Get your game notes: Red Wings at Avalanche

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Tonight on NBCSN, it’s the Colorado Avalanche hosting the Detroit Red Wings at 9 p.m. ET. Following are some game notes, as compiled by the NHL on NBC research team:

TOP STORYLINES

• Matchup between two teams making a strong push to position themselves for postseason hockey.

• Last game: DET beat NYI 4-1 on Saturday…COL won at DAL 3-2 SO (11th round) on Tuesday.

• Hottest team in the East…Detroit’s 24 points over its last 16 games is the most in the conference.

• The Wings stretch of strong play starts with a 6-3 win over BUF on December 23rd which snapped a 6-game losing streak at the time…since then, DET has won 12 of its last 16 games (12-4-0).

• DET sits 3rd in the Atlantic – tied in points with MTL at 67 but currently loses the tiebreaker to the Habs having lost both meetings against them this season (although they play each other twice more this season).

• DET trails division/conference leading TB by 2 points but has 2 games in hand on the Lightning.

• DET has made the postseason 23 consecutive seasons – the longest active streak in the league.

• DET G Jimmy Howard injured his groin on Jan. 10 and was expected to miss 2-4 weeks from the time of injury. The All-Star selection is still day-to-day and is hoping to return next week…22-year-old Petr Mrazek has started all 8 games in net since Howard’s injury.

• DET: 7-1-0 in last 8 games.

• 3.88 goals/game during this stretch (3+ goals scored in all 7 wins.)

• Mrazek: 6-1-0 record, 3.12 GAA, .897 SV% in last 8 starts.

• Stopped 22 of 23 shots in the Red Wings’ most recent game on Saturday vs. NYI.

• This season: 11-4-1, 2.66 GAA, .907 SV%.

• Started in net in the first meeting vs. COL this season: 22 saves on 23 shots in the 2-1 SO loss back on Dec. 21 in DET.

• Colorado is also a team playing much better than at the start of its season…it took the Avs until Dec. 23 to reach as many wins on the season as regulation losses (13-13-8 at the time) and until Jan. 8 to surpass their regulation loss total with wins (17-16-8 then)…

• Since Jan. 6, the Avs have earned at least a point in 10 of 12 games (7-2-3) and are allowing only 2.00 goals/game during this stretch.

• 4 of those 5 losses have been by 1-goal (including OT/SO games).

• Central Division scope: The Central has 3 of the top 4 teams in the West, and is the only division in the NHL in which every team is above .500 in points percentage.

• The Avs are 9 points back of Chicago for 3rd in the division but only 4 points behind VAN for the 2nd WC. COL is currently 9th – with 55 points – in a crowded race with 10-12th all at 54 points (MIN, DAL, LA).

DETROIT TEAM/PLAYER NOTES

• DET ranks first in the league on the power-play (25.6%) & went 2-4 with the man advantage in its last game.

• DET is 7-for-its-last-15 (46.7%) on the PP in its last 6 games.

• Henrik Zetterberg recorded an assist on Saturday vs. NYI and now has 10 points (5G-5A) in his last 6 games.

• Zetterberg leads the team in both assists (31) & points (46) this season.

• Career vs. COL: 28 points (8G-20A) in 36 games.

• Gustav Nyquist leads the team in PPG (12) – 3rd overall in NHL (behind Alex Ovechkin/Joe Pavelski – 14).

• Nyquist scored against NYI & has 15 points (5G-10A) in his last 13 games including 5 goals in his last 8.

• Nyquist led the team in goals last season (28 in 57 GP) – 9 more than Tatar 2nd on the team.

• Nyquist has 43 goals in his last 84 regular-season games.

• Pavel Datsyuk has an assist in back-to-back games and 9 points (2G-7A) in his last 11 games.

• Career vs. COL: 44 points (18G-26A) in 41 games.

