DANAULT LEADS BLACKHAWKS TO SIXTH STRAIGHT WIN
Phillip Danault scored the game-winning goal at 15:01 of the third period, the first goal of his NHL career, to lift the Chicago Blackhawks to their sixth consecutive victory.
* At 26-13-4 (56 points), the Blackhawks moved within six points of the idle Dallas Stars (29-10-4, 62 points) for first place in the Central Division. These teams, who last faced off on Dec. 22, 2015 (a 4-0 win for Dallas), will meet four more times this season: Feb. 6 at Dallas, Feb. 11 at Chicago, March 11 at Dallas and March 22 at Chicago.
* Corey Crawford (28 saves) earned his fourth consecutive victory and improved to 22-10-2 (2.19 GAA, .927 SV%, 6 SO). Crawford is 7-0-0 in seven career appearances vs. Buffalo.
* Jonathan Toews (1-1—2) and Niklas Hjalmarsson (1-1—2) registered their fifth and second multiple-point games of the season, respectively.
* The Blackhawks have won nine consecutive games vs. Buffalo dating to Oct. 11, 2009 (BUF: 0-8-1).
DUCKS RALLY PAST BLUES
The Anaheim Ducks rallied from a 3-1 deficit in regulation and Ryan Getzlaf (0-1—1) scored the decisive goal in the shootout to improve to 5-1-1 in their past seven games.
* Ryan Kesler (2-0—2) posted his first multiple-goal performance of the season (40 GP); he has scored four times in his last four games (4-0—4). Kesler had scored four goals in his first 36 games of the season (4-8—12).
* John Gibson made 25 saves through 65 minutes and turned aside three of four shooters in the shootout to pick up his fifth win in his past six games. Gibson is 9-5-2 this season (1.82 GAA, .926 SV%, 4 SO).
* Jakob Silfverberg (0-2—2) also converted in the shootout. His 63.0% career success rate (17-for-27) is tops all-time among players with at least 20 attempts.
* The Ducks have won 10 consecutive home games vs. St. Louis dating to Jan. 7, 2010 (STL: 0-9-1).
AROUND THE RINKS
* Knotted at 3-3 with the Nashville Predators, Tyson Barrie scored the go-ahead goal at 11:00 of the third period and Jack Skille (1-1—2) added an empty-netter to lead the Colorado Avalanche to their third straight win and a 9-2-2 record in their past 13 games. Barrie has 3-3—6 in his past three games, including two game-winning goals, and leads Avalanche defensemen with 7-22—29 (37 GP). Semyon Varlamov (19 saves) earned his third consecutive victory and improved to 15-10-3 (2.68 GAA, .912 SV%, 1 SO).
* Down 2-0 through 40 minutes, Victor Hedman (1-2—3) factored on all three of the Tampa Bay Lightning’s unanswered goals en route to their first road win against the Edmonton Oilers since March 7, 2007 (3-1 W), snapping a four-game skid at Rexall Place (0-3-1). Hedman picked up his second three-point game of the season (40 GP) and leads Tampa bay defensemen in assists (18) and points (21). Ben Bishop (24 saves) improved to 16-13-3 in 2015-16 (2.06 GAA, .924 SV%, 1 SO).
* Elias Lindholm scored twice and Cam Ward turned aside 35 of 36 shots to lead the Carolina Hurricanes to a 3-0-1 record in their last four home games. Lindholm, who scored the game-winning goal at 14:35 of the second period, had his first multiple-goal game of the season (42 GP). Ward improved to 5-3-1 in his last nine decisions and 12-11-4 overall (2.40 GAA, .906 SV%, 1 SO). The Hurricanes have earned points in eight consecutive games vs. the Columbus Blue Jackets dating to Jan. 27, 2014 (6-0-2).
* Jonas Gustavsson made 19 saves and four different skaters scored to lead the Boston Bruins to their fourth win in their past five road games dating to Dec. 5. Gustavsson improved to 7-3-1 (2.44 GAA, .909 SV%) and 7-1-1 in 10 career appearances vs. the New Jersey Devils. Ryan Spooner (1-1—2) and Colin Miller (1-1—2) had their seventh and second multiple-point performances of the season, respectively.
Five skaters made their debuts with new clubs on Friday night:
* Forward Ryan Johansen (1-1—2) scored at 2:35 of the first period and added an assist in his Predators debut (17:46 TOI).
* Per the Elias Sports Bureau, Johansen became the fourth player in franchise history to register multiple points in his debut with the Predators. The others: Denis Grebeshkov (1-1—2) on March 2, 2010 vs. EDM, Steve Sullivan (3-1—4) on Feb. 18, 2004 vs. SJS and Jukka Hentunen (1-1—2) on March 23, 2002 vs. MTL.
* Elias adds that Johansen’s goal was the third-fastest by a Predators player in his team debut. The fastest: J-P Dumont (0:39) on Oct. 5, 2006 vs. CHI and Mikko Lehtonen (1:41) on Oct. 7, 2006 at MIN.
* Defenseman Seth Jones, who was traded from Nashville for Johansen on Wednesday, made his debut with the Blue Jackets (22:31 TOI).
* Forward Jim O'Brien (12:55 TOI) and defenseman Marc-Andre Gragnani (14:05 TOI) each made their debuts with New Jersey, their first NHL games since April 2, 2013 at BOS (w/ OTT) and Feb. 26, 2013 at WSH (w/ CAR), respectively. Devils forward Paul Thompson made his NHL debut (13:10 TOI).
MILESTONES & BENCHMARKS
* The Bruins earned their 3,000th regular-season win in franchise history, becoming the second team in NHL history to reach the milestone. The Montreal Canadiens are tops with 3,283.
* Avalanche forward Jarome Iginla scored the 601st goal of his NHL career and tied Jari Kurri for 18th on the NHL's all-time goals list.
Bruins forward Jimmy Hayes (1-0—1) has scored four times in his past four outings (4-1—5). ... The Bruins improved to 17-3-0 in their last 20 games vs. New Jersey dating to March 30, 2010 (NJD: 3-12-5), which includes five straight wins and a record of 8-2-0 in their past 10 road games. ... The Bruins improved to 12-3-2 on the road this season. ... Blue Jackets forward Nick Foligno (0-1—1) has at least one point in his past eight games dating to Dec. 14 (2-8—10). ... The Avalanche improved to 9-2-1 against Central Division teams this season. ... Predators defenseman Mattias Ekholm (0-2—2) has three multiple-point games in his past five games (2-4—6). ... The National Women's Hockey League issued a statement on Friday updating the condition of Boston Pride forward Denna Laing, who was injured while playing in the inaugural Outdoor Women's Classic on Dec. 31. ... Washington Capitals forward Marcus Johansson has been suspended for two games, without pay, for an illegal check to the head of New York Islanders defenseman Thomas Hickey on Thursday. ... The New York Rangers traded right wing Emerson Etem to the Vancouver Canucks for right wing Nicklas Jensen and a sixth-round pick in the 2017 NHL Draft. ... Dallas Stars general manager Jim Nill has signed a five-year contract extension that will keep him with the team through the 2022-23 season.