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* It has begun… Alex Ovechkin started his 2022-23 pursuit of Gordie Howe (801) by scoring his 781st and 782nd career goals and is now just 19 back of second place on the NHL’s all-time list.
* Artemi Panarin secured his second four-point game of 2022-23 and established a Rangers franchise mark for most points through the first four games of a season.
* Exactly two weeks before Halloween, a ghost (Shayne Gostisbehere) and a ghoul (Kaiden Guhle) made their mark on a Monday night that featured four comeback wins, five games with eight or more goals and two overtime winners.
OVECHKIN CONTINUES PURSUIT OF HOWE WITH TWO-GOAL GAME
Alex Ovechkin (2-2—4) scored his first two goals of the season, including a tally in the opening minute of the contest, to boost his career total to 782 and recommence his pursuit of second place on the NHL’s all-time goals list – he now sits 19 back of Gordie Howe (801). He also moved within four of Howe (786 w/ DET) for the most goals in NHL history by a player with a single franchise.
* Ovechkin, who scored 56 seconds into the first period, posted his 11th career goal in the opening minute of regulation. The only players with more: Sidney Crosby (13), Mark Messier (13), Dave Taylor (12), Phil Esposito (12) andHowe (12).
* The Capitals captain also recorded his 31st career game with four-plus points, second most among active players behind Crosby (35).
PANARIN PILES ON POINTS WITH ANOTHER FOUR-POINT OUTING
Artemi Panarin (1-3—4) became the first player to record multiple four-point outings this season and Mika Zibanejad mirrored that with 2-2—4 as the pair factored on four of the Rangers’ six goals in a high-scoring night at Madison Square Garden.
* Panarin improved his 2022-23 totals to 2-8—10, which established a Rangers franchise mark for most points through the first four games of a season and tied Rod Gilbert (8 in 1976-77) for the most assists.
* Panarin recorded his 17th career four-point game, which is tied with Patrick Kane for the fourth most since he entered the NHL in 2015-16, the year he signed with the Blackhawks as an undrafted free agent. He trails only Connor McDavid (23), Nikita Kucherov (19) and Leon Draisaitl (18) for the most four-point outings over that span – a cohort that was all drafted within the first two rounds.
* After their second outburst of at least six goals, the Rangers have now scored 17 times so far in 2022-23 – the most among all teams – marking their highest total through the first four games in a season in exactly 30 years when they tallied 18 to begin 1992-93.
MONDAY NIGHT HOOPLA: GOALS GALORE, MULTI-GOAL RALLIES, OVERTIME HEROES
Five of six games with a 7 p.m. ET start time featured a dramatic third period, making for an electrifying first Monday game-day of the NHL season.
* In Washington, the Capitals scored four unanswered goals in the third period to turn a 4-2 deficit into a 6-4 victory. Alex Ovechkin (0:56 into P1), Lars Eller (0:08 into P2) and Dylan Strome (1:16 into P3) each scored quick goals, marking the first time in franchise history that Washington has scored in the first 90 seconds of the first, second and third periods of a game.
* In Toronto, the Maple Leafs scored two straight goals to tie the game in the third period but Shayne Gostisbehere (1-1—2) scored what stood as the go-ahead, game-winning goal with 1:33 remaining in regulation to give Arizona its first win of the season. He leads the Coyotes with 2-3—5, the most points by a defenseman through the team’s first three games of a season since the club relocated to Arizona in 1996-97.
* In Boston, the Bruins built a two-goal lead in the third period but the Panthers rallied to get within one in an eventual regulation defeat. Florida has a history of late rallies at TD Garden – including a four-goal third period comeback win on Nov. 12, 2019 – but it was birthday boy Jake DeBrusk (2-1—3) who finished the job for Boston. Patrice Bergeron (1-1—2) scored his 402nd career goal, tied with Rick Middleton for third on the Bruins’ all-time list.
* In Detroit, the Red Wings scored two tying goals in the third period – including one in the final minute of regulation – before the Kings ultimately emerged in overtime. Adrian Kempe (4-2—6 in 4 GP) factored twice and scored his fourth goal of 2022-23, which trails only Luc Robitaille (6 in 1999-00 & 5 in 2000-01) and Anze Kopitar (6 in 2021-22) for the most goals through four games in a season by a Kings player in the past 30 years.
* In Montreal, the Canadiens overcame a two-goal performance by Evgeni Malkin by erasing a multi-goal deficit in the third period to set the stage for an overtime winner by newcomer Kirby Dach. The overtime goal was made possible thanks in part to the first two career points of Kaiden Guhle’s career – assists on Montreal’s two regulation tallies.
THREE-POINTS APLENTY ON #NHLSTATS: LIVE UPDATES
Nathan MacKinnon (1-2—3) and Andrei Svechnikov (2-1—3) were two of the players with three-point outings Monday who helped their team find the win column. These notes and many more can be found in the most recent edition of #NHLStats: Live Updates.
* MacKinnon (2-5—7 in 3 GP) became the sixth player in Avalanche/Nordiques history with at least three consecutive multi-point games from the start of a season and first since Valeri Kamensky in 1995-96 (3 GP). The others: Peter Stastny (5 GP in 1987-88, 4 GP in 1983-84 & 3 GP in 1982-83), Michel Goulet (4 GP in 1987-88), Joe Sakic (3 GP in 1994-95) and Dale Hunter (3 GP in 1986-87).
POULIN DAZZLES, TANEV’S “GHOST” HAUNTS AT DREAM GAP TOUR
The first leg of the 2022-23 Dream Gap Tour occurred over the weekend at Verdun Auditorium in Quebec, with Canadiens player development consultant and three-time Olympic champion Marie-Philip Poulin wowing fans with yet another dazzling finish. Headshots from the event also made waves on Twitter, as the same “ghost” that has been haunting Kraken forward Brandon Tanev appears to have made its way to the hallways of PWHPA arenas. The showcase will make its next stop in Truro, N.S., from Nov. 4-6.
ESPN DOUBLEHEADER HIGHLIGHTS EIGHT-GAME TUESDAY
An eight-game Tuesday will feature an ESPN doubleheader, beginning with John Tortorella leading his 2-0-0 Flyers into Tampa to take on the Lightning, with whom he won the Stanley Cup in 2004. After the No. 1 pick from the 2008 NHL Draft (Steven Stamkos) puts his goal streak on the line in the opener, two other prominent names from that class will go head-to-head in Nashville when the Kings visit the Predators.
* Tortorella can become the second head coach to win each of his first three games behind the Flyers bench – only Paul Holmgren (4-0-0 in 1988-89) has done so to date. Tortorella, who has coached four other NHL clubs, has never won each of his first three games behind a team’s bench. His club will have to contend with Stamkos, who has a goal in all three games so far in 2022-23 and can become the second player to score in each of Tampa Bay’s first four games of a season (also Nikita Kucherov: 7 GP in 2017-18).
* The ESPN nightcap will feature two prominent defensemen from the 2008 NHL Draft in Drew Doughty (2nd overall) of the Kings and Roman Josi (38th overall) of the Predators. Both players rank within the top four in goals, assists and points among defensemen from that draft class, with Josi in that conversation despite playing in the fewest games among that cohort.