NEW YORK – In two emotionally charged arenas, the numbers of Pavel Bure and Adam Foote were hoisted to the rafters in Vancouver and Denver respectively. Both the Canucks and the Avalanche took advantage of the inspirations and won over the Maple Leafs and Canadiens.
Elsewhere, Alain Vigneault’s systems on defense and his desire to have his New York Rangers take offensive license may finally be paying off.
Carl Hagelin returned to the ice for the second game of his season and promptly scored two goals.
“That first goal was a really important goal,” Hagelin said. “We had a rough start. After that goal we started battling harder.”
Derek Stepan added a natural hat trick to power the now competent Rangers past the Hurricanes, 5-1.
“The last three games our line has kind of clicked,” Stepan said, “and I give credit to those two guys because they’re really pushed my pace.”
In Edmonton, the Oilers are now in free fall as the Detroit Red Wings paid a visit and left with a 5-0 white washing of the hosts. Daren Helm iced for the first time this season and promptly netted the first goal of the game and all the Wings would need.
“I was pretty nervous, I was pretty anxious and eager to get out there,” Helm said. “I started getting tired towards the end. I had to play a little harder on the puck and bodies. There were shifts where I got a little tired, but I was able to recover pretty quick on the bench. They did a good job keeping my shifts short and using me when they needed to.”
Anaheim 6, Buffalo 3
Tampa Bay 4, St. Louis 2
Philadelphia 1, New Jersey 0
NY Islanders 3, Boston 1
NY Rangers 5, Carolina 1
Washington 3, Florida 2 (SO)
Pittsburgh 3, Columbus 0
Vancouver 4, Toronto 0
Colorado 4, Montreal 1
Detroit 5, Edmonton 0
Nashville 4, Los Angeles 3
Phoenix 3, San Jose 2 (SO)
AVALANCHE CONTINUE TO ROLL
Nathan MacKinnon, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, scored his first career game-winning goal to lead the Avalanche to their sixth consecutive victory and League-leading 12th win of the season. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Colorado (12-1-0) is the fifth team in NHL history to begin a season by winning 12 of its first 13 games:
2013-14 Avalanche: 12-1-0
2007-08 Senators: 12-1-0
2005-06 Red Wings: 12-1-0
1994-95 Penguins: 12-0-1
1994-95 Nordiques: 12-1-0
With the win, the Avalanche also improved to 14-4-3 versus the Canadiens since the franchise relocated to Denver for the 1995-96 season. Patrick Roy, who played the first 551 regular-season games of his NHL career for Montreal and won two Stanley Cups with team, earned a victory in his first game coaching against his former club.
SMITH, COYOTES STYMIE SHARKS
The Sharks outshot the Coyotes 50-30, but Mike Smith made a season-high 48 saves, plus another two in the shootout, to lead Phoenix to a 3-2 victory. The Coyotes have earned at least one point in 11 of their last 12 games, including four straight wins. The team’s 10-3-2 record (22 points) is its best start to a season since 2000-01, when it went 9-1-5 (23 points) in its first 15 contests.
With the victory, Coyotes head coach Dave Tippett (166-99-44) moved past Bob Francis and into sole possession of first place on the franchise’s all-time wins list. Tippett’s .608 points percentage also is the highest of any head coach in franchise history.
STEPAN SPARKS RANGERS
Derek Stepan recorded his second career hat trick, and first since his NHL debut on Oct. 9, 2010, to help the Rangers pick up their fourth win in their past five games and ninth consecutive victory over the Hurricanes.
Linemates Chris Kreider and Mats Zuccarello assisted on each of Stepan’s goals. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the trio is the sixth set of teammates to account for all of the scoring on a hat trick since the start of the 2005-06 season. The last time that happened was on Feb. 27, when Anaheim’s Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf assisted on each of Kyle Palmieri’s three goals in a 5-1 triumph over the Predators.
HAPPY HOMECOMING FOR TOEWS
The Blackhawks scored three goals in a 4:55 span of the second period en route to a 5-1 victory in their first visit to Winnipeg since Feb. 23, 1996. Chicago has recorded at least five goals in four of its past five games, including three straight. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Blackhawks last scored five or more goals in three consecutive games March 2-5, 2011, in wins over the Flames (6-4), Hurricanes (5-2) and Maple Leafs (5-3).
Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews played 16:57, recorded two shots on goal and finished with a +1 rating in his first professional game in his hometown. “I was definitely looking forward to the game coming in, but once the puck dropped, it was back to business,” he said. “It’s fun to see what it’s all about and be back in Winnipeg.”
SUCCESSFUL RETURN FOR HELM
Playing in just his second regular-season game in the last 18 months, Darren Helm scored the game-winning goal in Detroit’s 5-0 victory over Edmonton. “I was pretty nervous, just waiting to get on the ice, hear my name on the bench, anxious and eager to get out there,” Helm told the Detroit News. “I just wanted to get going and play hockey.”
Red Wings goaltender Petr Mrazek made 14 saves for his first NHL shutout and second career victory. Detroit’s fifth-round selection (141st overall) in the 2010 NHL Draft, Mrazek has a 1.34 goals-against average and .938 save percentage in three career NHL appearances.
