NHL Morning Skate – Dec. 22, 2013 Getzlaf adds hat trick in Ducks win over Isles

NEW YORK – The Los Angeles Kings have found a stride despite losing their number one goaltender in Jonathan Quick.  No need to worry in LA.  Martin Jones improved to 8-0-0 to start his NHL career tying an NHL record.

Jones made 23 saves in the afternoon tilt at the Staples Center and then stopped all three Colorado shooters in the shootout to get the 3-2 win.

Anze Kopitar was the only King to score in the shootout.

“I don’t know what to say, to be honest with you,” Kopitar said. “You get a couple [goals], and it’s pretty much a done deal. He’s been great. I don’t know how many times I have said this before: He’s giving us a chance and that’s all you really want.”

Martin got early support from Jeff Carter and Justin Williams but the lead evaporated when the Kings surrendered two power play goals to force overtime.

Chris Stewart

Chris Stewart had 3 goals and assist in win over Oilers – image courtesy of NHL

“I thought we deserved to win in regulation today,” Jones said. “I think we needed one more big save that we didn’t get in regulation there, but the guys did a really good job. They came hard on the forecheck. They are tough to break the puck out against, they come really quick. I thought we did a really good job winning battles.”

In Edmonton, Bryan Elliot stopped 23 shots of his own on Saturday and earned a 6-0 shutout for the visiting Blues.

“They came out strong and we weathered the storm and scored one,” Elliott said. “Then we settled into what we wanted to do in the second. We wanted to finish out with a good 20 minutes in the third. We were getting guys making plays and obviously Stewart scoring three definitely helps on a night like [Saturday].”

Elliot got all the support he needed from Chris Stewart who potted a hat trick in the win.

“I have to keep shooting, I guess,” Stewart said. “I kind of had a rough start of the year, and I told myself I wasn’t going to pass up any more opportunities in the slot. I’m going to shoot to score and it’s been working out as of late.

“A huge credit goes to my linemates. I just happened to be in the right place at the right time and they teed it up for me.”

Stewart added an assist on the night to go with the three goals (his 11-13th on the season).

“I think there is continuity on that line [Stewart, Schwartz, Morrow], they know where each other are,” Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. “Things that they were thinking of are automatic now. They have great reads, they know exactly where he’s going to be. From the red line in they have great chemistry.”

In San Jose, Sharks’ backup goalie Alex Stalock made 44 saves (a career high) and won 3-2 over the Dallas Stars in a shootout.

“Everyone pulls for him,” defenseman Jason Demers said of Stalock. “Everyone loves him in this room, especially where he’s come from, that injury. He works hard. He works harder than any goalie you’ll see in the league. He deserves something like that. We all have full confidence in both of our goalies. For him to come in like that and play a game like that was great to see. I think guys really fed off of it.”

Stalock stopped all five Dallas shooter in the shootout.

“I think any goalie will tell you that with more shots it’s a little easier to get more comfortable in the nets,” said Stalock, who got stronger as the game moved along. “You don’ t have to really think about what’s coming next. This way it’s back and forth. Their guy is getting tested and then they’re coming down to our end. It’s a little easier to get into it.”

The Sharks’ Joe Thornton got the game-winner in the fifth round.

“You don’t really want to know what my reaction was when he called me,” said Thornton, who was not expecting the call from his coach.

“I’ve seen him win two games for us,” Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. “We may call it more often. That’s what you expect from your captain, to step up in those situations and deliver, and he did.”

In Uniondale, the Anaheim Ducks rallied from a 3-1 deficit to defeat the New York Islanders 5-3.

Kyle Palmieri (who was the hero in Newark earlier this week) got the game winner in the third.

“We might have to have him play in this area a lot more,” coach Bruce Boudreau said of Palmieri. “He’s a streaky scorer, as most goal scorers are, and that was a tremendous goal he scored. He’s feeling it right now, and when he’s feeling it, he’s a pretty good player.”

Ryan Getzlaf had a hat trick and four-point night for the Ducks.

“Our group did a great job keeping our composure throughout this game,” Getzlaf said. “We were able to come back and win the third period like we want to.”