• Tomas Tatar scored vs. NYI and has 10 points (7G-3A) in the new year (12 GP). He has already set a new career high in goals with 22 (besting 19 from last season) and is on pace to surpass his career-high 39-point mark from last season with 35 points in 50 GP this season.

COLORADO TEAM/PLAYER NOTES

• COL ranks 29th in the league on the PP (13.0%) and is 0-19 in its last 6 games with the man advantage.

• 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 had his 3-game assist streak snapped at DAL (3A in his last 4 games).

• Career vs. DET: 35 points (12G-23A) in 40 games.

• Iginla leads the team in goals (16) but had his 3-game goal streak snapped at DAL (3G in his last 4 games).

• Career vs. DET: 56 points (22G-34A) in 66 games.

• 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 but are coming on of late.

• Duchene had 70 pts in 71 games last season.

• He has 31 pts (13G-18A) in 51 games this season but 4 points in his last 5 games.

• Landeskog set career-highs last season in goals (26) and assists (39).

• He has 10 goals and 21 assists in 51 games this season but is riding a 3-game point streak (1G-2A).

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

• He had 2 assists vs. NSH two games ago but was held without a point at DAL…and has 29 points (9G-20A) in 51 games overall this season.

• Semyon Varlamov – a Vezina Trophy nominee last season – has started 16 of the 18 Avalanche games since returning from a groin injury; sustained Dec. 8 (missed 6 games).

• 16 gms since return: 10-4-2, 2.03 GAA, .936 SV%, 3 SO.

Get your game notes: Team Toews vs. Team Foligno

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Today on NBC, it’s the Team Toews vs. Team Foligno in the 2015 NHL All-Star Game (NBCSN, 5 p.m. ET). Following are some game notes, as compiled by the NHL’s public relations department:

source:
NHL CLUB AND ALL-STAR GAME TEAMMATES

Team Foligno: D Duncan Keith and RW Patrick Kane (Chicago), LW Nick Foligno and C Ryan Johansen (Columbus), D Drew Doughty, C Anze Kopitar and head coach Darryl Sutter (Los Angeles) G Brian Elliott and D Kevin Shattenkirk (St. Louis)

Team Toews: D Mark Giordano and LW Johnny Gaudreau (Calgary), G Corey Crawford, D Brent Seabrook and C Jonathan Toews (Chicago), G Roberto Luongo and D Aaron Ekblad (Florida), D Shea Weber, C Filip Forsberg and head coach Peter Laviolette (Nashville), G Jaroslav Halak and C John Tavares (New York Islanders)

NHL CLUB TEAMMATES WHO ARE ALL-STAR GAME OPPONENTS

Chicago Blackhawks: D Duncan Keith and RW Patrick Kane (Team Foligno) vs. G Corey Crawford, D Brent Seabrook and C Jonathan Toews (Team Toews)

St. Louis Blues: G Brian Elliott and D Kevin Shattenkirk (Team Foligno) vs. RW Vladimir Tarasenko (Team Toews)

Philadelphia Flyers: C Claude Giroux (Team Foligno) vs. RW Jakub Voracek (Team Toews)

ALL-STAR GAME OFFICIALS

The referees for today’s game are Chris Lee (#28) and Chris Rooney (#5). Lee, who hails from Saint John, N.B., made his NHL debut in 1999-2000 while Rooney, a Boston native, has worked NHL games since 2000-01. They are joined by linesmen Steve Miller (#89) and Tony Sericolo (#84). Miller, from Stratford, Ont., also started officiating NHL games in 2000-01. Sericolo a native of Troy, N.Y., is the senior member of the crew, having made his League debut on Oct. 21, 1998 (Edmonton at NY Islanders). All four officials are making their All-Star Game debut.

ALL-STAR ENTERTAINMENT

The 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game will feature performances from Grammy Award-nominated and multi platinum selling recording artist Fall Out Boy, rock band O.A.R. and power-pop band Locksley.

Fall Out Boy will perform during the first intermission followed by a performance from Ohio State alumni O.A.R. during the second intermission.

