NHL Morning Skate – Feb. 16, 2020

NHL Pros

NHL Morning Skate – Feb. 16, 2020

Tyler Toffoli became the first player in NHL history to score a hat trick outdoors as the Kings triumphed over the host Avalanche at the 2020 Navy Federal Credit Union NHL Stadium Series.

* The Bruins and Lightning extended a multitude of team and player streaks as the latter continues its unrelenting pursuit of the former in the NHL standings.

* Happy Hockey Day in America! Sunday’s nine-game slate is highlighted by a doubleheader on NBC as well as the Predators and Blues squaring off on NBCSN.


Tyler Toffoli (3-0—3) scored all three Los Angeles goals – including the game-winning marker with just 55 seconds remaining in regulation – to net the first hat trick in NHL outdoor game history and lift the Kings to victory at the 2020 Navy Federal Credit Union NHL Stadium Series in front of a sellout crowd of 43,574 fans at U.S. Air Force Academy’s Falcon Stadium.



* With his third career hat trick, Toffoli (18-16—34 in 58 GP) leapfrogged Anze Kopitar (17) and Jeff Carter (17) to take over the team lead in goals this season. He has already surpassed his goal total and matched his point output from all last season (13-21—34 in 82 GP) and sits two tallies shy of his fourth career 20-goal campaign.


* Toffoli’s game-winning tally marked the third go-ahead goal in the final minute of regulation in an outdoor game and the second to take place in Colorado (also Detroit’s Brad Richards in 2016).


Jonathan Quick made 32 saves – including 15 in the opening frame – to earn his second career win outdoors (2-1-0) and become the fifth goaltender with multiple regular-season wins in outdoor games. The others: Henrik Lundqvist (4-0-0), Braden Holtby (2-0-0), Craig Anderson (2-0-0) and Ty Conklin (2-1-0).




* The Avalanche and Kings were led out of the tunnel by 107-year-old retired Col. Oliver Cellini – the oldest living World War II veteran – as they passed by rows and rows of cadets on their way to the ice capped by a flyover of three F-16 Fighting Falcon jets and a KC-10 tanker aircraft.



* The anthem ceremony included a performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner” by the Air Force Academy’s premier a Capella group “In the Stairwell” while members of the Wings of Blue parachute team dropped into Falcon Stadium to deliver the game puck.





* The 30 NHL regular-season outdoor games have drawn total attendance of 1,622,081 – an average of 54,069 per game.


* The temperature at puck drop was 32.5ºF/0.3ºC, much cooler than the start temperature for the Stadium Series game in Denver four years ago (65ºF/18ºC) – the warmest regular-season outdoor game on record.


* Road teams improved to 17-9-4 in the League’s 30 outdoor games to date. Home teams are 13-14-3 overall.


* Teams that score first are 16-9-5 in the NHL’s 30 outdoor games, including an 11-3-3 record in the last 17 such contests.




The NHL announced today that the Hurricanes will host the 2021 Navy Federal Credit Union NHL Stadium Series on Feb. 20, 2021, outdoors at Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh, North Carolina – home of the NC State Wolfpack football team. Carolina’s opponent and other details surrounding the game will be released at a later date.


David Pastrnak scored his 42nd goal of the season (42-40—82 in 59 GP) and Tuukka Rask turned aside 25 of 26 shots as the League-leading Bruins (36-11-12, 84 points) extended their season-high home win streak to seven games.

* Pastrnak, who established a single-season career high with 82 points, remained tied with Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews (42-29—71 in 59 GP) – who also tallied Saturday – for first place in the 2019-20 Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy race. His 42 goals are the most in a campaign by a Boston player since 2002-03, when Glen Murray scored 44 (44-48—92 in 82 GP).

* Rask improved to 14-0-6 through 20 appearances at TD Garden in 2019-20 (1.97 GAA, .933 SV%, 3 SO). He became the sixth goaltender in NHL history to record a home point streak of 20-plus games within a regular season and third to do so in campaign-opening fashion.

* Rask can become the fourth goaltender in NHL history to go an entire regular season without incurring a regulation loss at home (min. 20 GP), joining Montreal’s Patrick Roy in 1988-89 (25-0-4), Montreal’s Bill Durnan in 1943-44 (22-0-3) and Boston’s Tiny Thompson in 1930-31 (16-1-5).

NOTE: From 1917-18 to Nov. 21, 1942 and 1983-84 to 1998-99, goaltenders which incurred a regular-season overtime loss were credited with a standard loss (i.e. Thompson in 1930-31)

Brayden Point scored the winning goal to extend his point streak to a career-high 10 games (3-11—14) and help the Lightning (39-15-5, 83 points) stretch their win streak and home win streak to 10 and 11 contests, respectively. Tampa Bay remained one point back of League-leading Boston for first place in the Atlantic Division standings.

* The Lightning equaled their franchise record for longest win streak, a mark set from Feb. 9-27, 2019 and matched earlier this season from Dec. 23, 2019 – Jan. 11, 2020. Tampa Bay became the second different franchise in NHL history to record multiple double-digit win streaks within a single regular season, joining Boston in 1929-30 (14-0-0 from Dec. 3, 1929 – Jan. 9, 1930 and 11-0-0 from Feb. 4 – March 11, 1930) and again in 1970-71 (10-0-0 from Dec. 5-25, 1970 and 13-0-0 from Feb. 23 – March 20, 1971).

