Home Team in Caps
NY ISLANDERS 5, Anaheim 2
PHILADELPHIA 4, St. Louis 3
PITTSBURGH 5, Columbus 2
Washington 2, CAROLINA 1
NASHVILLE 5, Montreal 1
Dallas 6, MINNESOTA 3
Toronto 7, COLORADO 4
EDMONTON 3, Winnipeg 1
CAPITALS, STARS CONTINUE BATTLE ATOP LEAGUE STANDINGS
The Washington Capitals (25-6-2, 52 points) and Dallas Stars (25-7-2, 52 points), the top two teams in the NHL, each earned road victories to continue their franchise-best starts to the season and keep pace atop the NHL standings. The teams share the League lead with 12 road wins in 2015-16 (tied w/ SJS):
* Philipp Grubauer made 31 saves to lead the Capitals to a 2-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes, their sixth consecutive victory, and to a 13-1-1 record in their past 15 games, a stretch that includes two six-game winning streaks (also Nov. 21 – Dec. 3: 6-0-0). The Elias Sports Bureau says the Capitals have multiple winning streaks of at least six games for the first time since the 2010-11 season (Oct. 30 – Nov. 11, 2010: 6-0-0 and Feb. 26 – March 15, 2011: 9-0-0). Grubauer is 4-2-1 in seven games this season (2.30 goals-against average, .914 save percentage) and 2-0-1 in four games against the Hurricanes (2.09 GAA, .939 save percentage).
* The Stars scored four straight, including goals by Vernon Fiddler (18:30) and Tyler Seguin (19:29) in the final 90 seconds of the second period, to erase a two-goal deficit and defeat the Minnesota Wild 6-3, picking up their fifth victory in their past seven games. The Stars have won all three games against the Wild this season, including two in which they faced a multigoal deficit (also Nov. 28 at MIN: trailed 3-0, won 4-3 in OT). Antoine Roussel scored his fifth game-winning goal this season (six goals total) to move into a share of the League lead. He had three game-winning goals in his first 200 games before the 2015-16 season.
OILERS PUSH HOME WINNING STREAK TO SEVEN GAMES
The line of Teddy Purcell (2-1—3), Taylor Hall (0-3—3) and Leon Draisaitl (0-2—2) scored all three Edmonton Oilers goals in a 3-1 win against the Winnipeg Jets to guide them to their seventh consecutive home win, equaling their longest such run since Feb. 4 – March 2, 2008.
* The Oilers' home winning streak is one shy of matching the franchise record established from Jan. 19 – Feb. 22, 1985 (8-0-0) and equaled the following season from Feb. 24 – April 2, 1986.
* Edmonton is one of four teams to post a home winning streak of at least seven games this season. In fact, there are four teams with an active home winning streak of at least six games:
Longest Home Winning Streaks, 2015-16
9 – Calgary Flames, from Nov. 5 – Dec. 20^
9 – New York Rangers, from Oct. 19 – Nov. 23
7 – Washington Capitals, from Nov. 21 – Dec. 20^
7 – Edmonton Oilers, from Nov. 20 – Dec. 21^
6 – Los Angeles Kings, from Nov. 12 – Dec. 19^
6 – Chicago Blackhawks, from Oct. 10 – Nov. 2
* Purcell had his second three-point game of the season (also Dec. 11 vs. NYR: 1-2—3), while Hall – who ranks fourth in the League with 15-24—39 (35 GP) – eclipsed 300 points (121-181—302 in 334 GP).
* Cam Talbot made 44 saves, including 16 in each of the last two periods, to pick up his first win at Rexall Place since Oct. 29 vs. MTL (4-3 W, 18 SV).
FLYERS STAGE MULTIGOAL COMEBACK AGAINST BLUES
The Philadelphia Flyers scored four unanswered goals, including Evgeny Medvedev's first career game-winning goal (23 GP) with 3:13 remaining in regulation, to defeat the St. Louis Blues 4-3 and improve to 8-2-2 in their past 12 games.
* Via Elias, the Flyers overcame a three-goal deficit to win for the first time since Dec. 19, 2013 vs. CBJ. In that game, Philadelphia rallied from 3-0 and 4-2 deficits by scoring five goals in the third period, behind 2-2—4 by Claude Giroux, to win 5-4 in regulation.
* Four players -- Wayne Simmonds (2-0—2), Chris VandeVelde (1-1—2), Jakub Voracek (0-2—2) and Shayne Gostisbehere (0-2—2) -- had multiple points in the comeback. Voracek stretched his point streak to five games (2-6—8).
