BARK-ING AT THE VOTERS: Young Gun Aleksander Barkov, who leads the Panthers with 22 points, is currently tied for eighth place for the most points (7-15-22) scored by a rookie in the league. With the Flyning Finn still running hot, he is in the running for the Calder Trophy as the league’s best rookie. Barkov looks to join last year’s Calder Trophy winner, Panthers forward Jonathan Huberdeau to become the first teammates on a team to net back-to-back Calder winners. It would be the first time since in 1967 and 1968 for the Boston Bruins when Bobby Orr and Derek Sanderson picked up the award.
BOYES IN THE GOOD: Forward Brad Boyes has provided the offense over the last month, having a five-point game streak (3-4-7) from Dec. 29 to Jan. 9 while pushing his team-leading goal total to 12. Boyes helped the Cats skate off with two full points during Thursday’s game against Buffalo netting his sixth shootout goal of the season (tied for second). Boyes only trails line mate Barkov in the points race, posting 21 points (12-9-21) on the season.
LONG ISLAND SOUND: New York comes in to tonight’s game white hot, having won their last four straight games overall and seven straight games while on the road following their 4-2 victory over Dallas. This is the second time in franchise history for the Islanders they’ve hit that many games on the winning side while away from Nassau Coliseum.
SOUP HOT ON ICE: Panthers defenseman Brian Campbell continues to see the ice time pile up as he sits in second place in the entire league with a grand total of 1,256:23 and 27:55 per game. That total only trails Minnesota’s Ryan Suter (29:38). In the last five games alone, Campbell has seen the bench for less than half the game, skating anywhere from 30:06 to 32:45. Campbell recently played in his 800th NHL career game against Buffalo last Thursday.
JOHNNY ON THE SPOT: Center John Tavares leads both on and off the ice for the Islanders. The team’s captain leads the Islanders with 56 points (21-35-56) and has especially been instrumental over their four-game winning streak as he posted 10 points (4-6-10), helping him take home the NHL’s First Star of the Week honors.
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