* The Lightning established a franchise record for longest home win streak, eclipsing the previous mark set from Dec. 11, 2014 – Jan. 31, 2015 (10-0-0). Tampa Bay owns the longest home win streak by any team this season, edging the nine-game runs recorded by St. Louis (Dec. 12, 2019 – Jan. 13, 2020) and Vancouver (Dec. 19, 2019 – Jan. 27, 2020).
* The Lightning also improved to 12-0-1 in their last 13 games at AMALIE Arena dating to Dec. 17, 2019 and matched the franchise record for longest home point streak, a mark set from Jan. 3 – March 12, 2004 en route to capturing the Stanley Cup during the ensuing spring (11-0-2).
Andrei Vasilevskiy (30 saves) improved to 19-0-2 in his last 21 appearances dating to Dec. 17, 2019 (1.98 GAA, .934 SV%, 2 SO), including eight straight wins. He became the sixth different goaltender in NHL history to record at least one point in 21 or more consecutive appearances within a regular season.

* Vasilevskiy improved to 10-0-0 in his last 10 appearances at AMALIE Arena dating to Dec. 23, 2019 (1.89 GAA, .937 SV%, 1 SO) and became the first goaltender in franchise history to record a double-digit home win streak. His active 12-game home point streak dating to Dec. 17, 2019 (11-0-1; 2.13 GAA, .926 SV%, 1 SO) is also a Lightning record.



Other teams in the midst of playoff pushes also earned wins on Saturday:

* After the Stars erased a 3-0 deficit in regulation, Tyler Seguin (2-0—2) scored a highlight-reel overtime goal as Dallas (34-19-5, 73 points) rallied past Montreal and leapfrogged Colorado (33-18-6, 72 points) for second place in the Central Division standings. Seguin, who snapped a 17-game goal drought on Thursday (1-0—1 at TOR), scored his eighth career regular-season overtime marker (all w/ DAL) to move within one of tying Mike Modano (9) for the most in Stars/North Stars franchise history.

Jack Campbell made 25 saves to improve to 3-0-1 through his first four appearances with Toronto (2.40 GAA, .919 SV%) and help the Maple Leafs (31-20-8, 70 points) strengthen their grip on third place in the Atlantic Division standings. Campbell, who was acquired by Toronto on Feb. 5, became the 12th goaltender to record at least one point in each of his first four-plus regular-season appearances with the franchise; the longest such run in club history is 12 games, a mark set by Jean-Sebastien Aubin from March 26 – Oct. 12, 2006 (9-0-3).

Kailer Yamamoto (1-2—3) established a single-game career high with three points and Leon Draisaitl (1-1—2) scored his League-leading 10th game-winning goal of the season as the Oilers (31-21-6, 68 points) moved within one point of the idle Canucks (32-21-5, 69 points), who occupy first place in the Pacific Division standings. Yamamoto has averaged exactly one point per game since making his season debut on New Year’s Eve (8-9—17 in 17 GP); Draisaitl, meanwhile, boosted his season totals to 33-59—92 (58 GP) and opened a 10-point lead in the 2019-20 Art Ross Trophy race.

Marc-Andre Fleury turned aside all 19 shots he faced to record the 60th regular-season shutout of his NHL career and help the Golden Knights (30-22-8, 68 points) – who occupy third place in the Pacific Division standings – keep pace with the Oilers. Fleury moved past Evgeni Nabokov (59) for sole possession of 18th place on the NHL’s all-time regular-season shutouts list.

Phil Kessel scored the go-ahead goal with 14:35 remaining in regulation as the Coyotes defeated the Metropolitan Division-leading Capitals. Arizona (29-24-8, 66 points), which occupies the final Wild Card spot in the Western Conference standings, matched Calgary (30-24-6, 66 points) for the fourth-most points among Pacific Division teams; the Flames, however, hold a game in hand.


Country star Sam Hunt’s Stadium Series performance

Avalanche fans get engaged at Stadium Series

USA Hockey gold medalists honored at Stadium Series
Blues fans cheer Jay Bouwmeester, medical staffs who treated him

Evander Kane suspended three games for actions in Sharks game


A doubleheader on NBC will highlight Hockey Day in America – the kickstarter to USA Hockey’s annual Hockey Week Across America – as the Red Wings visit the Penguins and the Rangers welcome the Bruins. Overall, the network will carry three national games on Sunday – including the second half of a home-and-home, back-to-back set between the Blues and Predators on NBCSN – and begins its pre-game coverage at noon ET from outside Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.

* A total of 252 U.S.-born players have appeared in at least one NHL game this season, amounting to 26.7% of the League to date (252 of 943). Overall, 31 of 50 states have been represented in 2019-20 – including one skater each from Alabama (Nic Dowd), Alaska (Nate Thompson), Mississippi (Mathieu Olivier), New Hampshire (Tim Schaller), North Carolina (Logan Brown), Oklahoma (Jon Merrill), Rhode Island (Noel Acciari), South Carolina (Ryan Hartman) and Utah (Trevor Lewis).

* So far this season, 11 teams are led in scoring by players born in the United States (outright or tied) – with seven of those skaters expected to play on Sunday: Sabres captain Jack Eichel (32-41—73 in 57 GP), Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane (26-46—72 in 58 GP), Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews (42-29—71 in 59 GP), Jets forward Kyle Connor (29-31—60 in 59 GP), Canucks forward J.T. Miller (22-35—57 in 58 GP), Red Wings forward Dylan Larkin (15-25—40 in 60 GP) and Devils forward Kyle Palmieri (21-18—39 in 53 GP).

* Kane (Buffalo, N.Y.), the highest-scoring active U.S.-born player (382-628—1,010 in 961 GP), recently became the youngest American in League history to reach 1,000 career regular-season points at 31 years, 61 days old. He posted 1-2—3 on Saturday and now needs three points to tie St. Louis, Mo. native Pat LaFontaine (468-545—1,013 in 865 GP) for eighth place on the NHL’s all-time list among players born in the United States.