NHL Morning Skate – April 14, 2022

NHL Morning Skate – April 14, 2022


Nathan MacKinnon and Cale Makar combined for nine points as the League-leading Avalanche set a new franchise record for wins in a season while reestablishing a two-point lead atop the NHL standings.

Kaapo Kakko tallied twice and joined a rare franchise list of Rangers players with six multi-goal games before age 22.

* Less than a week after helping the University of Michigan Wolverines reach the Frozen FourKent Johnson and Nick Blankenburg made their League debuts with Columbus.

Auston Matthews will have another opportunity to inch closer to 60 goals Thursday as he goes head-to-head with Alex Ovechkin, who is one of two active players to reach the mark in a season (also Steven Stamkos).

MacKINNON, MAKAR AMASS 4-5—9 AS COLORADO CRUISES TO RECORD-SETTING WIN
Nathan MacKinnon (3-2—5) factored on five goals and Cale Makar (26-55—81 in 69 GP) had 1-3—4 to eclipse the 80-point mark as the Avalanche (53-14-6, 112 points) established a franchise record for most wins in a season, besting their previous high of 52 from 2000-01 and 2013-14.

* MacKinnon, who scored his third career regular-season hat trick (also Feb. 22, 2015 vs. TBL & Dec. 28, 2015 at SJS), recorded his fourth career five-point NHL game and second of 2021-22 (also Jan. 6 vs. WPG). The only player with more five-point outings this season is Panthers forward Jonathan Huberdeau (3x: Dec. 2, 2021 vs. BUFDec. 30, 2021 vs. TBL & April 5 vs. TOR).

* Makar, who leads all defensemen with 26 goals this season, became the eighth different NHL blueliner to record 80 points in a campaign before age 24 and the first since Sergei Zubov with the Rangers in 1993-94 (12-77—89 in 78 GP).
 

KAKKO, GEORGIEV HELP RANGERS GAIN GROUND ON IDLE HURRICANES
Kaapo Kakko scored two of four New York goals and Alexandar Georgiev turned aside all 28 shots he faced to improve to 6-0-0 in each of his last six starts as the Rangers (48-21-6, 102 points) blanked the Flyers to move within two points of the Metropolitan Division-leading Hurricanes (48-18-8, 104 points). Wednesday marked the first time in franchise history that multiple goaltenders have posted wins in six or more consecutive starts within a single season (also Igor Shesterkin: 7-0-0 from Dec. 31, 2021–Jan. 24, 2022).
 

MORE DEBUTS BY MICHIGAN WOLVERINES FEATURED IN #NHLSTATS: LIVE UPDATES
Wednesday’s edition of #NHLStats: Live Updates featured more notes from the three-game slate, including Kent Johnson and Nick Blankenburg (0-1—1) making their League debuts with the Blue Jackets. Johnson and Blankenburg became the third and fourth members of the 2021-22 University of Michigan Wolverines to make their NHL debuts this week, following Owen Power and Matty Beniers on Tuesday.

QUICK CLICKS

Ryan Hartman fined for unsportsmanlike conduct in Wild game

Alex Ovechkin vs. Auston Matthews debated by Wayne Gretzky, others
Dallas Eakins will return as Ducks coach next season
Jerry York retires from Boston College, winningest coach in NCAA hockey history
2023 Winter Classic will pit Penguins against Bruins on Jan. 2
 


FIVE PLAYERS EYE THEIR 40TH GOAL THURSDAY . . .
Two nights after Rangers forward Chris Kreider netted his first career 50-goal NHL season, the likes of Alex DeBrincat (39-28—67 w/ CHI), Matt Duchene (38-37—75 w/ NSH), Filip Forsberg (38-34—72 w/ NSH), Elias Lindholm (38-36—74 w/ CGY) and David Pastrnak (38-33—71 w/ BOS) can join the 40-goal club Thursday.


* With seven players having already netted 40 goals this season, the 2021-22 campaign can mark the fourth in 25 years to feature at least a dozen 40-goal scorers following 2018-19 (13), 2000-01 (13) and 1996-97 (12). The most in any season in NHL history is 29 (1987-88).

. . . WHILE MATTHEWS TAKES SECOND CRACK AT 60 IN SHOWDOWN WITH OVECHKIN

After being held off the score sheet for the first time since March 2, Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews (58-41—99 in 68 GP) will have another opportunity at collecting his 60th goal and 100th point in a matchup with Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin (46-39—85 in 71 GP) – who recorded his lone 60-goal campaign in 2007-08 (65 in 82 GP).

* The pair have gone head-to-head in the regular season 11 times, with Washington holding the edge in wins over Toronto during those contests (WSH: 6-5-0; TOR: 5-4-2). The Capitals captain (8-8—16) also holds the statistical advantage against the Maple Leafs forward (5-6—11).

* Matthews, with his sights set on the first 60-goal season by a U.S.-born player in NHL history, can join Flames forward Johnny Gaudreau (34-67—101 in 73 GP) as the second to record 100-plus points in 2021-22. Only three campaigns in NHL history have featured multiple U.S.-born players hitting the century mark: 1992-93 (Pat LaFontaineKevin StevensCraig Janney & Jeremy Roenick), 1991-92 (Stevens, Roenick & Brian Leetch) and 1988-89 (Joe Mullen & Jimmy Carson).

* Ovechkin, in pursuit of an NHL record-tying ninth career 50-goal season (which would also make him the oldest player in League history to notch a 50-goal campaign), enters the showdown having found the back of the net in each of his previous four outings.

Attachments:

MorningSkate041422.pdf

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