Crosby and Penguins break out in the second period
Sidney Crosby tallied two goals and one assist when the Penguins outscored the Rangers, 5–0, in the second period of their game at Madison Square Garden (which Pittsburgh won by a 6–1 score). This was the first time that the Penguins scored at least five goals in one period of a regular-season road game since March 21, 2000, when Pittsburgh scored six times in the second period of an 8–2 win against the Islanders at Nassau Coliseum. In fact, the Penguins scored all six goals in the final ten minutes of that period, with Jaromir Jagr leading the way with two goals and one assist during that six-goal outburst.
Crosby’s three-point period was his first since March 28, 2015 (vs. Arizona) and the 18th regular-season period with three points or more in his NHL career. That’s the most three-point periods for any NHL player since Crosby entered the league in October 2005. Alex Ovechkin is second with 16.
Ovechkin has St. Louis singing the blues
Alex Ovechkin recorded the 16th hat trick of his NHL career when he scored three goals for the Capitals in their 4–3 win versus the Blues in Washington. It was Ovechkin’s first hat trick since his last game against the Blues, on April 9 this year in St. Louis, when he scored three times in a 5–1 Capitals victory. This is only the second time in the last five years that an NHL player has scored at least three goals in each of two consecutive games against the same team. Mikkel Boedker did that with back-to-back hat tricks for the Coyotes against the Senators last season (Oct. 24 and Nov. 28, 2015). Ovechkin is the third player in Capitals history to register consecutive hat tricks versus one team. The others were Peter Bondra against the Islanders in February/March 1996 and Alexander Semin versus Tampa Bay in November 2010.
Howard snaps losing streak
Jimmy Howard ended his personal three-game losing streak and the Red Wings’ run of four straight losses with a 2–1 shootout win over the Sabres in Buffalo. He has a nearly spotless career record versus the Sabres, with a 8–0–1 mark in 10 games while never allowing more than two goals in any game against Buffalo. Howard’s 1.46 lifetime goals-against average versus Buffalo is his lowest GAA against any NHL team and the lowest GAA against the Sabres by any goaltender, active or retired, who has faced them at least 10 times.
Four-point game for Cammalleri
Mike Cammalleri had a hand in all four goals the Devils scored in their shootout win against the Maple Leafs. Cammalleri, who had missed New Jersey’s last six games because of his daughter’s illness, scored one goal and assisted on three for the Devils on Wednesday. This was the first time that a Devils player tallied at least four points in a game while scoring or assisting on every New Jersey goal since Feb. 14, 2012, when Ilya Kovalchuk produced three goals and one assist in a 4–1 Devils win at Buffalo.
Lightning strikes quickly
Alex Killorn, Ryan Callahan and Nikita Kucherov scored goals in a 5:17 span late in the third period to turn a 2–1 deficit for the Lightning into a 4–2 Tampa Bay win over the Flyers. Callahan’s goal was his 18th in 42 career games versus Philadelphia and it was his sixth game-winning goal against the Flyers, the second-most by any active NHL player, behind Jaromir Jagr with nine. Callahan’s 18 goals versus the Flyers are at least six more than he’s scored against any other NHL team (next most: 12 vs. Washington).
Predators are stingy at home
The Predators extended their home winning streak to five games with a 5–2 victory against the Stars. The Predators have a 7–1–1 record at Bridgestone Arena this season, and they’ve outscored their opponents 30–12 in those nine games while allowing two or fewer goals in each game. In the NHL’s “modern era” (i.e., since 1943–44) only two other teams gave up two or fewer goals in each of their first nine or more home games in one season: the Sabres in 1998–99 (first 12 home games) and the Maple Leafs in 1961–62 (first ten).
Second shutout for Johnson this month
Flames goaltender Chad Johnson notched his second shutout of the season with a 2–0 victory against the Blue Jackets in Columbus on Wednesday. Johnson posted his first shutout eight days earlier (Nov. 15) with a 1–0 win at Minnesota. Over the last six seasons the only other time a Calgary goaltender recorded more than one shutout in a calendar month was in November 2014, when Karri Ramo kept a clean sheet in his final two games that month (Nov. 26 at San Jose and Nov. 29 at Arizona).