Thursday, February 22, 2024
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NHL Morning Skate – Jan. 21, 2024

Justin BieberWill ArnettTate McRae and Michael Bublé will share captaincy duties for the 2024 NHL All-Star Game and will join forces with player captains announced Saturday. The 12-player grouping also is set for the 2024 NHL All-Star Skills presented by DraftKings Sportsbook after a pair of Canucks teammates won the fan vote.

* Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada wrapped with the Jets, Canucks, Bruins and Oilers each picking up wins as the latter befittingly set an NHL record for longest winning streak by a Canadian franchise.

* Two Canadians on the Avalanche roster had stand-out performances, including Nathan MacKinnon, who took the outright scoring lead the first time in his career and Cale Makar, who became the second-fastest blueliner in NHL history to 300 points.
 


NHL UNVEILS PLAYER AND CELEBRITY CAPTAINS FOR ALL-STAR WEEKEND

Global superstar Justin Bieber; Toronto-born actor Will Arnett; Canadian multi-platinum singer, songwriter and dancer Tate McRae; and Grammy Award-winning musician Michael Bublé will join in the NHL All-Star festivities in Toronto as celebrity captains for the 2024 NHL All-Star Game, the NHL announced Saturday. Also part of the unveil were the player captains who will align with the celebrities to select their 11-player teams during the 2024 Tim Hortons NHL Player Draft, part of NHL All-Star Thursday, taking place at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto on Thursday, Feb. 1 at 6 p.m. ET (Sportsnet, TVA Sports, ESPN2). Tickets are available here.
 


HUGHES, MILLER JOIN SKILLS CAST AHEAD OF STAR-STUDDED HOCKEY DAY MATCHUP

With nine All-Stars on the ice and one behind the bench, six of them recorded multiple points in a back-and-forth thriller on Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada. After being announced during the pre-game show as the two players voted into the 2024 NHL All-Star Skills presented by DraftKings Sportsbook, Canucks teammates Quinn Hughes (0-3—3) and J.T. Miller (1-1—2) connected with fellow Skills participant Elias Pettersson (1-1—2) on the eventual game-winning goal after All-Stars William Nylander (2-0—2), Mitch Marner (1-1—2) and Morgan Rielly (0-2—2) helped the Maple Leafs overcome 3-0 and 4-3 deficits to even the score twice.

* Hughes posted his seventh three-assist outing of the season, doing so after being named an All-Star co-captain alongside his brother, Jack, and celebrity captain Michael Bublé. The eldest Hughes brother – but the second-oldest “Hugh-blé” brother – became the sixth defenseman in NHL history to notch at least seven three-assist games in one campaign, following Paul Coffey (6x; last: 1993-94), Bobby Orr (5x; last: 1974-75), Ray Bourque (3x; last: 1993-94), Phil Housley (1992-93) and Roman Josi (2021-22).


Zach Hyman (1-0—1) scored the last of three Oilers goals and Stuart Skinner turned aside 26 shots in the latest rendition of the ‘Battle of Alberta’ as Edmonton extended its winning streak to 13 games – the longest by a Canadian-based franchise in NHL history. Hyman, who leads the club with 10 goals during their string of success, also helped the Oilers capture their franchise record-setting ninth consecutive road victory. Meanwhile Skinner, donning his Heritage Classic pads that paid homage to franchise icon Grant Fuhr, improved to 10-0-0 in his past 10 appearances and also matched the Hockey Hall of Famer for the longest winning streak by a goaltender in Oilers history.



Nikolaj Ehlers scored the overtime winner and Connor Hellebuyck made 34 saves as the Jets (30-10-4, 64 points) defeated the Senators 2-1 in Canada’s capital city. Hellebuyck allowed two or fewer goals against for his 10th consecutive contest, his second such run in 2023-24 (also 10 GP from Nov. 17 – Dec. 16). He became the ninth different goaltender in NHL history to post multiple double-digit streaks with two or fewer goals against in a single season and just the third in the modern era (since 1943-44), joining Marc-Andre Fleury (2007-08 w/ PIT) and Harry Lumley (1953-54 w/ TOR). In the process, he allowed the Jets to extend their run of allowing three or fewer goals to 34 consecutive contests.

