NHL Morning Skate – Feb. 6, 2023

By NHL Public Relations

* Four Wild Card spots, two competitive races in both the Eastern and Western Conference – dive into the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoff race as teams return to action.

* Jack and Quinn Hughes are set for the sixth all-time head-to-head as the Devils (32-13-4, 68 points) and Canucks (20-26-3, 43 points) clash when the NHL’s regular-season schedule resumes following All-Star Weekend.

* Jamie Benn (348-465—813 in 999 GP) is set to become the second player in Stars/North Stars history to skate in 1,000 games when Dallas’ captain celebrates the milestone night Monday. Mike Modano (1,459 GP) is currently the only player to do so.

The NHL’s 2022-23 regular season resumes following a pause from Feb. 2-5 for the 2023 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend, with a shift in focus toward the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Four teams currently hold a playoff position after failing to do so in 2022 (NJD, WPG, VGK & SEA).

* The Bruins (39-7-5, 83 points), who occupy first place in the League standings, will look to claim the fourth Presidents’ Trophy in franchise history (2020, 2014 & 1990). Boston has held top spot in the NHL standings for 95 days this season and can establish the sixth instance in NHL history of a club holding the No. 1 position for at least 162 days should they remain in first through the duration of 2022-23.

* Elsewhere in the Atlantic Division, the Sabres (26-20-4, 56 points) – a club looking for their first playoff berth since 2010-11 – and Panthers (24-22-6, 54 points) currently sit one and three points behind the Penguins for the final Eastern Conference Wild Card spot, respectively. Two teams who would potentially face Boston in the First Round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

* While the Hurricanes (34-9-8, 76 points) have held a share of the Metropolitan Division lead since Dec. 20, 2022, the Devils (32-13-4, 68 points) and Rangers (27-14-8, 62 points) – both in action Monday – currently hold second and third place, respectively. The two clubs, who are trending towards their first Stanley Cup Playoffs meeting in over a decade, both aim to earn a win in their 50th game of 2022-23, with New Jersey looking to record its second-most victories through as many contests in a season in franchise history behind only 2009-10 (34).

* The Islanders (25-22-5, 55 points), who are engaged in a close race for a Wild Card position, will also take to the ice when they visit the Flyers (21-21-9, 51 points); New York was 17 points outside of the playoff picture at this time last season.

* The first and second slot in the Central Division includes teams separated by just one point, with Dallas (28-13-10, 66 points) and Winnipeg (32-19-1, 65 points) also occupying the first two seeds in the Western Conference. The Stars can finish atop their division for the first time since 2015-16 and should they conclude the campaign in the conference’s first-place seed it would mark the first time since 2002-03. Meanwhile, the Jets have yet to conclude a season No. 1 in the division since the club re-located to Winnipeg – last achieving the feat in 2006-07 in Atlanta – and is in pursuit of their first-ever conference title.

* Two of the top three teams in the Pacific Division failed to participate in the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs, highlighted by the top-seeded Kraken (29-15-5, 63 points) who hold four games in hand over the second-place Kings (28-18-7, 63 points). Seattle, which has already surpassed its point total from 2021-22, can become the fourth expansion team since 1967-68 to win a division title within its first two seasons, joining the 2017-18 Golden Knights (Pacific Division), 1967-68 Flyers (West Division) and 1968-69 Blues (West Division). Of note, Philadelphia and St. Louis were part of the NHL’s all-expansion division from 1967-68 to 1973-74.

* The Western Conference features a tightly contested Wild Card race separated by six points and includes two teams from each division. Calgary will have the opportunity to move back into the Second Wild Card position for the first time since Jan. 27 when the Flames kick off a four-game road swing at Madison Square Garden.

Jack Hughes (33-31—64 in 49 GP) and the Devils (32-13-4, 68 points) welcome Quinn Hughes (5-40—45 in 45 GP) and the Canucks (20-26-3, 43 points) to Prudential Center as the NHL’s regular-season schedule resumes following All-Star Weekend.

* Jack enters his 50th game of the 2022-23 season on an eight-game point streak – a stretch that also includes multiple points in each of his past four contests dating to Jan. 22 (4-4—8 in 4 GP). Hughes, tied for the most goals (13) and points (23) among all players since Jan. 1, can become the third player in franchise history with five consecutive multi-point outings joining Scott Gomez (5 GP in 2005-06) and Kirk Muller (5 GP in 1987-88).