SATURDAY’S RESULTS
Pittsburgh 4, Calgary 3
Phoenix 4, Ottawa 3 (OT)
Los Angeles 3, Colorado 2 (SO)
Boston 4, Buffalo 1
Detroit 5, Toronto 4 (SO)
Tampa Bay 3, Carolina 2 (OT)
Anaheim 5, NY Islanders 3
New Jersey 5, Washington 4 (OT)
Columbus 6, Philadelphia 3
Montreal 4, Nashville 3 (OT)
St. Louis 6, Edmonton 0
San Jose 3, Dallas 2 (SO)

RED WINGS EDGE MAPLE LEAFS IN WINTER CLASSIC PREVIEW
In a seesaw affair that featured three consecutive goals from both clubs and a trio of lead changes, Daniel Alfredsson and Pavel Datsyuk potted the lone markers in the shootout to power the Red Wings over the Maple Leafs in a preview of the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic.

Rookies Tomas Jurco (1-1—2) and Riley Sheahan (0-2—2) each had multi-point performances for Detroit, while Jonas Gustavsson made 23 saves, including a diving paddle stop in the second period, for his first career victory against his former team.

The Red Wings improved to 276-273-96 versus the Maple Leafs in their 645 regular-season meetings since 1926-27, holding a 648-646 points edge in the series (TOR: 276-275-94).

“I think this rivalry’s growing and growing. It’s going to continue to grow,” said Maple Leafs forward David Clarkson after the game. “It’s going to be there and they’re a team that’s close by. Any time you have an organization or a team that’s close, you always have that playoff-type feeling. I thought that game had it tonight once we started playing the way we knew we could.”

Reminder: The second episode of “24/7 Red Wings/Maple Leafs: Road to the NHL Winter Classic” debuts in Canada tonight on Sportsnet at 7:30 p.m. ET.

ICYMI: Members of the Red Wings and Maple Leafs wore Winter Classic toques during pre-game warm-ups.

COMEBACK TRAIL
Several teams overcame multi-goal deficits to record points on Saturday:

* Trailing 3-1 after 40 minutes, the Ducks scored four unanswered goals to earn their franchise-record eighth consecutive victory and move into the top spot in the NHL standings (26-7-5, 57 points). The team also has points in each of its past 11 games (9-0-2), including five straight road wins.

* Down 2-0 early in the second period and 3-2 late in the third, Antonie Vermette scored the tying goal and overtime winner to complete his second career hat trick and lead the Coyotes to a victory in their first visit to Ottawa since Oct. 26, 2010. Phoenix picked up its fourth win when trailing after two periods (4-8-3), tied for the second-most such victories in the NHL this season.

* Trailing 3-1 after 40 minutes and 4-2 midway through the third, the Devils scored twice in the final 11 minutes of regulation and Andy Greene (1-2—3) netted his first career overtime goal to complete the team’s comeback. New Jersey improved to 5-11-1 when trailing after two periods, tied for the most such victories in the NHL this season (with the Capitals and Blackhawks).

* Down 2-0 midway through the second period, the Sharks evened the game early in the final frame and Joe Thornton notched the lone goal in the shootout to complete the team’s rally. Alex Stalock made a career-high 44 saves, plus another five in the tiebreaker (the first of his career), for his fifth victory in 10 NHL appearances (5-1-0, 1.96 GAA, .933 SV%).

* Behind 3-0 after the first period, the Predators scored three consecutive goals, including Shea Weber’s tying marker at 13:40 of the third period, before falling to the Canadiens in overtime.

* Trailing 3-1 after 20 minutes, the Maple Leafs scored three straight times to take a one-goal lead, only to see the Red Wings tie the game minutes later and eventually win in a shootout.

* Down 2-0 midway through the second period, the Avalanche scored twice in the final 26 minutes of regulation to even the game before losing in a shootout.

ROOKIE GOALTENDERS MAKE THEIR MARK
A pair of rookie goaltenders continued the incredible starts to their NHL careers:

* Kings goaltender Martin Jones made 23 saves, plus another three in the shootout, to improve to 8-0-0 with a 0.98 goals-against average, .966 save percentage and three shutouts in his first eight NHL games. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he is the second netminder in NHL history to win his first eight games, matching Bob Froese of the 1982-83 Flyers. Jones also is the first goaltender to start and allow two or fewer goals in each of his first eight games since 1938-39, when Bruins netminder Frank Brimsek began his NHL career with a 12-game streak.NHL

* Ducks goaltender Frederik Andersen made 18 saves to improve to 9-1-0 with a 1.87 goals-against average and .932 save percentage in his first 10 NHL appearances. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he is the third netminder in League history to record nine or more wins in his first 10 games, joining Brimsek (9-1-0, Nov. 3-Dec. 20, 1938) and Froese (9-0-1, Jan. 8-Feb. 2, 1983).

