Patrick Kane Extends Points Streak to 24

Patrick Kane extended his consecutive games points streak to 24 on Thursday night with a third period goal at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville. The play was challenged by Nashville coach Peter Laviolette for goaltender interference but the goal stood.

Kane is the fifth NHL player since 1990-91 to have a point streak of at least 24 games, joining Mats Sundin (30 games, Quebec Nordiques, 1992-93); Sidney Crosby (25, Pittsburgh Penguins, 2010-11); Brett Hull (25, St. Louis Blues, 1991-92); and Wayne Gretzky (25, Edmonton Oilers, 1990-91).

Kane has 15 goals and 23 assists during the streak and he currently leads the NHL with 44 points.

Jaromir Jagr Ties Marcel Dionne for 4th on NHL All-Time Goals List

Jaromir Jagr made the first shot of Thursday night's game with the Washington Capitals count. The 43-year-old deflected this shot by Dmitry Kulikov and past Philipp Grubauer for his 9th goal of the season and 731st of his career.

Jagr is now tied with Los Angeles Kings great Marcel Dionne for 4th on the NHL's all-time list and is just 10 goals behind Brett Hull for 3rd.

Watch: Prospect Austin Matthews Obliterates a Water Bottle with Sharp Shooting

NHL GM's don't generally factor in water bottles obliterated into their advanced scouting metrics, but this shot by 18-year-old Auston Matthews will surely turn some NHL brass heads nonetheless.

The Arizona native is 13-10-23 in 20 games for the first place Zurich club in Swiss League "A" which puts him second on his club. North American fans will get a chance to see much more of Matthews when he plays for Team U.S.A at this year's World Junior Championships beginning December 26.

For more on Matthews, check out this feature from last month in

Brent Burns, on Fire

Run to the hills... Run for your life... It's Brent Burns on defense--and air guitar.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Five on the Fly: NHL Teams Adapting to 3-on-3, but OT Still Deciding Games

Every day, TSP will break down five random stats that might be of interest to you. Here's today's stipend:

1. Shootouts Not Really on the Rise:

The NHL has seen 35 games go to a shootout this year in 416 games, and that's good news compared to last year. But more than half of those shootouts (17) have occurred in the last 23 days. NHL coaches are adapting. Just last night we saw Barry Trotz start a shootout with two Capitals defensemen on the ice to counter Detroit in 3-on-3.

The Islanders and many other teams are doing the same thing. And they are adapting in other ways as well. Line changes are happening sooner, and teams are generally playing things a bit more cautiously. But upon further inspection, the number of shootouts compared to games decided in overtime (66 games decided in OT vs. 35 decided by shootout) hasn't really changed from where we were after the first three weeks of the season (18 decided in OT and 9 decided in shootout (throught Oct. 28).

Overall 15.9 percent of 3-on-3 OT games are ending with a goal, compared to 11.1 percent in 4-on-4 last season.

Source: Puck Daddy

2. Justin Faulk a PP Maven:

Carolina defenseman Justin Faulk has now scored 11 power play goals this season to lead all NHL players in that category:
Today ran some amazing stats about Faull's PP prowess:

Faulk is the first player to score 11 consecutive power-play goals in a season since Anaheim's Teemu Selanne scored 13 straight goals on the man-advantage from Oct. 25 – Dec. 3, 2008.

Faulk is also the first defenseman to score 11 power-play goals in a season for the Hurricanes since the franchise relocated to Carolina in 1997-98. Only one defenseman has accomplished the feat for the Hurricanes/Whalers franchise: Risto Siltanen – 12 PPG (75 GP in 1983-84).

3. Tiebreakers, Late:

Patrick Sharp's goal at 19:41 of the third lifted Dallas to a 6-5 win over the Hurricanes on Tuesday. Sharp is one of six players to have scored a go-ahead goal in the final minute of an NHL game this season and all six have ended up being the eventual game-winner.

