The Colorado Avalanche are on a roll that has carried them within one point of first place in the Central Division and Western Conference.
Colorado won its fifth straight game by defeating the Ottawa Senators 3-0 at Pepsi Center on Tuesday. Mikko Rantanen, Valeri Nichushkin and Gabriel Landeskog each scored, and Philipp Grubauer made 34 saves for his 11th NHL shutout. The Avalanche (33-16-6) are 8-1-0 in their past nine games and one point behind the St. Louis Blues (32-15-9).
The Avalanche will put their winning streak on the line when they welcome Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals to Pepsi Center on Thursday (9:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, ESPN+, SN360, SNE, SNP, ALT, NBCSWA, NHL.TV). Ovechkin enters the game two goals from becoming the eighth player in NHL history to score 700. Colorado then plays the Los Angeles Kings in the 2020 Navy Federal Credit Union NHL Stadium Series at the U.S. Air Force Academy's Falcon Stadium in Colorado Springs, Colorado on Saturday.
Draisaitl expands NHL scoring lead in Oilers win
Leon Draisaitl picked up the scoring slack for the Edmonton Oilers in the absence of injured center Connor McDavid, finishing with four points (one goal, three assists) in a 5-3 win against the Chicago Blackhawks at Rogers Place.
Draisaitl (89 points; 32 goals, 57 assists) is eight points ahead of McDavid (81 points; 30 goals, 51 assists), who is out the next 2-3 weeks with a left quad injury, in the race for the Art Ross Trophy given to the player who leads the NHL in points at the end of the regular season. He has multiple points in seven of his past nine games after having at least four points for the fourth time this season, tying him with McDavid and Colorado's Nathan MacKinnon for the NHL lead. Draisaitl has at least one point in 46 of the Oilers' 56 games this season and leads the NHL with 27 multipoint games, three more than Boston Bruins forward David Pastrnak.
Edmonton (30-20-6) is one point of the Vancouver Canucks (31-21-5) for first in the Pacific Division.
Lightning win eighth straight, close in on Atlantic Division lead
The Tampa Bay Lightning won their eighth straight game when Yanni Gourde's goal at 2:45 of overtime gave them a 2-1 victory against the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG Paints Arena. The Lightning (37-15-5) own the longest active winning streak in the NHL and are one point of the Bruins (34-11-12) for the Atlantic Division lead and the race for the Presidents' Trophy given to the team with the best record in the regular season.
Tampa Bay forward Nikita Kucherov had an assist to extend his point streak to 12 games, the longest active run in the NHL and fifth-longest in Lightning history, before leaving late in the second period with a lower-body injury
Andrei Vasilevskiy made 35 saves to extend his point streak to 19 games (17-0-2). The only goalies in NHL history with longer such runs are Pete Peeters (27 games with the Philadelphia Flyers in 1979-80 and 21 games with Boston in 1982-83), Glenn Resch of the New York Islanders (23 games in 1978-79), Boston's Frank Brimsek (23 games in 1940-41), Roberto Luongo of the Canucks (21 games in 2010-11) and Chris Osgood of the Detroit Red Wings (21 games in 1995-96).
The Lightning, who also won 10 in a row from Dec. 23 through Jan. 11, have had two winning streaks of at least eight games in each of the past two seasons. They are the third team in NHL history with multiple winning streaks of at least eight in consecutive seasons, joining the Montreal Canadiens (1975-76, 1976-77 and 1977-78) and Oilers (1983-84 and 1984-85).
Shesterkin continues fast start for Rangers
Rookie Igor Shesterkin made 42 saves for the New York Rangers in a 4-1 win against the Winnipeg Jets at Bell MTS Place for his sixth victory in seven starts since being called up from Hartford of the American Hockey League on Jan. 6. It was his third win with at least 40 saves and second in as many games.
Shesterkin (6-1-0) is the fifth rookie since 1955-56 to have consecutive wins with at least 40 saves. The others: Carter Hart of the Flyers (Feb. 2-4, 2019), Juuse Saros of the Nashville Predators (Dec. 5-14, 2017), Frank Pietrangelo of the Pittsburgh Penguins (Jan. 20-23, 1988) and Joe Daley of the Penguins (Feb. 19-22, 1969). No rookie goalie has had three consecutive wins with at least 40 saves.