ZATKOFF GETS PAIR OF FIRSTS
Jeff Zatkoff made 19 saves for his first NHL victory and shutout as the Penguins swept a home-and-home series with the Blue Jackets. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Zatkoff is the first goaltender in Penguins history to record a shutout in his first NHL win. He also is the first Pittsburgh rookie to post a shutout since March 12, 2006, when Marc-Andre Fleury made 22 saves in a 2-0 triumph over the Flyers.
VANEK SCORES FIRST AS AN ISLANDER
Thomas Vanek scored his first goal as an Islander and added an assist to become the first Austrian-born NHLer to reach the 500-point mark. Vanek has recorded 30-29—59 in 51 career games versus the Bruins, his highest totals against any NHL opponent. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, those also are the most goals, assists and points by anyone against the Bruins since Vanek entered the League in October 2005. The only players with even half as many goals against the Bruins over the past nine seasons are Daniel Alfredsson (16), Jason Pominville (15) and Jason Spezza (15).
EDLER FIRES A DOZEN
Canucks defenseman Alexander Edler recorded 12 shots on goal, the most by any player this season. (Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin had the previous high of 11 on Oct. 3 versus the Flames.) According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it’s only the third time in the last 12 seasons that a defenseman has registered a dozen shots on goal in a game. The other blueliners with 12-shot games since 2001-02: Sergei Gonchar (for Pittsburgh on Feb. 4, 2006) and Dustin Byfuglien (for Winnipeg on Nov. 29, 2011).
* Canucks captain Henrik Sedin collected an assist to extend his point streak to a career-high 11 games (3-10—13), marking the longest point streak in the NHL this season. Sedin also has at least one assist in each of his last five games (0-6—6).
* Blues forward Alexander Steen recorded an assist to push his point streak to seven games (8-2—10). Steen has posted at least one point in 11 of his 12 games this season (12-6—18).
* Lightning forward Steven Stamkos scored for the fourth consecutive game and has 6-4—10 during a six-game point streak. Stamkos has 11 goals this season, one behind Steen for the League lead.
* Canucks forward Daniel Sedin potted his seventh goal of the season and has 5-3—8 during a six-game point streak.
* Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk recorded a helper to extend his assist/point streak to five games (0-6—6).
BLUE JACKETS, CITY OF COLUMBUS TO HOST 2015 ALL-STAR FESTIVITIES
The NHL announced the selection of the Blue Jackets and the city of Columbus as hosts of the 2015 National Hockey League All-Star celebration. The League’s midseason showcase will take place Jan. 24-25 and will include the NHL All-Star Skills Competition and the NHL All-Star Game.
The 2015 NHL All-Star Game will be the first time the NHL All-Star activities will take place in Columbus, marking the third consecutive first-time All-Star host city (Raleigh in 2011, Ottawa in 2012). The Blue Jackets and Columbus previously hosted an NHL signature event, successfully welcoming thousands of NHL fans, executives and personalities to the city for the 2007 NHL Draft.
Further details about the 2015 NHL All-Star celebration, including ticket, special event and television broadcasting information, will be released at a later date.
Ducks forwards Corey Perry and Emerson Etem each scored two goals. Perry netted the decisive goal, his League-leading 25th game-winner since the start of the 2010-11 season . . . Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo made 21 saves for his 64th career shutout, which ranks second among active goaltenders and 15th all-time . . . Flyers netminder Ray Emery posted 14 saves for his 15th career shutout . . . Islanders forward Kyle Okposo assisted on each of the team’s three goals for his seventh career three-point game. He leads the Islanders with 4-13—17 in 14 contests . . . Lightning forward Alex Killorn registered 1-2—3 for his seventh career multi-point game and fourth this season . . . Sharks captain Joe Thornton recorded his 800th NHL assist . . . Ducks defenseman Bryan Allen collected his 100th NHL assist . . . Capitals defenseman John Carlson scored a goal for his 100th NHL point . . . Devils forward Dainius Zubrus played in his 1,100th NHL game, while Coyotes forward Mike Ribeiro skated in his 800th . . . The Capitals won their eighth consecutive games versus the Panthers . . . The Kings hosted their 76th consecutive sellout (regular season and playoffs), breaking the franchise mark set during the Wayne Gretzky era (Dec. 8, 1990-Oct. 8, 1992).
SNEAK PEEK AT SUNDAY’S ACTION
All Times Eastern
Dallas @ Ottawa, 1:00 p.m., FS-SW, SNET-E, TVA
Calgary @ Chicago, 7:30 p.m., SNET-W, SNET-CGY, CSN-CH
New Jersey @ Minnesota, 8:00 p.m., MSG PLUS, FS-N
PARISE FACES DEVILS FOR FIRST TIME
Zach Parise faces his former team for the first time when Minnesota hosts New Jersey. Parise, the 17th overall selection in the 2003 NHL Draft, played the first seven seasons of his NHL career for the Devils, totaling 194-216—410 in 502 regular-season games and serving as the ninth captain in New Jersey history. “It will be pretty nerve-racking. It will be fun to see the players and trainers and coaches and say ‘hi’ after the game,” Parise told the Star Tribune. “I’m excited to play it, but at the same time, I’m excited for it also to be past.”