Tuesday, February 20, 2024

NHL Morning Skate – Jan. 23, 2024

2024 NHL All-Star Weekend-bound Thatcher Demko and Sam Reinhart helped the Canucks and Panthers pick up wins Monday, while Tyler Toffoli tallied three times in New Jersey’s victory versus Vegas.

* With every hat trick this season, AstraZeneca will donate $5,000 to the Hockey Fights Cancer Fund of the V Foundation up to $500,000. Click here for more information.

Monday’s edition of #NHLStats: Live Updates featured more notes from the six-game slate and detailed several changes atop NHL EDGE leaderboards from this past weekend.

Sam Gagner can achieve an NHL first as the Oilers look to extend their lengthy winning streak during one of several national telecasts tonight.

Thatcher Demko denied all 31 shots he faced as the League-leading Canucks (32-11-4, 68 points) blanked the Blackhawks to extend their point streak to nine games, while Jakub Lauko opened the scoring to help the Bruins (29-8-9, 67 points) become the first team with four goals against the Jets since Nov. 2:

* Demko extended his overall winning streak to a career high-tying seven games and improved to 8-0-0 in his last eight home appearances dating to Dec. 9 (2.01 GAA, .936 SV%, 2 SO). Demko recorded his fifth shutout of the season to tie Arizona’s Connor Ingram and Pittsburgh’s Tristan Jarry for the League lead.

* Lauko, who found humorous ways to document being called up from and sent down to the AHL’s Providence Bruins via his account on X (formerly Twitter), has appeared in 34 of Boston’s 46 games this season and 57 overall since making his NHL debut during its record-breaking campaign on Oct. 12, 2022. The Bruins improved to 44-8-5 (93 points) with Lauko in the lineup and his .772 winning percentage marks the highest by a skater in NHL history (min. 50 GP).

* Lauko (Prague, Czechia), one of 33 Czech-born players to appear in at least one game this season, scored the first goal after the NHL announced it will celebrate the second annual Hockey Day in Czechia on Saturday, March 9. Click here for details.

With his father and former NHL All-Star, Paul, in the stands for the Panthers’ “Dad’s Trip,” Sam Reinhart extended his point streak to double digits by scoring on the man advantage to help Florida stretch its road winning streak to a franchise record-tying six games. Reinhart matched Mike Hoffman (17 in 2018-19) and Scott Mellanby (17 in 1993-94) for the fourth most power-play goals in a single season in club history.

* Reinhart’s 34 goals this season are already a career high, while his 11 since Jan. 1 are the second most in the League behind Vancouver’s Elias Pettersson (12). Reinhart is preparing to make his first appearance in an NHL All-Star game, an achievement his dad accomplished twice in his career – in 1985 as a member of the Flames and in 1989 to represent the Canucks.

* The NHL announced that Rangers forward Vincent Trocheck and Jets forward Kyle Connor have been added to the roster for 2024 NHL All-Star Weekend, replacing injured players Jack Eichel of the Golden Knights and Connor Bedard of the Blackhawks. There are 16 players from Canadian-based teams among the 44 currently on rosters – should they all play Feb. 3, it would match the highest representation of players from Canadian clubs over the past 35 years and the fifth time since 1969 that the Game features at least 16 such representatives following 1988 (19), 1986 (18), 1985 (17) and 1989 (16).


A game of momentum switches saw the Devils tally three straight to erase a 1-0 deficit and the Golden Knights score four in a row to make it 5-3 before Tyler Toffoli completed his sixth career hat trick via an overtime winner. New Jersey (24-18-3, 51 points) moved within two points of a Wild Card spot after earning its 16th comeback win of the season – the most among all teams.

* Toffoli became the third different player in Devils/Scout/Rockies history to complete a hat trick with an overtime winner, joining Patrik Elias (March 17, 2001 & Nov. 9, 2001) and Stephane Richer (Nov. 20, 1991). It also marked the first time in Toffoli’s career that he recorded a hat trick in this fashion.

* Toffoli is on pace for a career-high 36 goals in 2023-24, which would be the most by a Devils/Rockies/Scouts player in their first season with the franchise. The current mark of 30 is shared by Kyle Palmieri (2015-16), Claude Lemieux (1990-91), Sylvain Turgeon (1989-90) and Paul Gardner (1976-77). 


Kirill KaprizovDavid PastrnakLogan Thompson named NHL’s “Three Stars” of the week

Stanley Cup rides on Toronto subway to start All-Star Game festivities
Corey Perry signs one-year contract with Oilers
Conor Timmins fined for cross-checking
Women in Hockey: Laurenne Mercier

Tuesday’s nine-game schedule features several national broadcasts, including Connor McDavid and the Oilers (26-15-1, 53 points) looking to extend their winning streak to 14 contests when they host Adam Fantilli and the Blue Jackets (14-22-9, 37 points) on TVA Sports and Sportsnet West. Edmonton can become the seventh team in NHL history to record a 14-game winning streak, with that group including Columbus in 2016-17.

* McDavid leads the Oilers with 5-13—18 during their run and carries a 15-game home point streak into Tuesday. That marks the second longest of his NHL career behind a 21-game run to close out the regular season last year.

Sam Gagner, who got the winning goal against the Flames on Saturday, skated with the Blue Jackets during their historic run in 2016-17 and can become the first player in NHL history to be part of multiple 14-game winning streaks.

Other national telecasts Tuesday include the Stars (27-13-6, 60 points) squaring off with the Red Wings (24-17-5, 53 points) on Sportsnet Pacific, the Blues (22-20-2, 46 points) battling the Flames (21-20-5, 47 points) on Sportsnet ONE and the Sabres (20-22-4, 44 points) dueling the Ducks (15-30-1, 31 points) on ESPN+ and Hulu:

* Dallas and Detroit, which looks to overtake idle Toronto (23-14-8, 54 points) for third place in the Atlantic Division, rank among the League leaders in team shooting percentage this season at 12.0% and 11.9%, respectively, according to NHL EDGE. They also rank among the top of the NHL in the High-Danger shot region at 23.0% each.

* St. Louis and Calgary are separated by just one point in the Western Conference standings as both clubs look to gain ground in the race for a Wild Card spot. The Blues have earned wins in nine of their last 11 games against the Flames dating to Dec. 22, 2018, with 2024 NHL All-Star Weekend-bound Robert Thomas (2-10—12 in 11 GP) leading the club in points over that span.

* Buffalo has earned a win in each of its past two games against Anaheim, with Rasmus Dahlin picking up 0-2—2 in both contests. Dahlin needs one multi-assist game to tie Doug Bodger (39) for second place on the franchise’s all-time list among defensemen, which is topped by Phil Housley (77).

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