2016-17 SEASON REACHES THE HALFWAY POINT
The 2016-17 season reaches the halfway point of 615 games played during the seven-game slate on Tuesday. A look at some of the highlights through 611 games played, compiled with the assistance of the Elias Sports Bureau:
* 298 games (48.8 percent) have featured one-goal margins. Another 56 have been decided by two following an empty-net goal (combined, 57.9 percent).
* 265 games (43.4 percent) have seen a team overcome a deficit at any point in the game to win, including 63 instances in which the winning team mounted a multigoal comeback victory.
* 55 games (9.0 percent) have seen a tying goal scored in the final five minutes of the third period, including 18 in the final 60 seconds.
* 39 games (6.4 percent) have seen a tiebreaking goal scored in the final five minutes of the third period, including seven in the final 60 seconds.
COMPETITIVE BALANCE ...
Twenty-four teams are within five points of a Stanley Cup Playoff berth:
* In the Atlantic Division, teams Nos. 2-8 are separated by eight points.
* In the Metropolitan Division, teams Nos. 1-4 are separated by three points.
* In the Central Division, teams Nos. 3-6 are separated by six points.
* In the Pacific Division, teams Nos. 1-6 are separated by seven points.
... LEADS TO PLAYOFF TURNOVER
Six teams that did not qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs last season currently hold postseason spots, including the League-leading Columbus Blue Jackets and each of the top three teams in the Atlantic Division, the Canadiens, Boston Bruins and Ottawa Senators. The other two teams, the Oilers and the Calgary Flames, are within one and four points, respectively, of the top spot in the Pacific Division.
* Last season five teams made the playoffs after not qualifying in 2014-15, including the Western Conference champion San Jose Sharks. The others were the Dallas Stars, Florida Panthers, Los Angeles Kings and Philadelphia Flyers.
* Overall there has been a playoff turnover of at least five teams in nine of the past 11 seasons.
HISTORIC WIN STREAK LIFTS BLUE JACKETS TO TOP OF NHL STANDINGS
The League-leading Blue Jackets (28-7-4, 60 points) are having their best start to a season, in terms of wins and points, in club history, aided by a 16-game winning streak that stretched from Nov. 29 to Jan. 3 and stands as the second-longest such run in NHL history.
* The Blue Jackets also set franchise records for longest point streak (17-0-1), a run that included club record winning streaks at home and on the road (eight games each), as well as a franchise-best 11-game road point streak (10-0-1).
* Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky leads the NHL with 26 wins in 2016-17, highlighted by a 14-game winning streak that tied the second-longest such run by an NHL goaltender; the record is 17-0-0 by the Boston Bruins' Gilles Gilbert in 1975-76.
Video: Jackets edge Flyers, 2-1, on Foligno's OT goal
PRICE, MCDAVID LEAD TURNAROUND SEASON FOR CANADIENS, OILERS
The Canadiens (25-10-6, 56 points) and Oilers (21-14-7, 49 points) have experienced turn-around seasons backed by their respective cornerstone players, goaltender Carey Price and forward Connor McDavid:
* Price, who played 12 games last season (10-2-0) before sustaining a season-ending injury, shares third in the League with 20 wins this season as the Canadiens have surged to a nine-point lead in the Atlantic Division after missing the playoffs in 2015-16. Price backstopped Team Canada to the championship at the World Cup of Hockey 2016 before becoming the first NHL goaltender to win each of his first 10 games to start a season.
* McDavid, who missed nearly three months in 2015-16 due to a broken clavicle, leads the League in assists (34) and points (48), lifting the Oilers to within one point of first place in the Pacific Division after they had the second-fewest points in the League last season (70). McDavid, 19, is in his first season as captain. He has 96 points through his first 87 NHL games (1.1 points per game).
JAGR PASSES MESSIER AND COFFEY, APPROACHES 1,900 NHL POINTS
With his 1,888th NHL point against the Bruins on Dec. 22, 44-year-old Panthers forward Jaromir Jagr moved past Mark Messier (694-1,193-1,887) into sole possession of second place on the NHL all-time points list. Jagr tied Messier two days earlier when he had three assists -- his 252nd three-point NHL game -- in a 4-3 shootout win against the Buffalo Sabres.
* Against the Winnipeg Jets on Jan. 4, Jagr got his 1,136th NHL assist to leapfrog Paul Coffey (1,135) into sole possession of fifth place in League history, behind Wayne Gretzky (1,963), Ron Francis (1,249), Messier (1,193) and Ray Bourque (1,169).
* Playing in his 23rd NHL season, Jagr (756-1,137-1,893) is seven points shy of joining Gretzky (894-1,963-2,857) as the only players with 1,900 points in the NHL.
Video: Luongo takes fifth place on all-time wins list
OVECHKIN, H. SEDIN, CROSBY NARROW IN ON 1,000-POINT MILESTONE
The Washington Capitals' Alex Ovechkin, the Vancouver Canucks' Henrik Sedin and the Pittsburgh Penguins' Sidney Crosby are within striking distance of reaching 1,000 points in the NHL. The first to hit the mark will be the 84th player in League history, and sixth active, to reach the mark.