* Boston, the lone American club part of Hockey Day festivities and the next opponent for Winnipeg, tallied nine goals on home ice including the first career hat trick by Danton Heinen (3-0—3), a Langley, B.C., native. Brad Marchand (1-1—2) and David Pastrnak (1-1—2) reached the 20- and 30-goal mark, respectively, as Boston scored nine goals in a game for the third time in the past 30 years. Marchand secured his 11th consecutive 20-goal season and passed Patrice Bergeron (10) and Johnny Bucyk (10) for the longest stretch in Bruins history. Pastrnak, meanwhile, matched Bucyk for the second-most career 30-goal campaigns in franchise history behind Phil Esposito and Rick Middleton (8).



MACKINNON, MAKAR HAVE MILESTONE PERFORMANCES IN AVALANCHE WIN
Nathan MacKinnon tallied 2-2—4 to take the outright lead in points for the first time in his career (26-51—77 in 47 GP), Cale Makar (0-1—1) celebrated the 300-point milestone in nearly record-breaking fashion and Logan O’Connor scored his first NHL hat trick in a seven-goal Avalanche victory. Colorado (30-14-3, 63 points) joined Winnipeg (30-10-4, 64 points) and Vancouver (31-11-4, 66 points) as the third team with 30 wins this season.

* Makar (75-225—300 in 280 GP) became the second-fastest defenseman in NHL history to record 300 points, trailing only Bobby Orr (279 GP). Paul Coffey (294 GP) and Brian Leetch (295 GP) are the only other blueliners to reach the milestone in 300 games or fewer.



MEMORABLE MOMENT OF THE NIGHT: BRISSON SCORES FIRST NHL GOAL
Brendan Brisson’s first NHL goal stood as the game winner and helped the Golden Knights (27-14-5, 59 points) earn a third-period, multi-goal comeback win in regulation for the fourth time in franchise history. The night featured other memorable moments: original ‘Golden Misfit’ Reilly Smith – out with an injury –  was honored by the Golden Knights in his return to Vegas after helping the franchise win a Stanley Cup, while Jonathan Marchessault (1-0—1) and Alex Pietrangelo (0-1—1) enjoyed proud dad moments as their kids took part in the intermission hockey game.
 

Brisson, whose father Pat is Sidney Crosby’s agent, faced off against the Penguins captain for the first time in the NHL – but not the first time ever. Crosby lived with the Brisson family for three summers and Brendan would play mini-sticks against the now three-time Stanley Cup champion as a child.
 


Photo: Sidney Crosby (left), Brendan Brisson (right) from @GoldenKnights


JOSI SETTING FRANCHISE RECORD FEATURED IN #NHLSTATS: LIVE UPDATES

The Saturday edition of #NHLStats: Live Updates features a plethora of notes from the 12-game slate, including Roman Josi scoring his 167th career goal to surpass Shea Weber for the most by a defenseman in Predators history as well as third most among all positions for the franchise, behind only Filip Forsberg (261) and David Legwand (210).


QUICK CLICKS

Panthers’ William Lockwood suspended three games for goaltender interference
Jonathan Quick honored in first game in Los Angeles since 2022-23 trade

Patrick Roy grateful to be back in NHL as Islanders coach
Sergei Brylin inducted into Devils Ring of Honor in pregame ceremony
Blues honor franchise’s 2024 Hall of Fame Class with ceremonial puck drop



EASTERN CONFERENCE PLAYOFF RACE CENTER STAGE SUNDAY
The Eastern Conference playoff race will continue to heat up during Sunday’s six-game slate. A pair of contests broadcast nationally in Canada on TVA Sports will feature three closely-ranked clubs in the Atlantic Division in action as the Lightning (24-17-5, 53 points) and Red Wings (23-17-5, 51 points), who both hold playoff spots, go head-to-head and the Maple Leafs (22-14-8, 52 points) visit the Kraken (19-17-9, 47 points). On Sportsnet, the Rangers (28-15-2, 58 points) continue their California road trip with a showdown against the Ducks (15-29-1, 31 points).
 

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