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NHL Morning Skate – Nov. 25, 2023

Nikita Kucherov posted the NHL’s first six-point performance in nearly a year and matched the Lightning franchise record for points in a game as he climbed to top spot on the League leaderboards for goals (15) and points (35) in 2023-24.

* Thirteen of 15 road teams won Friday, the most road victories on one day in NHL history. The previous mark of 11 such wins was first established Jan. 9, 2010 (13 GP) and matched on Jan. 25, 2018 (15 GP) as well as Dec. 29, 2018 (15 GP).
 

Jason Dickinson and Brayden Point each scored a hat trick Friday, boosting the League total to 16 in November. With six days left until December, this could be the sixth calendar month in the past 20 years to feature at least 20 hat tricks (after January 2022, March 2019, November 2018, March 2018 and November 2005). 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.

KUCHEROV MATCHES FRANCHISE RECORD WITH NHL’S FIRST 6-POINT GAME OF SEASON

The Lightning were thankful to have their Vezina Trophy and Conn Smythe Trophy-winning goaltender back Friday as Andrei Vasilevskiy made his season debut, but it was their Art Ross Trophy winner and 50-goal scorer who stole the show as Nikita Kucherov (2-4—6) and Brayden Point (3-2—5) combined for 11 points. Kucherov posted the NHL’s first six-point performance since last December, in the process matching a franchise record for points in a game (and becoming the first forward to achieve the feat for the Lightning).

* Kucherov (15-20—35 in 20 GP) overtook Quinn Hughes for the League lead in points and leapfrogged Auston Matthews and Kyle Connor for the League lead in goals. Kucherov matched Steven Stamkos (10-15—25 in 2017-18) for the most points by a Lightning player through 20 games played in a season.

* Kucherov and Point became the second Lightning teammates to each tally five or more points in the same game, following Martin St. Louis and Vincent Lecavalier nearly 17 years ago (Dec. 7, 2006 vs. ATL).

* The Lightning matched franchise records for goals in a road game (8) and power-play goals in a period (3 in the middle frame, including the 199th of Stamkos’ career), while posting the highest single-game shooting percentage by any NHL team since the League began tracking the statistic in 1959-60 (57.1%).

KINGS ON CLOUD NINE AFTER ANOTHER ROAD WIN TO START SEASON
Captain Anze Kopitar (1-1—2) was one of five players with a multi-point outing – a performance that included a franchise-record tying 757th career assist – as the Kings (12-3-3, 27 points) captured their ninth consecutive road win to tie the second-longest streak to begin a season in NHL history.
 



365:46 – Time leading; already more than both the 2006-07 Sabres (304:17) and 2009-10 Devils (210:35) had during their streaks.

52:13 – Time trailing; nearly a full game worth of time fewer than both the 2009-10 Devils (111:42) and 2006-07 Sabres (107:56) had during their streaks.

42 – Goals scored; the 2006-07 Sabres buried 44 and the 2009-10 Devils netted 29.
 

14 – Points by Trevor Moore during the streak following a 0-2—2 performance Friday. Daniel Briere (4-9—13 in 10 GP w/ BUF) and Zach Parise (6-7—13 in 9 GP w/ NJD) led their clubs during the other season-opening road win streaks of nine or more games.

14 – Unique goal scorers; Buffalo had 15 and New Jersey had 10.


9 – Regulation wins by Los Angeles during the streak; the 2006-07 Sabres and 2009-10 Devils each had three shootout wins during their runs. The Kings joined the 1983-84 Sabres (10 GP) as the second team in NHL history to win nine or more straight road games, all in regulation.

7 – Unique players with a game-winning goal for the Kings during their stretch following Quinton Byfield on Friday, compared to five for the 2006-07 Sabres and four for the 2009-10 Devils.
 

2 – Comeback wins by Los Angeles during their streak, compared to five for Buffalo and four for New Jersey.


2 – Instances of Todd McLellan-led teams posting a nine-game road win streak following a 9-0-0 stretch with San Jose in 2009-10. McLellan joined Lindy Ruff (w/ NJD and 2x w/ BUF) as the second head coach in NHL history to record a road win streak of at least nine games with multiple franchises.

PREDATORS, FLAMES RACK UP THE GOALS IN ROAD WINS
The Lightning weren’t the only high-scoring visitors to win Friday as the Predators and Flames also potted at least seven goals in their road victories.

* Nashville scored seven-plus goals through the first two periods of a game for the third time in franchise history – following eight on Jan. 5, 2007 and seven on March 18, 2006 – before finishing the game with eight. Ryan O’Reilly, who spent parts of five seasons with St. Louis and led them to the first Stanley Cup in franchise history (winning the Conn Smythe Trophy in the process), skated in his first game against the club since he was traded last season. He was commemorated by the Blues for reaching the 1,000-game milestone earlier this season and then later during the contest via a video tribute on the jumbotron.

