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NHL Morning Skate – Feb. 19, 2024

* The Rangers won in overtime to become the first team to rally from a three-goal deficit to win an NHL outdoor game and did so by erasing a two-goal deficit in the final five minutes of regulation.

* More than 150,000 fans attended outdoor hockey at MetLife Stadium within a 24-hour period during the two games as part of the 2024 Navy Federal Credit Union NHL Stadium Series to push the total attendance across the NHL’s 41 outdoor games to over two million.

Nathan MacKinnon became the second player to hit the 90-point mark in 2023-24 and extended his season-opening home point streak to 26 games – the second-longest run in NHL history.

* A busy 10-game Presidents’ Day in the U.S. and Family Day in Canada will see Auston Matthews aim to hit the 50-goal mark during a doubleheader on ESPN when the Maple Leafs visit the Blues at 1 p.m. ET.

After trailing by as many as three goals in the second period, and by two in the final five minutes of regulation, the Rangers (36-16-3, 75 points) scored twice with their goaltender pulled, capped off by Mika Zibanejad’s tying marker with just 1:29 remaining in regulation. That set the stage for Artemi Panarin’s overtime winner just 10 seconds into the extra frame to the roar of 79,690 fans in attendance at MetLife Stadium.

* The Rangers became the second team to overcome a multi-goal deficit in the final five minutes of regulation to win an outdoor game, joining the Flyers who accomplished the feat in the 2019 Stadium Series (4-3 OTW).

* The Rangers (5-0-0) became the first team to win five NHL outdoor games and did so while extending the League’s longest active winning streak to seven contests (7-0-0 dating to Jan. 27). 

* The second day of the 2024 Navy Federal Credit Union NHL Stadium Series marked the eighth NHL outdoor game to require extra time and first since the 2019 Heritage Classic. The Rangers (6) and Islanders (5) combined for 11 goals, the highest total in an NHL outdoor game.

* With the addition of the 150,000-plus fans that attended the two outdoor games at MetLife Stadium over the weekend, total attendance for the League’s 41 outdoor games surpassed two million (2,104,384).


* The Rangers and Islanders both arrived for the game alongside local police and fire departments, with the Islanders group representing stations from all across Long Island and the Rangers accompanied by vintage New York Police Department sedans and New York Fire Department ceremonial trucks. Rangers players also arrived wearing NYPD and NYFD hockey jerseys.

* Rangers forward Matt Rempe became the first player in history to make his NHL debut in an outdoor game and started the day off with a memorable rookie lap at MetLife Stadium.

Noah Dobson (0-3—3) matched the NHL mark for most assists in an NHL outdoor game and, in doing so, surpassed the 50-point plateau (7-51—58 in 54 GP). Only one other defenseman in Islanders history has required 54 or fewer contests to reach 50 assists in a campaign: Denis Potvin (53 GP in 1978-79), who was on hand to enjoy the game at MetLife Stadium.

* One day after Devils goaltender Nico Daws set an NHL outdoor record for most saves in a game and the aforementioned benchmark for most combined goals in an outdoor game, another record fell Sunday as the Islanders scored twice in 16 seconds to register the fastest two goals by one team in NHL outdoor game history.

* Born and raised New Yorkers, AJR, performed during the first intermission while the second intermission included a tribute to legendary New York hockey stars with Butch GoringBrian Trottier, Denis Potvin and John Tonelli representing the Islanders while Henrik LundqvistMike RichterAdam Graves and Mark Messier were on hand for the Rangers.

The Rangers weren’t the only club to pick up a comeback victory – the Avalanche and Kings both overcame one-goal deficits to win their respective contests Sunday:

Nathan MacKinnon (1-1—2) factored on two of his team’s four goals to extend his season-opening home point streak to 26 games and help the Avalanche earn their 16th comeback win of the season – only the Stars (18), Devils (18) and Rangers (18) have more.  In the process, Colorado (34-18-4, 72 points) overtook idle Winnipeg (33-14-5, 71 points) for second place in the Central Division standings.
* MacKinnon boosted his 2023-24 totals to 33-58—91 (56 GP) and tied Peter Stastny (56 GP in 1987-88, 1985-86 & 1982-83) for the third-fewest games by an Avalanche/Nordiques player to reach the mark in a season. The only skaters to hit the mark faster: Stastny (54 GP) in 1981-82 and Michel Goulet (55 GP) in 1983-84.

* On the night the Penguins retired Jaromir Jagr‘s No. 68, it was the Kings who had the final celebration as Adrian Kempe (2-0—2) scored twice in the third period to lift Los Angeles to a comeback win. The Kings (27-16-10, 64 points) built a four-point cushion in the first Wild Card spot while moving within one point of the Oilers (32-18-1, 65 points) for third place in the Pacific Division.
* Kempe, who scored the winner on the penalty kill to climb the Kings’ all-time shorthanded goals list, also notched his 300th career point on the play. Kempe (525 GP) became the 10th-fastest player to record 300 career points among players to debut with the Kings, and the second-fastest active skater to do so behind Anze Kopitar (333 GP).