Here are all six:

19:51 – Michael Frolik (CGY) on Oct. 31 at EDM
19:43 – Rasmus Ristolainen (BUF) on Nov. 7 vs. VAN
19:43 – Justin Faulk (CAR) on Dec. 6 vs. ARI
19:41 – Patrick Sharp (DAL) on Dec. 8 vs. CAR
19:39 – Aaron Ekblad (FLA) on Nov. 16 vs. TB
19:06 – Mats Zuccarello (NYR) on Nov. 15 vs. TOR

4. A pair of 19-year-olds racking up points:

When it comes to one of our favorite metrics (points per 60 minutes), we once again see Edmonton's Leon Draisaitl topping the list. He's joined by another 19-year-old in the top 3--Detroit's Dylan Larkin. We selected a minimum of 240 minutes ice time and were impressed by how well Draisaitl and Larkin are performing in this metric. From the looks of things, Larkin might keep it up. Will Draisaitl?

Here are the Top seven in the category, per War-on-Ice:

5. Streakers:

After Tuesday's shootout victory over the Wings at Verizon Center, Washington has now grabbed points in eight straight games. They've won five straight at home and are off to their best 26-game start to a season in Franchise history at 19-5-2.

But the NHL's longest current point streak by a team belongs to the Wings. Detroit has gone 7-0-4 in its last eleven. Detroit has gone to OT in nine of those eleven games, going 1-1 in shootouts and 4-3 in OT.

In case you've been hiding under a rock, Patrick Kane's point streak still lives at 23 games. With his empty-netter vs. Nashville last night Kane became the second player from any team to register a point streak of 23 or more games since the 1992-93 season. The only other player to accomplish the feat in that span is Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby, who had a point in 25 consecutive games from Nov. 5 – Dec. 28, 2010 (26-24-50).

Keith Ballard Retires from Hockey a Year after Final Concussion

33-year-old Keith Ballard will retire from hockey after a 10-year, 604-game NHL career reports Mike Russo of the Star Tribune.

Read Russo's Full Article on Ballard Here

Ballard's announcement comes exactly one year after a scary hit from Matt Martin of the New York Islanders led to his fifth concussion at the Xcel Energy Center. Ballard left that game with three facial fractures and to this day he hasn't fully recovered. Still experiencing post-concussion symptoms, Ballard has taken up the task of finishing his college education at the University of Minnesota.

The former Golden Gopher standout tells Russo that he's getting better with the "day-to-day" stuff, but he doesn't want to think of what might happen if he suffered another similar injury on the ice.

"I didn't want to retire at this time, but with the bigger picture in mind, it was a no-brainer," Ballard said. "You look at so many athletes and they struggle for so long and I don't want that to be me. I want to live a healthy life, be there for my wife and kids."

Known for his hip check and his energetic defense, shot-blocking and puck carrying, Ballard put up 38-137-175 in ten NHL seasons that saw him play for the Coyotes, Panthers, Canucks and Wild.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Okposo Brings the Filth in Shootout vs. Flyers

You may not like the skillz competition, but do you like nasty? Because that is what Islanders' center Kyle Okposo delivered in the second round of the shootout vs. Michael Neuvirth at Wells Fargo Center during the Isles 4-3 shootout win.

The Islanders have turned around their shootout fortunes of late, thanks in large part to Okposo, who scored the lone goal in a shootout against the Rangers two weeks ago to help New York end a seven-game shootout losing streak.

He then added a shootout goal last Friday at home vs. the Blues in a win before netting his fourth shootout goal in five chances tonight with this delicious move (see video above).

The Islanders have now won their last three shootouts and are sitting in third place in the Metro Division with a 16-8-5 record.

As far as Okposo goes, he's nasty. Nasty, nasty, nasty.

Zetterberg Breaks Scoring Slump, Cracks Swedish Milestone

Detroit's Henrik Zetterberg ruffled the twine for the first time in 15 games on Tuesday at the Verizon Center during the Red Wings 3-2 shootout loss to the Capitals. Despite the loss, Detroit remains unbeaten in regulation in its last 11 games.

