LAS VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS
It’s been home sweet home for the Golden Knights whose 19 home wins is tops in the NHL. The 1993-94 Ducks and Florida Panthers 20 home wins are the most by a team in their first season. Vegas has gone 10-0-2 in their last 12 on home ice.
The Knights will be without Brayden McNabb for Thursday’s game against the Islanders. McNabb was injured in Wednesday’s win over the Blue Jackets.
William Karlsson’s 27 goals trails only Alexander Ovechkin’s 29.
The Golden Knights 163 goals scored leads the Western Conference and trail only the Islanders and Lightning.
The Golden Knights continue to spread the minutes equally among their forwards. William Karlsson leads all forwards with an average TOI of 18:19 while Alex Tuch at 14:51 plays the eighth most minutes. The 3:28 difference between the top eight forwards is the smallest gap among all 31 teams.
That same type of spreading of the minutes also exists on the back end where Nate Schmidt leads all blueliners with an average of 22:30 TOI/per game. Four of the other mainstays play just under 20 minutes while Colin Miller plays just under 19 minutes (18:50).
LOS ANGELES KINGS
Wednesday, the Kings announced the Jonathan Quick will miss the All-Star game in Tampa this coming Sunday due to some nagging injuries. Quick did not start Wednesday in Calgary will also have to miss the Kings game Tuesday in Dallas. Per league rules, players who pull out of the All-Star game due to injury must also miss the teams first game following the All-Star game
The 2-1 overtime win at Calgary was the Kings xx overtime victory. The most in the NHL since the league went to the 3 on 3 format.
With the victory on Monday, the Kings have earned 15 out of a possible 20 points (6-1-3) with Darcy Kuemper the starting goalie.
Jake Muzzin’s third period goal on Monday was their league leading 63rd goal in the final 20 minutes. LA has outscored the opposition 63-33 for the best third period goal differential in the league.
With the win on Monday, the Kings picked up just their sixth win in 18 divisional games (6-9-3)
Following Wednesday’s loss to the Kings, the Flames have now lost three consecutive games 2-1 games with all games going past regulation. On the upside, the Flames have earned points in 10 straight.
With their loss on Wednesday to the Kings, the Flames are now 50-0-3 when leading after two periods dating back to last season.
Sean Monahan who had the lone Flames goal on Monday has five goals and six assists in his past nine games.
Johnny Gaudreau has 15 points (2 goals, 13 assists) in the Flames past 10 games.
With Jonathan Quick unable to go to the All-Star game as he is hampered by some nagging injuries, goalie Mike Smith was named as his replacement.
Smith on being added to the All-Star team, “The boys have been asking me if we’re going to the all-star game and I’ve had to tell them ‘No, you don’t go every single season.’ It was nice to pick them up from school yesterday and tell them I got the invite and am going to Tampa.”
A Ducks home win on Thursday versus Winnipeg would be the teams 500th win at Honda Center.
After a 6-2 blowout last Sunday night at the hands of division rival San Jose, Ducks coach Randy Carlyle shook up the lines at practice on Monday in advance of the Ducks game versus the Rangers. The move paid off as Anaheim doubled up the Rangers 6-3 with six different players finding the back of the net.
The Ducks scored four first period goals on Sunday for the first time since January 15, 2016.
Thursday, the Ducks host the Winnipeg Jets. Anaheim has struggled against the Central Division this season with just two wins in nine contests (2-5-2) including a 4-1 loss to the Jets earlier this season on home ice.
Adam Henrique continues to flourish with the Ducks. He has three goals and one assist in his last four games.
Newcomer, J.T. Brown scored his first goal with his new team, beating Henrik Lundqvist on the Ducks first shot of the game.
Andrew Cogliano scored goal number 150 of his NHL career in Sunday’s win over the Rangers.
Rickard Rakell has been enjoying some home cooking of late with seven goals and two assists in his last seven home games.
Ryan Getzlaf became the first Duck to reach 600 career assists on Jan. 17 vs. Pittsburgh.
Randy Carlyle is also the only person in NHL history to be a head coach for 830-or-more games and play in at least 1,000 games.
SAN JOSE SHARKS
Just as the San Jose Sharks were beginning to roll and move into a playoff spot in the Pacific Division the team suffered a crushing blow Monday night when Joe Thornton suffered an MCL injury when he collided with teammate Michael Boedker.
Thornton is currently second on the team in scoring with 36 points. He has been at just under a point a game pace of late with 26 points in his last 28 games. Thornton’s 13 goals have him tied for second on the team in that department with Tomas Hertl.
The Sharks are hoping that it is nothing more than a Grade 2 MCL sprain, which would likely mean that Thornton would be gone for three to four weeks. The good news was that the injury was to his right knee and not the left knee where he completely tore his MCL and partially tore his ACL.
The question becomes who fills the void left by the Thornton injury in the middle. Joe Pavelski and Tomas Hertl have both spent time in the middle. Hertl has struggled playing center and has been more effective on the wing while Pavelski has flourished playing alongside Thornton and hasn’t played center on a regular basis for close to five seasons.
Thursday night against the Rangers, the Sharks will attempt to make it 12 consecutive games at home with earning a point going 9-0-2.
After their 5-0 thumping on ice by the 30th place Buffalo Sabres, coach Todd McLellan did a major shake-up on his line combinations. The biggest move saw Milan Lucic dropped to the 4th line. Here is how they skated at practice on Wednesday.
Tonight, the Oilers host cross province rivals when the Flames come to town. Edmonton has dominated their Alberta rivals of late. The Oilers are 6-0 in their last six games versus Calgary over the last two seasons outscoring them 30-16.
Connor McDavid has nine goals, 14 points in nine games against the Flames.
The Oilers are 9-2-0 versus the Pacific Division this season.
With their loss to Buffalo on Tuesday, the Oilers have lost 4 straight to the Sabres and are 2-8 versus Eastern Conference teams this season.
Kailer Yamamoto has six straight multiple-point games for Spokane (WHL) since returning from the World Junior Championships.
Lots of talk in Vancouver over the past days regarding the future of Daniel and Henrik Sedin.
From their agent, J.P. Barry, “The twins have played well the last couple of months. But we still need to meet. There hasn’t been any decision made about next season.”
Barry told Vancouver News 1130 radio sports reporter Rick Dhaliwal: “Initially we were going to talk at the end of the year, but I’m sure some discussions will take place before the trading deadline.”
From Iain MacIntyre at Sportsnet, Barry confirmed he spoke with Benning last week and has no issue with the Canucks wanting to know before Feb. 26 if the Sedins are leaning one way or another about playing another year.
“We’re not going to hold them to anything now,” Benning told Sportsnet. “But for planning purposes, what they might want to do could affect decisions we make at the deadline.”
It’s been a good 2018 for the Coyotes who have earned points in seven of eight games (3-1-4).
Fast starts have been a reason for the Coyotes run of late. The Coyotes have scored 11 1st period goals in their last 7 games.
Tonight, Brendan Perlini will skate in his 100th NHL game. Since beginning his career on Dec. 5, 2016, Perlini’s 27 goals leads the Coyotes during that span.
Christian Dvorak enters tonight with 2-4-6 in his last 6 games and has registered 7-16-23 which ranks tied for 3rd on the team.
Clayton Keller enters tonight leading the team in scoring with 14-22-36 and has collected a point in 11 of his last 16 games (3-10-13). The rookie forward ranks tied for 5th among NHL rookies in goals and is 3rd in points