GUENTZEL STEERS PENGUINS TO STADIUM SERIES WIN
Rookie Jake Guentzel, appearing in his 23rd NHL game, had two assists, including a feed to Sidney Crosby on the opening goal of the game, to help the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 4-2 win against the Philadelphia Flyers in the 2017 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series, their second win in a regular-season outdoor game (also 2008 WC at BUF).
* Guentzel's multi-point game was the second of his brief NHL career; the 22-year-old native of Omaha, Nebraska, made headlines by scoring twice in his League debut against the New York Rangers on Nov. 21. His first goal came on his first shot of his first shift just 62 seconds into the game, the fastest goal ever by a Pittsburgh player in his NHL debut.
Video: Jake Guentzel talks about The Stadium Series
* Crosby scored his League-leading 34th goal of the season (54 GP), two shy of his total from 2015-16 (80 GP). He has compiled 84 points (36 goals, 48 assists) in 57 NHL regular-season games against the Flyers, an average of 1.47 points per game.
* Matt Murray (36 saves) improved to 23-7-3 to move within one victory of matching the single-season Penguins record for wins by a rookie goaltender set by Gary Inness in 1974-75 (24-18-10).
Video: PHI@PIT: Murray gobbles up Couturier's wrister
STADIUM SERIES QUICK HITS
* Elias notes that Matt Cullen (40 years, 115 days) became the third player aged 40+ to score a goal in an NHL regular-season outdoor game, following Mark Recchi of the Boston Bruins (41 years, 334 days) vs. PHI in 2010 at Fenway Park and Daniel Alfredsson of the Detroit Red Wings (41 years, 21 days) vs. TOR in 2014 at the Big House.
* The sellout crowd of 67,318 at the 2017 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series raised total attendance for the League's 22 regular-season outdoor games to 1,208,317 -- an average of 54,924 per game.
* The Penguins became the eighth home team to win a regular-season outdoor NHL game (22 GP: 8-12-2) and the third to do so this season, joining the Toronto Maple Leafs and St. Louis Blues.
Outdoor Game Results, 2016-17 Regular Season
2016 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic: Oilers 3 at Jets 0
2017 Scotiabank NHL Centennial Classic: Maple Leafs 5 vs. Red Wings 4 (OT)
2017 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic: Blues 4 vs. Blackhawks 1
2017 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series: Penguins 4 vs. Flyers 2
Home Team in Caps
LOS ANGELES 4, Anaheim 1
NASHVILLE 5, Washington 2
COLUMBUS 7, NY Islanders 0
NY Rangers 4, NEW JERSEY 3 (OT)
Montreal 3, TORONTO 2 (OT)
PITTSBURGH 4, Philadelphia 2
San Jose 4, VANCOUVER 1
COLORADO 5, Buffalo 3
STARS LEAD TEAMS TO VICTORY
The Nashville Predators (30-22-9, 69 points), Montreal Canadiens (33-21-6, 74 points) and Los Angeles Kings (30-27-4, 64 points) each earned wins via key performances from star players:
* Filip Forsberg (1-2-3) had three points for the third consecutive game (7-2-9) to help the Predators defeat the League-leading Washington Capitals and improve to 4-1-1 in their past six games. Elias notes that Forsberg, who scored hat tricks against the Calgary Flames on Feb. 21 and the Colorado Avalanche on Feb. 23, became the second player in Predators history to total at least three points in three consecutive team games; he joined Scott Walker, who accomplished the feat from Feb. 18-21, 2004 (2-8-10). The Predators moved past the idle Blues (31-24-5, 67 points) to claim sole possession of third place in the Central Division.
* Carey Price made 32 saves and Andrew Shaw (1-1-2) scored at 1:06 of overtime to help the Canadiens to their 14th consecutive win against the Maple Leafs since March 1, 2014 (TOR: 0-9-5). Price earned the 259th win of his NHL career (all w/ MTL) to pass Ken Dryden (258) for sole possession of third on the Canadiens' all-time list. The Atlantic Division-leading Canadiens increased their lead to four points over the idle Ottawa Senators (32-21-6, 70 points).
