NHL Morning Skate – Nov. 2, 2013 Three shutouts featured Friday night

NEW YORK – Friday was the night after Halloween but the Washington Capitals brought a scare with them to Philadelphia as they thumped the Flyers, 7-0.  Braden Holtby got the shutout for the Caps. 

“I thought we were outstanding today,” Holtby said. “Obviously, some goals went in, but I thought our whole game was great. I thought the Flyers played a better game than a 7-0 game, and this shows how well we played. I thought this was our best effort of the year.”

 Joel Ward had a hat trick for Washington as they skated without Alex Ovechkin in the lineup. NHL

“We knew we had to make a few adjustments,” Ward told the NHL Network after the game. “We just wanted to get the puck out of our zone as fast as we could.” 

In Sunrise (Florida), the St Louis Blues got a shutout of their own from Brian Elliot who made 31 saves on the night. 

“It was good to get in there,” Elliott said. “Guys got me a lead pretty early. You kind of just settle in and start seeing the puck. The D blocked a lot of shots, the forwards blocked shots, and when they didn’t, they were blocking out the guys so I could see it. It was a good outing.”

 The third shutout of the night was authored by Ben Bishop and the Tampa Bay Lightning who blanked the Carolina Hurricanes.  The Canes are reeling after losing their top two goalies and relying on their AHL affiliate Charlotte Checkers to provide the support.

 “I thought the guys did a great job in front of me,” said Bishop, who has four career shutouts. “There were a lot of shots from the outside. In the third period, we got the two-goal lead, which was nice, and they got a few more chances.”

Washington 7, Philadelphia 0
Pittsburgh 4, Columbus 2
Tampa Bay 3, Carolina 0
NY Islanders 5, Ottawa 4 (SO)
St. Louis 4, Florida 0
Minnesota 4, Montreal 3
Colorado 3, Dallas 2 (OT)
Detroit 4, Calgary 3


The Blackhawks make their first regular-season appearance in Winnipeg since Feb. 23, 1996, when they meet the Jets for a Saturday matinee. Captain Jonathan Toews, who grew up in Winnipeg, plays in his hometown for the first time as a pro. “It’s going to be exciting,” Toews told ESPN.com. “To take a moment to think about it, it brings back a lot of memories obviously. I think whenever anyone asked me why I wanted to be a hockey player, that’s where it all started, watching the Winnipeg Jets play as a young kid.”

Patrick Roy coaches his first game against his former team when the Canadiens visit the Avalanche. Roy played the first 551 regular-season games of his NHL career for Montreal, posting 289 wins, a 2.77 goals-against average and 29 shutouts. He also led the team to the Stanley Cup twice – during his rookie season in 1985-86 and again in 1992-93.

Prior to the game, the Avalanche will retire No. 52 in honor of former captain Adam Foote
, who played 17 of his 19 NHL seasons for the Avalanche/Nordiques franchise. The 22nd overall pick in the 1989 NHL Draft, Foote appeared in more regular-season (967) and playoff games (170) than any other defenseman in franchise history, winning the Stanley Cup with the team in 1995-96 and 2000-01. His number will be the fifth retired by the Avalanche and ninth in franchise history.

The Canucks will retire No. 10 in honor of Pavel Bure
prior to their game versus the Maple Leafs. Bure played the first seven seasons of his NHL career for Vancouver, totaling 254-224—478 in 428 regular-season games and winning the Calder Memorial Trophy in 1991-92. The Moscow native holds the Canucks record for points by a rookie (60); is the franchise leader in shorthanded goals (24); and ranks in top five in club history in goals, game-winning goals (32) and hat tricks (9). Bure was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2012, becoming the first player to be inducted as a member of the Canucks. His number will be the fourth retired by the team.

The Avalanche surrendered a two-goal lead, but Paul Stastny
scored his second goal of the game at 3:36 of overtime to help the team improve to 6-0-0 on the road, tying a franchise record for consecutive road wins to begin a season (also in 2011-12). Stastny has scored the game-winning goal in consecutive contests; that equals his total from his prior 86 regular-season games dating to 2011-12.

The Avalanche have won five consecutive games overall and are 11-1-0, matching the best start to a season in franchise history (Nordiques: 11-1-0 in 1994-95). The team went 2-for-2 on the penalty kill, improving its League-leading penalty-kill success rate to 92.7%, including a perfect 19-for-19 on the road.

Alexander Steen scored for the sixth consecutive game (8-1—9), his League-leading 12th goal of the season, and Brian Elliott made 31 saves for his 22nd career shutout. The Blues (8-1-2) have earned points in 10 of their 11 games this season, including six straight (4-0-2).