Islanders ‘hurt,’ motivated by Stadium Series loss to Rangers
Surging Rangers celebrate ‘outrageous’ comeback OT win in Stadium Series
Capitals give young fan unforgettable experience
Jordan Binnington fined maximum for high-sticking in Blues game
Islanders to host 2026 NHL All-Star Weekend at UBS Arena

Monday’s 10-game slate is packed with afternoon action as both the U.S. (Presidents’ Day) and Canada (Family Day) conclude holiday long weekends. It includes a matinee doubleheader on ESPN, which opens with the NHL’s hottest goal scorer, Auston Matthews (48-23—71 in 52 GP), closing in on the 50-goal plateau after consecutive hat tricks in his last two games.

* There have been only 18 instances in NHL history of a player reaching the 50-goal mark in 53 games or fewer, with the most recent to do so being Mario Lemieux (50 GP in 1995-96). In 2021-22, Matthews reached 50 goals in 62 games, tied with Kevin Stevens (62 GP in 1992-93) for the fastest to the benchmark by a U.S.-born player.

* Matthews has already set a franchise record for hat tricks in a season (6) and has recorded back-to-back hat tricks twice in 2023-24 to become just the fifth player to do so multiple times in a single campaign and the first since Wayne Gretzky in 1983-84. On Monday, he will have the opportunity to become the first player in NHL history to record a hat trick in three consecutive team games.

A look at some of this week’s national broadcasts to keep an eye out for as the four clubs who competed in the 2024 Navy Federal Credit Union NHL Stadium Series resume play:

Saturday, Feb. 24: Blues at Red Wings (12 p.m. ET on ABC, ESPN+, SN360)
Torey Krug and the Blues battle Patrick Kane and the Red Wings to open an ABC Hockey Saturday doubleheader. Kane(460-799—1,259 in 1,203 GP) enters the week needing one assist to become the third U.S.-born player in NHL history with 800, following Phil Housley (894) and former Red Wings forward Mike Modano (813). Modano hails from the Detroit suburb of Livonia, Mich., which is where Krug was born.

Saturday, Feb. 24: Rangers at Flyers (3 p.m. ET on ABC, ESPN+, SN360)
Chris Kreider (17-9—26 in 40 GP) has scored 17 career goals against the Flyers, which trails only Brian Leetch (24), Rod Gilbert (22) and Adam Graves (20) for the most in franchise historyTravis Konecny (2-5—7 in 3 GP) enters the week with multiple points in each of his last three games – the longest such streak of his NHL career is four consecutive contests from Dec. 20-29, 2022 (5-3—8 in 4 GP).

Saturday, Feb. 24: Maple Leafs at Avalanche (7 p.m. ET on CBC, SNO, SNE, SNW, NHLN, TVAS-D, ALT)
Auston Matthews and the Maple Leafs visit Nathan MacKinnon and the Avalanche during a four-game Hockey Night in Canada slate. MacKinnon has 6-7—13 in 13 career head-to-head contests with Matthews (10-6—16 in 13 GP), including 1-1—2 on Jan. 13. Colorado is 8-5-0 (16 points) in those games, while Toronto is 5-5-3 (13 points).

Sunday, Feb. 25: Lightning at Devils (1 p.m. ET on TNT, MAX, SN1, TVAS, MSGSN)
Nikita Kucherov and the Lightning face Jack Hughes and the Devils to open an NHL on TNT doubleheader, with the network set to broadcast eight weeks of Sunday afternoon telecasts through the end of the season.

* Kucherov (36-58—94 in 55 GP) enters the week needing six points to reach 100 for the fourth time in his NHL career, which would extend his franchise record for most seasons with a triple-digit total. Hughes had an assist in the 2024 Navy Federal Credit Union NHL Stadium Series to help the Devils defeat the Flyers and move within two points of the “playoff line” in the Eastern Conference.

Sunday, Feb. 25: Flyers at Penguins (3:30 p.m. ET on TNT, MAX, SN1, TVAS)
Sean Couturier (191-302—493 in 773 GP) enters the week 15 points back of Rick Tocchet (232-276—508 in 621 GP) for 15th place on the franchise’s all-time list. Tocchet won a Stanley Cup with the Penguins in 1992 and two more as an assistant coach with Pittsburgh in 2016 and 2017.

Sidney Crosby (54-71—125 in 86 GP) owns the most goals and points against the Flyers in NHL history, while his 71 assists rank fourth behind former Penguins players Mario LemieuxJaromir Jagr and Bryan Trottier (all w/ 73).

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