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In this edition of NHL Talk, these are the top storylines with quotes from players, coaches, managers, and more:
Lightning Prepare for First Outdoor Game in Franchise History
The Tampa Bay Lightning will play its first outdoor regular-season NHL game in franchise history when it faces off against the Nashville Predators in the 2022 NHL Stadium Series at Nissan Stadium on Saturday. More than 70,000 fans are expected to be in attendance at the stadium in Nashville. It will mark a very special moment for many Lightning players who have yet to experience playing in an outdoor NHL game.
“I mean, my birthday is in February (Feb. 7) so that was the birthday party every year, go to the local pond and have a big shinny game with hot chocolate and pizza and all that stuff,” Lightning forward Steven Stamkos said. “Those were some really great memories for me.”
“When you look at teams that have gotten outdoor games, it’s a lot of Original Six teams, teams that have a lot of history,” Lightning forward Alex Killorn said. “We talk, not angrily, but in the locker room whenever they announce the teams for these games, we feel like we get slighted a bit just because we feel like we’ve done a lot. I think we got rewarded this year.”
Blackhawks’ Kane and Hagel Score Hat Tricks in Same Game
Chicago Blackhawks’ forwards Patrick Kane and Brandon Hagel celebrated a special night together, each recording a hat trick in an 8-5 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Friday. It was the eighth hat trick of Kane’s NHL career and the first for Hagel in his 100th NHL game. Kane completed his hat trick at 18:37 of the third period, while Hagel completed his at 19:32 of the same frame, both firing their third goals of the night into empty nets.
“I think we had a similar situation earlier this year where he had two and I had two as well, and we were going to see who was going to get the third one first against [the] Ottawa [Senators on Nov. 1],” Kane said. “I ended up getting that one first, so kind of a similar situation tonight, but nice to see him get a hat trick. That’s pretty special.”
“Yeah, that’s nice,” Hagel said. “No better way to do it than on my 100th game. It felt good. Got that one out of the way so now I’m going for four.”
Avalanche’s Landeskog Tallies Fifth Career NHL Hat Trick
Colorado Avalanche forward Gabriel Landeskog tallied the fifth hat trick of his NHL career in a 6-3 win over the Winnipeg Jets on Friday. He played a major role in six consecutive goals scored by the Avalanche, in response to the Jets’ 3-0 lead at the end of the first period. He is on pace for a career-high in goals, with 28 goals in 44 games.
“You learn pretty early on, sometimes in this league [goals] come in bunches,” Landeskog said. “And sometimes when they’re going in for you, you want to keep doing what’s working for you, and for me, that’s going to the net and trying to get my stick on the puck and deflect pucks.”
Kings’ Quick Earns 350th NHL Win, Fourth U.S. Goaltender to Achieve Feat
Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick joined elite company on Friday, winning his 350th NHL game in a 4-1 victory over the Anaheim Ducks, becoming the fourth American goaltender to reach 350 career wins. He joins the ranks of Ryan Miller (391), John Vanbiesbrouck (374), and Tom Barrasso (369), and has a chance to become the all-time winningest U.S.-born goaltender by the end of his career. He holds a 350-259-75 record in 696 games (688 starts), playing all 15 seasons of his career with the Kings.
“I don’t think I have to say too much, we’re used to what ‘Quicky’ does,” Kings forward Anze Kopitar said. “Sometimes we get complacent with it because he’s so good back there.”
Tom Pepper is an NHL columnist at The Hockey Writers. He lives in Toronto and is a diehard fan of the St. Louis Blues.