* Quinn sits tied for the fourth-most points among all defensemen since Jan. 1 (4-11—15 in 13 GP), thanks in part to five multi-point games and two outings with two or more assists. He sits one multi-assist performance shy of second double-digit total in a single season (also 11 in 2021-22) and five away from the most by a Canucks defenseman in a single campaign.

Stars captain Jamie Benn (348-465—813 in 999 GP) is expected to skate in his 1,000th career game when his Central Division-leading Stars (28-13-10, 66 points) host the Ducks (16-29-5, 37 points) at American Airlines Center.

* Benn (19-25—44 in 51 GP), who has already passed his 82-game goal total from 2021-22 (18-28—46) and sits one tally away from his 10th 20-goal campaign with Stars, is set to join a franchise icon with his milestone contest.


Bo Horvat agrees to 8-year contract with Islanders
Top 10 moments from 2023 NHL All-Star Weekend
Color of Hockey: Sophie Jaques has unfinished business at Ohio State
Avalanche enter second half confident they can repeat as Cup champions
Jamie Benn prepared to play 1,000th NHL game for Stars



NHL Morning Skate – Oct. 29, 2022

* Opening night at Mullett Arena in Tempe, Ariz., included an appearance by Shane Doan and his son, Josh Doan, a team-first achieved by Christian Fischer and a multi-goal comeback win in line with early trends in 2022-23.

* It was a night to remember for Islanders forward Josh Bailey, who capped his 1,000th NHL contest with a game-winning goal.

* The Avalanche (Saturday at NYI) and Blue Jackets (Sunday at NJD) each play one more game before heading overseas for two contests as part of the 2022 NHL Global Series in Tampere, Finland (Nov. 4-5, both at 2 p.m. ET). To mark the occasion, another #NHLStats Pack now is available.


Coyotes forward Christian Fischer scored each of the first two NHL goals at Mullett Arena, but the Jets rallied to force overtime where Blake Wheeler netted the winner to give the Jets their second multi-goal comeback win in as many days. It was the 21st multi-goal comeback victory in the NHL this season (16.7% of 126 GP).

* Wheeler scored his 36th game-winning goal with the franchise to help the Jets claim a multi-goal comeback win on consecutive days for the first time since relocating to Winnipeg in 2011-12. The only other such instance for the franchise came when the club was based in Atlanta (Oct. 15-16, 2010).

* Fischer became the first Coyotes player to score twice in the first period of their home opener. His achievement was preceded by franchise icon Shane Doan dropping the ceremonial puck alongside his son and Coyotes draft pick Josh Doan (37th overall in 2021). The younger Doan scored the first-ever goal at Mullett Arena while playing for the Arizona State University Sun Devils on Oct. 14.


Josh Bailey scored the go-ahead goal while skating in his 1,000th game – just 51 seconds after Brent Burns tied the game with his first in a Hurricanes uniform – to help the Islanders claim their second straight win. Bailey became the third player to skate at least 1,000 games with the franchise, following Islanders legends Bryan Trottier (1,123 GP) and Denis Potvin (1,060 GP).

* Bailey became the third active player to score a game-winning goal in his 1,000th NHL game, following in the footsteps of Burns, the man who scored before him Friday, and Jeff Carter.

Logan Thompson made 29 saves for his League-leading second shutout of 2022-23 and Reilly Smith scored his 100th goal in a Golden Knights uniform – the third to hit the benchmark for the club – as Vegas earned a win on Nevada Day.

* Thompson (4-2-0 in 6 GP) required the fewest appearances in Golden Knights history to record two shutouts in a season, besting the previous mark set by Marc-Andre Fleury (8 GP in 2020-21). Prior to this season, Thompson had one career shutout in 20 NHL games.

* Four years ago, Thompson was playing Canadian university hockey for the Brock University Badgers and pursuing a degree in sports management. At that point, making the NHL was a mere dream more than a trajectory. Thompson, who went undrafted in both the WHL and NHL, played one year of university hockey where he was named USports Ontario Goaltender of the Year and Rookie of the Year before signing an ECHL contract. Thompson credits a no-quit attitude and unrelenting personality for his success – he signed with the Golden Knights on July 13, 2020, and won the ldege “Baz” Bastien Award awarded to the AHL’s most outstanding goaltender that season.

