DUCKS INCH CLOSER TO PACIFIC DIVISION LEAD
With a 1-0 win over Minnesota, the Anaheim Ducks (30-18-10, 70 points) reached the 30-win mark to inch closer to the idle Sharks (34-18-5, 73 points) for first place in the Pacific Division.
John Gibson (37 saves) picked up his fourth shutout of the season (10th career) to backstop the Ducks over the Western Conference-leading Wild. Gibson earned his career-high 22nd win of the season and improved to 22-14-8 overall (2.30 GAA, .921 SV%, 4 SO).
In other NHL news . . .
MURRAY JOINS ELITE COMPANY AS PENGUINS CLIMB METROPOLITAN
Four different skaters scored and Matt Murray turned aside all 29 shots he faced as the Penguins extended their point streak to seven games (5-0-2).
The Penguins (35-13-7, 77 points) moved into sole possession of second place in the Metropolitan Division, seven points back of the League-leading Capitals (39-11-6, 84 points). Pittsburgh holds a game in hand.
Murray picked up his third shutout of the season (fourth career) and improved to 30-8-3 in 44 career regular-season appearances (2.19 GAA, .927 SV%, 4 SO). Murray required the fourth-fewest appearances (tied) in NHL history to reach 30 career wins:
Fewest appearances to 30 career wins, NHL history
40 – Frank Brimsek (BOS) on March 9, 1939
41 – Bill Durnan (MTL) on Feb. 26, 1944
43 – Ross Brooks (BOS) on Dec. 8, 1974
44 – Pete Peeters (PHI) on April 3, 1980
44 – Matt Murray (PIT) on Feb. 14, 2017
BLUES, RED WINGS CLASH ON WEDNESDAY NIGHT RIVALRY
NBCSN’s Wednesday Night Rivalry features an interconference matchup when the Blues (29-22-5, 63 points) square off with Red Wings (22-24-10, 54 points) in their final visit to Joe Louis Arena. St. Louis enters the contests on a four-game win streak and an overall record 5-1-0 since Mike Yeo was named head coach of the club, while Detroit is looking to halt a four-game slide (0-3-1). The Blues have earned points in their last five visits to The Joe dating to Feb. 13, 2013 (4-0-1), outscoring the Red Wings 13-6 in those contests.
KINGS TRADE TOM GILBERT FOR 5TH ROUND PICK
The Los Angeles Kings have received a conditional fifth-round pick in the 2017 NHL Draft from Washington in exchange for defenseman Tom Gilbert, Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi announced.
Gilbert, 34, appeared in 18 games this season with the Kings, recording five points (1-4=5) and six penalty minutes. He was signed by the Kings as an unrestricted free agent, July 1, 2016.
KINGS RECALL KEMPE AND LADUE FROM AHL CLUB
The Los Angeles Kings have recalled forward Adrian Kempe and defenseman Paul LaDue from the Ontario Reign of the American Hockey League, Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi announced today.
The 20-year-old Kempe (born Sep. 13, 1996) is a 6-2, 202-pound native of Kramfors, Sweden who has appeared in 43 games during his second season with Ontario, posting 19 points (11-8=19) and 38 penalty minutes. At the time of his recall, Kempe ranked tied for second on the team in goals.
Selected in the first-round (29th overall) of the 2014 NHL Draft, Kempe is getting his first NHL call-up after appearing in 101 regular-season games for the Reign and Monarchs over the past three seasons, recording 47 points (22-25=47) and 67 penalty minutes.
The 24-year-old LaDue (born Sept. 6, 1992) is a 6-2, 201-pound native of Grand Forks, N.D., who went scoreless in one game during his assignment to Ontario on Feb. 11.
Selected in the sixth-round (181st overall) of the 2012 NHL Draft, LaDue has appeared in 37 games during his rookie season with Ontario, posting 18 points (6-12=18) and 26 penalty minutes. At the time of his recall he ranked tied for first in goals and third in assists among team defensemen. Among AHL rookie defensemen he ranked fifth in goals, tied for ninth in points and tied for second in power play goals (four; tied for 10th among all AHL defensemen).
RALPH STRANGIS TO CALL NEXT 7 KINGS GAMES IN PLACE OF BOB MILLER
Ralph Strangis is now scheduled to call the next seven Kings games on FOX Sports West alongside Jim Fox, as Bob Miller continues to recuperate from his health setback late last month. Strangis will call Kings games from February 16-28, and the Kings and Miller will look to provide an update on his return near the end of this month.
Miller suffered a mild stroke on January 28 and was admitted to USC Keck Hospital where he underwent a procedure before being released. He continues to recover at home and remains in great spirits.
The team issued the following statement:
“Bob’s health remains our utmost priority and this was a joint decision. We share our fans sentiments and wish Bob a safe and speedy recovery. The Kings and our entire broadcasting crew are appreciative of Ralph and his efforts here.”
Jiggs McDonald, the play-by-play announcer for the Kings during their first five seasons, returned to the Kings TV booth for the first time since 1972 to call the recent Kings-Panthers game.
BETTMAN STATEMENT ON PASSING OF RED WINGS OWNER MIKE ILITCH
Gary Bettman, Commissioner of the National Hockey League, released the following statement regarding the passing of Mike Ilitch, the Detroit Red Wings’ owner since 1982:
"With the passing of Mike Ilitch, the Red Wings have lost the consummate owner, the National Hockey League has lost a cherished friend and passionate builder, Detroit sports has lost a legend and the city of Detroit has lost not only a devoted native son but a visionary and driving force in the rebirth of downtown."
"Mike’s commitment to excellence and to winning were unparalleled and his commitment to the community was unrivaled – as was his boundless support of youth hockey. He was a prolific philanthropist, and, above all, a devoted partner and husband to his wife of 62 years, Marian. At this moment of heartbreaking sorrow, we send deepest condolences to the entire Ilitch family and to all who were privileged to know him, play for him or work for him."
TUESDAY’S RESULTS (Home Team in Caps)
NEW JERSEY 3, Colorado 2
PITTSBURGH 4, Vancouver 0
TORONTO 7, NY Islanders 1
Buffalo 3, OTTAWA 2
Anaheim 1, MINNESOTA 0
WINNIPEG 5, Dallas 2
EDMONTON 5, Arizona 2
WEDNESDAY’S ACTION (All Times Eastern)
Toronto @ Columbus, 7 p.m., SN, TVAS, FS-O
St. Louis @ Detroit, 8 p.m., NBCSN
Philadelphia @ Calgary, 9:30 p.m., SN360, SNW, TCN-PH
Florida @ San Jose, 10:30 p.m., NBCSN
By Staff of TheDailySportsHerald.com and news services