Home Team in Caps
NEW JERSEY 4, Buffalo 1
PHILADELPHIA 2, Ottawa 1 (SO)
Tampa Bay 4, MONTREAL 2
NASHVILLE 3, Carolina 2
San Jose 4, MINNESOTA 3 (OT)
Colorado 2, CHICAGO 0
Columbus 4, DALLAS 2
St. Louis 6, ARIZONA 0
Detroit 4, EDMONTON 2
VANCOUVER 3, NY Islanders 2
STRONG THIRD PERIOD HELPS PREDATORS KEEP DIVISION LEAD
The Nashville Predators scored three goals in the third period, including two in the final 9:31, to defeat the erase a 2-1 deficit and defeat the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2, extending their point streak to six games (4-0-2 since Dec. 27).
* With the victory, the Predators (26-9-4, 56 points) pulled two points ahead of the Chicago Blackhawks (26-12-2, 54 points) for first place in the Central Division and within two points of the idle Anaheim Ducks (26-9-6, 58 points) for top spot in the entire NHL.
* The Predators improved to 8-2-0 all-time at home vs. CAR. Overall, Nashville has won four straight games at Bridgestone Arena; they share the NHL lead with 15 home wins and are tied for second with 31 home points this season.
* Filip Forsberg had an assist for the third straight game to establish a franchise record for points by a rookie (38); he also matched Martin Erat's record of 24 assists by a rookie set in 2001-02. Forsberg paces the Predators with 14-24—38 in 39 games and leads all rookies in goals, assists, points and plus/minus (plus-23).
* Roman Josi scored his second game-winning goal in his past three games, following his second career overtime goal on Saturday in Los Angeles. He has 3-4—7 over his past six games.
* Pekka Rinne made 23 saves, including 11 in the first period, to improve to 26-6-2 in 34 games. He ranks third in the NHL with a 2.00 goals-against average and fourth with a .929 save percentage.
* The Predators improved to 13-0-0 in games following a loss (of any kind) this season.
BACKES, OSHIE HELP BLUES KEEP PACE
David Backes scored four straight goals to match a career high and T.J. Oshie added three assists to power the St. Louis Blues to their sixth straight win at Gila River Arena (dating to Dec. 23, 2011), 6-0 against the Arizona Coyotes.
* With the victory, the Blues (24-13-3, 51 points) opened a four-point lead over the Winnipeg Jets (20-13-7, 47 points) for third place in the Central Division while keeping pace with the Predators and Blackhawks.
* Backes had his only other four-goal game on Apr. 2, 2009 at Detroit. Per Elias, Backes joins Brett Hull (April 16, 1995 vs. DET and Oct. 10, 1995 vs. EDM) as the only Blues players to record multiple career four-goal games.
* Backes had his third career hat trick to become the fifth Blues player to score three goals in a game this season, joining Vladimir Tarasenko (2), Jori Lehtera, Jaden Schwartz and Oshie. Per Elias, this marks the first time since 1984-85 that the Blues have at least five players with a hat trick in one season. The last time Blues players combined for six hat tricks in a season was 1993-94 when the team finished with nine such performances.
* Elias also says that the Blues are the first team to post six hat tricks through its first 40 games of a season since the 1995-96 Pittsburgh Penguins.
* After being named the NHL's First Star for last week, Oshie posted his second straight three-point performance (3-1—4 on Saturday at San Jose) to stretch his point streak to six games (5-6—11).
* Paul Stastny (1-1—2), Patrik Berglund (0-2—2) and Alexander Steen (0-2—2) also had multiple points for the Blues, who have outscored opponents 13-2 in the past two games of their four-game road trip (2-2-0).
* Brian Elliott (23 saves) recorded his 27th career shutout (second this season) to improve to 10-5-1 in 17 appearances. He ranks second in the NHL in GAA (1.80) and third in save percentage (.933).
JOHNSON POWERS LIGHTNING TO TOP SPOT IN EAST
Tyler Johnson scored twice during the Tampa Bay Lightning's four-goal second period and Ben Bishop made 20 saves to help the Lightning defeat the Montreal Canadiens 4-2, ending Montreal's six-game winning streak and improving to 5-0-1 in their past six regular-season games.
* The Lightning improved to 26-12-4 (56 points) to leapfrog the Canadiens (26-12-2, 54 points) into first place in the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference. The Lightning have won six of their past seven games since Dec. 23 and sit just two points behind the idle Ducks (26-9-6, 58 points) for the top spot in the entire NHL.
