NHL Morning Skate – Dec. 18, 2013 Ducks get healthier in Detroit

NEW YORK – The Los Angeles Kings are now on roll. On Tuesday night, they blanked the Edmonton Oilers, 3-0. Martin Jones remained perfect in the Kings crease to start his NHL career with 24 saves against the Oilers.

“The last three or four years, being in the minors, you learn how to be a pro, and how to approach on and off the ice stuff, and the details that make you a good pro,” Jones said. “I’ve put in the work in a last little bit, and it’s nice to see some results here.”

Jones won out over Ilya Bryzgalov who was solid in net again for Edmonton but the Oilers could not that one goal they needed to break the Kings’ efforts down.

“We needed to score a goal,” Oilers coach Dallas Eakins said. “It would have changed things greatly.”NHL

In St Louis, the visiting Sharks got a much needed win on the road over the Blues. In doing so, they swept the season series from St Louis.

“A win’s a win,” Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. “I haven’t seen anybody play a perfect game this year no matter how many we watch. We did let the momentum get away on us, but we needed to take advantage of a team that was tired and beat up. And we did that.”

San Jose built a 3-0 lead then watched the Blues creep back into the match in the second period.

“The result’s what you want,” Sharks center Joe Thornton said. “You go up 3-0, you’d like to not let them back in the game. … We played good enough to win, and hopefully we can turn this around now.”

For the Blues it was another slow start that cost them two points.

“We can’t catch a break,” St Louis goalie Jaroslav Halak said. “It seems like the first periods lately, every time we go into the second, we are down. It’s hard to come back every single game.”

Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock laid blame around the bench and not just on his goalie.

“It’s really sloppy defensive play,” Hitchcock said. “We’ve been guilty of that for a little while, not near ready to go from a checking standpoint, loose coverage. The lead-up to the goals was loose coverage. The second goal, we’re standing beside the guy who scores. Loose coverage, not ready to check, and that’s something we’re going to have to discuss [Wednesday]. We’ve had too many of these starts like this. It’s not engaged quick enough. Some we got away with, some we didn’t.

“Same start in Columbus (Saturday, a 4-3 win in overtime), same start in Ottawa.”

In Montreal, Mikkel Boedker scored early in the first to stake the visiting Coyotes to a 1-0 lead. Phoenix held that lead until the Canadiens broke out in the third for three goals including two from Max Pacioretty who felt somewhat snake-bit for most of the game.

“I thought after that, there’s no way one’s going in tonight,” Pacioretty said. “My first two were pretty good shots, but my third one I felt like I should never miss from there. [Brendan Gallagher] told me it might’ve nicked [goalie Mike Smith’s] glove before it hit the post, I’m not sure, but I shouldn’t miss from there.

“I wasn’t sure I’d get one tonight, but that’s the way the game goes, and you end up getting a lucky one from the corner. So we knew goals were going to come on the power play and we just had to keep getting pucks on the net and give teams different looks, and that’s what we did tonight.”

Pacioretty also had an assist on the Habs’ first goal.

“I thought we started the second period really strong. We killed that four minutes and we didn’t give up many chances, and we just kept playing our game,” Montreal coach Michel Therrien said. “We played the game we wanted to play, and there’s no doubt the guys did a great job killing that penalty in the second period.”

It was a disappointing start to the Coyotes’ four-game road swing.

“They capitalized on their power play and were able to score the key goals,” defenseman Keith Yandle said. “I think it’s just something that for us to be a better team, we have to find ways to win in those situations, especially in a building like this.”

TUESDAY’S RESULTS
Boston 2, Calgary 0
Buffalo 4, Winnipeg 2
Florida 3, Toronto 1
Tampa Bay 3, NY Islanders 2 (SO)
Montreal 3, Phoenix 1
Anaheim 5, Detroit 2
Philadelphia 5, Washington 2
San Jose 4, St. Louis 2
Chicago 3, Nashville 1
Minnesota 3, Vancouver 2 (SO)
Dallas 3, Colorado 2
Los Angeles 3, Edmonton 0

CALIFORNIA DREAMIN’

All three California-based clubs recorded victories Tuesday to continue their dominance atop the Pacific Division and League standings: 

* The Ducks scored five consecutive goals to pick up their fifth all-time regular-season win in Detroit (5-25-8). They have recorded points in each of their last nine games overall (7-0-2), including six consecutive victories. At 24-7-5, the Ducks lead the Pacific Division and rank second in the NHL with 53 points. 