* Via Elias, teams have come back to win a game in which they were trailing by at least three goals nine times this season.
In addition to the Stars, four other clubs filled the net with at least five goals en route to wins:
* Four Nashville Predators players -- Shea Weber (1-2—3), Colin Wilson (1-2—3), Roman Josi (1-1—2) and Calle Jarnkrok (1-1—2) -- each had multiple points to lift them to a 5-1 win against the Montreal Canadiens and a 5-0-3 record in their past eight games against the Canadiens dating to Nov. 14, 2009 (MTL: 3-4-1). Weber (10-15—25), the Predators' second-leading scorer behind Josi (9-17—26), paces the entire NHL with 4-11—15 in the month of December.
* Phil Kessel (2-0—2) and Evgeni Malkin (2-0—2) each scored twice to help the Pittsburgh Penguins defeat the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-2, halting a five-game skid overall (0-4-1) and giving Mike Sullivan his first win since becoming Penguins coach. Kessel notched his fourth game-winning goal of the season, tied for the second-most such goals in 2015-16 behind five players, including Malkin (5 GWG). Goaltender Matt Murray, who made his NHL debut on Saturday, stopped 22 shots to register his first career victory.
* Four different Toronto Maple Leafs players registered at least three points -- Jake Gardiner (0-4—4), Tyler Bozak (3-0—3), Leo Komarov (1-2—3), James van Riemsdyk (1-2—3) -- to help them defeat the Colorado Avalanche 7-4 and improve to 4-0-2 in their past six games. The Avalanche's winning streak ended at five games. Gardiner, who established career highs for assists and points, is the first Maple Leafs defenseman to record four points in a game since Jan. 7, 2011 at ATL (Tomas Kaberle: 0-4—4). Bozak had his second career hat trick (also March 28 vs. OTT: 3-1—4), while Komarov had his second straight three-point effort (also Saturday vs. LAK: 2-1—3).
* The New York Islanders scored three straight in the final 5:06 of the first period, including goals by Travis Hamonic (1-0—1) and Brock Nelson (1-0—1) 43 seconds apart in the last minute, and scored twice more in the third to defeat the Anaheim Ducks 5-2 and snap a three-game skid (0-3-0). The Islanders (11-4-1) lead all Eastern Conference teams with 11 wins against opponents from the Western Conference this season – two more than any other Eastern Conference club (NYR: 9-6-1 and TOR: 9-4-1).
NHL ANNOUNCES PERFORMERS FOR WINTER CLASSIC
The NHL announced Grammy-award winning singer/songwriter Nate Ruess, alternative rock band American Authors, "The Voice" season 9 winner and recording artist Jordan Smith, and musicians from the Boston Pops are among the performers for the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, the New Year's Day outdoor game between the Canadiens and Bruins at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.
Click here for details.
Stars forward Tyler Seguin (1-1—2) had his League-leading 14th multipoint game of the season. He ranks second in the NHL with 19-27—46, four points behind Patrick Kane (21-29—50) . . . Stars goaltender Antti Niemi made 30 saves in relief to improve to 14-5-2 this season. He also moved to 10-3-2 in 15 career appearances against the Wild (1.93 GAA, .928 save percentage, one shutout) . . . Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko (0-1—1) had his goal streak snapped at five games, but extended his point streak to six (5-5—10) . . . Capitals defenseman John Carlson (0-1—1) extended his point streak to seven games (2-6—8) . . . Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon scored his fifth goal of the season after signing a four-year contract extension earlier in the day . . . Jets defenseman Mark Stuart (600) and Blues defenseman Carl Gunnarsson (400) played in milestone games . . . ICYMI: Hurricanes forward Kris Versteeg went between his legs to score his fifth goal of the season . . . Blue Jackets forward Alexander Wennberg (1-0—1) has 2-8—10 in his past nine games after scoring one goal in his first 15 games in 2015-16 . . . Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne made 35 saves, including 14 in the first period, to improve to 5-1-1 in seven games against the Canadiens (1.27 GAA, .952 save percentage, two shutouts) . . . The Department of Player Safety suspended Bruins forward Max Talbot two games for interference on Devils forward Jiri Tlusty . . . Avalanche goaltender Semyon Varlamov, Capitals forward T.J. Oshie and Wild forward Mikko Koivu were named the NHL's "Three Stars" for the week ending Dec. 20 . . . ICYMI: The NHL officially took over Gillette Stadium with the arrival of the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic Ice Plant presented by York. Click here to watch a live webcam of the rink build at Gillette Stadium.