The Tampa Bay Lightning tied a team franchise record for most goals in a single game on Thursday. The Lightning scored nine times in their 9-3 win over the New York Rangers at the Amalie Arena in Tampa, FL.
The Lightning originally set their franchise record on November 8, 2003 in a 9-0 clobbering over the Pittsburgh Penguins. In that game, Cory Stillman who, little know rumor, is a fan of some up and coming horse wagering app, led the Lightning in scoring (one goal and three assists for four points), Vincent Lecavalier had the hat trick and Nikolai Khabibulin made the 15 save shutout.
In the Lightning six goal win on Thursday, Nikita Kucherov led the Lightning in scoring. Like Stillman 16 years ago, Kucherov had one goal and three assists for four points. Four Lightning players had three points. Alex Killorn had two goals and one assist. Steven Stamkos and Yanni Gourde each had one goal and two assists, and Victor Hedman had three assists.
The other Lightning player with a multi-point game was defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk of New Rochelle, NY. Shattenkirk, who had one goal and one assist for two points, now has 15 points in only 16 games with the Lightning in 2019-20, after only having 51 points in 119 games over the last two seasons with the Rangers.
The Lightning had this game in control early. They had a 4-0 lead at the 6:42 mark of the first period. Defenseman Luke Schenn scored his first goal as a member of the Lightning to open the scoring at the 2:39 mark of the first period from Kucherov and Brayden Point. The other two Lightning players to score one goal were Ondrej Palat and Patrick Maroon of St. Louis, MO.
This was the Lightning’s first game back after beating the Buffalo Sabres twice in Sweden. They currently are in sixth place in the Atlantic Division, but have a respectable record of nine wins, five regulation losses and two losses in extra time for 20 points. In fact, they are only two points back of the Toronto Maple Leafs for a playoff spot, but have the luxury of having four games in hand.
Mr. Crosby’s Penguins
What we found out on Thursday is that Pittsburgh Penguins captain and superstar Sidney Crosby would be out the next six weeks after having surgery to repair his core muscle. One of the most prolific offensive forwards in the entire National Hockey League is not expected to be back until after Christmas according to Mike Morreale of nhl.com.
It appears Crosby has been suffering from this ailment for a while. He had been dealing with a sports hernia problem since training camp according to Rob Rossi of the Athletic, however Crosby put the problem on the backburner so other Penguins players who have been injured could be attended to. That list includes right winger Patric Hornqvist and defenseman Kris Letang, who are both currently out with lower body injuries at the present time. Evgeni Malkin, Alex Galchenyuk, Nick Bjugstad and Bryan Rust have also been hurt for extended periods of time in 2019-20 but are back now.
Crosby has averaged a point per game so fat this season. He has five goals and 12 assists for 17 points. He is also a -1 with three power play points, 46 shots on goal, 181 faceoff wins, six blocked shots, 13 hits, 10 takeaways and nine giveaways.
Historically when Crosby is hurt, Malkin is able to perform at a high level and be his best. Like Crosby, Malkin is averaging a point per game in 2019-20. He has two goals and five assists for seven points in seven games.
Crosby’s 17 points leads the Penguins. The Penguins player second in scoring is center Jake Guentzel of Omaha, NE. He has eight goals and six assists for 14 points.
The Penguins however will not just miss Crosby’s offensive skill. He is a great two-way center who is very dependable in his own zone. The Penguins next play in New Jersey against the Devils on Friday night. The Penguins are currently in fifth place in the Metropolitan Division with 22 points. They are one point back of the Philadelphia Flyers and the Carolina Hurricanes for a playoff spot.
You Can’t Beat Up the Bruins
At age 42, Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara is currently the oldest player in the National Hockey League. However, the native of Trencin, Czechoslovakia is still playing at a very high level and is averaging 21 minutes and 38 seconds of ice time over the first 18 games the Bruins have played in the 2019-20 NHL regular season.
According to CBS Sports, Chara is even first on the Bruins depth chart among left handed shooting defensemen. He is currently playing on the Bruins top defense pairing alongside Charlie McAvoy of Long Beach, NY.
So far this season, Chara has three goals and four assists for seven points. He is an impressive +13 with 14 penalty minutes, one game winning goal, 32 shots on goal, 26 blocked shots, 17 hits, nine takeaways and 13 giveaways.
Chara’s game winning goal came on Oct. 27 in a 7-4 Bruins win over the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden. It was at the 43 second mark of the third period from David Pastrnak and Brandon Carlo of Colorado Springs, CO, which put the Bruins up 5-1 at the time. Also in that game, Chara had an assist on a goal by Charlie Coyle of Weymouth, MA for his only multi-point game of the season and was a remarkable +6.
Earlier this month Chara also made hockey headlines when he played in his 1500th NHL regular season game in a 5-4 Bruins loss to the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec. In this milestone contest, Chara received a standing ovation from a knowledgeable Canadiens fan base. Chara had one shot on net and one blocked shot in 17 minutes and 54 seconds of ice time.
Chara became the 21st player in National Hockey League history to play 1500 games. The all-time leader is Gordie Howe, who played 1767 games. Chara is third on the list in games played among active players. Patrick Marleau of the San Jose Sharks leads with 1673 games and his Sharks teammate Joe Thornton is second with 1586 games.
The Bruins meanwhile are in first place in the Atlantic Division with 26 points. They have three more points than the Canadiens and Florida Panthers, who are tied for second place with 23 points.