Friday, June 14, 2024

NHL Morning Skate – Nov. 24, 2023

* Thirty teams will be shopping for a win during the 15-game slate on Black Friday, which is highlighted by NHL on TNT’s Thanksgiving Showdown doubleheader featuring the Penguins-Sabres and Avalanche-Wild. Only the Coyotes and Golden Knights are idle.

William Nylander returns from his notable showing at the 2023 NHL Global Series – Sweden presented by Fastenal and can extend his point streak to 18 games when the Maple Leafs visit the Blackhawks.

* Several noteworthy milestones are imminent for players in action Friday as the 2023-24 NHL season closes in on its Quarter Mark slated for early next week.

The first half of NHL on TNT’s Thanksgiving Showdown doubleheader pits the Penguins against the Sabres at KeyBank Center, which will be followed by the Wild welcoming the Avalanche to Xcel Energy Center. Both contests are also available on Max and TVA Sports.

Sidney Crosby and Rasmus Dahlin will go head-to-head for the 21st time in the NHL, with Crosby (8-16—24 in 20 GP; 13-5-2 record) holding the advantage for points and wins over Dahlin (3-7—10 in 20 GP; 7-11-2 record) through the previous 20 contests. Crosby (562-962—1,524 in 1,208 GP) needs two assists to tie former Sabres forward Doug Gilmour (964) for 14th place on the League’s all-time list, while Dahlin (50-199—249 in 374 GP) is one back of 200 in his NHL career.

Cale Makar (2-16—18 in 8 GP) carries a lengthy assist streak into Friday’s matchup with Kirill Kaprizov and Minnesota (5-8-4, 14 points), which will contest its first game since competing in the 2023 NHL Global Series – Sweden presented by Fastenal and sits seven points back of the final Wild Card spot in the Western Conference. Makar (2-18—20 in 10 GP) leads all skaters outright with 18 helpers since Nov. 1, while his 20 points are tied with Canucks captain and fellow defenseman Quinn Hughes (5-15—20 in 11 GP) for the most in the NHL this month.

* Each of the last three applicable seasons have seen a team reach the Stanley Cup Final after ranking low in the standings at U.S. Thanksgiving. In 2018-19, the Blues rallied from seven points back of the playoffs at Thanksgiving to win their first championship; in 2021-22, the Avalanche won the Cup after having the fewest points among the 16 teams holding a playoff position at the time; and in 2022-23, the Panthers reached the Final for the first time in 27 years after ranking 10th in the Eastern Conference on Thanksgiving.


William Nylander (12-15—27 in 17 GP) can extend his franchise-record season-opening point streak to 18 games when the Maple Leafs visit the Blackhawks, which will mark the second head-to-head contest between No. 1 picks Connor Bedard and Auston Matthews. Chicago collected a 4-1 win in the first meeting on Oct. 16.

* Nylander would be the sixth different player in League history with a season-opening point streak of at least 18 contests and the first active skater, eclipsing Oilers captain Connor McDavid (12-20—32 in 17 GP) who had a 17-game run in 2021-22. Nylander would also become the fourth player in franchise history with a point streak of 18 or more contests at any point in a season, joining Mitchell Marner (23 GP from Oct. 27–Dec. 13, 2022), Eddie Olczyk (18 GP from Dec. 2, 1989–Jan. 8, 1990) and Darryl Sittler (18 GP from Jan. 26–March 8, 1978).

* Bedard (10-6—16 in 17 GP) leads all rookies with 10 goals this season, while Matthews (14-7—21 in 17 GP) shares first place in the NHL with Jets forward Kyle Connor (14-8—22 in 18 GP) and will move one contest shy of the 500-game milestoneBedard and Matthews each had one four-point game through their first 17 career contests, while Matthews had three multi-point performances (Bedard: 2) but Bedard had two multi-goal efforts (Matthews: 1).

Friday’s two all-Pacific Division contests will feature Canucks captain Quinn Hughes (8-23—31 in 20 GP) hoping to add to his League-leading point total when Vancouver vies for a victory versus Seattle as well as Adrian Kempe (8-10—18 in 17 GP) and the Kings looking to extend their eight-game season-opening road winning streak when they visit the Ducks.

* Hughes became the second different defenseman in NHL history to lead all players in points through U.S. Thanksgiving (outright or tied), following Bruins blueliner Bobby Orr in 1974-75 (15-27—42 in 22 GP) and 1969-70 (6-27—33 in 20 GP). The Kraken matched a season high with seven goals in their last contest and carry a five-game point streak into Friday (3-0-2 dating to Nov. 15).

* Kempe (4-6—10 in 8 GP) is one of three Los Angeles players with 10 or more road points during the Kings’ historic streak, with the others being Trevor Moore (7-5—12 in 8 GP) and Quinton Byfield (1-9—10 in 8 GP). Los Angeles can establish a franchise record for longest road winning streak at any point in a season, eclipsing eight-game runs from Feb. 26 to March 27, 2014 and Dec. 18, 1974 to Jan. 16, 1975.


Click here to read an updated version of the Approaching Milestones document as the 2023-24 NHL season closes in on its Quarter Mark slated for Nov. 28. Some notable benchmarks on the horizon for players in action Friday include:

* Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin (827-670—1,497 in 1,363 GP) needs three points to become the 16th player in NHL history with 1,500 – he would be the eighth skater to record as many with one franchise and own by far the most goals in League history at the time of his 1,500th career point, besting the current mark held by Phil Esposito (681-819—1,500 in 1,166 GP) who hit the milestone with the Rangers on Oct. 21, 1979. Maple Leafs captain John Tavares (434-560—994 in 1,046 GP) is six points shy of reaching 1,000 in his NHL career.

* Ovechkin (899-739—1,638 in 1,510 GP) needs one goal to join Wayne Gretzky (1,016-2,223—3,239 in 1,695 GP) as the second player in League history with 900 or more in the regular season and playoffs combined.
* Wild goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury (994 GP) is six appearances shy of becoming the fourth netminder in League history with 1,000, following Martin Brodeur (1,266 GP), Roberto Luongo (1,044 GP) and Patrick Roy (1,029 GP). Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman (994 GP) needs six contests to become the third player in franchise history to skate 1,000 with Tampa Bay, while Stars forward and fellow 2009 NHL Draft class member Matt Duchene (993 GP) is seven back of the 1,000-game milestone.

* Hurricanes defenseman Brent Burns (250-597—847 in 1,351 GP) and Penguins blueliner Erik Karlsson (183-595—778 in 938 GP) are three and five assists shy of reaching 600 in their NHL career, respectively.


#NHLStats: Live Updates – Friday, Nov. 24, 2023
Brock Boeser at peace, enjoying hockey again with Canucks
Taylor Hall to have surgery on right knee, out for season for Blackhawks
2024 NHL Draft Diary: Macklin Celebrini
Chuck Rayner was towering presence with Rangers
Every between-the-legs goal since 2022-23, including Zach Benson’s first career NHL tally

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