The goal, Zetterberg's 301st of his career, ties him with Ulf Dahlen for 5th on the all-time list for goals scored by a Swedish-born NHL player and snaps a 14-game goal-scoring drought.

Zetterberg is currently 301-507-808 in 864 games. Here are the top five Swedish-born goal scorers in NHL history:

Kane Keeps Points Streak Alive with 600th Career Point

It came down to the wire for a second straight game, but Patrick Kane found a way to extend his points streak to a franchise record 23 games with this empty netter against the Predators at 18:24 of the third period on Tuesday night. Kane's goal iced Chicago's 4-1 win over Nashvill and also marked Kane's 600th career point.

It was Kane's only shot of the game, but he made it count. Kane's 600th point comes in his 604th career game. He's 222-378-600 lifetime.

James Neal Given Penalty, Cursed at by Ref in Boston

Clearly James Neal has a reputation as an embellisher. Neal drew his second embellishment minor in his last three games after trying to coerce referee Tim Peel into calling a high-stick on Bruins goalie Jonas Gustavsson. Neal failed, and he didn't just get a penalty--he also took some verbal abuse (listen to video above).

Was Neal "diving" or did he really get clipped by that big goalie stick? A little of both, perhaps?

Could a fine for diving for Neal be in the works? If so, it wouldn't be the first time.

And how about some discipline to referee Tim Peel for his verbal abuse? He's been suspended for drinking tequila with Puck Daddy, so stranger things have happened.

Sharks' Couture Likely to Return Tuesday in Calgary

The San Jose Sharks are set to get a big boost when 26-year-old center Logan Couture returns to action. He was activated off of IR on Monday and should be in the lineup on Tuesday when the Sharks meet the Flames at the Scotiabank Saddledome. The Guelph, Ontario native fractured his right fibula in practice on October 15 and has missed the past 23 games.

"I hope [to play]. You'll have to ask [coach] Pete [DeBoer]," Couture told the Sharks website after practice Monday, according to "I've told him I feel ready to go, well see what the lineup is tomorrow. I've been dying to get back in for the last little while. It's not easy just watching. It's not easy just practicing."

Couture, a two-time 30-goal scorer, had a career-best 40 assists and 67 points last season.

The Sharks will be without defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic on Tuesday due to a lower body injury. He did not make the trip to Calgary and will likely miss San Jose's wednesday night tilt in Edmonton as well.

Here's head coach Peter DeBoer's take on Couture and Vlasic:

Pascal Dupuis Is Calling it a Career

36-year-old Pascal Dupuis has elected to end his career because of a medical condition related to blood clots, Dupuis and the Penguins announced today.

Dupuis, a veteran of 15 NHL seasons, was diagnosed with a blood clot in January 2014 shortly after suffering torn ligaments in his knee. He was later diagnosed with a blood clot in his lung in 2014 and was not cleared again to play until June of this year.

Dupuis played 18 games while taking blood thinners but had several setbacks.

Dupuis played 871 NHL games over 15 seasons with the Penguins, Minnesota Wild, New York Rangers and Atlanta Thrashers, scoring 190 goals and 409 points. He was acquired by the Penguins in a February 26, 2008 trade with Atlanta and was part of Pittsburgh’s Stanley Cup championship team in 2009.

“It was very difficult for me to make this decision to have to step away from the game,” Dupuis said, according to the Penguins website. “My wife and four children have always been my first priority, and playing with my condition has become a constant worry for all of us. I want to thank my teammates and the Penguins organization for their unwavering support during this difficult time.”

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Video: Bishop Okay After Taking Stick to Eye in San Jose

Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Ben Bishop survived a scary encounter with the blade of Tomas Hertl's stick on Saturday at the Shark Tank during the third period of Tampa's 4-3 win.

Bishop took Hertl's inadvertent high-stick to the eye (through his mask, see video above) and was down on the ice for several minutes before leaving the game.