* Johnson registered his second straight two-goal game and his 11th multipoint performance of the season. He ranks third in NHL scoring behind Jakub Voracek (15-33—48) and Tyler Seguin (26-21—47). Johnson needs only six points to surpass his career high of 50 points set in 82 games last season.
* Ondrej Palat (0-2—2) and Nikita Kucherov (0-2—2) each had two assists for the Lightning. Palat has points in four straight games (1-8—9) while Kucherov ranks second on the Lightning and is tied for ninth in the NHL with 41 points (17-24—41).
* Bishop improved to 20-6-2 in 30 starts. He is 7-1-2 with a 1.50 GAA and .941 save percentage in 11 regular-season games against the Canadiens.
* Jonathan Drouin (Ste-Agathe, Quebec) earned an assist on Tampa Bay's opening goal while playing in his first NHL game in his home province.
ELIAS CZECH'S TWO MILESTONES OFF LIST IN DEVILS VICTORY
Patrik Elias tallied 1-2—3, including his 600th NHL assist and 1,000th NHL point (399-601—1,000 in 1,187 GP), to power the New Jersey Devils to a 4-1 win against the Buffalo Sabres.
* According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Elias is just the fifth Czech-born player in NHL history to record 1,000 NHL points, joining teammate Jaromir Jagr (1,780 points), Stan Mikita (1,467), Peter Stastny (1,239) and Marian Hossa (1,022). Note: The Elias Sports Bureau tracks players by their country at the time of their birth. Therefore, players listed above are considered natives of the former Czechoslovakia.
* Overall, Elias is the 82nd player in NHL history to reach the 1,000-point milestone. He ranks sixth in all-time scoring among active players, behind Jagr, Joe Thornton (1,227 points), Jarome Iginla (1,192), Hossa and Martin St. Louis (1,011).
* Elias is the only player to reach 1,000 points in a Devils uniform. He is the franchise's all-time leader in goals, assists, points, games played, power-play goals (110) and game-winning goals (79).
* Elias recorded his 73rd career regular-season three-point game and first since March 20, 2014 when he registered 0-3—3 vs. MIN.
VLASIC SERVES AS HERO FOR SECOND STRAIGHT NIGHT
Marc-Edouard Vlasic scored at 3:09 of overtime, his second game-winning goal in as many nights, to lift the San Jose Sharks to a 4-3 overtime win against the Minnesota Wild, their first win in Minnesota since April 2, 2010, snapping a seven-game skid (0-5-2).
* The victory helped the Sharks (22-14-5, 49 points) maintain a tie in terms of points with the Vancouver Canucks (23-12-3, 49 points) for second place in the Pacific Division.
* Vlasic also scored the game-winning goal with just 4.5 seconds remaining in regulation on Monday vs. WPG. Per Elias, he is just the second defenseman in the past seven seasons to score game-winning goals on back-to-back days, joining Eric Brewer who did so for the Lightning on April 10 and 11, 2014.
* It was Vlasic's first career overtime goal and his third game-winning goal this season (40 GP); he had four game-winning goals through his first 600 games.
* The Sharks scored three straight goals to erase a 2-0 deficit. Joe Pavelski (1-1—2) scored his 21st goal of the season (tied for fourth in the NHL) to stretch his point streak to four games (4-3—7). Brent Burns (0-2—2) also extended his point streak to four games (1-5—6); he ranks third among NHL defensemen with 33 points (11-22—33).
* Playing his first NHL game in Minnesota, Alex Stalock (St. Paul, Minn.) made 28 saves to improve to 5-4-1 this season. Stalock, who is 2-0-0 against the Wild, is the first Minnesota native to record a win in his home state.
VARLAMOV SETS FRANCHISE RECORD IN SHUTOUT WIN
Semyon Varlamov stopped 54 shots (career high) to record his 16th career shutout and both Nathan MacKinnon (1-1—2) and Maxime Talbot scored in the opening 1:17 of the first period to guide the Colorado Avalanche to their third straight win at United Center (dating to Jan. 14, 2014), 2-0 against the Chicago Blackhawks.
* Per Elias, Varlamov set a Quebec/Colorado franchise record for saves in a shutout.