* Los Angeles scored four times in the third period and Jonathan Quick made 32 saves in his first start since sustaining a lower-body injury on opening night in a 4-1 victory against the Anaheim Ducks. Darryl Sutter earned his 216th win with the Kings to pass Andy Murray (215) for the most by a coach in their history. The Kings climbed within three points of the Blues for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference.
Video: NHL Tonight crew discusses Quick's impact coming back
DID YOU KNOW?
Forward Auston Matthews scored twice to become the third rookie in Maple Leafs history to reach the 30-goal mark in a season, joining Wendel Clark (34) in 1985-86 and Daniel Marois (31) in 1988-89.
* Matthews moved back into a tie with Patrik Laine for the most goals among rookies this season. Elias notes that 2016-17 marks the first time since the NHL Draft was introduced in 1963 that the top two picks each scored at least 30 goals the following season.
* In fact, only two other pairs of top-two picks have reached the 25-goal mark in the season following their draft: Guy Lafleur (29) and Marcel Dionne (28) in 1971-72 and Bobby Smith (30) and Ryan Walter (28) in 1978-79.
Adam Clendening tied the game with 4:25 remaining in the third period and Mika Zibanejad (1-1-2) scored the first overtime goal of his NHL career to power the Rangers to their League-leading 21st road win (21-8-0, 42 points) . . . Joonas Korpisalo (24 saves) earned the first shutout of his NHL career and the Columbus Blue Jackets ended their season-long seven-game homestand with a 7-0 win against the New York Islanders. . . The Pacific Division-leading San Jose Sharks (36-18-7, 79 points) extended their point streak to six games (3-0-3) . . . Avalanche goaltender Jeremy Smith (34 saves) earned the first win of his NHL career (3 GP) . . . Buffalo Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen (0-6-6 in 6 GP), Sharks defenseman Brent Burns (5-3-8 in 5 GP) and Sabres forward Jack Eichel (0-5-5 in 5 GP) each extended point streaks . . . Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin skated in the 900th game of his NHL career . . . Vancouver Canucks defenseman Evan McEneny made his NHL debut . . . Commissioner Gary Bettman upheld the 10-game suspension that was assessed to Ducks forward Antoine Vermette for violating Rule 40.3 (Physical Abuse of Officials) . . . Antonio Brown of the NFL's Pittsburgh Steelers addressed the crowd prior to the 2017 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series.
SNEAK PEEK AT SUNDAY'S ACTION
All Times Eastern
Boston @ Dallas, 12:30 p.m., NBC
Calgary @ Carolina, 3 p.m., FS-SE, SNW
Edmonton @ Nashville, 5 p.m., SN360, FS-TN
Columbus @ NY Rangers, 5 p.m., NHLN-US, MSG, FS-O
St. Louis @ Chicago, 7:30 p.m., NBCSN
Ottawa @ Florida, 7:30 p.m., SN, SN360, TVA Sports, FS-F
Buffalo @ Arizona, 8:30 p.m., FS-A, MSG-B
DAVE STRADER RETURNS TO NHL ON NBC BROADCAST BOOTH
Veteran play-by-play commentator Dave Strader will return to NHL on NBC and call the NHL Game of the Week between the Bruins (31-24-6, 68 points) and Dallas Stars (24-27-10, 58 points) at American Airlines Center. Boston occupies the second wild card into the playoffs from Eastern Conference and trails Toronto (28-20-13, 69 points) for third in the Atlantic Division. Dallas aims to inch closer to St. Louis (31-24-5, 67 points) for the second wild card from the West.
The Edmonton Oilers (33-21-8, 74 points) visit the Predators (30-22-9, 69 points) on Rogers Hometown Hockey, which will showcase the city of Nanaimo, B.C. Throughout the 2016-17 season, Sunday games will be broadcast from a different community rink in various towns across Canada. Included in each telecast will be local NHL player profiles, grassroots stories and local entertainment features.