Jarome Iginla

Video: Iginla nets milestone goal with a buzzer beater

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Jarome Iginla moved into sole possession of 20th on the NHL’s all-time goals list with his first period goal tonight against the Boston Bruins.

The 37-year-old reached the milestone with less than a second remaining on the clock.

Iginla now has 14 goals and 31 points in 48 games this season.

Torey Krug tied it 1-1 early in the second period.

Get your game notes: Avs at Blues

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Tonight on NBCSN, it’s the St. Louis Blues hosting the Colorado Avalanche at 8 p.m. ET. Following are some game notes, as compiled by the NHL on NBC research team:

TOP STORYLINES

• St. Louis streaking: The Blues have points in 7 straight games (6-0-1 record), outscoring opponents 33-13 in that stretch.

• Last game: Saturday Jan. 17; 3-0 win vs. TOR.

• Ken Hitchcock earned his 685th regular-season win, passing Pat Quinn for 5th in all-time wins.

• The only loss during this stretch came right before the TOR win – a 3-2 (OT) loss vs. DET last Thursday.

• STL is tied with DAL for the 3rd-best offense in the NHL (3.13 goals/gm), and it owns the league’s top power
play (25.2%).

• Colorado finishing up a road trip: The Avs will conclude a 5-game road trip tonight, and have just 1 win in the first 4 games (1-1-2).

• Last game: Saturday Jan. 17; 3-2 (SO) loss at TB.

• All 3 losses on the road trip have been 1-goal games, with 2 of them coming in a shootout.

• Avs goalies have been under siege, as the team is allowing an average of 36.8 shots/gm on the road trip.

• Central Division scope: The Central has 4 of the top 5 teams in the West, and it is the only division in the NHL in which every team is above .500.

• Brian Elliott (STL) is 4-1-1 since his return from a month-long absence (knee injury – missed 14 gms).

• Elliott is coming off a 27-save shutout against the Maple Leafs on Saturday – his 3rd shutout of the season and 19th overall in a St. Louis uniform.

• He is now 1 shutout away from tying Jaroslav Halak for the most shutouts in franchise history.

• Elliott leads the NHL in GAA (1.90) and ranks 4th in SV% (.929).

• Last Wednesday, Martin Brodeur was granted a 1-week leave of absence from STL. At the time, the Blues made the following statement: “Brodeur will rejoin the club in one week and his future will be addressed at that time.”

• Since then, Darren Dreger has reported that Brodeur might be offered a job in the team’s front office as one possible option once the time off is completed. Dreger also said: “It’s hard to imagine that if he was going to accept a position it wouldn’t be with the New Jersey Devils.”

BLUES TEAM/PLAYER NOTES

• Steen/Backes/Oshie on fire: Earlier in the season, St. Louis’ line of Schwartz/Lehtera/Tarasenko drew all the press for its chemistry and offensive prowess, but the current trio of Steen/Backes/Oshie are 3 of the NHL’s top 6 scorers in 2015.

•  Steen had 1 goal, 1 assist vs. TOR to extend his goal streak to 5 games, and his overall point streak to 9 games (7G-9A). His career best was a 13-game point streak early on last season.

• Backes has 2 assists vs. TOR to extend his point streak to 6 games (7G-6A), which ties a career-high.

• Six games ago on Jan. 6, Backes scored 4 goals in a win at AZ – his 2nd career 4-goal game.

• Shattenkirk has been on a tear in 2015, with 10 points (3G-7A) in 8 games. Among d-men, he is tied for the NHL lead in scoring with Mark Giordano of CGY (39 pts).

• Shattenkirk’s 24 power play points (4G-20A) lead all NHL skaters.

• Colorado drafted Shattenkirk 14th overall in 2007, and in 2011 he was traded in a multi-player deal to STL. The Blues gave up 2006 #1 overall pick D Erik Johnson in the deal.

AVALANCHE TEAM/PLAYER NOTES

• Two of the oldest members of the Avalanche – 35-year-old Alex Tanguay and 37-year-old Jarome Iginla – are the leading scorers on the team this season.

• Tanguay was a 1st round pick by COL in 1998, and while he has played for 3 other teams (CGY, MTL, TB), he is in his 8th season overall with the Avs.

• Career vs. STL: 45 points (11G-34A) in 46 career games.

• Iginla, signed to a 3-yr/$16M contract this offseason from Boston, has totaled 30+ goals and 60+ points in each of the last 12 full seasons (excluding 2012-13 lockout season), but he is falling short of that pace this season.

• Iginla scored his 573rd career goal last Thurs. vs. FLA, tying him with Mike Bossy for 20th place all-time.

• Career vs. STL: 73 points (29G-44A) in 68 career games (w/ CGY, BOS, and COL).

• The Avs have had a top-3 overall pick 3 times in the past 6 seasons. Those 3 players – Matt Duchene (3rd overall in 2009), captain Gabriel Landeskog (2nd overall in 2011), and Nathan MacKinnon (1st overall in 2013) are all performing below their 2013-14 season results.

