* Nikita Kucherov scored in overtime to propel the Lightning to their franchise-record 11th straight win. They became the NHL’s first team to 40 victories in 2019-20.
* The Golden Knights, Flames and Coyotes all survived tightly contested affairs to keep pace in the Pacific Division, where five teams are separated by two points.
* Players 24 or younger accounted for 13 goals Monday and eclipsed the 2,000 mark on the season as a whole (2,009).
LIGHTNING SET FRANCHISE RECORD WITH 11TH STRAIGHT WIN
Nikita Kucherov scored in overtime to propel the Lightning (40-15-5, 85 points) to their franchise-record 11th straight win and 40th victory of the season. Tampa Bay moved within one point of idle Boston (37-11-12, 86 points) for first in the Atlantic Division and overall League standings.
* The Lightning became the first team to win 40 games for the third straight season after also doing so in 2017-18 and 2018-19 (outright or tied). They became just the third team in NHL history to accomplish the feat in three or more consecutive campaigns, joining the Oilers (4 from 1983-84 to 1986-87) and Canadiens (3 from 1959-60 to 1961-62; 4 from 1975-76 to 1978-79).
* Tampa Bay, which surrendered the game-opening goal for just the third time over the course of its 11-game run, has only trailed for 57:47 over its current stretch as opposed to having led or been tied for 608:32.
* Kucherov has collected at least one point in each of his last 14 appearances dating to Jan. 14 (12-12—24) and trails only Edmonton’s Leon Draisaitl for the most by any player since Jan. 1. Only one player in Lightning history has recorded a longer stretch of consecutive appearances with a point: Steven Stamkos (18 GP from Jan. 19 – March 11, 2010).
* Brayden Point collected an assist in regulation to extend the League’s longest active point streak to 11 contests (3-12—15). Additionally, his 12 helpers over the course of Tampa Bay’s 11-game win streak paces all teammates.
GOLDEN KNIGHTS CONTINUE TO CLIMB CROWDED PACIFIC DIVISION. . .
Max Pacioretty netted his team-leading 27th goal of the season as the Golden Knights (31-22-8, 70 points) withstood a Capitals rally and leapfrogged the idle Canucks (32-22-5, 69 points) for second place in a logjammed Pacific Division where five teams are separated by two points.
* Vegas sits tied with Edmonton (32-21-6, 70 points) for first in the Pacific in terms of standings points, but the Oilers hold two games in hand. The two teams are set to go head-to-head three more times this season: Feb. 26 (at VGK), March 9 (at EDM) and March 31 (at EDM).
* The Golden Knights have held a top-three position in the Pacific Division for 84 days in 2019-20 – the second-most among all divisional opponents, behind the Oilers (126). Should they remain in their current standing until the conclusion of the regular season, the Golden Knights can join the Rangers (1926-27 to 1929-30) and Blues (1967-68 to 1970-71) as the third team in NHL history to finish in the top three of their division in each of their first three-plus seasons in the League.
. . . WHILE YOUNG STARS AND WILD CARD CLUBS SHINE IN THE WEST
The Flames (31-24-6, 68 points) and Coyotes (30-24-8, 68 points), who hold the first and second Wild Card spots in the Western Conference, each survived tightly contested affairs to keep pace with the Golden Knights (31-22-8, 70 points) in the Pacific Division.
* Twenty-three-year-old Andrew Mangiapane (3-1—4) scored his first career hat trick and 22-year-old Matthew Tkachuk reached the 20-goal mark for the third straight season as the Flames captured their second win in three contests. After scoring a career-high 34 goals in 2018-19, Tkachuk joined Sean Monahan (4x), Robert Reichel (3x) and Jarome Iginla (3x) as the fourth player in Flames history to register three such seasons prior to his 23rd birthday (age by end of season).
* Twenty-one-year-old Clayton Keller found the score sheet for the third time in five games and netted his 50th career goal (all w/ ARI). Among players to debut with the Coyotes, Keller (229 GP) required the second-fewest games to reach the benchmark, with Daniel Briere (181 GP w/PHX) standing as the only player to do so in fewer contests since the club relocated to Arizona.
* Players 24 or younger accounted for 13 goals Monday and eclipsed the 2,000 mark on the season as a whole (2,009). The 2019-20 campaign is on pace to be the third straight to feature at least 2,700 goals scored by players 24 and younger (2017-18: 2,806 and 2018-19: 2,821). There has only been one other span in League history with as high a total in at least three consecutive seasons: 10 straight from 1979-80 to 1988-89, including 3,489 in 1981-82.
PANTHERS MAKE GROUND IN THE STANDINGS WITH FIVE-GOAL OUTING
Five different players scored as the Panthers (31-22-6, 68 points) moved within two points of the idle Maple Leafs (31-21-8, 70 points) for third place in the Atlantic Division and hold one game in hand. Florida, however, has earned 26 regulation wins to Toronto’s 23.
* Monday’s contest marked Florida’s 18th outing with five-plus goals this season – tied with Washington for the second-most among all clubs in 2019-20. Vancouver paces all teams with 19 such contests.
* The Panthers’ dynamic duo of Jonathan Huberdeau and Aleksander Barkov assisted on the game-winning goal to join each other in two of the franchise’s rare accomplishments:
* Huberdeau (21-50—71 in 59 GP), with points in his last three games (2-1—3) reached the 50-assist mark for the second time in as many seasons after he collected a franchise-record 62 helpers in 2018-19. The third-overall pick in the 2011 NHL Draft joined Barkov (2017-18 and 2018-19) and Olli Jokinen (2005-06 and 2006-07) as just the third player in franchise history to record multiple 50-assist seasons.
* Barkov (17-40—57), one of 21 players to produce at a point-per-game pace this season (min. 40 GP), boosted his career totals to 152-250—402 and surpassed Stephen Weiss (249) for the second-most assists in franchise history. The Panthers captain sits second to the aforementioned Huberdeau (284).
CARLSON JOINS ELITE COMPANY WITH 70 POINTS THROUGH 58 GAMES
Capitals defenseman John Carlson (15-55—70) collected an assist to register his 70th point of the season and match his single-season career high (13-57—70 in 2018-19). Only four different defensemen in the last 30 years have required fewer games to record their 70th point of a season.
PHILLIPS SET TO HAVE HIS NO. 4 RETIRED BY SENATORS
The Senators will retire the number of Chris Phillips (No. 4) as part of a pre-game ceremony prior to their home game against the Sabres Tuesday. The 17-season NHL veteran (1,179 GP, all w/ OTT) paces a group of three players to skate in at least 1,000 games with the franchise (also Daniel Alfredsson: 1,178 and Chris Neil: 1,026).
* Drafted by the Senators with the first overall pick in the 1996 NHL Draft, Phillips will join Frank Finnigan (No. 8) and Alfredsson (No. 11) as the third player to have his jersey retired by the franchise.
* Additionally, Phillips stands as one of seven players in NHL history to appear in at least 50 per cent of a franchise’s all-time regular-season games (min. 1,000 GP). Only three have accounted for a higher percentage than the former Senators defenseman (55.43%): Patrick Marleau (1,548 of 2,207: 70.14%), Mikko Koivu (1,017 of 1,500: 67.8%) and David Legwand (956 of 1,664: 57.45%).