* After Dallas went up 4-2, Calgary scored five consecutive goals – with the tying tally courtesy of Blake Coleman (1-1—2) – en route to its second multi-goal comeback win of the season and its highest goal output of the campaign. Coleman (Plano, Texas), who hosted Thanksgiving dinner for his Flames teammates at his family’s home Thursday, scored an NHL goal in Texas for the first time. He became the fifth Texas-born player to tally in the state, joining Mike Christie (Big Spring, Texas), Seth Jones (Arlington, Texas), Brian Leetch (Corpus Christi, Texas) and Tyler Myers (Houston, Texas).

QUICK HITTERS

Alex DeBrincat scored his 12th goal of the season and 199th of his NHL career as the Red Wings improved to 3-3-0 against the Bruins dating to 2022-23. Boston owns a 79-14-8 record through that span, with Detroit the only team to defeat them three times.

Kevin Korchinski became the fourth Blackhawks rookie defenseman to score an overtime goal, alongside Brent Seabrook (Nov. 2 & 6, 2005), Lasse Kukkonen (Feb. 1, 2007) and Gord Fraser (Jan. 19, 1927) as Chicago claimed its third multi-goal comeback win of the season, tied with Anaheim (3) and Montreal (3) for second most in the NHL behind only Toronto (4).



Connor McDavid (0-4—4) recorded a game-high four points Friday, including a three-assist second period. He became the third active player with at least 22 three-point periods in his career, joining Sidney Crosby (24) and Alex Ovechkin (22); only Wayne Gretzky (101), Mark Messier (24) and Jari Kurri (23) have as many such performances in Oilers history.

Mathew Barzal and Anders Lee scored six seconds apart and matched the mark for the second-fastest two goals in franchise history during a wild middle frame that saw the Islanders and Senators combine for four goals in just 1:52 – the quickest four tallies by two teams since April 13, 2023 (CAR & FLA in 1:40).

Rasmus Dahlin factored on the game-tying goal to record his 200th career assist and pave the way for Alex Tuch to pot the winner, propelling the Sabres to their first multi-goal comeback win of the season. Dahlin (50-200—250 in 375 GP) became the second-fastest Sabres defenseman to post as many assists with the club behind only Phil Housley (315 GP).


QUICK CLICKS

Friday’s edition of #NHLStats: Live Updates
Sam Girard of Avalanche enters NHL/NHLPA player assistance program
Blues present Ryan O’Reilly with custom painting for 1,000th NHL game
Sharks mascot falls to Canadiens goalie Sam Montembeault in Rock, Paper, Scissors

Fantasy spin: NHL EDGE stats this week

MATTHEWS FACES CROSBY IN 500TH GAME ON HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA

Saturday will see a trio of games on Hockey Night in Canada including Auston Matthews going head-to-head with Sidney Crosby for the 15th time, Nazem Kadri facing some familiar faces when the Flames travel to Colorado to take on Cale Makar and the Avalanche, as well as Quinn Hughes and the high-scoring Canucks visiting Tomas Hertl and the Sharks.




* Matthews (313-250—563 in 499 GP) is set to compete in his 500th career NHL game and will face fellow No. 1 pick, Crosby, for the 15th time. The two stars have almost identical stat lines when going head-to-head with Crosby having a slight edge in goals/points (6-8—14 in 14 GP) over Matthews (5-8—13 in 14 GP), while Matthews leading in the team record category (8-6-0, 16 points) over Crosby (6-7-1, 13 points).

* Matthews will be one of 12 players in NHL history with 300-plus goals at the time of his 500th career game, with his 313 goals the highest of any active players at the time of the milestone game ahead of Alex Ovechkin (309), Steven Stamkos (281), Sidney Crosby (253) and Connor McDavid (252).

Valeri Nichushkin extended his goal streak to six games Friday (7-3—10) to match Mikko Rantanen (2x) and Nathan MacKinnon for the longest by an Avalanche player over the past 20 seasons. Nichushkin will have a chance to extend Saturday, when he can join Joe Sakic (7 GP in 1997-98 & 1999-00) and Milan Hejduk (7 GP in 2002-03) as the third player in team history (since 1995-96) with a goal streak of at least seven contests.


* Hughes (8-24—32 in 21 GP), who enters play on a 10-game point streak and one assist shy of 25 on the season, will have a chance to achieve a couple notable feats Saturday. The Canucks captain can tie the franchise record for the longest point streak by a defenseman – a mark matched by teammate Filip Hronek earlier this month – and also can become the fastest blueliner to 25 assists in a season since 1989-90 when Ray Bourque hit the mark in 19 contests. Of note: Makar (5-24—29 in 19 GP) will also be skating Saturday with a chance to best Hughes’ pace.
 



NOT ONE PATH: JASON ZUCKER

Jason Zucker will be returning to the place he grew up, Las Vegas, on Saturday when the Coyotes visit the Golden Knights. While Zucker went out of state to pursue his hockey dreams, the Golden Knights have said youth hockey participation has quadrupled since the team came to town and the club expects that number to rise after their Stanley Cup win last June.

Mikey Balhan Sports

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