Locksley will perform “The Whip,” its hit single and the song performed after every Columbus Blue Jackets goal, during the NHL All-Star player introductions. Twelve local boys and girls, between the ages of eight and 13 years old, will take part in the player introductions as part of McDonald’s “In the Lineup” program.

NHL SCORING LEADERS AT THE ALL-STAR BREAK

Goals: 1. (tie) Rick Nash, NYR (Team Toews) and Tyler Seguin, DAL (Team Toews), 28; 3. Alex Ovechkin, WSH (Team Foligno), 27.

Assists: 1. Jakub Voracek, PHI (Team Toews), 39; 2. Sidney Crosby, PIT, 36; 3. (tie) Ryan Getzlaf, ANA (Team Toews) and Claude Giroux, PHI (Team Foligno), 35.

Points: 1. Jakub Voracek, PHI (Team Toews), 17-39–56; 2. Tyler Seguin, DAL (Team Toews), 28-24–52; 3. Patrick Kane, CHI (Team Foligno), 22-29–51.

ALL-STAR GAME QUICK HITS

* Twelve players in the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game are under age 25. Thirty-two of the 41 players on both rosters have yet to celebrate their 30th birthday. The youngest 2015 NHL All- Stars are 18-year-old Aaron Ekblad (Florida Panthers/Team Toews, born 2/7/96) and 20-year-old Filip Forsberg (Nashville Predators/Team Toews, born 8/13/94). Ekblad will be the second 18- year-old to skate in the past three NHL All-Star Games, following Jeff Skinner in 2011 in Raleigh, N.C.

* The oldest player among the 2015 NHL All-Stars is 38-year-old Patrik Elias (New Jersey Devils/Team Toews, 4/13/76). Elias leads players from both rosters in career games (1,192), assists (604) and points (1,003).

* The 2015 NHL All-Star with the most career appearances in the midseason classic is Rangers forward Rick Nash (Team Toews) who will be skating in his sixth career game. Following Nash is Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin (Team Foligno), who will play in his fifth NHL All-Star Game.

* Nash holds the NHL All-Star Game record for the fastest goal from the start of a game, tallying just 12 seconds into the 2008 contest in Atlanta.

* The 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game MVP will be determined by fans in-arena via a Twitter vote. Three finalists will be announced during the third period. The winner will receive a 2015 Honda Accord EX-L, made in Ohio.

* The last player to win NHL All-Star Game MVP honors in front of his home fans was Canadiens forward Alex Kovalev, in 2009 in Montreal.

* It has been 19 years since a defenseman captured NHL All-Star Game MVP honors (Ray Bourque, 1996) and 21 years since a goaltender won the award (Mike Richter, 1994).

* Penguins forward Mario Lemieux became the first rookie to earn NHL All-Star MVP honors in 1985. Lemieux, 19, notched 2-1—3 in leading the Prince of Wales Conference to a 6-4 win over the Campbell Conference.

* Blue Jackets forward and hometown star Ryan Johansen was the first overall pick in the 2015 NHL All-Star Fantasy Draft presented by DraftKings, held on Friday at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. Team Foligno won a ‘puck toss’ to pick first overall, with Nick Foligno selecting linemate and first-time All-Star Johansen. Team Toews chose Maple Leafs forward Phil Kessel as its first choice and the second overall selection. Kessel later was traded to Team Foligno in exchange for Stars forward Tyler Seguin, marking the first trade in NHL All-Star Fantasy Draft history.

* The NHL became the first professional sports league to implement an All-Star player fantasy draft to determine team rosters, in 2011 in Raleigh. Eric Staal of the Hurricanes, one of the NHL All-Star captains, selected Hurricanes teammate Cam Ward with the first overall selection. Nicklas Lidstrom of the Red Wings, the other captain, nabbed Steven Stamkos of the Lightning with the second overall pick.

