* John Carlson’s fifth game-winning goal and 45th point of 2019-20 helped the Capitals topple the Bruins in a showdown of the League’s top two clubs.
* Despite surrendering a multi-goal lead in the third period, the Canadiens secured an overtime win as 20-year-old Cayden Primeau collected his first NHL victory.
* Mikko Rantanen scored twice to record his 19th and 20th points (15 GP) as the Avalanche collected their 20th win and overtook first place in the Western Conference.
CARLSON, CAPITALS TAKE SHOWDOWN OF LEAGUE-LEADERS
John Carlson (1-1—2) scored his fifth game-winning goal of the season and his 45th point to propel the Capitals (23-5-5, 51 points) past the Bruins (20-6-6, 46 points), who occupy second place in the League’s overall standings.
* Carlson (12-33—45 in 33 GP), who recorded his 14th multi-point game of the season and third in his last five contests, required the fewest outings by a defensemen to reach 45 points in a campaign since Al MacInnis in 1990-91 (32 GP w/ CGY).
* The 29-year-old defenseman is tied with Ryan Getzlaf (31 GP w/ ANA), David Perron (32 GP w/ STL), Leon Draisaitl (33 GP w/ EDM) and David Pastrnak (32 GP w/ BOS) for the most game-winning goals in 2019-20. Only one defenseman in NHL history has recorded more through his first 33 games of a season.
* The Capitals’ seventh win in eight contests helped the club require the second fewest games to 50 standings points in their history. They fell one game shy of the franchise mark set in 2015-16 campaign (32 GP) – a campaign which featured their second highest single-season point total (56-18-8, 120 points).
CANADIENS WITHSTAND COMEBACK AS PRIMEAU COLLECTS FIRST NHL WIN
After the Senators erased a 2-0 deficit in the third period, Canadiens defenseman Ben Chiarot scored 1:11 into overtime to help 20-year-old Cayden Primeau (35 saves) earn the first win of his NHL career.
* Cayden (20 years, 122 days), with his father and 15-season NHL veteran Keith Primeau in attendance, collected his first NHL win after being called up by the Canadiens 10 days ago. Only four goaltenders in franchise history accomplished the feat at a younger age than Primeau.
* Primeau is the second goaltender in as many seasons to record his first NHL victory at age 21 or younger after Carter Hart became the youngest netminder in Flyers history to win in his NHL debut (20 years, 127 days on Dec. 18, 2018).
RANTANEN’S 20TH POINT LIFTS AVALANCHE TO 20TH WIN
Mikko Rantanen (2-0—2) found the score sheet for the fourth time in six games since returning to the lineup and Colorado collected its 20th win to overtake St. Louis (18-8-6, 42 points) for top spot in the Western Conference.
* Rantanen (8-12—20 in 15 GP) reached the 20-point mark in 15 or fewer games for the second time in his career (also 11 GP in 2018-19). Only two other players in Avalanche team history have accomplished the feat on multiple occasions: Peter Forsberg and Joe Sakic (both 3x).
* The 23-year-old forward from Nousiainen, Finland is one of seven players in 2019-20 to collect his 20th point in 15 or fewer games. The others: Brad Marchand (11 GP w/ BOS), David Pastrnak (11 GP w/ BOS), Connor McDavid (11 GP w/ EDM), John Carlson (11 GP w/ WSH), Leon Draisaitl (12 GP w/ EDM), Elias Pettersson (14 GP w/ VAN) and Evgeni Malkin (15 GP w/ PIT).
* Colorado’s climb atop the Western Conference standings has benefited from its eight-game point streak dating to Nov. 27 vs. Edmonton – outscoring its opponents 30-15 in that span. The Avalanche (also 8 GP from Oct. 3-19) joined the Bruins (10 GP from Oct. 12 to Nov. 4 and 13 GP from Nov. 10 to Dec. 5) as the second team to post multiple point streaks of at least eight contests in 2019-20.
PREVIEW OF TODAY’S ACTION
THORNTON SET TO SKATE IN 1,600TH CAREER GAME
Joe Thornton is expected to skate in his 1,600th career game when the Sharks host the Rangers at SAP Center Thursday.
* Thornton will become the 12th player in NHL history to skate in 1,600 career regular-season games. He skated in his first 532 games with Boston before being traded Nov. 30, 2005 to San Jose; he has since appeared in 1,067 contests with the Sharks, the second-most in franchise history behind Patrick Marleau (1,522).
* Thornton (1,599 GP) and Marleau (1,686 GP) are set to become the first teammates in NHL history to play in the same game with each having at least 1,600 regular-season games to their credit.
* The last two players with at least 1,600 regular-season games on their resume to appear in the same game were former Hurricanes captain Ron Francis and former Rangers captain Mark Messier on Jan. 8, 2004 at Carolina.
EICHEL EYES A POINT FOR 15TH STRAIGHT CONTEST
Sabres captain Jack Eichel, one of seven players with at least 40 points this season, looks to extend his point streak to 15 games on Thursday (12-13—25 in 14 GP). Only one player has posted a longer point streak in 2019-20: Patrick Kane (15 GP from Nov. 2-30).
* It would mark the third straight season in which multiple players posted a point streak of at least 15 straight games (Patrick Kane: 20 GP and Mike Hoffman: 17 GP in 2018-19; Taylor Hall: 19 GP and Patrik Laine: 15 GP in 2017-18).
* Eichel can also become the sixth player in Sabres history to post a point steak of at least 15 games and the first since Tim Connolly in 2009-10 (7-18—25 in 16 GP). The longest point steak in franchise history was an 18-game run by Gilbert Perreault in 1971-72 (10-21—31 in 18 GP).