Reports from the Tampa locker room are that Bishop is okay despite having abrasions on the side of his eye and inside it.

According to Lightning beat reporter Erik Erlendsson, Biship will dress tonight for the Bolts game at Staples Center in L.A.

Steve Ott to Undergo Hamstring Surgery after Freakish Fall

Blues' center Steve Ott went hard into the boards after getting tangled up with Dion Phaneuf during the Blues 4-1 loss to Toronto on Saturday.

Now Ott is due for surgery and out at least three months.

Here's the original video, ICYMI:

Video: Marchand Jabbed in the Fun Spot by Prust in Vancouver

Hard to see how this spear by Brandon Prust on Brad Marchand ends in anything but a suspension (see video above), but according to Bruins Insider Joe Haggerty, a simple fine will be the most likely outcome. Bruins fans might find that particularly annoying, but Marchand himself doesn't appear to be too concerned.

“I think it was Prust,” Marchand told reporters after the game, according to NESN. “I didn’t really see who it, what happened. He just gave me a jab and got me in the fun spot.” The Bruins agitator, who has scored eight goals in his last nine games, admitted that he really doesn't care what punishment the NHL's Department of Player Safety deems sufficient for Prust's crime: “I have no idea,” he told reporters. “It’s not up to me, so I’m not really concerned about it.”

Update: Prust has been fined $5,000 for the play:

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Watch: Steve Ott Does Splits Against Boards after Awkward Fall

Blues' center Steve Ott appears to be shaken up pretty badly after this collision with Toronto's Dion Phaneuf near the end of the first period in St. Louis on Saturday night. Ott got his skate tangled up with Phaneuf's and ended up going into the boards with legs splayed.

Based on the way he went to the dressing room after period one, we may not see him again tonight.

Video: Montreal's Daniel Carr Scores on First NHL Shift

Never heard of Daniel Carr? Now you have.

The 24-year-old winger buried a wraparound for his first NHL goal on his first shift on Saturday at PNC Arena. Now that's how to start a career! Carr was a force for Union during his college days (78 goals in four full seasons, and an NCAA title) before joining the Hamilton Bulldogs of the AHL least season, where he went 24-15-39 in 76 games.

Five on the Fly: Streaking Cats, Nielsen has Skillz

Every day, TSP will break down five random stats that might be of interest to you. Here's today's stipend:

1. Nielsen Shoots the Lights Out:

Isles Center Frans Nielsen took over the NHL's all-time lead in shootout goals with his above tally against Brian Elliott during the Islanders 2-1 shootout win last night in Brooklyn. Nielsen has now gone 41 for 76 lifetime in the skillz competition and he also holds the NHL's lead with 17 game-deciding goals.

Nielsen' 53.9 percent success rate is also the highest of any NHL player that has registered at least 50 shootout attempts. Bobby Ryan currently leads the NHL with five shootout goals this season, however.

2. Cats on the Prowl:

The Florida Panthers continued their red-hot play with a 2-1 shootout win over the Blue Jackets at Nationwide arena on Friday. The Panthers have won five consecutive games (their longest win streak in nearly two years) and they've also won five straight on the road, their longest road win streak since Nov. 30 to Dec. 12, 2008.

Florida will take on the Devils in New Jersey on Sunday with a chance for a sixth straight road win.

3. Flames Burning Bright at Home:

Calgary continued to pick up the pieces of what many had pegged as a lost season a month ago. The Flames, paced by Johnny Gaudreau's second career hat-trick, defeated Boston 5-4 at Scotiabank Saddledome to earn their sixth consecutive home win.

The Flames tied the game with less than two seconds remaining on a Jiri Hudler tally before Gaudreau's heroics in OT, which pushed the Flames record in 3-on-3 OT to 6-1, and upped their overall record to 10-14-2. Unfortunately for Calgary, they're still trying to overcome a 1-5 start to the season at home, and their road record remains a dismal 3-9-2.