* In 2012 in Ottawa, NHL All-Star captain Zdeno Chara of the Bruins made Pavel Datsyuk of the Red Wings the first overall selection, followed by captain Daniel Alfredsson of the hometown Senators selecting teammate Erik Karlsson with his first pick.

PHT readers tab Lundqvist as biggest All-Star snub

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Injuries and other factors can make talk of the biggest snubs in the 2015 All-Star Game a little messy, yet a healthy chunk of PHT readers ultimately determined that Henrik Lundqvist was the biggest omission.

Here are the abbreviated results with the top five (a very … interesting “other” category came in sixth, in case you’re wondering).

(Note: the poll took place right after the initial full roster announcements on Jan. 10.)

source:

 

That’s a pretty healthy showing for Lundqvist, as the total number of votes is 8,903. Second-place “snub” Marc-Andre Fleury ended up getting the call as a replacement while Lundqvist, Pavel Datsyuk, Nickls Backstrom and P.K. Subban get some time to heal and/or go on vacation.

(Roman Josi and Zach Parise received the most “other” votes.)

Patrick Marleau received the fewest snub votes with eight. Here are the players who fell under the full one-percent range:

source:

 

More: Lundqvist on not making it

Johnny All-Star: ‘It’s been a crazy year so far’

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COLUMBUS — Johnny Gaudreau’s goal this season was a simple one — make the Calgary Flames.

On Sunday, he’ll reportedly play in the NHL All-Star Game, as a replacement for Sidney Crosby no less.

P.S. — He made the Flames.

“It’s been a crazy year so far,” the 21-year-old Boston College product admitted Friday. “[A few months ago], I wasn’t sure if I was going to stay in college or become pro. I think I made the right decision.”

Indeed. Among NHL rookies, only Nashville’s Filip Forsberg has more points (40) than Gaudreau’s 35. On Dec. 22, the New Jersey native notched a hat trick against the defending Stanley Cup champs.

Not that it’s been a cakewalk. Gaudreau’s listed weight, 150 pounds, makes him the lightest skater in the league. As Brian Burke puts it, we’re not talking about a small player here; we’re talking tiny.

As a winger, one of the toughest things for Gaudreau has been learning how to handle the big, aggressively pinching defensemen on the breakout.

“In college, guys tended to just back off and let us come out of the zone a little easier,” he said. “In the NHL, the defensemen are flying down, and you got six-five, 200-and-whatever coming down at you on the wall, it’s a little bit difficult trying to get the puck out.”

He was asked if he’s taken a big hit in the NHL.

Yes, he has.

But not from one of those big, aggressive defensemen.

“I think the hardest hit I’ve ever taken in my life was from Pavel Datsyuk actually, when we played the Red Wings,” said Gaudreau. “He got me pretty good. I wasn’t expecting him to hit me.”

He’s survived though. Smart, shifty players — think Wayne Gretzky and Patrick Kane — no matter how slight, have ways of keeping themselves out of too much trouble.

And at any rate, Gaudreau won’t have to worry about getting crushed this weekend. Much more likely, with the skills competition Saturday and the defense-discouraged main game Sunday, he could be a star among stars.

Datsyuk, Red Wings edge the Blues in overtime

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Pavel Datsyuk scored with 2.2 seconds remaining in overtime to lift the Detroit Red Wings over the St. Louis Blues 3-2 Thursday night.

With the win, Detroit has won back-to-back games.

Petr Mrazek, who entered the game with a 2-0-0 record to go along with a 0.80 G.A.A. and a .969 save percentage in four career appearances versus the Blues, made 25 saves for the win.

Joakim Andersson and Tomas Tatar scored a minute apart in the second period to give the Red Wings a 2-0 lead after 40 minutes.

Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg had an excellent chance with the Red Wings up 1-0 in the second, but was robbed by the glove of Brian Elliott.

David Backes and Alexander Steen scored third period goals to tie it 2-2.

Elliott made 21 saves in the loss.

The loss snaps St. Louis’ five-game win streak.