Several NHL players and teams will be sorry to flip their calendars to December after enjoying a November they'll want to remember.
Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers finished the month within one point of becoming the first player to reach 50 this season. McDavid had a goal and an assist in Edmonton's 5-2 loss to the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Place on Saturday, giving him the NHL scoring lead with 49 points (19 goals, 30 assists). He had a League-leading 26 of those points (13 goals, 13 assists) in 14 games during November, the most by an Oilers player in that month since Jari Kurri had 26 (10 goals, 16 assists) in 15 games during November 1988.
Center Nathan MacKinnon finished November with 25 points (10 goals, 15 assists) in 14 games after scoring one goal and assisting on two others to help the Colorado Avalanche defeat the Chicago Blackhawks 7-3 at Pepsi Center. MacKinnon established an Avalanche/Quebec Nordiques record for most points in November, eclipsing the previous high of 24 last achieved by Quebec's Walt Poddubny in 1988 (11 goals, 13 assists in 14 games). MacKinnon's 25 points are the most by a Colorado player in any month since Joe Sakic had 26 (15 goals, 11 assists) in 13 games in March 2000. MacKinnon also became the fifth player to reach 40 points this season, the first time there have been that many before Dec. 1 since 1992-93.
Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane's goal in the loss at Colorado extended his point streak to 15 games (24 points; 11 goals, 13 assists). He had at least one point in every team game during a calendar month for the second time in his NHL career (minimum 10 games), duplicating his feat from November 2015, when he had 23 points (eight goals, 15 assists) in 13 games. The only other player in Blackhawks history to have at least one point in each of Chicago's games during multiple months while playing at least 10 games is Denis Savard, who did it in November 1982 (19 points; four goals, 15 assists in 12 games) and October 1987 (22 points; nine goals, 13 assists in 11 games).
The St. Louis Blues won their 10th game in November by defeating the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-2 at Enterprise Center. Five players scored for the Blues, who finished November 10-2-3 and in first place in the Central Division. St. Louis reached double digits in wins during November for the third time since entering the NHL in 1967; the Blues had 11 wins each in 2013 (11-3-1) and 2014 (11-3-1).
The San Jose Sharks spotted the Arizona Coyotes an early two-goal lead, then scored four unanswered goals in a 4-2 win at Gila River Arena to earn their 11th win in November (11-4-0). The 11 victories are tied for the second-most in any month in Sharks history; they also won 11 in February 2011 and November 2008; their record is 13 in March 2008. The Sharks had more wins in November (11) than they had points in October (4-8-1, nine points).
The Philadelphia Flyers reached double figures in November wins (10-2-4) for the first time in 16 years when they defeated the Montreal Canadiens 4-3 in overtime at Bell Centre. Ivan Provorov's goal 31 seconds into OT extended Philadelphia's point streak to six games (5-0-1), including four consecutive wins.
Hats off to Ovechkin … again
Alex Ovechkin scored three goals for his first hat trick of the season and the 24th of his NHL career, helping the Washington Capitals defeat the Detroit Red Wings 5-2 at Little Caesars Arena.
Ovechkin passed Kurri (23) for the most hat tricks by an NHL player born outside Canada. It was his 13th hat trick on the road, passing Phil Esposito and tying Brett Hull for the fifth-most in NHL history behind Wayne Gretzky (19), Mario Lemieux (19), Marcel Dionne (17) and Mike Bossy (14).
Washington's captain also reached the 20-goal mark for the 15th time in as many NHL seasons, and he's scored 15 of his 20 goals this season in the Capitals' 14 road games. Ovechkin has 345 regular-season road goals in 555 games; he's one shy of tying Dionne (346) for the sixth-highest total in League history.
The Capitals (19-4-5) became the first team in the NHL this season to surpass 100 goals; they have 104 (including three game-deciding goals in shootouts) in 28 games. Washington is the seventh team since 1994-95 to reach 100 goals (including shootout-deciding goals) before Dec. 1. The Capitals reached the 100-goal mark through games played Nov. 30 for the second time since entering the NHL in 1974; they had 120 in 1991-92.
Perfect day for New York goalies
The New York Islanders and New York Rangers each recorded a shutout on Saturday.
Thomas Greiss (nine saves) and Semyon Varlamov (30) combined to help the Islanders defeat the Columbus Blue Jackets 2-0 at Barclays Center. It's the third combined shutout in Islanders history, and the first since April 4, 1998, when Tommy Salo and Wade Flaherty teamed up to shut out the Rangers 3-0. The Islanders are 10-0-1 in their past 11 home games, tied for the seventh-longest streak in their history.
The combined shutout by the Islanders came hours after the Rangers got a 33-save performance by Alexandar Georgiev in a 4-0 victory against the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center, extending their point streak to five games (4-0-1).
Georgiev received plenty of help from his penalty-killers. The Rangers killed off all eight New Jersey power plays and scored two shorthanded goals in the third period, giving New York a League-leading six this season.
Driedger gets shutout in first NHL start for Panthers
Chris Driedger made 27 saves in the Florida Panthers' 3-0 win against the Nashville Predators at BB&T Center to become the first goalie in their history to have a shutout in his first NHL start. The 25-year-old, selected by the Ottawa Senators in the third round (No. 76) of the 2012 NHL Draft, had played in three NHL games before Saturday, all in relief with the Senators.