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Elliott has posted an NHL-high 13 shutouts in 58 starts since joining the Blues for the 2011-12 season (tied with Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith). However, Elliott’s rate of one shutout every 4.5 starts is by far the best in the League among goaltenders who have made at least 30 starts during that time span. His teammate, Jaroslav Halak
, is a distant second with an average of one shutout every seven starts (10 shutouts in 70 starts since 2011-12).

The Capitals scored a season-high seven goals without captain Alex Ovechkin
, who missed Friday’s game due to an upper-body injury. The team improved to 12-8-2 without Ovechkin in lineup during his nine-year NHL career.

Joel Ward recorded his first career hat trick in his 366th NHL game, while Jason Chimera (1-3—4), Nicklas Backstrom (2-1—3), Mikhail Grabovski (0-3—3), Martin Erat (0-2—2) and Eric Fehr (0-2—2) also had multi-point performances. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it marked the first time four or more Capitals registered at least three points in a game since Oct. 30, 2010, when Backstrom (1-3—4), Ovechkin (2-1—3), Mike Green (1-2—3) and Alexander Semin
(1-2—3) did so in 7-2 victory over the Flames.

Ben Bishop made 31 saves for his fourth career shutout as the Lightning improved to 9-4-0, including wins in four of their last five games. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Bishop (8-2-0) is the first goaltender in Lightning history to win eight of his first 10 decisions of a season.

Steven Stamkos scored for the third consecutive game and has 5-4—9 during a five-game point streak. The two-time Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy winner has 10 goals in 13 games this season, tied for second in the League with Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin

The Islanders outshot the Senators 57-31, but had to overcome separate two-goal deficits to pick up their fifth win of the season. Frans Nielsen
scored the game-tying goal early in the third period and also potted the lone marker in the shootout. Nielsen leads the Islanders with eight goals and 16 points in 13 games this season. He also improved to 26-for-49 (53.1%) all-time in shootouts.

Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury
made 37 saves to become the first netminder to reach 10 wins this season (10-2-0). Fleury lost his first two home games last year, but is 21-2-0 with a 1.71 goals-against average in 24 regular-season appearances at CONSOL Energy Center since then, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Captain Sidney Crosby
collected an assist to up his League-leading point total to 22 (8-14—22). Crosby has recorded at least one point in 12 of Pittsburgh’s 14 games this season; the Penguins are 10-2-0 when he posts a point, versus 0-2-0 when he fails to do so.

Wild forward Jason Pominville scored two goals, including the game-winner with 5:28 remaining in regulation . . . Stars forward Tyler Seguin (1-1—2) posted his fourth multi-point game of the season. He leads Dallas with 6-8—14 in 13 contests . . . Flames forward Sean Monahan (7-4—11) scored his seventh goal of the season to move into a tie with Sharks forward Tomas Hertl (8-3—11) for the most points among rookies . . . Senators forward Bobby Ryan totaled 1-1—2 to eclipse the 300-point mark . . . Playing in his 600th NHL game, Thomas Vanek recorded an assist for his first point as an Islander . . . Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen made an
acrobatic pad save . . . The Capitals completed their season-long, five-game road trip with a 3-2-0 record . . . Detroit’s Mike Babcock coached his 800th career NHL game (453-236-111) . . . Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock recorded his 613th victory behind the bench, tying Jacques Martin for 10th on the NHL’s all-time wins list . . . The Department of Player Safety suspended Maple Leafs forward Carter Ashton for two games, without pay, for boarding Flames forward Derek Smith . . . The Canucks re-signed forwards Daniel and Henrik Sedin to four-year contracts through the 2017-18 season.

All Times Eastern
Chicago @ Winnipeg, 3:00 p.m., CBC, NHLN-US, WGN
Anaheim @ Buffalo, 7:00 p.m., FS-W, MSG-B
St. Louis @ Tampa Bay, 7:00 p.m., FS-MW, SUN
Philadelphia @ New Jersey, 7:00 p.m., TCN-PH, MSG PLUS 2
Boston @ NY Islanders, 7:00 p.m., NESN, MSG PLUS
Carolina @ NY Rangers, 7:00 p.m., FS-CR, MSG
Florida @ Washington, 7:00 p.m., FS-F, CSN-DC
Pittsburgh @ Columbus, 7:00 p.m., RDS, ROOT, FS-O
Toronto @ Vancouver, 7:00 p.m., CBC, NHLN-US
Montreal @ Colorado, 10:00 p.m., CBC, RDS, ALT
Detroit @ Edmonton, 10:00 p.m., CBC, FS-D
Nashville @ Los Angeles, 10:30 p.m., FS-TN, FS-W
Phoenix @ San Jose, 10:30 p.m., FS-A, CSN-CA

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