* Ducks forward Andrew Cogliano tied a career high with three assists/points. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he is just the third player in franchise history to record three or more points in a game at Joe Louis Arena. The others: Jason York, who notched 0-3—3 in a 6-5 loss April 21, 1995, and Ryan Getzlaf, who posted 1-3—4 in a 7-4 defeat Nov. 14, 2009. 

* Martin Jones made 24 saves to record his third shutout of the season and help the Kings improve to 13-1-4 in their last 18 meetings with the Oilers (since April 7, 2009). They are 14-2-4 in their past 20 games overall, including wins in seven of their last eight outings. At 23-8-4, the Kings are off to their best 35-game start in franchise history. They rank second in the Pacific Division and third in the League standings with 50 points. 

* Jones improved to 6-0-0 with a 0.82 goals-against average, .972 save percentage and three shutouts since making his NHL debut Dec. 3. He is the first goaltender in Kings history to win his first six games with the club and the second netminder this season (on any team) to win his first six NHL decisions (Anaheim’s Frederik Andersen: 6-0-0, Oct. 20-Nov. 10). The League record for consecutive victories to start a career is eight, set by Philadelphia’s Bob Froese in 1982-83. 

* The Sharks raced to a three-goal lead en route to sweeping their three-game season series with the Blues. They have won two of their past three games following a four-game skid and are 11-5-1 dating to Nov. 12. With 48 points through their opening 34 games (21-7-6), the Sharks rank third in the Pacific Division and seventh in the overall standings. 

* Four Sharks recorded multi-point games: Marty Havlat (1-1—2), Matt Irwin (1-1—2), Justin Braun (0-2—2) and Patrick Marleau (0-2—2). Marleau totaled 1-5—6 in three games versus the Blues this season; according to the Elias Sports Bureau, he had just 1-4—5 in his last 11 games against them prior to 2013-14. 

KANE EXTENDS STREAKS

Patrick Kane scored his 20th goal of the season, the game-winner, to power the Blackhawks to their fifth victory in their last six games. With the goal, Kane extended a pair of streaks: 

* He has recorded at least one point in 10 consecutive games (5-13—18), his second such streak of 10 or more games this season. Kane compiled 8-9—17 during a 12-game point streak, a career-long, Nov. 3-27. 

* He also has now scored at least 20 goals in each of his seven NHL seasons. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, only four other active players have posted 20 or more goals in each of their first seven (or more) NHL seasons: Jaromir Jagr (first 17), Teemu Selanne (11), Alex Ovechkin (9, including this season) and Thomas Vanek (8, through last season). Kane hit the 20-goal mark in his 37th game, one game quicker than his previous best (38th game in 2012-13). 

* Kane ranks second in the NHL with 20-26—46 in 37 games this season, including 13-22—35 in his past 23 outings. 

FILPPULA, LIGHTNING RALLY PAST ISLANDERS

Valtteri Filppula scored twice in the final 2:53 of regulation, including the tying goal with 3.8 seconds left on the clock, and added the opening goal in the shootout to lead the Lightning to their third win in their past four outings. 

* According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the victory marked the first time in franchise history the Lightning have won a game in which they trailed by two goals in the final three minutes of regulation. The team had salvaged one point from that situation four times, most recently in a 4-3 shootout loss to the Canadiens Feb. 12, 2013. 

* Elias also says that the Lightning last scored a tying goal in the final five seconds of regulation on Nov. 18, 1995, when Alexander Selivanov tied the game at 19:57 of the third period en route to a 5-4 overtime victory over the Canucks. 

* The Lightning improved to 8-6-3 since losing Steven Stamkos to an injury Nov. 11. They were 12-5-0 with him in the lineup. 

CHARA, RASK PUT OUT FLAMES

Zdeno Chara scored two power-play goals and Tuukka Rask made 21 saves for his third shutout of the season as the Bruins picked up their second victory over the Flames in the past week. Boston has shut out Calgary in four of their past five meetings at TD Garden, outscoring the Flames 24-2 in that span. 

