Carolina’s Jeff Skinner now the NHL’s youngest all-star of all time

When Jeff Skinner was named to the NHL All-Star Game today as an injury replacement along with Colorado’s Paul Stastny it meant that he was promoted from the group of rookies up into the big squad for the game itself. It also meant that Skinner was getting an extra special recognition for being named to his first all-star game.

When Skinner was named to the team he became the youngest All-Star of all time. At 18 years and 259 days old, Skinner broke the record set by Steve Yzerman back in 1984 as the youngest all star. Yzerman when he was named to the team was 18 years and 267 days old. With 18 goals and 22 assists this year, Skinner has proven that Carolina didn’t make a mistake taking him in the first round of the 2010 NHL Draft and bringing him right to the NHL.

While many other first round picks either stay in junior or college hockey, Skinner made the Hurricanes right out of camp and he’s shown that while he’s the NHL’s youngest player, he certainly doesn’t play like it. Whether he’s centering a line or playing on the wing of Eric Staal, Skinner’s shown an incredible knack to get to the net and helping set up his teammates. That sort of maturity is rare amongst players that young and for the Hurricanes, he’s done well to help them stay within striking distance of the playoffs.

Skinner gets a great reward for his hard work in his first year and now gets to take the ice at home in Raleigh alongside teammates Staal and Cam Ward. Fellow rookie teammate Jamie McBain also will appear this weekend taking Skinner’s spot amongst the rookie skaters for the NHL SuperSkills challenge on Saturday night.

Price paid: Devils come back against Condon, Canadiens

Mike Condon, John Moore,
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If nothing else, the New Jersey Devils seem like they won’t be the sort of team a contender can essentially mark off as a “W” on their calendars.

The Montreal Canadiens may not be in a position to take opponents lightly with Carey Price on the shelf, but whatever the case may be, they saw their four-game winning streak end in frustrating fashion on Saturday.

After falling behind 2-0, the Devils scrapped their way back into it, eventually riding a John Moore overtime goal to a 3-2 OT win.

If Montreal needs an obvious bright side to look on considering this hiccup, Alex Galchenyuk‘s hot weekend may be a good thing to look at.

Tonight’s loss may smart a bit anyway, however.

Metro’s best? Capitals keep winning, pass Rangers for division lead

Jonathan Bernier; Matt Niskanen; Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau

If you want to summarize the Capitals – Maple Leafs game in one sentence, you could do worse than:

“Washington is hot as Jonathan Bernier is cold.”

The Caps reeled off a 4-2 win against Toronto on Saturday, giving them five straight wins. They also jumped into first place in the Metropolitan Division today, as they keep climbing while the New York Rangers are experiencing some growing pains.

Again, James Reimer can’t get healthy and back in Toronto’s net too soon:

With this win, Washington is now 17-5-1, leading the Metro by one point with 35 standings points. They also hold a game in hand against the Rangers, and no other Metro team even has 30 right now.

Measuring stick stretch begins

Tonight’s game began a “prove-it” month-and-change for Washington.

This contest began a three-game road trip, and they’ll also play six of seven away from Washington.

It’s pretty rough through the start of 2016, really. The Capitals will only enjoy three home games through Jan. 9.

In other words, the Capitals seem like a convincing East contender, but look out if they remain hot through the next 5-6 weeks.

Video: Evgeni Malkin leaves Oilers spinning


Yes, there’s a lot of drama surrounding the Pittsburgh Penguins, whether it’s founded on serious problems or merely speculation.

It’s easy to get swept up in all of that and ignore the fact that, hey, they still have Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby. Those two can really heal wounds with their on-ice play, and in Saturday’s case, Malkin is taking over against the Edmonton Oilers.

His spin-o-rama goal above was a real jaw-dropper. He also scored Pittsburgh’s second tally:

These highlights feel like Malkin’s way of saying “It’s going to be just fine.”

Update: It wasn’t enough for a win, however, as the Oilers beat the Penguins 3-2 via a shootout.

Lightning’s first fight this season: Ryan Callahan vs. Kyle Okposo

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Fighting is down more or less across the board in the NHL, but the Tampa Bay Lightning might be the franchise least interested in dropping the gloves.

Ryan Callahan vs. Kyle Okposo already has some name recognition to it, yet it gets some bonus points for being the Bolts’ first fighting major of 2015-16.

It … probably loses those bonus points in being run-of-the-mill.

Hey, be fair; the Lightning are clearly out of practice.