NHL Recaps: Canes overtake Devils, Flames blast Sharks, Pens end Rangers streak, and more

NHL Power Rankings Hurricanes
Dec 20, 2022; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Brent Burns (8) jumps into the boards after their victory against the New Jersey Devils at PNC Arena. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

NHL Recaps:  December 20, 2022

The schedule had 8 games on it for Tuesday night with early jockeying for playoff positioning now starting to take place.

In Pittsburgh, the Penguins jumped over the New York Rangers by snapping their 7 game winning streak. The Flames erupted for 7 goals on the road in a victory over the San Jose Sharks causing a three-way tie for the two wild card spots in the West.

Meanwhile, the Toronto Maple Leafs tighten their grip on second place in the Atlantic Division by knocking off the Tampa Bay Lightning. And in Raleigh, the Carolina Hurricanes beat the New Jersey Devils to claim first place in the Metropolitan Division.

NHL Recaps: Hurricanes move into first place

Hurricanes 4 vs Devils 1

Goalie Pyotr Kochetkov stopped 37 shots and Carolina was sparked by an early goal in a victory over New Jersey in Raleigh, N.C.

Jesperi Kotkaniemi scored 20 seconds into the game and the Hurricanes were on their way to pushing their point streak to 12 games (10-0-2). They won their sixth straight game. Carolina also got goals from Jordan Staal, Teuvo Teravainen and Stefan Noesen, and Jaccob Slavin had two assists.

“He stole the show for sure, ‘Kuchie’ was our best player by far,” Carolina captain Jordan Staal said. “Not our best [as a team]. They created a lot of offense and got us on our heels a little bit.”

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Jack Hughes scored with 4:36 remaining to prevent New Jersey, which trailed 3-0 at the time, from becoming a shutout victim for the first time this season. The Devils lost their sixth game in a row (0-5-1) after dropping only five games of their first 25 games this season.

Flames 7 vs Sharks 3

Tyler Toffoli and Dillon Dube set a franchise record for the fastest two goals to start a game and the Calgary Flames rebounded from a blown lead to claim a 7-3 win over the host San Jose Sharks on Tuesday.

Toffoli finished with two goals in a three-point outing, and Nazem Kadri scored twice for Calgary. Dube and Milan Lucic both collected one goal and one assist, while Trevor Lewis scored. Elias Lindholm and Jonathan Huberdeau both collected three assists.

“Perfect, I couldn’t have drawn it up any better,” Kadri grinned. “It’s probably the most ideal start I’ve ever seen. Especially on the road, that was impressive.”

Calgary Sun

Jacob Markstrom made 24 saves for the Flames, who swept a two-game series in San Jose.

Timo Meier contributed a goal and an assist while Nico Sturm and Alexander Barabanov also scored for the Sharks. James Reimer stopped 32 shots for San Jose, which was without Tomas Hertl due to suspension.

Flyers 5 vs Blue Jackets 3

Travis Konecny and Owen Tippett each scored two goals to lift host Philadelphia past Columbus.

Morgan Frost contributed one goal and Cam York had two assists for the Flyers, who produced 39 shots on goal — their second-highest total in a game this season. Philadelphia goaltender Carter Hart made 30 saves.

Kirill Marchenko, Kent Johnson and Andrew Peeke each scored one goal for the Blue Jackets, who dropped their fifth in a row. The depleted Blue Jackets had 12 players unavailable due to injury and illness, including Jake Voracek, Boone Jenner, Zach Werenski, Cole Sillinger and Yegor Chinakhov, among others.

Maple Leafs 4 vs Lightning 1

Auston Matthews scored what proved to be the decisive goal in the second period and host Toronto went on to defeat Tampa Bay.

William Nylander had a goal and an assist and Michael Bunting and Pierre Engvall also scored for the Maple Leafs, who had lost their two previous games after going 12-0-3. Toronto’s Matt Murray made 18 saves.

Vladislav Namestnikov scored for the Lightning, who had their five-game winning streak end. Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 36 shots for the Lightning, who have split the first two games on a four-game road trip.

NHL Recaps: Penguins end Rangers streak

pittsburgh penguins nhl recaps
Dec 20, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins right wing Bryan Rust (17) reacts after scoring a goal against New York Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin (31) during the second period at PPG Paints Arena. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Penguins 3 vs Rangers 2

Sidney Crosby had a goal and an assist as Pittsburgh halted visiting New York’s win streak at seven.

It was a rematch from the first round of the 2022 playoffs, when the Rangers advanced with a Game 7 overtime win. Evgeni Malkin and Bryan Rust also scored for the Penguins, who have won eight of nine.

Pittsburgh goaltender Tristan Jarry made 26 saves and has won seven straight starts. Chris Kreider had two goals and Vincent Trochek added two assists for the Rangers.

“We have a lot of respect for their team. They’re a good hockey team,” Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan said. “We’ve had a lot of close games against them over the last couple of years. Every time we play them, they seem to go down to one goal. It’s a big play here or there, a key play. That’s just the nature of the game.” 

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Jets 5 vs Senators 1

Kyle Connor scored twice and had an assist as Winnipeg beat visiting Ottawa for its third win in four games.

Josh Morrissey had a goal and an assist for the Jets, Kevin Stenlund and Sam Gagner also scored, and Dylan DeMelo, Axel Jonsson-Fjallby and Pierre-Luc Dubois all had two assists apiece. With Connor Hellebuyck sick, David Rittich made a spot start and stopped 35 shots.

Drake Batherson netted a power-play goal and Cam Talbot made 19 saves for the Senators, who have lost back-to-back games after a four-game winning streak.

Kraken 5 vs Blues 2

Ryan Donato scored for the fourth consecutive game as Seattle defeated visiting St. Louis.

Carson Soucy, Daniel Sprong, Jared McCann and Brandon Tanev also tallied for Seattle, which won its second consecutive game. Tanev added an assist while Morgan Geekie contributed two assists. Kraken goaltender Martin Jones made 22 saves.

Colton Parayko and Pavel Buchnevich scored third-period goals for the Blues, who had a five-game point streak (4-0-1) snapped. Thomas Greiss stopped 28 of 32 shots.

Kings 4 vs Ducks 1

Pheonix Copley made 24 saves in his fourth consecutive start to help Los Angeles earn a win against visiting Anaheim.

Drew Doughty, Alex Iafallo, Viktor Arvidsson and Kevin Fiala scored for the Kings, who won their third game in a row. Adrian Kempe added two assists. Frank Vatrano scored, and Lukas Dostal made 37 saves for the Ducks, who were unsuccessful in their bid to win three in a row for the first time this season.

Dostal and Copley each began this season third on the organizational depth charts, but injuries and ineffectiveness have elevated them into starting roles.

–Field Level Media

–The Daily Goal Horn contributed to this article

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