NHL Morning Skate – Dec. 7, 2021

* Defensemen Erik Johnson and Cale Makar each scored as the Avalanche posted a seven-goal triumph for the fourth time this season.
* Jake Guentzel and the Stars extended the NHL’s longest active point and win streak, respectively. 

* Twenty teams are in action Tuesday, including the Rangers (16-4-3, 35 points) and Wild (17-6-1, 35 points), who each look to extend their winning streaks to seven games.

COLORADO SCORES AVALANCHE OF GOALS
Erik Johnson (1-1—2) and Cale Makar (1-0—1) were two of seven different Avalanche players to find the back of the net and Justus Annunen (27 saves) earned a win in his first career start as Colorado scored seven or more goals for the fourth time this season. After entering Dec. 5 in fifth place in the Central Division, Colorado (13-7-2, 28 points) ended the night in second behind Minnesota (17-6-1, 35 points). 

* The Avalanche (22 GP) became just the fourth team since 2000-01 to post at least four outings with seven-plus goals before their 25th game, joining the Sabres (5 in 2006-07), Penguins (4 in 2019-20) and Thrashers (4 in 2005-06).

Annunen (21 years, 270 days) became the fourth-youngest goaltender in Avalanche/Nordiques history to win his first career NHL start. The only netminders who did so younger: Jocelyn Thibault in 1993-94 (18 years, 271 days), Ron Tugnutt in 1987-88 (20 years, 68 days) and Mario Gosselin in 1983-84 (20 years, 256 days).

GUENTZEL, DALLAS EXTEND NHL’S LONGEST ACTIVE POINT AND WIN STREAKS
Jake Guentzel and the Stars both extended the NHL’s longest active point and win streaks, respectively, as the Penguins forward found the score sheet in his 13th straight game, while Dallas improved to 7-0-0 dating to Nov. 20:

* Guentzel (2-1—3), who has five goals over his past two contests, extended his point streak to 13 games and established a franchise record for the longest season-opening road point streak (12-7—19 in 12 GP) to power the Penguins to a six-goal victory. Half of Pittsburgh’s goals came in the opening 5:07, which marked the third-fastest three goals to start a road game in franchise history, behind March 2, 1981 (2:39) and Oct. 27, 1976 (2:52). 

Jamie Benn (2-1—3) factored on three of Dallas’ four goals to the lead the Stars (13-7-2, 28 points) to victory and match their franchise record with their seventh straight win, a feat last achieved in 2019-20. Dallas also improved to 8-0-0 over its last eight home games, marking the second-best run in franchise history (also 8 GP in 2005-06 & 1989-90), behind 11-0-0 in 1972-73 as the North Stars

OVECHKIN, ZEGRAS HIT NOTABLE FRANCHISE MARKS
Alex Ovechkin (36 years, 80 days) and Trevor Zegras (20 years, 261 days) each secured notable franchise marks as they skated across from one another Monday:

* Ovechkin tallied 0-2—2 and scored in the shootout to help the Capitals (16-4-6, 38 points) overtake the Panthers (17-4-3, 37 points) for first place in the NHL standings. The Capitals captain, who has tallied 8-7—15 in his last nine games, improved his season totals to 20-21—41 (26 GP) and tied Dennis Maruk (26 GP in 1981-82) for the fewest games to reach the 40-point mark in a season by a Washington player.

Zegras (0-2—2) became the fourth rookie in the past 25 years to record multiple assists in three straight games, joining Mathew Barzal (3 GP in 2017-18), Artemi Panarin (3 GP in 2015-16) and Patrick Kane (3 GP in 2007-08) – all of whom went on to win the Calder Trophy. The only NHL rookies to extend their run to four contests were Darren Turcotte (4 GP in 1989-90 w/ NYR) and Pat LaFontaine (4 GP in 1984-85 w/ NYI).

ERIKSSON SKATES IN 1,000TH GAME ON #NHLSTATS: LIVE UPDATES
Loui Eriksson skated in his 1,000th game against the team that drafted him 33rd overall in the 2003 NHL Draft, while his former club earned their first win under head coach Bruce Boudreau  two of a number of notes featured on #NHLStats: Live Updates Monday.

RANGERSWILD PUT SIX-GAME WINNING STREAKS ON THE LINE TUESDAY
Twenty teams are in action Tuesday, including the Rangers (16-4-3, 35 points) and Wild (17-6-1, 35 points), who each look to extend their winning streak to seven games when they visit the Blackhawks (9-13-2, 20 points) and Oilers (16-7-0, 32 points), respectively. The last time New York earned a victory in seven or more consecutive contests was from Oct. 25 to Nov. 15, 2015 (9-0-0) – Minnesota has achieved the feat five times in franchise history, including from April 14-24 (7-0-0). 

Some other highlights:
 
* The Blue Jackets (13-10-0, 26 points) visit the Maple Leafs (17-7-2, 36 points) in their first meeting since the 2020 Stanley Cup Qualifiers, when Columbus claimed a five-game triumph at Scotiabank Arena. Auston Matthews (8-2—10 in 6 GP) has tallied at least once in each of Toronto’s last six contests, which is the longest goal streak in the NHL this season and one game back of his career high 

* The Red Wings (13-9-3, 29 points) will aim to extend their winning streak to six games when they welcome the Predators (13-10-1, 27 points) to Little Caesars Arena, where the hosts are 9-2-2 (20 points) this season. Detroit can reach 10 home wins in 14 games or fewer for the first time since 2011-12 (10-2-1, 21 points).
 
* The Lightning (15-5-4, 34 points) and Canadiens (6-17-3, 15 points) meet for the first time since the 2021 Stanley Cup Final. Defending champions own an all-time record of 52-32-6 (110 points) in the first game against their Final opponent during the ensuing season (since 1926-27 when the Stanley Cup was competed for solely by NHL teams).
 
* The Flames (15-5-5, 35 points) face the Sharks (13-11-1, 27 points) at SAP Center as Calgary concludes its four-game road trip with a sojourn in San Jose. Andrew Mangiapane (16-1—17 in 16 GP) leads the League with 16 road goals this season.