6 things we learned in the NHL: There’s no place like home

Mark Stone scored in overtime to get the Senators a 4-3 win over the Avalanche in the first of their two games in Stockholm, Sweden.

A long awaited debut, home-ice advantage across the pond, history in the crease, and more. Here are six things we learned in the NHL on Friday night.

Duchene (finally) makes his Senators debut

Matt Duchene and the Colorado Avalanche hit the ice on Friday but for the first time in Duchene’s career, they were at separate ends of the rink.

Almost a week after (finally) being traded to Ottawa in last weekend’s three-team blockbuster deal with the Predators, Duchene (finally) made his long-awaited debut in a Senators sweater—against the Avalanche, of course—in Part I of the NHL’s two-game Global Series in Stockholm.

The 26-year-old forward didn’t register a point in the Senators’ 4-3 overtime victory, but No. 95 looked right home with linemates Mike Hoffman and Zack Smith and Ottawa fans should be optimistic about his performance.

“It was surprising to me how much I was able to stay in the moment tonight. Most of the stuff I was thinking about was about our systems and fitting in, so that was the good part,” Duchene said after the game.

“It didn’t really register who we were playing, for me, tonight, which was great,” said Duchene. “Obviously I see some familiar faces but it was a little easier than I expected in terms of the emotional part.”

Now, back to simply playing hockey. Finally.

There’s no place like home

While much of Friday’s focus was on Duchene, the scoreboard pointed to plenty of Swedish success. Between the two teams, four players were skating in front of the hometown crowd in Stockholm—and all four registered at least a point.

Stockholm native Fredrik Claesson got the Senators on the board in the first period—his first goal of the year, to boot—while fellow Swedes Erik Karlsson (two assists) and Johnny Oduya (one assist) were also integral in Ottawa’s win.

Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog, who had plenty of family in attendance, earned an assist.

Even Mikko Rantanen, who hails from neighbouring Finland, had an assist on Friday.

Part II of the Global Series goes Saturday at 1 p.m. ET.

Luongo’s No. 4

The Florida Panthers snapped a five-game losing streak on Friday when they topped the Buffalo Sabres 4-1. Jonathan Huberdeau had three assists but the star of the night was Roberto Luongo, whose 24 saves helped him reach a pretty awesome milestone as the fourth winningest goaltender in NHL history.

Now with 455 career NHL victories, Luongo steps ahead of Curtis Joseph for sole possession of the No. 4 spot behind Ed Belfour (484), Patrick Roy (551) and the winningest netminder by a mile, Martin Brodeur (691).

Marleau, Leafs, have themselves a home-ice win streak

On a night that opened with a brief tribute honouring the 2017 Hockey Hall of Fame class, it’s only fitting that the game-winning goal should come off the stick of a future hall-of-famer.

Patrick Marleau was in top form Friday night, scoring the overtime winner as the Toronto Maple Leafs hosted the Boston Bruins in the first game of the teams’ home-and-home series that concludes Saturday night. The 38-year-old finished off a perfect tic-tac-toe play, with Mitch Marner—who also assisted on James van Riemsdyk‘s game-tying marker with a minute left in regulation—driving the play and Jake Gardiner sending a perfect pass to No. 12 for the 3-2 OT victory.

It was Marleau’s third game-winner of the season, which leads the Leafs, and his 101st overall. That puts him in seventh place for most game-winning goals in NHL history, tied with Jarome Iginla and just eight away from tying Leafs president Brendan Shanahan.

The Leafs now have themselves a three-game win streak on home ice as they hit the road to play the Bruins in Boston on Saturday night—where they’ll once again be without Auston Matthews.

Capitals keep Crosby off the board

Friday featured another edition of Sidney Crosby vs. Alex Ovechkin. Though the duo didn’t serve up the kind of highlights we’ve come to expect, it was a significant night for Crosby as it was the captain’s 800th career NHL game.

Ovechkin had an assist as the Capitals defeated the Penguins 4-1 while Crosby was held off the score sheet altogether. Crosby has now gone 10 straight games without a goal—two shy of his longest drought, 12, which came back in 2011-12.

The Penguins have struggled as whole recently, losing six of their last 10 games. They don’t have much time to rest, as they visit the Predators Saturday night.

Laine lights the lamp (again)

November has been good to Patrik Laine, who has found himself with a nice little four-game goal streak to start the month of November thanks to a beautiful one-timer on the power play.

Unfortunately for the 19-year-old, his efforts weren’t enough to claim victory over the red-hot Golden Knights, who improved to 10-5-1 on the season.

Laine’s goal was nice and all, but let’s talk about Lenny for a second. He’s the Jets’ new security dog and he’s perfect. 13/10, a very good pup.

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