Los Angeles Kings v Ottawa Senators

Alex Kovalev scores his 1,000th NHL point vs. Los Angeles

It’s time to tip your cap to a superstar tonight as Alex Kovalev became the 76th player in NHL history to earn 1,000 points in his career. In the first period, Kovalev put home a rebound of a tipped Sergei Gonchar shot for a first period goal. The fans in Ottawa saluted Kovalev with a standing ovation for his efforts. Rooting guys on for reaching the 1,000 points is something they’ve gotten used to in Canada’s capital city as lifetime Senator Daniel Alfredsson got his 1,000th point earlier this season.

Kovalev is the third Russian player to reach the milestone joining Alexander Mogilny and Sergei Fedorov. The always talented and sometimes frustrating superstar has also played for the Rangers, Canadiens, Penguins in his career and saw his greatest accomplishment with the Rangers as a young forward on their 1994 Stanley Cup championship team.

After healthy scratch, Severson vows to play ‘next 80 games’

Jimmy Hayes, Damon Severson
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Damon Severson was a healthy scratch on Saturday.

It’s the last game he wants to miss this season.

“I had a good chat with a few people and just pretty much said, ‘I want to be in the next 80 games,’” Severson said, per The Record. “I sat out my game and that’s all I want to be out for for the year.”

Severson is one of the Devils’ most important young players. But this is also the 21-year-old defenseman’s sophomore season, and that’s when slumps can occur.

Hence, the early message he was sent by the coaching staff.

Severson is expected to be back in the lineup tonight when New Jersey hosts Nashville.

“He doesn’t have to be perfect,” coach John Hynes told reporters. “We’d just like to see him have a high compete level. We know he’s ready to go. We had a couple of good meetings with him. He’s in a good spot mentally. I know he’s ready to roll.”

Virtanen to make NHL debut tonight versus Kings

Jake Virtanen
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Jake Virtanen, the sixth overall pick in the 2014 draft, will make his NHL debut tonight when his Canucks meet the Kings in Los Angeles.

The 19-year-old winger was a healthy scratch for Vancouver’s first three games of the regular season. He had two goals and two assists in six preseason games.

“I can’t wait,” he told reporters. “My energy is high. I want to get a couple of hits on my first shift.”

Big and physical with goal-scoring ability, the consensus is that Virtanen will remain in the NHL and not be returned to junior after he’s played nine games. That consensus could always change based on his play, of course.

The Canucks — who won last night in Anaheim — did not have a full skate this morning, so it’s unclear who will come out of the lineup. The best guess is rookie Jared McCann, who’s been playing third-line center.

If McCann does come out, the Canucks could move Brandon Sutter to third-line center and Virtanen could take Sutter’s spot on the first line with the Sedin twins. Or, there could be more extensive line juggling.