Home Team in Caps
BUFFALO 3, Vancouver 2
LOS ANGELES 4, Florida 1
MONTREAL 4, Boston 2
WASHINGTON 3, Toronto 2 (SO)
CAROLINA 3, Ottawa 2 (OT)
Philadelphia 3, WINNIPEG 0
St. Louis 4, NASHVILLE 0
MINNESOTA 1, Tampa Bay 0
NY Rangers 4, ARIZONA 1
CALGARY 5, Pittsburgh 2
Anaheim 1, SAN JOSE 0
Of the 11 games contested Saturday, four featured a team scoring a tying or go-ahead goal late in the third period en route to victory (WSH: 19:59; MTL: 18:52; CAR: 19:56; and BUF: 19:43). Elias says there have been eight tying or go-ahead goals scored in the final minute of regulation this season, with the scoring team holding a 6-0-2 record in those contests.
* Nicklas Backstrom tied the game with 1.7 seconds left in regulation and Alex Ovechkin tallied the lone shootout goal to help the Washington Capitals (10-3-0, 20 points) equal the best 13-game start to a season in franchise history (1991-92: 10-3-0, 20 points).
* David Desharnais broke a 2-2 deadlock with 1:08 left on the clock – his second consecutive game-winning goal – to rally the Montreal Canadiens past the Boston Bruins for their League-leading 13th win of the season, continuing their best start in their 98-year NHL history.
* Rasmus Ristolainen scored the game-winning goal with 16.8 seconds remaining in the third period to help the Buffalo Sabres spoil Ryan Miller’s return to Buffalo. Via Elias, the Sabres scored the go-ahead goal in the final 20 seconds of regulation for the first time since March 11, 2006, when Mike Grier scored at 19:55 of the third period to break a 5-5 deadlock against the Philadelphia Flyers (6-5 W).
* Jeff Skinner tied the game with 3.3 seconds left in regulation and Jordan Staal scored in overtime to help the Carolina Hurricanes improve to 12-0-2 in their last 14 games against the Ottawa Senators at PNC Arena dating to March 16, 2008 (OTT: 2-10-2).
OVECHKIN TIES FEDOROV FOR MOST GOALS BY A RUSSIAN-BORN PLAYER
Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin scored his 483rd NHL goal to tie Sergei Fedorov, who will be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame on Monday, for the most goals by a Russian-born player in League history.
* Ovechkin equaled the mark in his 772nd career game, 476 fewer than Fedorov played in his NHL career (1,248 GP). On Oct. 20, Ovechkin (483-427—910) became the fourth Russian-born player to reach 900 NHL points, following Fedorov (483-696—1,179), Alexander Mogilny (473-559—1,032) and Alex Kovalev (430-599—1,029).
* Overall, only three active players from any nation have more goals than Ovechkin: Jaromir Jagr (728), Jarome Iginla (595) and Marian Hossa (487). In fact, since beginning his NHL career in 2005-06, Ovechkin has 138 more goals than the next-closest player (Iginla: 345).
* Nicklas Backstrom (1-1—2) had an assist on Ovechkin’s goal. Since entering the League in 2007-08, Backstrom has a helper on 45.2% of Ovechkin’s goals (174 of 385).
CANADIENS, RANGERS ALSO CONTINUE RECORD STARTS
The Canadiens and New York Rangers, the top two teams in the Eastern Conference, also earned victories to continue their record-setting starts to the season:
* Down 2-1 after 40 minutes, the Canadiens scored three unanswered goals in the final period to improve to 13-2-1 (27 points), the highest win total through 16 games in a season in the franchise’s 98-year NHL history. The Canadiens are 7-0-1 at Bell Centre, the first time they have earned at least one point in each of their first eight home games of a season since 1992-93 (8-0-1). Mike Condon, a native of Needham, Mass., made 29 saves in his first appearance against the Bruins to improve to 6-0-1 in his first seven NHL games (1.57 GAA, .940 SV%).