• Duchene had 70 pts in 71 games last season, but has just 27 pts (12G-15A) in 46 games this season.

• Landeskog set career-highs last season in goals (26) and assists (39); he has just 9 goals and 19 assists in 46 games this season.

• MacKinnon was last season’s Calder Trophy winner (top rookie) with 63 points.

• He had a goal and an assist vs. TB, bringing his season total to 27 pts (9G-18A) this season.

• Semyon Varlamov – a Vezina Trophy nominee last season – has started 11 of the 13 Avalanche games since returning from a groin injury; sustained Dec. 8 (missed 6 gms).

• 11 gms since return: 7-3-1, 1.97 GAA, .940 SV%, 2 shutouts.

Could a goalie win the Hart Trophy in 2014-15?

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When Jose Theodore won the Hart Trophy in 2002, the last time a goalie was the “player judged most valuable to his team,” there were two things that made it possible.

First, obviously, Theodore was really good. He had a .931 save percentage for the Montreal Canadiens and made a league-high 1,836 stops. Without their goalie, there’s very little chance the Habs, who were outshot by an average of 31.7 to 25.5, would’ve made the playoffs.

Second, scoring in the 2001-02 season had dipped to its lowest point in five decades. Calgary’s Jarome Iginla finished with the most points, just 96 of them.

Which brings us to the current season, where a similar story is unfolding. Two goalies, Nashville’s Pekka Rinne and Montreal’s Carey Price, are enjoying particularly excellent campaigns, while the league’s top scorer, Philadelphia’s Jakub Voracek, is on pace for fewer than 100 points. Since the 2004-05 lockout, not counting the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season, no player has finished as the NHL’s leading scorer with fewer than 100 points.

Rinne’s case for winning the Hart is strong. Finally healthy, his .930 save percentage is tops among goalies who’ve started at least 20 games, and his Nashville Predators, after missing the playoffs the past two seasons, currently sit first overall with a record of 28-9-4.

But Price’s case shouldn’t be overlooked. While his save percentage is slightly lower (.928) than Rinne’s, one could argue he’s been even more valuable to the 26-12-3 Canadiens, who, unlike the Preds, don’t regularly outshoot their opponents. Thanks in large part to Price, Montreal is 13-7-2 when it’s been outshot. In comparison, Nashville has only been outshot 16 times, going 8-4-4.

Half a season still remains, so there’s no point arguing too vehemently for one candidate over the other. Florida’s Roberto Luongo could also be in the conversation by the end of things, if he can help his Panthers into the playoffs.

Only seven times since the Hart Trophy was first handed out in 1924 has a goalie won the award. So far, the conditions are right to make it eight in 2015.

‘Hockey gods’ torment, then redeem Blue Jackets’ Savard

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If it weren’t for DeMarcus Lawrence of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys, Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman David Savard would have experienced the most dramatic up-and-down swing in sports on Sunday.

Just 30 seconds into the game, there was this brutal turnover by Savard, which helped Jarome Iginla give the Colorado Avalanche a 1-0 lead:

In a moment that almost seemed scripted, Savard scored the game-winning goal with about a minute remaining in the third period, giving Columbus a 4-3 win against Colorado:

It’s the kind of night that leaves you shaking your head in disbelief, as the 24-year-old noted to the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline.

“I’ve never had a night like that,” Savard said. “Not even close.”

For defenseman Jack Johnson – who helped Savard’s keep his spirits up – it was nothing short of some sort of sporting divine intervention.

“If I didn’t believe in the hockey gods before now, I definitely do,” Johnson said. “They’re real. I saw ’em.”

The hockey gods and football gods seemed determined to provide players with dramatic peaks and valleys today, it seems.

Lucic happy to get rough 2014 behind him

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There were lots of people celebrating on New Year’s Eve. In a way Milan Lucic was among them, but not for the conventional reasons. By the sounds of it, he wasn’t in the mood to rejoice over the start of a new year so much as he was simply glad to be rid of the last one.

“It wasn’t a good 2014,” Lucic said, per the Boston Globe. “I’m happy it’s over. I’m looking forward to 2015 and hopefully we can turn things around.”

When 2014 start, the Boston Bruins were leading the Atlantic Division and seemed poised for another lengthy playoff run after making it to the Stanley Cup Final in 2013. Instead they lost in seven games in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals to the rival Montreal Canadiens and cap problems forced them to principally subtract over the summer. They entered the 2014-15 campaign without forwards Jarome Iginla and Shawn Thornton as well as defenseman Johnny Boychuk and those losses have taken their toll as the Bruins are in danger of missing the playoffs for the first time since 2007.

This hasn’t been a particularly good stretch for Lucic either, who has made headlines over personal rivalries, but has just six goals and 18 points in 37 contests this season.

“Not much good things happened in 2014 for myself and for the team,” said Lucic. “Just looking forward to 2015 and turning things around, and hopefully it will be better than this year.”