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NHL Morning Skate – Nov. 26, 2023

Cale Makar joined Quinn Hughes as the second defenseman to hit 30 points in 2023-24, making this the second campaign in NHL history to feature two blueliners with as many points by the 20-game mark.

* The Rangers scored seven times against the Bruins to leapfrog them for first place in the NHL standings while the League also had movement atop the goals list as Vancouver’s Brock Boeser equaled Nikita Kucherov for the NHL lead.


* With the Devils and Rangers both scoring seven goals Saturday, the NHL has seen seven different teams pot seven-plus goals this week.

* The Jets enter Sunday on a five-game win streak, tied with the Kings – who won Saturday – for the longest active run in the NHL, and can post just their third run of six-plus games since relocating to Winnipeg when they take on the Predators (also 7 GP in 2016-17 & 6 GP in 2017-18).
 


HUGHES, MAKAR MAKE THEIR MARKS AGAIN
After going head-to-head for the first time this season earlier this week, Quinn Hughes (0-1—1) and Cale Makar (0-1—1) made their marks again Saturday, with the former extending the NHL’s longest active point streak to 11 games to match a Canucks record and the latter becoming the fastest defenseman in Avalanche/Nordiques history to hit 30 points in a season.
 
* Hughes joined teammate Filip Hronek (11 GP from Oct. 24 – Nov. 15) as the second Canucks blueliner to post an 11-game point streak this season, with both matching the franchise record among defensemen. Vancouver became the first team in NHL history to have two defensemen each record a point streak of 11 or more games in the same season.

* Makar continued his stellar month with his 19th assist since Nov. 1 – the most ever by a defenseman in the month of November (surpassing Ray Bourque in 1984). With the helper, Makar (5-25—30 in 20 GP) surpassed Jeff Brown (24 GP in 1988-89 w/ QUE) for the fewest games to 30 points in a season by an Avalanche/Nordiques blueliner and moved into sole possession of second on the franchise’s all-time points list for defensemen.

* ICYMI: Cohen and Willa Snow, the children of the late Flames executive Chris Snow – who inspired the hockey world and beyond during his battle with ALS – read the starting lineups for the Avalanche and Flames, respectively, before joining their mother, Kelsie, for the ceremonial puck drop in Colorado. It was part of a pre-game ceremony that paid tribute to Snow, who was a close friend of Avalanche general manager Chris MacFarland, and included a donation to an ALS research program.

RANGERS NET SEVEN AGAINST THE BRUINS; KREIDER, PANARIN CLIMB LISTS AT MSG

Chris Kreider (2-1—3) and Artemi Panarin (1-2—3) combined for three of the Rangers’ seven goals Saturday to improve their success at Madison Square Garden and help their club become the first team in 403 days to score seven-plus goals against the Bruins in the regular season (last: 7 by OTT on Oct. 18, 2022). Boston owns the fewest goals against over the past two seasons among all teams (224).

* Panarin has points in each of his first seven games at Madison Square Garden this season (3-9—12 in 7 GP) and became the second Rangers player in the past 20 years to record a season-opening home point streak of at least that length, joining Jaromir Jagr (8 GP in 2005-06).

* Kreider’s three-point outing helped the Rangers hand the Bruins their second loss in as many days, marking the first time Boston has lost in regulation on consecutive days in over two years (Oct. 27-28, 2021). In doing so, New York (15-3-1, 31 points) also moved past Boston (14-3-3, 31 points) and into first place in the NHL standings.

METROPOLITAN MASH-UP: FLYERS, PENGUINS, DEVILS PICK UP CRUCIAL WINS

Half of Saturday’s winners reside in the Metropolitan Division, which stands as the closest grouping in the NHL approaching the Quarter Mark as seed Nos. 2-7 are separated by only four points.

* The Flyers (11-9-1, 23 points) jumped into second place thanks to a victory against the division rival Islanders (8-6-6, 22 points) in a contest that featured two shutouts – Philadelphia’s Samuel Ersson (25 saves) and New York’s Ilya Sorokin (40 saves)each secured one with perfect performances through overtime. Philadelphia is one of five teams currently holding a playoff spot that did not qualify last season (also WSH, DET, VAN & STL).
 

* The Penguins (10-10-0, 20 points) gained ground with a comeback win against the Maple Leafs, tying the score twice before Erik Karlsson provided the difference maker with his 34th career game-winning goal. Karlsson is tied with Oliver Ekman-Larsson for the second most among active defensemen (behind Brent Burns: 42) and for the second most among Swedish defensemen in NHL history (behind Nicklas Lidstrom: 35).

* The Devils (9-9-1, 19 points) scored a season-high seven goals thanks to multi-point efforts by eight players – including Tyler Toffoli (2-0—2), who leads New Jersey with 11 goals in his first campaign with the club – as they get set for games against divisional foes this week. New Jersey will close the month with contests against the Islanders (Tuesday) and Flyers (Thursday), but then play only seven of their following 32 games against Metropolitan opponents leading up to a showdown with Philadelphia in the 2024 Navy Federal Credit Union NHL Stadium Series (Feb. 17).


QUICK CLICKS

Jack Hughes, Devils honor 13-year-old for Hockey Fights Cancer Night
Henrik Lundqvist leads ceremonial puck drop in return to New York

Nylander brothers get playful before matchup against each other

Islanders celebrate Cal Clutterbuck’s 1,000th NHL game with ceremony
Rangers’ Jacob Trouba fined for high-sticking

Lawson CrouseLogan Cooley and Coyotes featured in #NHLStats: Live Updates

BEDARD HIGHLIGHTS SUNDAY’S SPORTSNET TRIPLEHEADER
Sunday features a doubleheader on NHL Network and three games on Sportsnet, both starting with a matinee between the Blackhawks and Blues as the NHL’s leading rookie scorer Connor Bedard (10-7—17 in 18 GP) looks to climb a couple franchise lists.


* Bedard enters his 19th career contest with 10 goals which trails only George Gee (12 in 1945-46) and Mickey MacKay (11 in 1926-27) for the most tallies by a Blackhawks skater through their first 20 NHL games. Meanwhile, Bedard needs three points to become the first Blackhawks player to post at least 20 through their first 20 NHL contests since Artemi Panarin (21 in 2015-16).
 
THE NHL WAS FOUNDED ON THIS DATE IN 1917

The National Hockey League was founded 106 years ago today, on Nov. 26, 1917, at the Windsor Hotel in Montreal, following three days of meetings involving owners from the National Hockey Association – which had suspended operations weeks earlier. As noted in the meeting minutes, the owners decided “that the Canadiens, Wanderers, Ottawa and Quebec Hockey Clubs unite to comprise the National Hockey League.”

* Quebec’s entry into the NHL was delayed until 1919-20, but Toronto was granted a franchise and the League began with four clubs – the Montreal Canadiens, Montreal Wanderers, Ottawa Senators and Toronto Arenas. The League’s first contests were played on Dec. 19, 1917. A total of 66,475 NHL games have been played since then (61,621 regular season and 4,854 playoffs) entering Sunday.

* Along with the announcement of the NHL’s formation 106 years ago came the election of Frank Calder as the League’s first president (and secretary). Calder held the role for more than 25 years until his death during the 1942-43 season. Only Clarence Campbell (30 years, 359 days) and Gary Bettman (30 years, 298 days as of Nov. 26, 2023) have held the League’s top office for as long.

* Learn more in an article published in 2017 in celebration of the League’s 100th anniversary.

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