PHT Morning Skate: 5 facts about the 92-93 Pens team that set the NHL winning streak record

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–The Columbus Blue Jackets are one game away from tying the 1992-93 Pittsburgh Penguins for the longest winning streak in NHL history. That Penguins team was obviously loaded with talent, but that record was set many years ago, which makes it a little hard to remember. BarDown shares five facts about that run. (BarDown)

–Many people thought shipping Shea Weber for P.K. Subban was the right call for the Preds, but a few months later, it appears as though Nashville might be lacking an identity and some leadership. “If there’s one word that describes our almost first half of the season it’s ‘inconsistency,'” general manager David Poile said. “In October we were not very good. In November we were one of the best teams in the league. In December we faltered. The question remains — are we October or are we November?” (ESPN)

–Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky didn’t appear to be himself last year, and it was ultimately one of the reasons why his team was terrible in 2015-16. This year, he’s one of the leading candidates for the Vezina and Hart trophies. “You look at his body last year and the body composition, and all his body fats and all that, you’d say it was impossible,” GM Jarmo Kekalainen said. “But he did it. He basically sculpted his body into a different form in the off-season, and it wasn’t fat that was coming off his body, I can tell you that. That just tells you about his dedication and how serious he is about his professionalism and how he approaches every day.” (The Hockey News)

–After suffering an ugly loss to the Sabres on Tuesday night, the Rangers bounced back with a big 5-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. You can watch the highlights from that game by clicking the video at the top of the page.

–After former Bruin Milt Schmidt passed away yesterday, Sportsnet shared a terrific 2015 piece on how tough hockey players in Schmidt’s era were. Here’s an except from the article: Remembering his playing days, (Schmidt) curled back his upper lip, pointed to his front teeth and said: “These are not mine. These are Rocket Richard’s.” Story went that Richard broke Schmidt’s nose and teeth with his stick. The team doctor put Schmidt’s face back together, then Schmidt got on the ice again and drilled Richard. (Sportsnet)

Auston Matthews grabs most of the headlines in Toronto, but Rotoworld’s Gus Katsaros explains how important William Nylander‘s been for their improved power play. Nylander’s contributed to 92.3 percent of his team’s on-ice goals on the man-advantage. (Rotoworld)

–Maple Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly visited the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto over the Christmas break and he brought plenty of holiday cheer with him. “I think that when you get time off it’s important that you try to do stuff that you might not have time for during the season regularly and it’s my first Christmas here in Toronto,” Rielly said. “You get the day off, come make a difference and just have some fun with the kids.” You can watch the video on NHL.com.

Lightning storm back against Blackhawks, finish one point out of playoffs

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Who would have thought that the Tampa Bay Lightning would rally back from a 4-1 deficit tonight? Then again, who expected them to be so close to a playoff spot mere weeks ago, when they were sellers at the trade deadline?

The Lightning continue to show that they won’t just roll over and die, scoring four unanswered goals to beat the Chicago Blackhawks 5-4 in overtime on Monday.

While Jonathan Drouin was a catalyst for the second-period rally, it was an unlikely scorer who clinched the victory, as Yanni Gourde ended a thrilling run of 3-on-3 chances with the overtime-winner.

Really, it might have been fitting. Things looked glum when Tomas Jurco scored his first goal of the season against the Lightning, then the mood was totally flipped when Gourde’s second tally of 2016-17 grabbed a huge win.

With the Islanders losing to the Predators, the Hurricanes only managing a “loser point” against the Red Wings and the Bruins idle, Tampa Bay is a breath away from a playoff berth:

Final wild card: Bruins – 84 points in 75 games played

Lightning – 83 points in 75 GP
Islanders – 82 points in 75 GP
Hurricanes – 80 points in 74 GP

Yes, all of a sudden, a long-shot postseason run seems quite attainable.

Maybe the Lightning would prefer it if we kept counting them out, though?

Hurricanes’ Lack taken off on stretcher after collision on Red Wings’ OT goal

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The Carolina Hurricanes fell short of a win on Monday, but their thoughts likely revolve around the health of goalie Eddie Lack instead.

Lack was taken off the ice on a stretcher after a collision during Andreas Athanasiou‘s game-winning goal in overtime. Officials reviewed that the goal counted, giving the Red Wings a 4-3 overtime victory against Carolina.

While it’s been a tough overall season for Hurricanes goalie, Lack has been an integral part of Carolina’s push for a postseason spot. PHT will keep an eye out for updates regarding his condition after this scary collision.

The Red Wings stayed on the ice as Lack was taken off, a nice gesture after an unfortunate accident.

Drouin triggers second-period rally for Lightning vs. Blackhawks

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Just when you think it’s time to count the Tampa Bay Lightning out, they rally back.

It’s been happening overall in 2016-17, and that pattern carried over into Monday’s game against the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Lightning decided to put Andrei Vasilevskiy back in the net in the second period after he gave up three goals on eight shots in the opening frame … and at first, that looked like a mistake that would do them in. Chicago went up 4-1 and things looked dire.

But, again, the Bolts followed the script when it comes to flipping the script, with Jonathan Drouin triggering a resounding rally in the second.

Droun’s first goal came 11:45 into the second period, followed about a minute later by an Anton Stralman tally. Less than four minutes later, Drouin hit the 20-goal mark with the 4-4 marker on the power play.

First, check out Drouin’s first goal, which began the rally:

Next, witness the 4-4 goal, also by Drouin:

And … just like that, the Lightning tied things up. Wow.

Apparently Drouin created more offense than just his two goals, too:

Impressive. Remember when he seemed like he was out the door last season? Now that feels like another reminder not to give up on this group, no matter how ugly things look at times.

Video will be added when available.

Lightning give Vasilevskiy the (brief) hook after very rare Jurco goal

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By just about any measure, Monday’s been lousy to Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy.

He was pulled with a few minutes remaining in the first period after Chicago Blackhawks built a 3-1 lead, scoring those three goals on just eight shots on net.

You could summarize Vasilevskiy’s awful start by those numbers, or by how rare the 3-1 goal was for the scorer.

Tomas Jurco failed to score a goal or an assist in 16 games with the Red Wings, then went pointless in nine more games with Chicago before finally scoring his first goal of the season on Monday.

Now, Jon Cooper didn’t pull Vasilevskiy because Jurco scored that tally. Still, it rubs a little extra salt in his wounds all things considered.

Here’s the Jurco goal:

Patrick Kane‘s 2-1 goal might have hurt the most, actually, as it quickly dissolved a tying tally by Ondrej Palat:

Update: The Lightning decided to put Vasilevskiy back in net to begin the second period. Interesting.