* Ovechkin (544-455-999 in 879 GP) and Sedin (231-765-996 in 1,208 GP) sit one and four points, respectively, from becoming the first 1,000-point players in the history of their respective franchises.
* Crosby (364-618-982 in 740 GP), who shares second in League scoring with 26-18-44 this season, needs 18 points to join Mario Lemieux (690-1,033-1,723 in 915 GP) and Jaromir Jagr (439-640-1,079 in 806 GP) as the only 1,000-point Penguins.
YOUNG TALENTS IMPRESS ON BIG STAGE
In addition to 19-year-old Connor McDavid leading the League in assists (34) and points (48), Toronto Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews, 19, and Jets forward Patrik Laine, 18, the top two selections in the 2016 NHL Draft, also rank among the top scorers through the first half of their rookie season:
* Matthews and Laine share the rookie lead and third in the entire NHL with 21 goals apiece this season, 10 more than the next-closest rookies (Jimmy Vesey and Anthony Mantha with 11). Laine also leads rookies with 37 points this season (42 GP), two points more than Matthews (21-14-35 in 39 GP).
NHL CENTENNIAL SEASON
The League's Centennial Celebration, which commenced with the 2017 Scotiabank NHL Centennial Classic on Jan. 1, will honor a century of extraordinary players, teams, remarkable plays and unforgettable moments throughout 2017.
* The year-long celebration includes the unveiling of the 100 Greatest NHL Players presented by Molson Canadian, which began on New Year's Day with the reveal of the names of 33 legends, predominantly from the League's first 50 years (1917-1966). The remaining 67 players will be recognized in Los Angeles on Jan. 27 as part of a special event at the 2017 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend.
* The League also announced NHL.com/100 and the NHL Centennial Fan Arena, a traveling fan experience that will visit all NHL markets across North America, in 2017. Thousands of fans attended the first two stops, in Toronto and Arizona, with the tour now en route to Dallas. Click here for a look at scheduled stops in the coming weeks.
Video: Buy Tickets for NHL 100
Home Team in Caps
Florida 3, NEW JERSEY 0
Washington 4, MONTREAL 1
WINNIPEG 2, Calgary 0
Dallas 6, LOS ANGELES 4
LUONGO MOVES UP ALL-TIME WINS LIST
Roberto Luongo stopped all 28 shots he faced for his 448th NHL victory, passing Terry Sawchuk for sole possession of fifth place all-time.
* Since entering the League in the 1999-2000 season, Luongo (448-360-33-101) is second in wins behind Martin Brodeur (490), and has a 2.49 goals-against average, .919 save percentage and 73 shutouts. Only Brodeur (691), Patrick Roy (551), Ed Belfour (484) and Curtis Joseph (454) have more NHL victories.
* Luongo's shutout was the 73rd of his NHL career, most among active goaltenders and 11th on the all-time list.
OVECHKIN CLOSES IN ON 1,000 POINTS
Alex Ovechkin (1-2-3) had his third three-point game of the season to lead the Capitals to victory and move within one point of 1,000 in the NHL (544-455-999).
* Ovechkin's goal was the 544th of his NHL career, putting him in a tie with Maurice Richard for 29th on the League's all-time goals list. He leads all skaters in goals and points since his NHL debut in 2005-06.
* The Capitals (26-9-5, 57 points) extended their winning streak to six games to match their longest run this season and move within three points of the Blue Jackets for the top spot in the League.
* Braden Holtby won his third straight start and has allowed one goal during that span (0.33 GAA, .988 save percentage, two shutouts). He improved to 9-1-2 with a 1.59 GAA, .943 save percentage and two shutouts against Montreal in his career.
Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck stopped all 28 shots he faced for his third shutout of the season. … Six Stars players scored to help end a three-game losing streak. … Kings captain Anze Kopitar had a goal and an assist in his 800th NHL game. … Capitals coach Barry Trotz got a win in his 1,400th NHL game. … New York Rangers forward Michael Grabner, Oilers forward Patrick Maroon and Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby were named the NHL "Three Stars" for the week ending Jan. 8.
SNEAK PEEK AT TUESDAY'S ACTION
All Times Eastern
Philadelphia @ Buffalo, 7 p.m., MSG-B, CSN-PH, NHL.TV
Columbus @ Carolina, 7 p.m., FS-CR, FS-O, NHL.TV
Boston @ St. Louis, 8 p.m., SN, TVA Sports, NBCSN, NESN, NHL.TV
Vancouver @ Nashville, 8 p.m., FS-TN, SNP, NHL.TV
Detroit @ Chicago, 8:30 p.m., WGN, FS-D, NHL.TV
San Jose @ Edmonton, 9 p.m., SNW, CSN-CA, NHL.TV
Dallas @ Anaheim, 10 p.m., PRIME, FS-SW, NHL.TV