The Toronto Maple Leafs will try to make Sheldon Keefe a winner in his first game as their coach when they play the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena on Thursday (9 p.m. ET; FS-A, FS-A PLUS, SNO, NHL.TV). Keefe was promoted from Toronto of the American Hockey League on Wednesday when the Maple Leafs (9-10-4) fired Mike Babcock after going winless in six games (0-5-1).
The Maple Leafs have lost two in a row in its first game under a new coach. They're 13-21 with five ties in that scenario; the last newcomer to win in his debut with Toronto was Randy Carlyle on March 3, 2012 (3-1 against the Montreal Canadiens). Since then, the Maple Leafs have lost 6-2 to the Washington Capitals in their first game under Peter Horachek on Jan. 7, 2015, and 3-1 to Montreal under Babcock on Oct. 7, 2015.
This will be the fourth game in Arizona for Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews, who was raised in Scottsdale. Matthews has a goal and an assist in three road games against the team he grew up cheering for.
Islanders eye team-record point streak
The New York Islanders will try to extend their point streak to a team-record 16 games when they host the Pittsburgh Penguins at Barclays Center (7 p.m. ET; ESPN+, MSG+, ATTSN-PT, NHL.TV) in the back end of a home-and-home series.
The Islanders are 14-0-1 in their past 15 games. Their only blemish was a 4-3 overtime loss to the Penguins on Nov. 7, a game New York led 3-0 in the third period. The Islanders matched their record 15-game point streak with a 5-4 overtime win in Pittsburgh on Tuesday, a game they trailed 4-2 with less than five minutes left in the third period.
Draisaitl, Kane look to extend double-figure point streaks
Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl and Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane each will try to extend a double-figure point streak Thursday.
Draisaitl, who leads the NHL with 44 points (16 goals, 28 assists), will try to extend his streak to 14 games when the Oilers visit the Los Angeles Kings (10:30 p.m. ET; FS-W, SNW, SNOL, NHL.TV). It would be the longest point streak by any player this season. Draisaitl also had a 14-game streak last season and would join Wayne Gretzky (14 times), Mark Messier (twice), Jari Kurri (twice) and Glenn Anderson (twice) as the only players in Oilers history to have multiple point streaks of at least 14 games.
Kane, who's seventh in the NHL with 28 points (11 goals, 17 assists), can stretch his point streak to 11 games when the Blackhawks play the Tampa Bay Lightning at United Center (8:30 p.m. ET; NBCSCH, SUN, NHL.TV). Kane has six runs of at least 10 games during his NHL career; only Penguins center Sidney Crosby (nine) has more among active skaters.
Pastrnak tries to become first 20-goal scorer this season
David Pastrnak (19 goals in 21 games) can become the first player in the NHL to reach the 20-goal mark this season when the Boston Bruins host the Buffalo Sabres at TD Garden (7 p.m. ET; SN1, SNE, TVAS, NESN, MSG-B, NHL.TV). The forward can become the fourth different player in Bruins history to score 20 goals in 22 or fewer games, joining Herb Cain in 1943-44 (20), Phil Esposito in 1973-74 (18) and 1974-75 (21), and Cam Neely in 1993-94 (19).
The only three players on any team in the past 10 years to score 20 goals in 22 or fewer games are Alex Ovechkin of the Capitals (22 games in 2009-10 and 2013-14), Steven Stamkos of the Lightning in 2010-11 (21 games) and Crosby in 2016-17 (22 games).
Lundqvist ties Joseph for fifth in wins
Henrik Lundqvist tied Curtis Joseph for fifth in NHL history with 454 wins when he made 30 saves for the New York Rangers in a 4-1 win against the Capitals at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday.
Lundqvist, the winningest goalie in NHL history born outside North America played his 869th regular-season game, passing Grant Fuhr (868) for sole possession of 10th place.
The veteran of 15 NHL seasons, all with New York, was helped by first-year Rangers forward Artemi Panarin, who scored two goals to extend his NHL career-high point streak to 12 games. That's tied for the fifth-longest streak by an undrafted player during the past 25 years.
The Rangers ended Washington's road point streak at nine games (8-0-1) and defeated the Capitals for the first time since Dec. 27, 2017, ending a seven-game slide (0-3-4).
Pageau, Senators keep rolling
Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored his NHL-leading 10th goal since Nov. 1 and Brady Tkachuk got the game-winner 38 seconds into overtime to give the Ottawa Senators a 2-1 win against the Canadiens at Bell Centre.
With five games remaining before December, Pageau moved within three goals of matching the Senators record for most goals in any month.