Teemu Selanne passes Jari Kurri for 19th all-time in points

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Teemu Selanne’s 22nd goal of 2011-12 did more than just salvage a point for the Anaheim Ducks tonight (the Colorado Avalanche just won 3-2 in thanks to Gabriel Landeskog’s OT tally). It also gave him the 1,399th point of his historic career, placing him alone at 19th place in front of his fellow countryman and idol Jari Kurri.

Kurri released the following statement (via the Ducks PR team):

“I couldn’t be more proud that Teemu is the all-time top NHL scorer from Finland,” Kurri said. “Congratulations to a great player, a great friend and an even better person.”

Fans of Finns can have some fun debates, especially if you’re not the type that looks at mere totals alone. Let me fuel the fire quickly with a few bullet points:

  • Kurri earned his 1,398 points in 1,251 games while Selanne needed 1,328 for 1,399.
  • On the other hand, Kurri was boosted by a) playing his prime years in the high-flying 1980’s and b) spending most of those seasons with some schlub name Wayne Gretzky. (Selanne’s had some great teammates, perhaps most notably prime-era Paul Kariya, but there’s only one Wayne Gretzky.)
  • Kurri has four Stanley Cups to his name; Selanne has one.
  • Kurri was named to eight All-Star games and was probably noted for being more versatile while Selanne has made an impressive 10 All-Star teams.

Tough argument, but a fun one, eh?

Here’s the latest milestone moment:

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Anyway, with 12 games left in Anaheim’s season, Selanne is within reasonable distance of the following greats (note: I took some license with this in hopes of digitally enticing Selanne to come back for another season*).

15. Bryan Trottier (1,425)
16. Adam Oates (1,420)
17. Doug Gilmour (1,414)
18. Dale Hawerchuk (1,409)
19. Selanne (1,399)
20. Kurri (1,398)
21. Luc Robitaille (1,394)
22. Brett Hull (1,391)

Selanne also needs nine goals to tie Lucky Luc with 668 goals while he would need another season to go further than that. Jaromir Jagr will also go toe-to-toe with him in the all-time goal scoring ranks as he currently has five more (664).

The Ducks’ loss to the Avalanche only made their paper-thin playoffs flimsier, but you can’t blame Selanne – you can only hope that he indulges us with one more year.

Oh, and if tonight wasn’t full of enough Finnish goodness, Selanne’s pal and countryman Saku Koivu reached the 1,000 games played mark. Not bad for a guy who fought off cancer, eh?

* Let me make another plea: Please please please please?

Is that not good enough? Stan Mikita would be in reach at 14th place with 1,467 points. Just saying …

Video: Getzlaf, Perry, Kesler lose cool in scuffle with Kassian, Oilers

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In the first round, Zack Kassian reminded the hockey world why he came into the league with considerable hype as a first-rounder, as he scored some big goals for the Edmonton Oilers.

Of course, there’s a reason why Kassian has 522 penalty minutes in 313 career regular-season games. He can be a nasty presence who straddles the line.

He did as much late in Game 1, getting into it with Ryan Kesler, and then things really got out of hand. Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and others were involved in “histrionics.”

(Who wants to start a Patreon to find out what Getzlaf and Andrej Sekera were saying to each other, by the way?)

It looks like the players involved were only whistled for roughing minors rather than fighting majors. This caps a tough night for Anaheim, who lost 5-3 and saw Kevin Bieksa suffer a troubling lower-body injury.

King Leon: Draisaitl collects four points vs. Ducks to give Oilers a Game 1 win

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So far, the Edmonton Oilers had been showing that they can win tight, low-scoring playoff games. And then the third period of Game 1 against the Anaheim Ducks happened.

The two teams entered the final frame tied 1-1, with smaller breaks and bounces being the story. Then just about everything happened in the third, with Leon Draisaitl guiding the Oilers to a 5-3 win to take a 1-0 series lead.

Draisaitl ended up with a goal and three assists, extending his point streak to three games (seven points during that span).

He wasn’t the only Oilers player to raise some eyebrows, and actually, the other two starring members were a lot more surprising. Mark Letestu seemed to make the early difference with two power-play goals, while low-scoring defenseman Adam Larsson found the net twice, including on the game-winner.

Phew, that’s a lot to absorb, right? This video captures the wildest scoring stretch of that period, even if there would be more:

While Connor McDavid hasn’t been bad, he’s been quiet – by his lofty standards – so far in the Oilers’ run, and that was mostly true on Wednesday. He ended up with a mere secondary assist in this one,

Yet, that might just be part of the good news for the Oilers. They advanced after McDavid had spotty series against the Sharks, and they just gave the Ducks their first postseason loss of 2017 with Draisaitl and others stealing the headlines.

Things got nasty at the end of this game, with key Ducks such as Ryan Getzlaf being prominently involved. Such moments make it clear that Anaheim isn’t likely to bow out of this one easily (and perhaps not gracefully?) but that should only make for a captivating Game 2.

That Game 2 airs Friday at 10:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN; you can watch online or via the NBC Sports App. Click here for the livestream link.

Keep an eye on Oilers’ Slepyshev (the Ducks certainly should)

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The breaks and breakaways frequently went the Edmonton Oilers’ way as they eliminated the San Jose Sharks in Game 6 of their first-round series. Those results have been more of a mixed bag for Edmonton against the Anaheim Ducks in Game 1 tonight, though.

Anton Slepyshev is a great example of those ups and downs.

In Game 6 against the Sharks, Slepyshev used his speed to score a breakaway tally that ended up being the game-winner. (See here for those friendly breakaways.)

Slepyshev’s been burning the Ducks with his speed on Wednesday, but the Oilers have been burned in the process. For one thing, John Gibson turned aside this big chance shortly after Ryan Getzlaf gave Anaheim a 1-0 lead:

Later on in that same second period, Slepyshev got a step on the Ducks defense again. This time, he didn’t just fail to score; he took a goalie interference penalty for bumping Gibson.

With Ryan Nugent-Hopkins being among those hitting posts, it might feel like it’s all against the Oilers this time around, but crossbars/postsanother theme from Edmonton’s Game 6 win vs. San Jose – have more or less balanced out.

And, one break really went Edmonton’s way: a Ducks defender broke his stick on the Oilers’ 5-on-3 opportunity, opening the door for a crucial Mark Letestu goal:

The end result is a 1-1 tie, but give the Oilers credit for not getting rattled. If Slepyshev can keep up his efforts, his speed could be a factor in a series that looks like it could be a real tug-o-war.

Jake Allen takes blame for Predators’ game-winner vs. Blues

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Let’s be honest: the St. Louis Blues owe a lot to Jake Allen‘s work against the Minnesota Wild in that first-round series.

He probably bought himself a significant amount of goodwill for that outstanding work, but Allen isn’t resting on his laurels. He admitted that “a little mistake by me cost” the Blues the 4-3 decision against the Predators, leaving St. Louis down 1-0 to Nashville.

The goal in question was Vernon Fiddler‘s unlikely 4-3 tally, which came after an unsuccessful poke check attempt by Allen:

Now, to be fair, that wasn’t even the only failed poke check that turned into a goal, as Pekka Rinne also got beat after making such an attempt:

Then again, Allen is wise to score points with teammates for taking the blame. As far as his team, head coach Mike Yeo believes that it was the second period that really made the difference.

Regardless, Allen and the Blues hope to carry over the momentum from their third-period dominance in Game 1 to Game 2 to tie the series 1-1.

That contest airs on NBCSN at 8 p.m. ET on Friday. (You can also watch online and via the NBC Sports App; here’s the livestream link.)