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NHL Morning Skate – Dec. 19, 2023

Sidney Crosby scored the game-winning goal for the Penguins and climbed a couple NHL lists – most notably surpassing former teammate Mark Recchi on the all-time points leaderboard.

* Twenty-two-year-old defensemen Justin Barron and Thomas Harley scored overtime goals to help the Canadiens and Stars withstand third-period rallies.

Connor McDavid aims to extend the lengthiest assist streak by an Oilers player in nearly 30 years while Nathan MacKinnon puts the NHL’s longest active point streak on the line during an 11-game Tuesday.

Click here to read the #NHLStats Pack for the 2024 Discover NHL Winter Classic, which features the Kraken hosting the reigning Stanley Cup-champion Golden Knights at the home of the MLB’s Seattle Mariners, T-Mobile Park, on Jan. 1 (12 p.m. PT / 3 p.m. ET on TNT, MAX, SN, TVAS). All stats are through games played Dec. 17 and will be updated after the Kraken’s game on Dec. 29.

Familiar faces led the way for Pittsburgh as Sidney Crosby (1-1—2) and Evgeni Malkin (1-1—2) notched multi-point outings to help the Penguins (14-13-3, 31 points) stave off a Wild three-goal comeback. The captain (18-15—33 in 30 GP), on pace for a 90-point campaign, continued his climb up the NHL’s all-time points list, this time surpassing former teammate Mark Recchi for sole possession of 13th place.

* Crosby also notched his 89th career game-winning goal and tied Luc Robitaille for 24th place in NHL history. It also was the 254th time he has factored on a decisive tally (89-165—254) – only five players in NHL history have factored on as many: Wayne Gretzky (91-239—330), Jaromir Jagr (135-180—315), Gordie Howe (121-162—283), Ron Francis (79-196—275) and Phil Esposito (118-146—264).

* Monday marked the 119th time Crosby and Malkin scored in the same regular-season game, with the Penguins improving to 104-10-5 in those contests.

The Canadiens (14-13-4, 32 points) and Stars (18-8-4, 40 points) both survived third-period rallies to pick up victories Monday, courtesy of overtime goals by young defensemen:

* After the Canadiens surrendered a two-goal lead to the Jets, Justin Barron scored the overtime winner with his parents in the stands and his brother, Morgan, skating opposite of him at Canada Life Centre. Barron (22 years, 33 days) became the fourth-youngest defenseman in Canadiens history to score an overtime goal (regular season & playoffs), following P.K. Subban (21 years, 249 days on Jan. 17, 2011 & 21 years, 327 days on April 5, 2011), Kaiden Guhle (21 years, 297 days on Nov. 11, 2023) and Larry Robinson (21 years, 319 days on April 17, 1973).

Matt Duchene (2-1—3), with seven points in his past four games, helped the Stars build a 3-1 lead only to watch Eeli Tolvanen (59:38) score the latest game-tying goal by a Kraken skater. The Dallas forward then collected his third point of the night with a primary assist on 22-year-old Thomas Harley’s game-winning goal 2:16 into overtime – his ninth career tally and eighth of 2023-24.


The latest edition of #NHLStats: Live Updates featured notes from the rest of Monday’s five-game slate as players posted noteworthy performances for their clubs.

Mikael Backlund scored the game winner with his 17th career shorthanded goal and surpassed Kent Nilsson (16) for sole possession of the second most in Flames history, behind only Theo Fleury (28).

Adam Henrique (1-1—2) followed up his hat trick Sunday with another multi-point performance as Anaheim withstood a late Detroit comeback attempt en route to victory. Henrique became the fourth player in Ducks history to score at least four goals through a span of consecutive days, joining Teemu Selanne (7x; most: 5 from March 21-22, 1998), Paul Kariya (3x; most recent: 4 from March 29-30, 2001) and Vinny Prospal (4 from Jan. 23-24, 2004).

Alex DeBrincat (2-0—2) recorded his 400th career point and became the fifth player in Red Wings history to score multiple times on his birthday, joining Steve Yzerman (2-0—2 on May 9, 1999), Bill Lochead (2-0—2 on Oct. 13, 1974), Steve Wojciechowski (2-1—3 on Dec. 25, 1944) and Mud Bruneteau (2-1—3 on Nov. 28, 1943).


D.J. Smith fired as Senators coach, replaced by Jacques Martin
Matthew Poitras of Bruins to play for Canada at 2024 World Junior Championship
Jake Oettinger out week to week for Stars with lower-body injury
Marc-Andre Fleury entertains young fan in Pittsburgh with shared middle name
Women in Hockey: Suzanne Borchert

An 11-game Tuesday featurestwo of the NHL’s hottest stars looking to continue their streaks of success when Connor McDavid (11-30—41 in 26 GP)and the Oilers (13-14-1, 27 points) visit the Islanders (14-8-8, 36 points) at 7:30 p.m. ET in the first game of an ESPN+ and Hulu doubleheader, then Nathan MacKinnon (14-33—47 in 31 GP) and the Avalanche (19-10-2, 40 points) face off against Connor Bedard (12-14—26 in 30 GP) and the Blackhawks (9-20-1, 19 points).

* McDavid has posted 7-21—28 during his 12-game run dating to Nov. 20 – leading all players in assists and points through that span. Should he find the score sheet twice Tuesday, McDavid will have recorded 30 points during a point streak for the third time in his career – the most among all active players.

* Meanwhile, MacKinnon enters action with the NHL’s longest active point streak (8-19—27 in 15 GP) and can extend his stretch to 16 consecutive contests for the first time in his career – a length only Mats Sundin (30 GP in 1992-93), Paul Stastny (20 GP in 2006-07), Peter Stastny (5x; best: 19 GP in 1983-84) and Alex Tanguay (16 in 2002-03) have hit for the franchise. MacKinnon (124) also holds a slight edge over McDavid (122) for most points among all players during the 2023 calendar year – a distinction the Oilers captain has captured for the past two years. For more notes about the past 12 months, check out the 2023 Year in Review.

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