* Varlamov joins Ben Scrivens (59 saves, Jan. 29, 2014 vs. SJS) and Mike Smith (54 saves, April 3, 2012 vs. CBJ) as the only goaltenders to record at least 54 saves in a shutout in the NHL's expansion era. Varlamov is the only one of the three to accomplish the feat on the road.
* Varlamov won his fifth straight game against the Blackhawks. Overall, he is 8-3-0 with a 2.01 GAA, .945 save percentage and two shutouts in 12 games vs. CHI.
* MacKinnon scored his first game-winning goal since Jan. 30, 2014 vs. MIN. It also was MacKinnon's sixth multipoint game of the season and first since Nov. 22, when he set a career high with three assists vs. CAR.
AROUND THE LEAGUE
Highlights from the four other games Tuesday:
* Justin Abdelkader matched a season high with 1-2—3 and Pavel Datsyuk (1-1—2) broke a 2-2 tie with 34 seconds left in regulation to help the Detroit Red Wings defeat the Edmonton Oilers 4-2 and improve to 14-0-2 in their past 16 overall meetings with Edmonton (dating to March 19, 2010). The Red Wings have earned points in 22 of their past 23 visits to Edmonton dating to Dec. 13, 2001 (11-1-11 in that span). Datsyuk scored his 47th career game-winning goal (third this season); he ranks second on the club with 14-16—30 in 29 games. With the victory, the Red Wings (21-10-9, 51 points) moved within three points of the Canadiens (26-12-2, 54 points) for second place in the crowded Atlantic Division.
* The Canucks erased a 1-0 deficit with three straight goals, capped by Linden Vey's first goal since Nov. 30 (snapping a 12-game drought), and Eddie Lack made 21 saves to help the Canucks defeat the New York Islanders 3-2 and improve to 5-1-1 in their last seven games. Vey potted his second game-winning goal of the season to help the Canucks (23-12-3, 49 points) maintain second place in the Pacific Division. Ryan Stanton and Nick Bonino also scored for Vancouver.
* Nick Foligno (0-3—3), Ryan Johansen (1-1—2) and Scott Hartnell (0-2—2) each had multiple points to spark the Columbus Blue Jackets to a 3-0 lead en route to a 4-2 win against the Dallas Stars, their fifth win in their last seven games against Dallas (5-1-1). Foligno matched a career high for assists in a game and stretched his point streak to five games. Johansen extended his point streak to eight games (3-6—9), his second such stretch of 2014-15 after tying a franchise record with points in 10 straight games to begin the season. Foligno and Johansen rank first and second in team scoring with 17-21—38 and 13-23—36, respectively. Sergei Bobrovsky made 24 saves, including 11 in the third period, to improve to 15-10-2 in 27 appearances.
* Wayne Simmonds tied the game at 8:59 of the third period and scored the deciding goal in the fifth round of the shootout to help the Philadelphia Flyers defeat the Ottawa Senators 2-1 and earn their first shootout win since Dec. 30, 2013 (0-10 in that span). Steve Mason made 41 saves and denied four shootout attempts to improve to 6-2-1 with a 1.85 GAA, .943 save percentage and two shutouts in nine games against the Senators. The Flyers improved to 4-0-1 in their past five games against the Senators and 10-3-1 in head-to-head games at Wells Fargo Center since the start of 2007-08.
Travis Zajac (1-1—2) and Mike Cammalleri (1-1—2) had multiple points for the Devils . . . The Devils improved to 4-0-2 in their last six home games against the Sabres dating to Nov. 10, 2010 . . . Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard made 21 saves to improve to 11-1-2 with a 1.88 GAA and .927 save percentage in 14 games vs. EDM . . . Blue Jackets defenseman Fedor Tyutin (700), Lightning forward Valtteri Filppula (600), Coyotes forward Joe Vitale (200) and Flyers forward Michael Raffl (100) each played in milestone games . . . Eric Staal (1-1—2) scored on the man advantage for his 300th NHL goal, including 102 power-play goals . . . Senators forward Mika Zibanejad improved to 7-for-13 (53.8 percent) in the shootout . . . Oilers forward Jordan Eberle scored twice to stretch his point streak to four games (4-1—5) . . . Predators forward Viktor Stalberg (0-2—2) had his first multipoint game of the season . . . The Predators improved to 6-0-0 when Mike Fisher scores a goal this season . . . The fourth and final episode of Road to the NHL Winter Classic, a four-part series chronicling the Capitals and Blackhawks as they prepared for the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on New Year's Day, aired Tuesday.