Lightning Round: Syracuse Crunch’s six-game points streak ended in a game against Utica

Aleksander Barkov will replace Auston Matthews during the All-Star Weekend

After starting the regular season in the AHL very slowly, the Syracuse Crunch started picking up points on a more regular basis recently. Before last night they posted a season-longest six points streak, which unfortunately ended in a shutout loss against the Utica Comets.

Despite a loss, the Tampa Bay Lightning’s prospect Hugo Alnefelt had a solid night, stopping 29 out of 30 opponents shots. Graeme Clarke scored the only goal of the night in the middle of the second period. For the Crunch it was the first regulation loss against the Comets this season after four victories and one overtime loss previously.

Before the game, the Crunch also recalled goaltender Jack LaFontaine from the Orlando Solar Bears, who already played in four games with Syracuse.

A footage from a new episode of Recharge, featuring Steven Stamkos talking to his teammates in locker room after scoring his 500th goal in the NHL.

Despite being third in a scoring race, Nikita Kucherov is definitely flying under the radar this season. He’s currently on pace for 91 assists this season, which would have been the first time since Joe Thornton in 2006-07, when a player records 90+ assists in a single season.

A deeper analysis of Victor Hedman’s defensive struggles this season [Daily Faceoff]

After having a 5-on-5 expected goals against per 60 minutes of 2.12 from 2012 to 2022, which was tied for 56th in the league, it’s dropped to 3.1 this season, which is the 19th worst in the NHL and puts his name next to the likes of David Savard, Seth & Caleb Jones, Erik Gudbranson, and Vladislav Gavrikov, all defensemen who are either well known for their defensive struggles or who are playing on teams that bleed scoring chances against. And to cap it all off, his defensive goals above replacement is -5.1, which is the sixth worst among defensemen.

The Orlando Solar Bears defeated the Savannah Ghost Pirates on a Friday night.

Hockey News

The Los Angeles Kings defeated the Florida Panthers 4-3 on a night before coming to Amalie Arena.

The Toronto Maple Leafs’ forward Auston Matthews will miss at least three weeks due to a knee sprain suffered in their games against the New York Rangers.

The Panthers’ captain Aleksander Barkov will replace Matthews during an upcoming All-Star Weekend.

The Vancouver Canucks’ forward Ilya Mikheyev will miss the rest of the season after playing the whole season with a serious ACL injury.