* The Canadiens improved to 12-1-0 in their last 13 regular-season games against the Bruins dating to March 3, 2013 (BOS: 1-10-2). These clubs will meet two more times this season; on Dec. 9 at Montreal and New Year’s Day in the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.
* Antti Raanta made 39 saves, one shy of his career high (Dec. 3, 2014 vs. the St. Louis Blues while with the Chicago Blackhawks), to help the Rangers improve to 10-2-2 (22 points) and equal the best 14-game start to a season in franchise history (in terms of points). They also earned 22 points through their first 14 games in 1971-72 (9-1-4) and 1990-91 (11-3-0). Raanta, who fell 4.6 seconds short of a shutout, improved to 3-0-0 in three appearances with the Rangers (0.67 GAA, .976 SV%, 1 SO).
* The Rangers extended their overall point streak to nine games (7-0-2), including five consecutive wins. They are 13-3-0 in their last 16 games against the Coyotes dating to Oct. 28, 2002 (ARI/PHX: 3-8-5).
PERFECT IN GOAL
Four goaltenders – Jake Allen, Michal Neuvirth, Devan Dubnyk and Anton Khudobin – recorded shutouts to guide their clubs to victory:
* Allen made 45 saves, 19 in the second period, to earn his seventh career shutout and improve to 6-3-0 in nine appearances this season (1.71 GAA, .945 SV%, 2 SO). Via Elias, Allen is the first Blues goaltender to make at least 45 saves in a game since Nov. 25, 2008, when Chris Mason stopped 47 shots (in regulation/overtime) in a 1 -0 shootout win (also at the Nashville Predators).
* Neuvirth made 28 stops, including 12 in the opening period, to earn his 10th career shutout and help the Philadelphia Flyers halt a six-game skid (0-4-2) in a victory at the Winnipeg Jets. Neuvirth, who signed with Philadelphia in the offseason, improved to 3-2-1 in eight appearances with the club, including three shutouts. Via Elias, he is the first goaltender in franchise history to record a shutout in each of his first three wins of a season.
* Dubnyk stopped 31 shots, including 13 in the opening period, for his 16th career shutout and Jared Spurgeon scored the lone goal to lead the Minnesota Wild to a 6-1-0 record at Xcel Energy Center in 2015-16. Dubnyk is 8-3-1 this season and is 35-12-3 with seven shutouts in 51 games as a member of the Wild.
* Khudobin made 31 saves and Corey Perry scored the lone goal to lead the Anaheim Ducks to their fourth consecutive victory after a 1-7-2 start to the season. Khudobin, who the Ducks acquired in an offseason trade with the Hurricanes, had his fifth career shutout and first with Anaheim (4 GP). Perry has 2-3—5 in his past three games after going 0-3—3 in his first 11.
* Blues defenseman Colton Parayko (1-0—1) scored his fifth goal and third game-winner, tied for the League lead among defenseman. Via Elias, Parayko is the first rookie defenseman to score five goals for the Blues in one season since 2007-08 (Erik Johnson: 5 in 69 GP) and the second to score three game-winning goals in a season with the Blues (also Johnson in 2007-08).
* Hurricanes forward Jordan Staal (1-1—2) scored his third career overtime goal. The others came exactly four years apart on Feb. 10, 2007 at Toronto (3-0—3) and Feb. 10, 2011 vs. the Los Angeles Kings (1-0—1).
* Buffalo Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen (2-0—2), the eighth player taken in the 2013 NHL Draft, had his first career game-winning goal and first multiple-goal game (126 GP).
* The Sabres played tribute to Ryan Miller (19 saves) in his first visit to Buffalo since a February 2014 trade (to St. Louis). Miller, a fifth-round pick (No.138) by Buffalo in the 1999 NHL Draft, posted a franchise-record 284 wins in 540 regular-season appearances with the club (2.60 GAA, .916 SV%, 28 SO).