* The Bruins improved to 14-3-2 this season on home ice, including an 11-0-2 mark in their past 13 games at TD Garden. The team last recorded points in 13 consecutive home games during the 2008-09 season, when they did so in 14 straight from Oct. 25-Jan. 1 (14-0-0). 

* The Bruins have won five consecutive games versus the Flames and are 8-3-1 in their last 12 meetings. 

* Chara has 9-6—15, including six power-play goals, in 34 games this season. He is tied for the League lead among defensemen in both goals (with Ottawa’s Erik Karlsson) and power-play goals (with Nashville’s Shea Weber). 

* Jarome Iginla collected a pair of assists for his first career points against his former club. He has now registered at least one point versus all 30 NHL teams. 

PACIORETTY, CANADIENS CONTINUE DOMINANCE OF COYOTES

Trailing 1-0 after 40 minutes, Max Pacioretty posted 2-1—3, including the game-winning goal, to help the Canadiens record their ninth consecutive victory over the Coyotes (dating to Dec. 7, 2002).

 * The Canadiens improved to 44-12-9 all-time against the Coyotes/Jets franchise, including a 13-2-4 mark since the team relocated to Phoenix for the 1996-97 season. They are 28-3-2 all-time in their head-to-head meetings in Montreal. 

* The Canadiens haven’t lost to the Coyotes since Dec. 9, 1998, a 4-2 decision in Phoenix. They are 11-0-3 in their 14 meetings since.

 * The Canadiens haven’t lost to the Coyotes in Montreal since Oct. 28, 1996, a 5-4 affair.

 * Pacioretty recorded his fourth multi-goal game of the season, all of which have come since Nov. 19. He has 12-2—14, including five game-winning goals, in 15 games since that date; he totaled 2-2—4, with no game-winners, in his first 12 outings of the season.

 LOOSE PUCKS

Josh Harding made 29 saves, plus another three in the shootout, to help the Wild improve to 14-3-2 this season at Xcel Energy Center . . . The Panthers scored the game’s opening three goals en route to their first four-game winning streak since March 11-20, 2012 (5-0-0) . . . The Flyers tallied four unanswered goals to split their home-and-home series with the Capitals . . . Ray Whitney (2-0—2) posted his first multi-goal game of the season to lead the Stars to a split of their home-and-home with the Avalanche . . .The Sabres scored four unanswered goals to pick up their first win this season when trailing after two periods . . . Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin scored his League-leading 28th goal of the season and 12th via the power play . . . Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith posted 1-1—2 to move into first in scoring among defensemen (3-29—32 in 37 GP) . . . Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews recorded an assist to extend his point streak to six games (1-7—8) . . . Flyers forward Jakub Voracek scored a pair of goals to push his point streak to five games (5-2—7). He had three goals in 29 games prior to the streak . . . Predators defenseman Roman Josi collected an assist to extend his point streak to five games (2-4—6) . . . Kings captain Dustin Brown scored a goal for his 400th NHL point . . . Oilers forward Taylor Hall played in his 200th NHL game . . . Wild forward Nino Niederreiter skated in his 100th career contest . . . Red Wings forward Tomas Jurco scored his first NHL goal (in his second career game) . . . Bruins forward Craig Cunningham and Jets forward Eric O’Dell made their NHL debuts . . . ICYMI: Nordy, the Wild’s mascot, channeled Vancouver’s green men.

 SNEAK PEEK AT WEDNESDAY’S ACTION

All Times Eastern
Ottawa @ New Jersey, 7:30 p.m., TSN, RDS, MSG PLUS
Pittsburgh @ NY Rangers, 8:00 p.m., NBCSN, TSN2

 PENGUINS, RANGERS CLASH ON RIVALRY NIGHT
The Penguins visit the Rangers on NBCSN’s “Wednesday Night Rivalry” telecast. Pittsburgh has won eight of its past 10 games versus New York, but the Rangers claimed their first meeting of the season by a 5-1 margin Nov. 6. The Penguins have won nine of their last 10 games overall, including four straight, while the Rangers are 1-3-1 on their current franchise-record, nine-game homestand.

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