NHL Morning Skate – Dec. 7, 2013 Avs rebound with win over Calgary, 3-2

NEW YORK – The Blackhawks hosted the Anaheim Ducks Friday night and ended up on the short end of a 3-2 SO loss.

“We’ve been in shootouts the past three games and those are where you’ve got to get those extra points,” said Corey Perry, who scored his 17th goal early in the first period. “Those extra points are crucial. Guys buckled down tonight and got the win.”NHL

The Ducks have had success against the Hawks of late.

“I think a lot of guys are still the same guys on our team,” Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller said. “We come in here and know we can have success. It’s already a mental advantage instead of coming in here and knowing you haven’t [gotten] points in forever.”

In Columbus, the banged-up Blue Jackets got a stellar performance from Curtis McElhinney who was elevated to the No. 1 spot on the chart with the injury to Sergei Bobrovsky.

McElhinney stopped 20 shots in the 4-0 win over Minnesota.

“It feels good to step in there and do the job when you know the No. 1 guy is injured,” McElhinney said.

The win was big for a team needing strong performance in the net.

“Our PK did a great job,” Columbus coach Todd Richards said. “Curtis made, probably three big saves. That’s where we needed saves from Curtis and he made some saves.”

The Red Wings rebounded from a disappointing loss to the Flyers by defeating the Devils, 3-1, in Newark.

The Devils got on the board first when Andy Greene tipped in a shot on the power play. But that was it for New Jersey as the Wings held them to 11 shots total.

The Red Wings got the equalizer in the second off the stick of Joakim Andersson on a rebound at 19:24.

“That was a huge goal, no question,” Babcock said. “It was a great play by [Daniel] Alfredsson at the blue line. We had given up seven or eight shots at that point, so it wasn’t like they had momentum but we didn’t have it either. It was a game that was offensively challenged by both teams.”

Johan Franzen picked up the game winner in the third period to make it 2-1 Wings.

“I think that the Mule [Franzen] can lead with his play, but he’s doing more than that,” Babcock said. “He’s staying determined, he’s patient and positive and he’s helping us have success. He, Alfie and Kronwall are doing a good job for us. Without the people we have, there’s a leadership void and there’s opportunities for others.”

Heading to the third period on home ice, the Canucks had a 2-0 lead that they promptly coughed up to the Phoenix Coyotes. It took a shootout to finally give Vancouver the win.

“I am happy we won but I can’t stand the way we won,” Canucks head coach John Tortorella said after the game. “We found a way to win the game, but I thought we [gave] away a point to a team we are chasing,” Tortorella said. “We have to get out of this situation of not finishing games because we are going nowhere until we do.”

And in the tight Western Conference, giving away points is not going to help the cause as playoff positions are determined later.

“It was déjà vu all over again from the previous homestand,” said Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo, who finished with 37 saves. “You can’t have that happen, but this is a good win as far as being able to respond after they tied the game and get a clutch win.”

On the other side, Phoenix gained a point where they should not have done so.

“There were some parts of our game I thought were all right,” coach Dave Tippett said. “We’re trying to defend better, and we’re giving up less shots and less chances against. But going into the trip, this game is about winning and getting points. We got only got three of six and for where we are, we need a better percentage than that.”

FRIDAY’S RESULTS

Detroit 3, New Jersey 1

Carolina 5, San Jose 3

Columbus 4, Minnesota 0

Anaheim 3, Chicago 2 (SO)

Colorado 3, Calgary 2

Vancouver 3, Phoenix 2 (OT) 

MacKINNON, LINDHOLM NOTCH GAME-WINNERS

Two players selected among the top five picks of the 2013 NHL Draft tallied game-winning goals in the third period Friday: 

* Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon, the top pick last June, scored the decisive goal at 2:28 of the final frame in a 3-2 win at Calgary. MacKinnon, 18, notched his second game-winner in the last four games and third overall in upping his season points total to 6-11—17, second to San Jose’s Tomas Hertl (14-9—23) in the rookie scoring race. 

* Carolina’s Elias Lindholm, the no. 5 pick overall in 2013, notched 1-2—3, including the game-winner with six minutes to play, in a 5-3 victory over San Jose. Lindholm, who turned 19 on Dec. 2, recorded his first NHL multi-point game and has 3-3—6 in 18 games this season. 

RED WINGS UNDAUNTED BY KEY INJURIES

The Red Wings defeated the Devils 3-1 despite missing Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk for the second consecutive game. Detroit held New Jersey to 11 shots in winning for the fifth time in the past six contests. 

* Johan Franzen scored his team-leading third game-winning goal of the season with 7:20 remaining in regulation, extending his point streak to six games (4-5—9). He has scored in each of his last three games. “I think that the Mule [Franzen] can lead with his play, but he’s doing more than that,” said Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock. “He, Alfie and Kronwall are doing a good job for us. Without the people we have, there’s a leadership void and there’s opportunities for others.” 

* Jonas Gustavsson improved to 8-0-1, and now boasts a goals-against average of 2.04 and a save percentage of .928. According to Elias Sports Bureau, he is the first Swedish-born goalie to earn a point in his first nine starts of a season (previously Viktor Fasth – 8 in 2012). Gustavsson is also the first Red Wings goaltender to start a season with points in nine straight starts since Manny Legace accomplished the feat in 2000-01. 

