National Hockey League

NHL Morning Skate – Jan. 23, 2020


* Oliver Bjorkstrand lifted the Blue Jackets to their sixth straight win after he became the first player in franchise history to record a multi-goal performance in three consecutive appearances.

* Ahead of making his sixth NHL All-Star game appearance, Eric Staal factored on two of Minnesota’s three third-period goals to lift the Wild to their 13th comeback win of 2019-20.

* Starting today, the 2019-20 season will take a four-day break from regular-season games for 2020 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend, which will be hosted by the reigning Stanley Cup champion Blues at Enterprise Center in St. Louis.

In a contest that featured three game-tying goals, Oliver Bjorkstrand (2-0—2) tied the game in the second period and scored the eventual game-winning goal in the final frame to propel the Blue Jackets (27-16-8, 62 points) to their sixth straight win.

nhl3* Columbus reclaimed the Eastern Conference’s first Wild Card spot heading into NHL All-Star Weekend. The trio of Columbus, Carolina (29-18-3, 61 points) and Philadelphia (27-17-6, 60 points) have alternated positioning over the last 11 days.

* The Blue Jackets, who posted their 15th comeback win of the season, kept pace with the Islanders (29-15-5, 63 points) in the Metropolitan Division standings after the latter doubled up the Rangers (23-21-4, 50 points) Tuesday. Columbus finds itself in the playoff picture on the heels of an 11-14-4 start through Dec. 8, when the club sat a season-high 11 standings points behind Carolina for the Eastern Conference’s final playoff position.

* Since the Blue Jackets’ 12-game point streak from Dec. 9, 2019 – Jan.. 2, 2020 (8-0-4), they have registered a League-leading 16 wins and 36 points (16-2-4, 36 points).

* Bjorkstrand netted his second multi-goal game in as many contests after also doing so in his return to the Blue Jackets lineup on Jan. 19. The 24-year-old, who also scored twice on Dec. 21, 2019 against the Devils, became the first Blue Jackets player to register a multi-goal performance in three consecutive appearances. Alex Ovechkin (3 GP from Jan. 13 – 18) and Patrice Bergeron (3 GP from Dec. 21 – 27, 2019) are the only other players to accomplish the feat in 2019-20.

* Columbus’ third-round pick (89th overall) in the 2013 NHL Draft also accomplished another franchise feat Wednesday with his third game-winning goal in as many appearances. Bjorkstrand matched a Blue Jackets franchise mark for longest stretch of consecutive appearances with a game-winning goal – first accomplished by Artem Anisimov (3 GP from March 1-4, 2014) and matched by Seth Jones (3 GP from March 8-12, 2018).

Eric Staal, set to make his sixth All-Star Game appearance, factored in on two of three unanswered Minnesota goals as the Wild (23-21-6, 52 points) recorded their 13th comeback win of 2019-20.

* Staal, who was honored in a pre-game ceremony for recently eclipsing the 1,000-point milestone on Dec. 15, registered his 235th career multi-point outing. Sharks forward Joe Thornton paces all active players with 385 such performances.

Twenty-year-old Red Wings forward Filip Zadina, tied for the second-most goals among rookies since Jan. 1, has found the score sheet in three of his last four games. With his first career multi-goal game, the sixth-overall pick in the 2018 NHL Draft boosted his season totals to 8-7—15 in 26 games.

Starting today, the 2019-20 season will take a four-day break from regular-season games for 2020 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend, which will be hosted by the reigning Stanley Cup champion Blues at Enterprise Center in St. Louis.

The weekend will include the 2020 NHL Fan Fair (Jan. 23-26), the 2020 NHL All-Star Media Day presented by adidas on Thursday, Jan. 23, the 2020 NHL All-Star Skills presented by New Amsterdam Vodka on Friday, Jan. 24 and the 2020 Honda NHL All-Star Game on Saturday, Jan. 25.

A quick breakdown of the rosters representing each division in the 2020 Honda NHL All-Star Game, which will follow the same 3-on-3 tournament format that was used in each of the past four seasons. The Metropolitan Division will face the Atlantic Division in the first semifinal, followed by the Pacific Division versus the Central Division. The winners of each semifinal game will then meet in the final to determine the overall tournament champion.

* The host Blues will be well represented at the game with Jordan Binnington, Ryan O’Reilly, David Perron and Alex Pietrangelo all set to represent their hometown team with Stanley Cup-winning coach Craig Berube behind the bench. This will be the fifth time that four or more Blues have appeared in the same All-Star Game and first since 2000 (Pavol Demitra, Al MacInnis, Chris Pronger and Roman Turek).

* Combined, the Central Division roster possess nine Stanley Cup rings – the most among any of the four teams. In addition to one each for the four Blues players, Patrick Kane (2010, 2013 and 2015), Tyler Seguin (2011) and Eric Staal (2006) also have Stanley Cup championships on their resume.

nhl7* The Pacific Division is led by Edmonton’s dynamic duo of Connor McDavid (27-49—76 in 49 GP) and Leon Draisaitl (27-48—75 in 49 GP), who rank first and second in the Art Ross Trophy race with near identical stat lines. Over the last 30 years, only three sets of teammates have finished first and second in the NHL scoring race at season’s end: Martin St. Louis (1st) and Steven Stamkos (2nd) in 2012-13, Mario Lemieux (1st) and Jaromir Jagr (2nd) in 1995-96 and Lemieux (1st) and Kevin Stevens (2nd) in 1991-92.

* Additionally, McDavid and Draisaitl are the first set of teammates to each record 75 or more points prior to their team’s 50th game of a season since Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr in 1996-97.

nhl8* The Atlantic Division roster boasts both the NHL’s leading goal scorer in Boston’s David Pastrnak (37 goals) and the goaltender with the most wins this season in Tampa Bay’s Andrei Vasilevskiy (24-9-2). Pastrnak is looking to become the first Bruins player to lead the NHL in goals at season’s end since Phil Esposito in 1974-75 (61 goals) – the last of his six-season reign as the NHL’s leading goal scorer.

* Vasilevskiy enters the weekend with a win in each of his last 10 regular-season appearances dating to Dec. 23 (10-0-0), marking his second double-digit win streak in as many campaigns (also 10-0-0 from Feb. 9 – March 5, 2019). In doing so, he became the fourth goaltender in NHL history to record a double-digit win streak in consecutive regular seasons.

nhl9* The Metropolitan Division will see long-time rivals team up with the NHL-leading Capitals represented by John Carlson, Braden Holtby and T.J. Oshie play alongside the division’s second-place Penguins’ Kris Letang and Tristan Jarry. The two teams met for three consecutive postseasons from 2015-16 to 2017-18 with the Penguins eliminating the Capitals in 2016 and 2017 en route to a Stanley Cup championship and the Capitals returning the favor in 2018 to capture the franchise’s first Stanley Cup.

* Carlson (13-47—60) has more points this season than any other All-Star on the Metropolitan Division roster. He ranks first in points among defensemen in 2019-20 and tenth overall in League scoring. Carlson is on pace to become the sixth different defenseman in NHL history to reach 100 points in a season and first since Brian Leetch in 1991-92 (22-80—102).

nhl10— NHL Public Relations

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