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Around the League notebook: Thursday, Jan. 21

Friday, 01.22.2016 / 8:57 AM / News

NHL Public Relations


Nikita Kucherov scored the eventual game-winning goal at 16:39 of the second period to lead the Tampa Bay Lightning to their seventh consecutive victory and halt the Chicago Blackhawks' franchise-record winning streak at 12 games. The Lightning are one game shy of tying the longest winning streak in Lightning history, established Feb. 23 – March 6, 2004 (8-0-0).

* At 26-17-4 (56 points), the Lightning moved within one point of tying the idle Florida Panthers (26-15-5, 57 points) for first place in the Atlantic Division. The Panthers have one game in hand, but the Lightning own the ROW tiebreaker (TBL: 24, FLA: 21). The Lightning were sixth in the division and 12 points behind the Panthers before their streak began Jan. 8.

* The Lightning improved to 7-0-2 in their past nine regular-season games against the Blackhawks, their opponent in the 2015 Stanley Cup Final, dating to March 9, 2011 (CHI: 2-3-4).

* Kucherov scored his 20th goal of the season to extend his point streak to seven games (6-4—10). He also has at least one point in 12 straight home games (9-9—18). Kucherov leads the Lightning in goals (tied w/ Steven Stamkos) and points (40) this season.

* Ben Bishop made 17 saves for his fourth consecutive victory. He's now 19-13-3 in 36 games this season. He's second in the League with a 1.94 goals-against average, just behind leader the 1.86 of the Anaheim Ducks' John Gibson.

Super 16: Canada could miss Stanley Cup Playoffs

Friday, 01.22.2016 / 3:00 AM / Super 16: NHL Power Rankings

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

The rapid decline of the Montreal Canadiens has put Canada in jeopardy of being shut out of the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since the NHL-WHA merger in 1979 gave the NHL six Canadian teams.

All seven Canadian teams are on the outside of the playoff picture in their respective conferences entering play Thursday. If they all miss it will mark the first time Canada hasn't had a team in the playoffs since 1970, when the only Canadian teams were the Canadiens and the Toronto Maple Leafs.

For nearly two months this season the Canadiens looked like Canada's best shot to break what is approaching a 23-year Stanley Cup championship drought. Now they're at risk of not getting into the playoffs at all.

Sommer to set AHL record with 636th coaching win

Friday, 01.22.2016 / 3:00 AM / AHL Update

Eric Gilmore - Correspondent

SAN JOSE -- Roy Sommer had finished a 27-point championship season with the Muskegon Lumberjacks of the International Hockey League in 1987, and the left-shooting center was expecting to play an 11th season somewhere.

His junior and professional playing career had taken him all over North America, playing for 12 teams in seven leagues, including a stop with the Edmonton Oilers in 1981, where he played three games with a kid named Wayne Gretzky. Sommer even scored a goal and got into a fight during his one-and-only stint in the National Hockey League.

But when Rick Ley, his coach at Muskegon, offered him the job of assistant coach after the 1986-87 season, Sommer's life took another turn, one that has him on the verge of hockey history 29 years later.

Flames' Gaudreau ready to enjoy All-Star music scene

Friday, 01.22.2016 / 3:00 AM / 2016 NHL All-Star Weekend

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

The 2016 Honda NHL All-Star Game in Nashville on Jan. 31 is less than a week away. In the lead-up to All-Star Weekend at Bridgestone Arena, sat down with a host of this season's participants to talk about playing in the game. In this edition, Johnny Gaudreau discusses representing the Calgary Flames for the second time in the All-Star Game.

1. What does being an All-Star mean to you?

It's a special experience. Last year I got to participate in it, and being a younger guy and seeing some of the names that you get to participate with, it's pretty special and something you remember for the rest of your life.

2. What is your favorite memory from previous All-Star Games?

I watched a lot of All-Star Games. My favorite memory was probably being a part of it last year and having the chance to do the shootout with Jakub Voracek. It was a real funny and a pretty special memory.

Coyotes, top Arizona athletes honor Doan for record

Friday, 01.22.2016 / 2:07 AM / News

Jerry Brown - Correspondent

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Above all, Shane Doan wanted a win Thursday. He had to settle for the memories.

Before a 3-1 loss to the San Jose Sharks, the Arizona Coyotes and some of Arizona's best athletes in other sports honored Doan for becoming the franchise's all-time leading goal-scorer.

Celebrating "Doan 380 Night," signifying Doan's record-breaking 380th goal, the crowd at Gila River Arena watched a video montage of Doan's milestone goals, along with video messages from Dale Hawerchuk, Coyotes Ring of Honor member Jeremy Roenick and Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald.

