Yesterday’s NHL Scores
Last Night’s News 📰
I WILL ALWAYS KOIVU: The Minnesota Wild have raised their first player number to the rafters at Xcel Energy Center. Mikko Koivu was the team captain from 2009-20 and became the first to play 1,000 regular-season games. A visibly emotional Koivu wiped away tears as he saw his jersey rise to its final resting place.
SCARY MOMENT FOR MURPHY: On Saturday night, the Chicago Blackhawks and Ottawa Senators battled at the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa. In the first period, Connor Murphy was hit into the glass by the Senators’ Parker Kelly, resulting in the Blackhawks defenseman being taken off the ice by a stretcher. Kelly received a five-minute major for boarding and game misconduct for the dangerous hit.
ACHIN’ JAKE: An often-rumored name leading up to the NHL trade deadline might be on the sideline, as Arizona Coyotes blueliner Jakob Chychrun left Saturday’s game against the Boston Bruins with a lower-body injury. Chychrun, who appeared to sustain the injury during a first-period collision along the boards, is flying back to Arizona to undergo an MRI and determine the extent of the damage.
45 FOR 34: Auston Matthews tallied his 45th goal of the season, becoming the first NHL player to score 45 goals in 56 games since Alex Ovechkin did it in 2007-08. It is the second time Matthews hit the 45-goal plateau in his career, as the Toronto Maple Leafs lost to the Buffalo Sabres in the Heritage Classic, 5-2.
CHERRIES ON A SUNDAY: With 10 contests across the NHL yesterday, Sunday’s games were highlighted by Johnathan Quick becoming the fourth American-born goalie to play in 700 games, Claude Giroux notching his 900th point, and Cole Sillinger being the second-youngest Columbus Blue Jackets player to score a hat trick. Click here to get caught up on last night’s action.
Staal Brothers Path to 1,000 Games
The Staal brothers made history on Saturday night. Detroit Red Wings defenseman Marc Staal played in his 1,000th NHL game, joining brothers Eric and Jordan as the first trio of brothers to reach 1,000 games apiece. Let’s take a look at how each brother got to this point.
Eric, the oldest brother, was drafted second overall by the Carolina Hurricanes in 2003 and instantly made an impact, registering 31 points in 81 games his rookie year. He had the best season of his career in 2005-06, his second year in the league. He scored 100 points (45 goals, 55 assists) and helped lead the Hurricanes to their first Stanley Cup title.
Though he never reached triple-digit points again, Eric scored at least 70 each of the next six seasons for Carolina. The Hurricanes traded Eric to the New York Rangers in 2016, and after one year there, he signed with the Minnesota Wild. In 2017-18, he scored 42 goals, joining Gordie Howe as the only players to have 40-goal seasons at least nine years apart with none in between.
After four seasons in Minnesota and one split between Buffalo and Montreal, Eric retired in 2021 at 36. Overall, he played 1,293 games in the NHL, tallying 1,034 points (441 goals, 593 assists).
The youngest of the 1,000-game trio, Jordan was the second-overall pick by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2006 NHL Draft. Like his older brother, the center made an immediate impact, tallying 42 points in 81 games his first year, and won a Cup in his third season with the Penguins.
Jordan was a constant presence in Pittsburgh until the Pens traded him to Carolina in 2012 after posting a career year (50 points in 62 games) in the Steel City. He immediately signed a 10-year deal with the Hurricanes and, while with the Canes in 2012, he got to play with Eric and younger brother Jared (a right-winger who appeared in two career NHL games).
The 33-year-old continues to be a contributor for the Canes, scoring 21 points in 56 games this season. Jordan has played in 1,070 NHL games, registering 596 points (249 goals, 347 assists).
Marc, the middle brother of the trio and latest to reach 1,000 games, was the 12th-overall pick by the New York Rangers in the 2005 NHL Draft. Unlike the other two, he didn’t immediately make an impact, although it didn’t take him long, playing in 80 games for the Rangers in 2007-08.
Marc was a consistent face in the lineup during his 13 years in New York, playing in the majority of the games in all but one season (the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season, when he played in 21 of 48 games). He also got to play with brother Eric in 2015-16 before the Rangers traded Marc to Detroit in Sep. 2020.
After finishing with 10 points in 56 games for the Red Wings last season, Marc has 10 points through 52 games so far this season. Overall, the 35-year-old has played in 1,000 NHL games, tallying 208 points (47 goals, 161 assists).
Trade Deadline Primer: Metropolitan Division Buyers
Only one week away from the NHL Trade Deadline, the Morning Skate trade deadline primer moves past the halfway point and into the Metropolitan Division. Although the Carolina Hurricanes have created some cushion atop the division, the Pittsburgh Penguins, New York Rangers, and Washington Capitals all find themselves staring down a tight battle amongst one another the rest of the way.
In all likelihood, all of the above teams will be in the postseason mix come May. But positioning down the stretch will play an integral role in determining home-ice advantage and playoff matchups, meaning that the race to gain a leg up on the competition could be tempting in the coming days.
We start at the top, where the Hurricanes are unquestionably gearing up for what could be a deep playoff run. Still, there may not be much to do with a solid, balanced lineup that might be ready to win as constructed. Sure, some versatile help on the wing might be appreciated. However, the Canes may not be in a rush since they already lack their first-round pick and have reasonable depth options upfront to move up the lineup (Jesper Fast, Nino Niederreiter, and the currently injured Seth Jarvis come to mind).
The 2021 Trade Deadline saw the new Pittsburgh brain trust of GM Ron Hextall and team president Brian Burke land Jeff Carter for draft picks. Less than a year later, the Pens could be looking to make a similar move, with depth needed on the wing thanks to an injured and ineffective Jason Zucker, a relatively large stash of draft picks, and a newfound sense of urgency in light of the uncertain futures of pending free agents Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang.
New York Rangers
The Blueshirts are one of the most intriguing teams heading into the deadline, mainly because they seem to be in a position to make a significant move. New York has possible Hart candidate Igor Shesterkin to thank for their cushy standing, as his elite goaltending has masked some significant weaknesses, particularly at right wing and beyond the top-four defensively. Are the Rangers in enough of a go-for-it mindset to sacrifice a heralded young prospect (Kaapo Kakko? Braden Schneider?) for a J.T. Miller, Jakob Chychrun, or Tomas Hertl?
Player Spotlight — Mark Scheifele
Mark Scheifele has been a member of the Winnipeg Jets since the 2011-12 season. At 28 years old, he has reached 50 points for the seventh time in his career and has five points in his last five games. Fans know plenty about what he brings to the ice, but what about his life outside of hockey? Let’s check in.
Best Three Players to Road Trip With?:
Which Celebrity Would You Be Most Starstruck By?:
Who Has the Best Nickname in the NHL?:
Favorite Lunchbox Snack?:
Biggest Pet Peeve in Hockey?:
Hardest Skill in Sports?:
Favorite Toy When You Were a Kid?:
NHL’s Leading Scorers
Today’s NHL Schedule
- Today’s newsletter was edited by Kyle Knopp, with contributions by Ben Fisher, Kristy Flannery, and Grant Tingley.
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