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NHL Morning Skate – Feb. 19, 2023

* The 2023 Stadium Series had a fitting finish, with the Hurricanes netting four goals to win their first-ever outdoor game in front of their hometown crowd at Carter-Finley Stadium.

* The Kings overcame the Coyotes’ four-goal comeback attempt with a shootout victory at Arena.

* Sunday will feature a doubleheader on HULU and ESPN+, beginning with a rematch of the 2022 Western Conference Final between the Oilers and Avalanche at 3 p.m. ET.


After fans spent the day tailgating, barbecuing and celebrating the passionate Carolina hockey community on the grounds of Carter-Finley Stadium, the hometown Hurricanes erupted for “fore” goals to send the sold-out crowd of 56,961 fans home happy with a victory in the franchise’s first-ever outdoor game appearance.

Martin Necas (2-1—3) led a trio of Hurricanes forwards that recorded multiple points, along with Jesperi Kotkaniemi (1-1—2) and Teuvo Teravainen (1-1—2). Necas (22-29—51 in 55 GP), who has now set new career highs for goals, assists and points this season, recorded his team-leading 13th multi-point game of 2022-23.

Frederik Andersen stopped 24 of 25 shots and held the Capitals off the score sheet until Tom Wilson’s goal at 10:32 of the third period. He improved to 2-1-0 in his career outdoors to become the seventh NHL goaltender to win multiple outdoor games.

* Andersen also registered an assist on Carolina’s fourth goal to become just the third goaltender to record a point in an NHL outdoor game, joining Petr Mrazek (1 assist in 2016 SS w/ DET) and Marc-Andre Fleury (1 assist in 2011 WC w/ PIT).


* After the Hurricanes entered Carter-Finley Stadium dressed in vintage golf gear, they closed the show with a traditional “Storm Surge” while keeping the golf theme going to the end.


* The Hurricanes became the first team to defeat the Capitals in an outdoor game (WSH: 3-1-0), while becoming the 15th team to win in their first-ever outdoor game appearance.

* Home teams improved to 18-16-3 in NHL outdoor games, including a 2-0 mark in 2022-23 (BOS: 2-1 W vs. PIT at 2023 WC).

Jesperi Kotkaniemi recorded his fourth multi-point outing of the season while also scoring the fifth-fastest goal from the start of an NHL outdoor game.

Derek Stepan improved to 4-0-0 in outdoor games and became the seventh skater in NHL history to win as many contests outdoors. The only player with more is former Rangers teammate Ryan McDonagh (5-0-0).

Ripken The Bat Dog, a six-year-old black Labrador Retriever who has grown a big social media following by retrieving bats for the Durham Bulls and kickoff tees for the N.C. State football team, dropped the ceremonial “First Pup” in a face-off between Nicklas Backstrom and Jordan Staal.

* Country singer Jake Owen performed during the first intermission, with his stage situated in the middle of an all-student section of the crowd.


Saturday’s edition of #NHLStats: Live Updates featured more notes from the 13-game slate. Some highlights include:

Patrice Bergeron (20-21—41 in 55 GP) reached the 20-goal mark for a 10th straight season and 14th time in his NHL career as League-leading Boston (42-8-5, 89 points) maintained its seven-point lead on second-place Carolina (37-10-8, 82 points). Bergeron became the fifth active player with 14 or more 20-goal seasons, joining Alex Ovechkin (18), Sidney Crosby (15), Patrick Kane (14) and Evgeni Malkin (14).

Jack Hughes (9-11—20 in 10 GP) returned to the lineup and found the score sheet for a 10th consecutive game as New Jersey (36-14-5, 77 points), which occupies second place in the Metropolitan Division, kept pace with Carolina. Nico Hischier had 2-2—4 to record the first four-point game of his NHL career.

Clayton Keller (2-0—2) spurred a four-goal Arizona rally to help the Coyotes force overtime and extend their point streak to eight games (4-0-4), but Gabriel Vilardi had the shootout-deciding goal to give Los Angeles the victory. The Kings (32-18-7, 71 points) remain one point back of the Pacific Division-leading Golden Knights (34-18-4, 72 points) and one ahead of the third-place Kraken (32-18-6, 70 points), who also earned wins Saturday.

Mikko Rantanen (200-273—473 in 462 GP) became the fourth-fastest Finnish-born player in NHL history to reach 200 career goals as Colorado (30-19-5, 65 points) strengthened its grip on third place in the Central Division by moving two points ahead of idle Minnesota (29-21-5, 63 points), which holds the Western Conference’s final Wild Card spot.

Roman Josi (154-435—589 in 813 GP) had 1-2—3 to catapult past Carol Vadnais (169-418—587 in 1,087 GP) and tie former teammate Shea Weber (224-365—589 in 1,038 GP) for 46th place on the NHL’s all-time points list among defensemen as Nashville (26-21-6, 58 points) moved within five points of Minnesota. The Predators and Wild square off this afternoon.

Elias Pettersson (2-3—5) factored on five of his team’s six goals as the Canucks defeated the Flyers at Rogers Arena. It marked Pettersson’s fifth career five-point game, surpassing Daniel AlfredssonThomas Steen and Ulf Nilsson (all w/ 4) and tying Nicklas Backstrom for the third most in NHL history by a Swedish-born player – Peter Forsberg and Kent Nilsson (both w/ 9) pace the list.

* After Andrew Mangiapane and Nazem Kadri opened the scoring just 46 seconds into the game, the Rangers rallied with two consecutive goals but the Flames came out victorious courtesy of a Mikael Backlund overtime winner, snapping New York’s seven-game win streak. Calgary (26-19-11, 63 points) tied Minnesota in standing points.


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A rematch of the 2022 Western Conference Final between the Oilers and Avalanche is one of three matinees Sunday and opens a doubleheader on HULU, ESPN+ and Sportsnet. Following that contest, on HULU and ESPN+ will be the second showdown in five days between the Maple Leafs and Blackhawks (available on SNO and TVAS in Canada).

* After notching his 100th point of the season Friday, Connor McDavid now sits two away from 800 in his NHL career as he and the Oilers seek a victory against the reigning Stanley Cup champions. McDavid (26 years, 37 days as of Feb. 19) is set to become the fifth-youngest player in NHL history at the time of his 800th career point. Check out the latest #NHLStats Pack for more on his recent and upcoming milestones.

* Toronto will contest its third consecutive game against an Original Six opponent, something that has happened only two other times within a regular-season over the past 11 campaigns. In 2012-13, the Maple Leafs went 2-0-1 against Original Six clubs from April 8-13, 2013 and in 2020-21 they went 2-0-1 from May 3-8, 2021 (all vs. MTL in the Scotia North Division).

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