NHL Morning Cup of Joe
PREDATORS KEEP STREAKS ALIVE…
* Down 1-0, the Predators scored three unanswered goals, including the go-ahead marker by Calle Jarnkrok with 1:51 left in regulation, to extend their overall point streak to eight games (5-0-3) and franchise-record road point streak to 10 contests (8-0-2), including three straight wins overall and four straight as visitors.
* Pekka Rinne matched a season high with 38 saves (also Nov. 17 vs. ANA) to improve to 4-1-2 in his last seven outings and 23-18-9 overall (2.44 GAA, .908 SV%, 3 SO).
* At 30-21-11 (71 points), the Predators increased their lead to three points over the idle Avalanche (32-27-4, 68 points) for the first Wild Card spot in the Western Conference.
PANTHERS STAY STRONG ATOP ATLANTIC
* Aleksander Barkov (2-0—2) scored twice, including his team-leading fifth game-winning goal of the season, to help the Panthers defeat the Coyotes and stretch their point streak to four games (3-0-1).
* Barkov, playing in his first game after missing six with an injury, registered his third multi-goal game of the season (also Dec. 27 vs. CBJ: 2-0—2 and Dec. 29 vs. MTL: 2-1—3) and has scored in five of his last six outings (6-1—7).
* Roberto Luongo (22 saves) improved to 7-1-1 in his last nine decisions and 26-14-5 overall (2.26 GAA, .925 SV%, 4 SO).
* At 35-18-7 (77 points), the Panthers increased their lead to five points over the idle Lightning (34-22-4, 72 points) and Bruins (33-22-6, 72 points) atop the Atlantic Division standings.
AROUND THE RINKS
* Jaroslav Halak made 31 saves and Josh Bailey scored with 17.8 seconds left in overtime as the Islanders defeated the Flames and extended their point streak to five games (4-0-1), including three straight wins. Halak earned his third consecutive victory and improved to 16-12-4 overall (2.25 GAA, .920 SV%, 3 SO). Islanders captain John Tavares added an assist (0-1—1) and has now collected at least one point in nine of his last 10 games (6-8—14). At 33-19-7 (73 points), the Islanders increased their lead to five points over the idle Penguins (30-21-8, 68 points) for third place in the Metropolitan Division. They also remained three points behind the Rangers (35-20-6, 76 points) for second.
* Jeff Carter (1-1—2) and Dwight King (1-1—2) scored in the third period to help the Kings overcome a 1-0 deficit and defeat the Oilers, their third consecutive victory.Jonathan Quick (26 saves) improved to 31-15-3 overall (2.15 GAA, .922 SV%, 3 SO). His 31 wins rank third in the NHL, behind Washington’s Braden Holtby (38) and Chicago’s Corey Crawford (32). At 36-20-4 (76 points), the Kings increased their lead to four points over the idle Ducks (32-19-8, 72 points) atop the Pacific Division standings.
* Michal Neuvirth made a desperation goal line save on Minnesota’s Charlie Coylewith seconds left in regulation to preserve a 3-2 win for the Flyers, who improved to 3-1-1 in their last five games. Neuvirth improved to 4-1-2 in his last seven outings and 14-7-4 overall (2.20 GAA, .927 SV%, 3 SO). At 27-22-11 (65 points) the Flyers moved within three points of the idle Penguins (30-21-8, 68 points) for the final Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference.
* Nick Foligno (3-1—4) scored three times, including the game-winning goal at 8:12 of the first period, to lead the Blue Jackets to a 6-1-3 record in their last 10 contests. The hat trick was the second of Foligno’s NHL career (also April 4, 2015 vs. PIT) – he also added an assist to record a career-high four points. Joonas Korpisalo turned aside 25 of 26 shots to improve to 6-1-2 in his last nine outings and 11-7-4 overall (2.61 GAA, .919 SV%).
* After seeing their 3-0 lead erased, the Jets scored three unanswered goals, including a highlight-reel tally by Joel Armia (2-1—3), to win the second half of their home-and-home set with Dallas 6-3. Winnipeg forward Mark Scheifele recorded his first four-point game of his NHL career (1-3—4), including the game-winning goal in the third period.
MILESTONES & BENCHMARKS
* Panthers forward Jaromir Jagr (742-1,104—1,846) registered an assist to climb within four points of tying Gordie Howe (801-1,049—1,850) for third place all-time.
* Coyotes captain Shane Doan (1-1—2) skated in his 1,446th career game and tied Tim Horton for 24th on the NHL’s all-time games played list. Doan registered his ninth multi-point game of the season and leads the club with 23 goals.
* Panthers defenseman Brian Campbell registered his 400th career assist (81-400—481) and became the third active blueliner to reach the milestone (Dan Boyle: 439 andAndrei Markov: 413).
* Blue Jackets forward Brandon Dubinsky scored while skating in the 600th game of his NHL career.
The Blackhawks acquired forward Andrew Ladd, forward Matt Fraser and defensemanJay Harrison from the Jets in exchange for forward Marko Dano, a first-round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, and a conditional pick in the 2018 NHL Draft… Forward Shawn Thornton agreed to terms on a one-year contract extension with the Panthers… The Ducks claimed forward Chris Wagner off waivers from the Avalanche… Breast cancer survivor Jennifer Kelly participated in a ceremonial puck drop at Scottrade Center as part of the Blues’ Pink at the Rink Breast Cancer Awareness Night… The Canucksdonned military-themed jerseys in warm-up as part of their Canadian Armed Forces Appreciation Night. Members of the Canadian Armed Forces also dropped the ceremonial puck at Rogers Arena.