HATS OFF
Three players recorded hat tricks:

* Captain Ryan Getzlaf posted his second career hat trick (and second this season, also Nov. 8) to help the Ducks earn their franchise-record eighth consecutive victory. Getzlaf has 19-24—43 in 35 games this season, which ranks third in the NHL. He hasn’t scored more than 19 goals in a season since 2008-09, when he matched a career high with 25 in 81 games.

Getzlaf added an assist for his third four-point game of the season (also Oct. 20: 1-3—4 and Nov. 8: 3-1—4). The only other player to register four or more points in a game at least three times this season is Stars forward Tyler Seguin, who has done so four times.

* Antoine Vermette recorded his second career hat trick, including the tying goal with 2:13 remaining in regulation and winning tally at 2:23 of overtime, to lead the Coyotes to a victory over his former club. A second-round pick (55th overall) by the Senators in the 2000 NHL Draft, Vermette played the first 359 regular-season games of his NHL career for Ottawa, totaling 80-87—167. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he is the second former Senator to record a hat trick against the team (Joe Corvo: March 16, 2008).

Vermette also is the first NHL player to score the tying goal the final three minutes of regulation and then win the game in overtime since Nov. 1, 2011, when Capitals forward Nicklas Backstrom pulled off that feat in a 5-4 victory over the Ducks. Only two other players have done that for the Coyotes/Jets franchise: Dale Hawerchuk (Jan. 9, 1985 vs. NY Rangers) and Brent Ashton (Feb. 19, 1989 vs. Hartford).

* Chris Stewart (3-1—4) posted his third career hat trick, including the game-winning goal, to help the Blues improve to 5-1-1 in their last seven games. Stewart has 8-2—10, including two game-winners, over his past six games; he had 5-6—11, with no game-winners, in his first 29 contests of the season.

OVECHKIN IS FIRST TO 30
Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin scored his League-leading 30th goal in his 34th game of the season. He also was the first player to reach 10 goals (Oct. 24) and 20 goals (Nov. 23) this season, and was the only player to eclipse the 30-goal plateau in 2012-13. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it marks the first time an NHL player has been the first to hit 30 goals in consecutive seasons since 1995-96 and 1996-97, when Jaromir Jagr did so as a member of the Penguins.

* Ovechkin is the only NHL player to score at least 30 goals in every season since 2005-06. He also is one of just six players in League history to record 30 or more goals in each of his first nine NHL seasons, joining Mike Bossy, Mike Gartner, Wayne Gretzky, Jari Kurri and Bryan Trottier.

* Dating to 2012-13, Ovechkin has 62 goals in his past 82 games. He has 4-2—6 during a four-game goal/point streak.

* Ovechkin ranks fourth in the NHL with 30-11—41 in 34 games this season.

CROSBY, PENGUINS STAY HOT AT HOME
Captain Sidney Crosby posted 1-2—3 to lead the Penguins to their seventh consecutive victory and 12th win in their past 13 games. The team also earned its 10th straight victory at CONSOL Energy Center; they lead the NHL with 17 home-ice wins and 34 home-ice points this season (17-3-0).

* Crosby extended his point streak to 10 games (7-11—18). He leads the NHL with 20-34—54 in 38 games this season, including a League-high 18 points in December.

* Crosby also extended his home-ice point streak to 14 games (7-14—21). According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he now has 400 points in 257 career home games. That ties him with Bryan Trottier and Jari Kurri as the fourth-fastest players in NHL history to record 400 home-ice points. Only Wayne Gretzky (165 games), Mario Lemieux (200) and Mike Bossy (241) reached that number quicker.

* The Penguins improved to 16-0-0 this season when Crosby records two or more points.

LOOSE PUCKS
Devils forward Jaromir Jagr (1-2—3) scored his 694th career goal, tying Mark Messier for seventh on the NHL’s all-time list. Jagr has 2-9—11 during a seven-game point streak . . . David Desharnais netted his first career overtime goal to lead the Canadiens to their third win in their last five games . . . Radko Gudas scored his first career overtime goal to power the Lightning to their fourth consecutive victory . . . Blues goaltender Brian Elliott made 23 saves for his 23rd career shutout and second this season . . . Avalanche forward Matt Duchene (0-2—2) posted his fourth consecutive multi-point game. He has 2-7—9 over that span . . . U.S. Olympian Michael Phelps attended the Devils-Capitals game.

SNEAK PEEK AT SUNDAY’S ACTION
All Times Eastern
Minnesota @ NY Rangers, 7:30 p.m., FS-N, MSG
Winnipeg @ Vancouver, 8:00 p.m., TSN-JETS, SNET-P

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