DUCKS POST ANOTHER VICTORY AT CHICAGO

The Ducks extended their winning streak against the Blackhawks to five games dating to the 2011-12 season. Anaheim won all three games against Chicago last season, including two at United Center. “We come in here and know we can have success,” Ducks goaltender Jonas Hiller said. “It’s already a mental advantage instead of coming in here and knowing you haven’t [gotten] points in forever.” 

* Ryan Getzlaf, who notched one goal and one assist, has recorded points in each of his past 10 games, the longest active streak in the League (5-7—12). 

* Dustin Penner earned an assist on Corey Perry’s first-period goal, extending both players’ point streaks to six games. Each has 5-3—8 in the six-game span. 

* Getzlaf and Perry tallied goals in the same game for the seventh time this season, the second-highest total for any pair of NHL teammates. The St. Louis Blues tandem of Alexander Steen and David Backes has done so eight times (Elias Sports Bureau). 

BACK-TO-BACK SHUTOUTS FOR COLUMBUS

Curtis McElhinney made 20 saves for the Blue Jackets, who earned their second consecutive shutout in a 4-0 win over the Wild. It was McElhinney’s first start in the No. 1 role after he came in to relieve an injured Sergei Bobrovsky on Tuesday. He stopped all eight shots he faced in that relief effort. 

The Blue Jackets posted consecutive shutouts for the first time since Nov. 20-22, 2010, when Mathieu Garon blanked San Jose and Steve Mason stopped Nashville (Elias Sports Bureau).

 GIGUERE CONTINUES HOT START

Colorado goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere extended his franchise record by improving to 7-0 to start the season in the win at Calgary. Giguere boasts a 1.67 goals against average, a .947 save percentage and has two shutouts. The Avalanche improved to 20-7-0 on the season and 17-0-0 when leading after two periods. 

COORS LIGHT NAMED PRESENTING SPONSOR FOR NHL REVEALED SERIES

Official NHL partner MillerCoors has secured the presenting sponsorship in the U.S. of NHL Revealed: A Season Like No Other™ for its flagship Coors Light brand. NHL Revealed: A Season Like No Other™ presented by Coors Light is a seven-part series that will tell the stories of more than two dozen of the League’s top stars – on and off the ice – as they participate in 2013-14 regular-season games, including the four 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series™ games and the Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic™. The series debuts on NBCSN in the United States on Jan. 22 and on CBC in Canada (Jan. 23) with a re-broadcast on Sportsnet Jan. 26. 

LOOSE PUCKS

The Hurricanes tallied four third-period goals against San Jose in extending their winning streak to three games. They have outscored the opposition 14-6 in that span. Captain Eric Staal scored a goal and has 1-4—5 over his four-game point streak and 4-10—14 in his last 12 starts… Sharks captain Joe Thornton tallied an assist to increase his point streak to eight games (3-7—10)…Chris Higgins scored his third game-winning goal of the season in overtime to lift the Canucks to a 3-2 win over the Coyotes… Canucks defenseman Jason Garrison scored also against the Coyotes and now has 2-7—9 in his last seven games… Predators defenseman Shea Weber met with media Friday in Nashville for the first time since being hit in the eye with a puck during a 3-0 loss to Edmonton on Nov. 27. “[Friday] was a good day. It was good to be back out there skating with the guys and hopefully move forward going ahead this week.” 

SNEAK PEEK AT SATURDAY’S ACTION

All Times Eastern

Philadelphia @ Dallas, 2:00 p.m., CSN-PH, TXA 21

Pittsburgh @ Boston, 7:00 p.m., NHLN-US, ROOT, NESN

Buffalo @ Montreal, 7:00 p.m., CBC, RDS, MSG-B

Toronto @ Ottawa, 7:00 p.m., CBC

Florida @ Detroit, 7:00 p.m., FS-F, FS-D+

Winnipeg @ Tampa Bay, 7:00 p.m., CBC, SUN

Nashville @ Washington, 7:00 p.m., FS-TN, CSN-DC

New Jersey @ NY Rangers, 7:30 p.m., MSG, MSG Plus

Anaheim @ St. Louis, 8:00 p.m., Prime, FS-MW

Calgary @ Edmonton, 10:00 p.m., CBC

NY Islanders @ Los Angeles, 10:30 p.m., MSG Plus, FS-W 

PROVINCIAL BRAGGING RIGHTS ON THE LINE

Canadian viewers will be treated to a nationally-televised doubleheader featuring intra-provincial rivals on CBC when the Senators host the Maple Leafs, followed by the Oilers welcoming the Flames. 

RANGERS FACE DEVILS IN STADIUM SERIES PREVIEW

The Rangers host the Devils in the clubs’ last meeting before the showdown at Yankee Stadium on Jan. 26 as part of the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series. The Devils have captured the first two games of the five-game regular season series, including 3-2 victory at Madison Square Garden on Nov. 12. The Rangers begin a nine-game homestand that will span 17 days.

 UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN?

The Boston Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins clash for the third and final time in the 2013-14 regular season in a game broadcast nationally in the U.S. on NHL Network. The past five regular-season games between these rivals have been decided by a single goal, as were the final two games of Boston’s sweep in the 2013 Eastern Conference Final.

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