Nick Ritchie scored the go-ahead goal with 2:02 remaining in regulation to help Anaheim (26-13-9, 61 points) defeat Colorado, 2-1, and extend the Ducks' point streak to six games (5-0-1).
John Gibson made 21 saves to improve to 8-1-2 in his past 11 appearances dating to Dec. 29, leading the League in wins (8), goals-against average (1.44) and save percentage (.953) in that span (min. 5 GP).
In other NHL news . . .
CAPITALS SCORE SEVEN TO EXTEND POINT STREAK TO 12 GAMES
The Capitals (30-9-6, 66 points) scored seven goals for a second straight game (also Monday at PIT: 8-7 OT L) as the club extended its point streak to 12 games (10-0-2) and reclaimed sole possession of first place in the NHL standings.
The Capitals scored at least seven goals in consecutive games for the first time since Feb. 11-13, 1993 (10-6 W at STL and 10-3 W at LAK, respectively). Washington has outscored opponents 30-13 over its past five games, scoring at least five goals in each contest – their first such run since Feb. 4-11, 2010 (also 5 GP).
Each of Washington’s 12 forwards found the score sheet, with Nicklas Backstrom (4-10—14) and Alex Ovechkin (3-8—11) extending their point streaks to eight and six games, respectively.
ISLANDERS BLANK STARS FOR SECOND STRAIGHT SHUTOUT
John Tavares (2-0—2) registered his third multi-goal outing in his last four games (7-0—7) and Thomas Greiss (23 saves) posted his second straight shutout – a first in his NHL career – to guide the Islanders to victory in their first game with interim head coach Doug Weight behind the bench.
THURSDAY’S RESULTS (Home Team in Caps)
NY ISLANDERS 3, Dallas 0
Ottawa 2, COLUMBUS 0
NY Rangers 5, TORONTO 2
Washington 7, ST. LOUIS 3
MINNESOTA 4, Arizona 3
Nashville 4, CALGARY 3
ANAHEIM 2, Colorado 1
SAN JOSE 2, Tampa Bay 1
FRIDAY’S ACTION (All Times Eastern)
Chicago @ Boston, 7 p.m., SN1, TVAS, NHLN-US, NESN, CSN-CH
Detroit @ Buffalo, 7 p.m., MSG-B, FS-D
Pittsburgh @ Carolina, 7 p.m., FS-CR, ROOT
Montreal @ New Jersey, 7:30 p.m., MSG+, SNE, RDS
Nashville @ Edmonton, 9 p.m., SNW, FS-TN
Florida @ Vancouver, 10 p.m., SNP, FS-F
HENRIK SEDIN EYES 1,000-POINT MILESTONE AGAINST PANTHERS
Canucks captain Henrik Sedin (232-767—999) aims to become the first player in franchise history to reach the 1,000-point milestone when the Panthers visit Rogers Arena. Sedin has a chance to reach the milestone against Florida goaltender Roberto Luongo, his teammate with the Canucks from 2006-14 and Vancouver’s all-time wins leader (252).
FORMER DUCK RYAN WHITNEY JOINS NHL NETWORK
NHL Network announced that Ryan Whitney has joined as an on-air analyst, becoming the ninth former NHL player to join its on-air talent lineup. Whitney will appear across NHL Network’s studio programming and make his debut on NHL Tonight with Bill Lindsay and Jamison Coyle this Wednesday, January 25th live at 10:30 p.m. ET.
“I've been watching NHL Network since it began and I'm excited to join a great team of analysts who love to watch hockey and have fun talking about the game,” said Whitney.
Whitney collected 50 goals and 209 assists in his 481 career NHL games. Out of Whitney’s 259 career points, 150 of them came as a Penguin, including a career-high 59 points in his sophomore campaign (2006-2007). Appearing in three consecutive Stanley Cup Playoff runs – with the Penguins (2006-2007 and 2007-2008) and Ducks (2008-2009) – Whitney played in 38 total playoff games.
As a Duck, Whitney scored one goal with five assists to push Anaheim to Game 7 of the Western Conference Semi-Finals against the Red Wings. Drafted fifth overall in 2002, the Boston, Massachusetts native spent three-plus seasons with the Penguins (2005-2009) before joining the Ducks (2009-2010), Oilers (2010-2013) and Panthers (2013-2014). In 2010, Whitney won a silver medal as part of Team USA at the Olympic Games in Vancouver.
In addition to his work with NHL Network, Whitney will continue his role as co-host of Barstool Sports’ Spittin’ Chiclets podcast and his role as an analyst with Sportsnet. Whitney can be found on Twitter at @ryanwhitney6.
DUCKS ACQUIRE MAX GORTZ
The Anaheim Ducks acquired right wing Max Gortz from the Nashville Predators in exchange for left wing Andrew O’Brien.
Gortz, 23 (1/28/93), collected 1-3=4 points with two penalty minutes (PIM) in 30 games with Milwaukee of the American Hockey League (AHL) this season. Selected by Nashville in the sixth round (172nd overall) of the 2012 NHL Draft, Gortz has recorded 19-32=51 points in 102 career AHL games with Milwaukee. The 6-3, 202-pound forward ranked second in scoring (47), tied for third in goals (18) and third in assists (29) among Milwaukee skaters during the 2015-16 season.
O’Brien, 24 (11/21/92), recorded two assists (0-2=2) with four PIM in 10 games for San Diego this season. Selected by Anaheim in the fourth round (108th overall) of the 2012 NHL Draft, O’Brien has recorded 10-20=30 points with 180 PIM in 135 career AHL games with San Diego (2015-17) and Norfolk (2013-15).
By Staff of TheDailySportsHerald.com and news services