Goaltenders stole the show during Friday’s six-game slate, with Logan Thompson, Linus Ullmark and Vitek Vanecek each recording a shutout to highlight the latest edition of #NHLStats: Live Updates.

* Ullmark (30 saves) improved to 6-0-0 this season with his fifth career shutout and now leads all goaltenders in wins so far in 2022-23. He became the fourth Bruins netminder to start a season with a win in six or more consecutive decisions, joining Tim Thomas (8-0-0 in 2010-11), Tuukka Rask (6-0-0 in 2016-17) and Tiny Thompson (6-0-0 in 1937-38).

* Vanecek (24 saves) helped the Devils complete a rare feat, holding the Stanley Cup champion Avalanche off the scoresheet for just the second time since the start of last season (including the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs). Jesper Bratt notched an assist on the lone goal to extend his season-opening point streak to eight games (3-10—13).


Red Wings’ Michael Rasmussen Suspended Two Games for High-Sticking
On journey to the NHL, Bruins video coordinator Mat Myers has defied the odds
Ethan BearLane Pederson traded to Canucks by Hurricanes
Avalanche names engraved on Stanley Cup
Women In Hockey: Islanders’ Manager of Hockey Operations, Joanne Holewa

NHL Fantasy (10/24): Fantasy waiver wire pickups: Week 3
NHL Fantasy (10/24): Action Network Collab: Week 3
Draft Class (10/24):Dan Marr, Director of NHL Central Scouting; Players to Watch list
The Chirp with Daren Millard (10/26):Cale Makar, Trevor Zegras and “Ironman” Phil Kessel
NHL @ The Rink (10/26)Rasmus DahlinPhil Kessel‘s “Ironman” streak
NHL Fantasy (10/27): Week 3 fantasy mailbag; buy-low, sell-high candidates; guest Chris Meaney

A busy day begins with an NHL Saturday presented by SAP broadcast of a Rangers-Stars matchup that will see Dallas vie for a fourth straight win at American Airlines Center to begin the season. The Stars can open their home slate with a 4-0-0 record for the third time in the past 20 years – they posted a 4-0-0 home record to begin the 2011-12 and 2020-21 campaigns.

Matthew and Brady Tkachuk are division rivals once again, after meeting nine times in the 2020-21 Scotia North Division, and will reignite their brotherly rivalry for the first time with Matthew wearing a Panthers jersey. If Marc and Eric Staal join the elder Tkachuk in the Panthers lineup, it will mark the first NHL game with two sets of brothers since Dec. 4, 2021, when Rangers forward Ryan Strome opposed a Blackhawks squad that included his brother Dylan along with Seth and Caleb Jones.

* Matthew leads the Panthers in scoring after posting 4-6—10 through his first eight games with the club , while Brady (the reigning First Star of the Week) shares the Senators lead in both goals (5) and points (10) through seven contests.

The stage is set for 2022-23’s second rendition of the “Battle of Alberta” with Calgary owning a 1-0-0 record so far in their four-game season series. In 2021-22, the teams split the series winning two games apiece (CGY: 2-2-0, EDM: 2-2-0) before their playoff matchup.

* Leon Draisaitl, who leads the current Oilers roster in regular-season points against the Flames with 10-41—51 (39 GP), has recorded multiple points in each of Edmonton’s past seven contests against Calgary spanning regular season and playoffs (5-18—23). Draisaitl is the second active player with a streak of seven-plus multi-point outings versus an opponent (also Patrick Kane w/ 7 GP vs. OTT) and only the second to do so in the “Battle of Alberta” after Wayne Gretzky (11-17—28 in 9 GP from 1982-83 to 1983-84).

Nazem Kadri (4-5—9 in 6 GP) currently leads his new club in scoring, including tallying 1-1—2 in his first instalment of the “Battle of Alberta” on Oct. 15, and has a point in each of his first six games in a Flames uniform. Only two players began their tenure with the Flames with a longer run: Phil Housley (7 GP in 1994-95) and Sergei Makarov (7 GP in 1989-90).


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