"I want to congratulate Shane on being the all-time goal-scorer for the franchise," said Fitzgerald, who will play in the NFC Championship Game on Sunday. "Next is the points. We'll be watching."

Doan, who has played all 20 seasons of his NHL career with the Coyotes/Winnipeg Jets franchise (19 in Arizona), scored No. 380 to pass Hawerchuk on Dec. 31 against the second iteration of the Jets.

"It was cool to see [Roenick] and Dale Hawerchuk and Larry … everyone loves Larry," Doan said. "It was really nice to have my wife and (four) kids out there. Over 20 years, they've obviously paid a pretty big sacrifice. Hockey has been put first in their lives a lot, so it was great to have them out there and be recognized."

Blackhawks look ahead after 12-game win streak ends

Friday, 01.22.2016 / 12:34 AM / NHL Insider

Corey Long - Correspondent

TAMPA -- The longest winning streak in Chicago Blackhawks' history ended Thursday when they lost 2-1 to the Tampa Bay Lightning. But coach Joel Quenneville feels the defending Stanley Cup champions have put themselves in a strong position for the remainder of the season by running off 12 consecutive victories.

The Blackhawks were 13 points out of first place in the Western Conference after a 2-1 home loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Dec. 27. They began the streak two days later, and despite the loss to the Lightning are three points ahead of the Dallas Stars for the top spot in the Central Division and the Western Conference.

Quenneville feels the winning streak has the Blackhawks in a good position with 32 games remaining.

Blue Jackets' Bobrovsky leaves game with injury

Thursday, 01.21.2016 / 11:42 PM / News

Craig Merz - Correspondent

COLUMBUS -- The Columbus Blue Jackets offered no details about the lower-body injury that forced goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky to leave in the second period of the game against the Calgary Flames on Thursday, and coach John Tortorella didn't want to talk about it.

"I'm not going to get into speculating on [Bobrovsky]," Tortorella said after the 4-2 loss. "I'm not a doctor. There's no sense in me discussing it."

Bobrovsky took himself out of the game with 8:30 left in the second period after making 11 saves on 13 shots.

It was Bobrovsky's second game since missing 17 with a groin injury sustained against the Los Angeles Kings on Dec. 8. Bobrovsky pulled himself out of that game with 5:35 remaining in the third period.

Daniel Sedin becomes Canucks' top goal-scorer

Thursday, 01.21.2016 / 11:26 PM / News

Matt Kalman - Correspondent

BOSTON -- Daniel Sedin set a Vancouver Canucks record for goals but wasn't too concerned with accolades for himself.

Sedin's record-breaker, his first of two goals in the game and 347th in the NHL, was the game-winner Thursday in a 4-2 victory against the Boston Bruins at TD Garden.

Sedin, who also scored into an empty net, said he valued the win more than the record.

"Yeah, it's more about the two points, I think," Sedin said. "I mean, I look at the standings every day, and, I mean, you try to stay away from it, but every point is huge. To come in after the way we've played lately, we came in and had a pretty good game, I thought. Kept their shots down, and we had a few chances of ours too, so it was good."

Denna Laing addresses Bruins fans in pregame video

Thursday, 01.21.2016 / 10:46 PM / News

Matt Kalman - Correspondent

BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins honored Denna Laing of the Boston Pride of the National Women's Hockey League prior to their game against the Vancouver Canucks at TD Garden on Thursday.

Laing was injured on Dec. 31 playing in the Outdoor Women's Classic.

Laing addressed the fans in a video, which drew a standing ovation.

"I'm wishing I could be with you at the game tonight, but I wanted to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for all the love, support and prayers you have been sending my way," Laing said from her hospital bed. "I wanted to thank the NHL, the Bruins and the Canadiens organization for their incredible generosity and kindness. I have a lot of hard work in front of me, but I have never been afraid of a challenge."

Devils' Zajac has four points in 1st period vs. Senators

Thursday, 01.21.2016 / 9:56 PM / News

New Jersey Devils center Travis Zajac had four points in the first period of a 6-3 win against the Ottawa Senators at Prudential Center on Thursday.

Zajac assisted on a goal by Joseph Blandisi (his first in the NHL), and on two by Kyle Palmieri before scoring with 6:04 remaining to give New Jersey a 4-0 lead. It was Zajac's first goal since Nov. 6, when he scored in a 3-2 victory against the Chicago Blackhawks.

Blandisi had two assists and Palmieri had one; the line combined for 10 points in the period.

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