4. Domi's Pair Tightens Rookie Goal Scoring Race:

Arizona's Max Domi netted a pair of goals in Friday's 5-2 loss at Buffalo, creating a three-way tie for the rookie lead in goals. Domi is now tied with Dylan Larkin of the Red Wings and Oscar Lindberg of the Rangers.

Sam Reinhart notched a goal for Buffalo in the win for his seventh. Here are the top ten rookies in terms of tallies:

5. Jamie Benn Good on the Tip:

Jamie Benn leads the NHL with 18 goals, and he also leads the NHL in tipped goals. The Stars center has scored five times on deflections. Buffalo's Jamie McGinn has four tips for goals, while Joe Pavelski, Brendan Gallagher and Jason Spezza each have three.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Five on the Fly: Kane's Torrid Pace, Holtby Dominates Habs

Every day, TSP will break down five random stats that might be of interest to you. Here's today's stipend:

1. More on Kane's Torrid Pace:

Patrick Kane's streak hit 21 consecutive games with points scored on Thursday as he tallied a goal and two assists in a 4-3 OT loss at Ottawa. The 21 games ties Bobby Hull for the franchise record (it had stood for 44 years of Blackhawk hockey), but Kane's numbers on a per-game basis might even be more impressive than the streak.

Clearly Kane is enjoying his new linemates, Artemi Panarin and Artem Anisimov. The Buffalo native is producing points at more than 50 percent above his career average of .99 points per game. This year, he's averaging 1.56 points per game. His .96 assists per game are also way up from his average of .63 assists per game career.

Kane is currently on a pace for 129 points. Can he keep it up in today's stingy NHL, where goals are so difficult to produce?

IF Kane does keep it up, he'd end up with the highest single-season points total since Mario Lemieux registered 161 points in the 1995-1996 season (in 70 games--yikes!). Note: Jaromir Jagr also had 149 points in that same season.

2. Speaking of Domination:

If domination is your thing (don't lie), then last night was a fun one for you, especially if you're a Dallas fan. The Stars thumped Vancouver 4-2 at Rogers Arena to win for the tenth consecutive time against the Canucks. The Stars have now outscored Vancouver 40-17 in a 10-game streak that began on April 19 of 2013.

3. Holtby Continues Personal Assault on the Habs

Braden Holtby is the hottest goalie in the NHL, and he's also the Canadiens own personal misery inflicter. Holtby has never lost in regulation against Montreal, and last night he absolutely stole one at the Bell Centre to keep his perfect record in regulation intact against the NHL's most storied franchise.

Holtby's numbers against Montreal are mind-blowing. He's 7-0-2 with a .949 save percentage and a 1.40 GAA in 557 minutes. Wow.

Holtby is also currently in possession of the longest winning streak by a Caps' goalie in six years:

Again, wow.

4. Larkin's a big plus:

Rookie Dylan Larkin took over the NHL's plus-minus lead with a plus-3 in Thursday's win over Arizona. Yeah, knock the merits of plus-minus all you want, but we dare you not to be impressed with the fact that Larkin is a plus-17 on a team that is a plus-1 overall this season.

5. Best and Worst 3rd Period Teams:

The Canadiens and Stars are a plus-19 and plus-14 respectively in the third period this year, all phases. It's a very general stat, but it's telling. What is also telling is that Calgary is an NHL-worst minus-16 in the third this year. The Flames were an NHL-best plus-31 in the third last season.

Bolts' Ink Coach Jon Cooper to Extension

The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed coach Jon Cooper to a multi-year extension.

Cooper has a 112-70-23 record and .602 winning percentage since taking over as Lightning coach near the end of the 2012-13 season. Cooper is the 8th coach in franchise history, and he led the Lightning to the Stanley Cup Final last season.

The 48-year-old British Columbia native led the Norfolk Admirals to their first Calder Cup before taking his first NHL coaching gig with the Lightning. On April 11, 2015, Cooper earned his 100th career victory, making him the fifth-fastest coach to do so among those who debuted in the league since 2000, per