* Twenty years after the first regular-season outdoor game in NHL history, Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton again played host to the Heritage Classic but this time, the home team walked away with a victory after a return to the lineup from captain Connor McDavid.
* All four home teams won on Sunday, including the Devils, who improved to 5-2-1 (11 points) with Tyler Toffoli scoring to reach 10 points on the season and the club notching their League-leading 14th power-play goal.
* A busy nine-game Monday will see former Jets captain Blake Wheeler return to Winnipeg for the first time since signing with the Rangers as an unrestricted free agent prior to the season.
McDAVID RETURNS FOR HERITAGE CLASSIC, SPARKS OILERS WIN
Captain Connor McDavid (0-1—1) returned to the Oilers lineup after missing a pair of games with an injury to inspire his team to victory and snap a four-game winless stretch. Along the way, two Oilers who hail from the Edmonton area made an impact in the second outdoor game held in the city – in front of a sellout crowd of 55,411: defenseman Brett Kulak scored his first goal of the season (opening the scoring in the process) and goaltender Stuart Skinner made 24 saves for his first win of 2023-24.
* The 2023 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic at Commonwealth Stadium marked the 260th all-time regular-season meeting between the historic “Battle of Alberta” rivals, with the Oilers improving to 113-120-27 (253 points). Click here to watch a video for a little more on the history of the Alberta rivals.
* Home teams have now won exactly half of the NHL outdoor games to date, improving to 19-16-3 (including a 14-4-1 mark in the last 19). Designated road teams are 19-15-4.
* Evander Kane (1-2—3) led the offense with his second multi-point effort over the last three games. It marked the 26th time a player has posted three or more points in an outdoor game and fell one shy of the record set by Jordan Kyrou (2-2—4 w/ STL at 2022 Winter Classic).
* Leon Draisaitl (0-2—2) and Zach Hyman (1-1—2) also recorded multiple points. Draisaitl had his first career points outdoors (2 GP) and his League-leading (tied) fifth multi-point game of the season. Hyman, meanwhile, became the sixth player to record at least two career multi-point games outdoors.
* McDavid and Draisaitl both assisted on Evan Bouchard’s game-winning goal, marking the 382nd time the duo has factored on the same goal in the regular season – but the first such instance outdoors.
HERITAGE CLASSIC QUICK HITS
* An outdoor game tradition continued with both teams arriving in style. The Oilers wore full oil workers gear, while the Flames arrived in matching denim overalls and cowboy hats.
* Over 10,000 fans passed through the WestJet Fan Park on Friday and Saturday, enjoying the United by Hockey mobile museum, games and sponsor activations.
* Alberta’s own Nickelback, a band from the town of Hanna located approximately 300 kilometers from Edmonton, performed in front of their home province fans during the second intermission.
TOFFOLI CONTINUES TO IGNITE DEVILS OFFENSE, POWER PLAY
Tyler Toffoli (1-0—1) collected his 10th point of the season and scored the first of two Devils power-play goals Saturday as New Jersey (5-2-1, 11 points) rallied to secure its fifth comeback win of the season – tied with Vegas for the most among all teams in 2023-24.
* Toffoli(7-3—10 in 8 GP) is one of eight players to collect their first 10 career points with the franchise in eight games or fewer. The others: Doug Gilmour (6 GP in 1996-97), Bernie Nicholls (7 GP in 1992-93), Brent Ashton (7 GP in 1981-82), Paul Gardner (7 GP in 1976-77), Tommy Albelin (8 GP in 1988-89), Lanny McDonald (8 GP in 1979-80) and Guy Charron (8 GP in 1974-75).
* The Devils netted their League-leading 13th and 14th power-play goals of the season in the contest. New Jersey became the first team with at least 14 such tallies in the month of October since the Sabres in 2019 (14).
