The stats and milestones have been coming in at a little slower pace than previous days, and with a huge day in the NHL yesterday, there is now lots to discuss. Young goaltenders took big steps, point streaks, NHL firsts, and more is what is on tap for this edition of the Stat Corner.
Capitals’ Ovechkin Surges, Fucale Shuts the Door
Zach Fucale is the first goalie to record a shutout in his first NHL game since Garret Sparks in 2015. He is also the fifth Washington Capitals player to make his debut this season. With Vitek Vanecek sidelined for what the Capitals hope is only short-term, Fucale got the call in the second of back-to-back games. In the long run, the Capitals will have to make a decision on who they elect to keep, Ilya Samsonov or Vanecek. When that time comes, Fucale may get more of a chance to stay in the NHL. A start like the one he had is a good way to do it.
He shut the door against a Detroit Red Wings team that has been surprisingly very tough to play against. Shutouts don’t happen very often, but to record one in the first game of an NHL career is even more impressive. It has been a long journey to the NHL, and it was definitely worth it for the 26-year-old. Fucale was the first goaltender to shut out the Red Wings in his NHL debut in 95 years.
Alex Ovechkin moved into sole possession of fourth place on the all-time goals list with 742, passing Brett Hull. He is scoring at an incredible pace for the age of 36. He has recorded 12 goals in 14 games this season and three in the last five. The original thought is that he would pass Jaromir Jagr for third on the all-time scoring list late in the season, but the way he is scoring, 24 goals to tie will come sooner than later.
Oilers’ Dynamic Duo Seem Unstoppable
Connor McDavid is the fourth active player with a point in 20 consecutive games played (GP) in any form. He joins Patrick Kane (26 & 20 GP), Sidney Crosby (25 GP), and Nathan MacKinnon (20 GP). McDavid’s point streak of 20 stretches into last season when he put up points at an incredible rate to reach 100 in 56 games. He also has the eighth-longest point streak in Edmonton Oilers’ history.
McDavid has the 12th-longest season-opening point streak (13 GP) in the NHL since 1986-87. He will move into a tie for ninth with a point in his next game. That comes against the St. Louis Blues in a matchup Sunday night. Many of the point streak marks are held by former Oiler Wayne Gretzky, so coming close in this era just shows the ability McDavid possesses to put up points each and every night.
Leon Draisaitl is the first Oiler to score 13 goals in the team’s first 13 games of the season since Gretzky in 1984-85. Draisaitl is well on his way to scoring 50 for the second time in his NHL career, and maybe even higher. Both he and McDavid have helped lead the Oilers to a 10-3-0 start on the season.
Wild’s Best Start Backed by Kaprizov & Pitlick
Kirill Kaprizov is the fastest Minnesota Wild player to score 30 career goals and the seventh-fastest active player to do so in 67 games, behind only Ovechkin (43 GP), Patrik Laine (55 GP), Brock Boeser (60 GP), Auston Matthews (61 GP), Evgeni Malkin (63 GP), and Crosby (63 GP). Though Kaprizov has just three goals and 11 points in 14 games this season, it shows what kind of a pace he was on last season when he won rookie of the year.
He has picked things up as of late and helped the Wild tie their best start through 14 games in franchise history with 20 points (10-4-0). They also had 20 points in 2015-16, 2006-07, and 2002-03.
Rem Pitlick became the 31st player in NHL history, and first for the Wild, to score his first three NHL goals in the same game. His goals helped the Wild take a 3-0 lead in their game against the Seattle Kraken and it was a natural hat trick before the end of the second period.
Old & New Faces Help Golden Knights Erase Slow Season Start
Paul Cotter and Jonas Rondbjerg each recorded their first career goals for the Vegas Golden Knights. Rondbjerg became the 13th Danish-born player to score a goal in the NHL. The Golden Knights are 8-2 in their last 10 games after starting the season 1-4. What has helped immensely is all the young players who have stepped in and produced in the absence of many of the team’s star players. Cotter has just recently been sent down to the American Hockey League.
Jonathan Marchessault scored his 100th goal as a member of the Golden Knights. With the team since the first day of the Golden Knights’ history, he has the most goals in franchise history, four more than William Karlsson. Marchessault is one of the stars who hadn’t suffered an injury that kept him out of the lineup.
Matthews & Company Lead Maple Leafs’ Torrid Pace
Matthews has the second-most overtime goals in Toronto Maple Leafs’ history with eight. He trails Mats Sundin with 14. Sundin played 981 games for the Maple Leafs, while Matthews has only played 347. There is still tons of time for the 24-year-old. The NHL also has 3-on-3 overtime periods instead of 4-on-4, so there’s more open ice for him to get off his devastating shot.
Joseph Woll won his NHL debut. This win came against the Buffalo Sabres in the second game of a back-to-back for both teams. Jack Campbell was given the night off after a great performance against the Calgary Flames, and Woll got the call with Petr Mrazek injured. Woll could see more playing time moving forward as Mrazek has had a history of injuries.
Player & Team Stats From Around the League
- The New York Rangers scored the quickest three goals in a regular-season game since 1993, doing it in 63 seconds. It was also the fastest three goals scored against the Columbus Blue Jackets in their history, beating Tampa Bay Lightning’s three in 75 seconds.
- Jonathan Quick recorded his 55th career shutout for the Los Angeles Kings.
- Ryan Pulock appeared in his 262nd consecutive game to tie Denis Potvin for most among defencemen in New York Islanders’ franchise history.
- Troy Terry’s career-high point streak of 13 games is the longest point streak by an Anaheim Ducks’ player since Ryan Getzlaf recorded a point in 14 straight in 2013. Only three Ducks players have recorded longer streaks: Corey Perry (19), Teemu Selanne (17), and Getzlaf.
- Dylan Larkin recorded his 300th career point for the Detroit Red Wings.
- Jacob Bernard-Docker and Lassi Thomson of the Ottawa Senators recorded their first career points.
- Alex Newhook scored his first career regular-season NHL goal for the Colorado Avalanche.
- Mathew Barzal played his 300th career game.
The young Senators helped the team get back in the win column, while Quick and Terry have been massive influences in the Kings and Ducks’ recent win streaks, getting them back in the playoff picture early. Pulock has been a staple on the blue line for the Islanders and will only contribute more to their success going forward. There was a lot to cover with firsts and streaks, so check back soon for all the latest the NHL has to offer in the way of stats and milestones.
Rob Couch is a THW freelance writer covering mainly the Edmonton Oilers and Philadelphia Flyers. He covers everything you need to know about fantasy hockey. He will also keep you up to date with the NHL Stat Corner and trade talks from around the NHL.