* Rangers defenseman Keith Yandle (0-1—1), a fourth-round selection (No. 105) by the Coyotes in the 2005 NHL Draft, returned to Arizona for the first time since a trade on March 1. Yandle, who compiled 65-246—311 in 558 games with the club, posted 1-0—1 in his first game against the Coyotes on Oct. 22.
* Predators defenseman Barret Jackman (13:38 TOI), who compiled 28-153—181 in 803 games with the Blues, faced his former team for the first time since signing with Nashville during the offseason.
* Johnny Gaudreau (2-1—3) and Mikael Backlund (0-3—3) each equaled a career-high for points in a game to help the Calgary Flames halt the Pittsburgh Penguins’ win streak at six games and earn their first victory in the head-to-head series since Dec. 3, 2005 (0-8-1). Gaudreau leads the Flames with 4-13—17 (15 GP); Backlund posted his second straight multiple-point effort, following a 1-1—2 performance vs. the Flyers on Thursday that included the overtime winner.
* After falling behind in the final minute of the first period, the Los Angeles Kings scored four unanswered goals, three in the second period, to improve to 11-2-0 in their last 13 games against the Florida Panthers dating to Nov. 5, 2003, including seven consecutive victories at Staples Center (FLA: 2-10-1). Drew Doughty (GWG) hit the back of the net for the first time in 2015-16, while Jeff Carter (1-1—2) and Tyler Toffoli (0-2—2) each posted multiple points.
MILESTONES & BENCHMARKS
* Coyotes captain Shane Doan scored his 115th career power-play goal, surpassing Keith Tkachuk (114) for second place on the franchise’s all-time list, behind Dale Hawerchuk (122). Doan also played in his 1,407th career game, tying Dale Hunter for 33rd place in League history; Paul Coffey (1,409) holds the 32nd position.
* Bruins forward Frank Vatrano, a native of East Longmeadow, Mass., scored in his NHL debut with his family in attendance. Senators defenseman Chris Wideman, a fourth-round pick (No. 100) in the 2009 NHL Draft, also scored his first NHL goal (4 GP).
* Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo (1-0—1) and Panthers defenseman Dmitry Kulikov (20:11 TOI) each played in his 400th career game.
* Wild forward Christoph Bertschy, a sixth-round selection (No. 158) in the 2012 NHL Draft, made his League debut (8:08 TOI).
The Capitals improved to 9-1-1 in their last 11 games against the Maple Leafs at Verizon Center, including five consecutive victories. … Flames forward Sam Bennett (1-1—2) dangled past defenders for a highlight-reel goal, while teammate Sean Monahan (1-1—2) juggled home a fluttering puck. … Hurricanes defenseman Justin Faulk (1-1—2) scored his fifth goal of the season, tying him for the League lead among defensemen. … Canucks forward Henrik Sedin (1-0—1) stretched his point streak to five games (1-4—5). … Bruins defenseman Colin Miller (0-1—1) extended his point streak to six games (1-5—6). … Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury stopped a penalty shot by Flames forward David Jones. Goaltenders have saved 8-of-10 (80.0%) penalty shots this season. … In his fourth consecutive start, Linus Ullmark made 35 saves to improve to 3-2-0 in his first five career appearances (2.56 GAA, .918 SV%).. … Sabres forward Jack Eichel (0-2—2), the second player taken in the 2015 NHL Draft, registered his first career assists and multiple-point game (14 GP). Eichel ranks second on the Sabres with seven points (5-2—7), all of which have come at First Niagara Center (9 GP). ... U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Timothy Payne, a Buffalo native, dropped the ceremonial puck on Military Appreciation Day prior to the Canucks/Sabres game. … Four clubs – the Hurricanes, Jets, Predators and Coyotes – hosted the final Hockey Fights Cancer Awareness Nights of the 2015-16 season.