NYLANDER CHASES FRANCHISE HISTORY ON BUSY WEEK OF NATIONAL GAMES
Maple Leafs forward William Nylander and his franchise record-tying eight-game season-opening point streak will be prominently featured during this week’s national TV slate as Toronto will host Los Angeles on Halloween (ESPN), visit Boston on Thursday (ESPN+, HULU, SNO, TVAS) and welcome Buffalo for a Hockey Night in Canada showdown Saturday (Sportsnet, CBC, NHLN).
Tuesday, Oct. 31: Kings at Maple Leafs (ESPN)
* If he finds the score sheet Tuesday, Nylander will set a new Toronto benchmark for longest season-opening point streak – he has tallied 6-6—12 during his eight-game run and enters tied with three others for the current record. Kings captain Anze Kopitar recently set a franchise record of his own (games played) and skated in his 1,300th NHL game Saturday but now has his sights set on another milestone: 400 goals (he is three away as the club embarks on a four-game road trip).
Wednesday, Nov. 1: Sabres at Flyers and Blues at Avalanche (TNT, MAX)
* A star-studded NHL on TNT doubleheader will begin in Philadelphia, where Tage Thompson and the Sabres open a home-and-home set against Travis Konecny and the Flyers (7 p.m. ET). Thompson has points in three straight games – including a highlight-reel goal Friday in New Jersey – but teammate Rasmus Dahlin (2-7—9) shares the team lead in scoring thanks to the longest point streak by a Sabres defenseman in more than 33 years (8 GP).
* The TNT finale will include two clubs looking to get back in the win column as Blues captain Brayden Schenn leads his club to Denver to face Mikko Rantanen and the Avalanche. Rantanen has a point in each of his past six games against St. Louis dating to April 14, 2021 (6-5—11), while teammate Nathan MacKinnon owns an active 12-game run against the club (6-14—20 since Jan. 15, 2021) – the longest point streak of his career against one team.
Thursday, Nov. 2: Maple Leafs at Bruins (HULU, ESPN+, SNO, TVAS)
Nylander and the Maple Leafs will again be in action during an ESPN+ and Hulu exclusive in the United States (SNO & TVAS in Canada), facing David Pastrnak and the Bruins in a matchup between two clubs who currently occupy the top two spots in the Atlantic Division standings. Pastrnak has 24-24—48 in 38 career games against the Maple Leafs (including playoffs), his most goals (tied w/ PHI), assists and points against one franchise.
STREAKING CLUBS SET SIGHTS ON MORE SUCCESS MONDAY
The Golden Knights (8-0-1, 17 points), Rangers (6-2-0, 12 points) and Ducks (4-4-0, 8 points) will put their recent strings of success on the line when they take to the ice for a nine-game Monday slate.
* The best start to a season in Golden Knights history continues with a showdown with the Canadiens at T-Mobile Arena. The club’s resiliency has highlighted Vegas’ early season success after posting a come-from-behind victory in an NHL-best five (tied) of their eight wins to date. The Golden Knights can become the 10th team in League history with six or more comeback victories through their first 10 contests of a campaign and fifth in the past decade (MTL: 7 in 2014-15, MIN: 6 in 2021-22, FLA: 6 in 2020-21 & NJD: 6 in 2017-18).
* The Rangers enter a new week of NHL action with the League’s longest active win streak, with victories in each of their past four contests dating to Oct. 21. Led by Artemi Panarin’s season-opening eight-game point streak, New York can sweep a road trip of at least five games for the first time in franchise history. It will mark the return to Winnipeg for Blake Wheeler, in his first season with the Rangers after spending his previous 13 campaigns with the Jets/Thrashers (including six as captain). Wheeler is the franchise leader in games played (897), assists (550) and points (812).
* The Ducks, with three straight wins on their current road trip, travel to Pittsburgh where Sidney Crosby (555 in 1,198 GP) sits one goal shy of tying Johnny Bucyk (556) for 28th place on the NHL’s all-time goals list. Fresh off a seven-goal output in its last outing, Anaheim (25 GF in 8 GP) can score 28 or more goals prior to its 10th game of a season for the fifth time in franchise history (32 in 2012-13 & 2013-14, 30 in 2006-07 & 2014-15).