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Scott Cullen

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Ottawa's new scoring connection, Crosby continues to climb in the scoring race; Letang, Datsyuk, fantasy and more in Scott Cullen's Statistically Speaking.

HEROES

Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Mark Stone - The Senators duo each contributed three points in a 5-1 win over Tampa Bay. Pageau had a goal and two assists, and has eight points (3 G, 5 A) in the past six games, while Stone scored twice and added an assist, giving him eight points (5 G, 3 A) in the past four games.

Sidney Crosby - Okay, this is getting nuts now. Crosby put up two goals - both on breakaways - and two assists in a 6-2 win over Anaheim, giving him 22 points (12 G, 10 A) during an 11-game point streak. He's tied for fifth in the league with 53 points in 51 games.

Here are the league's top 15 scorers since the beginning of December:

 

LEADING SCORERS SINCE DEC. 1

 

PLAYER

TEAM

POS

GP

G

A

PTS

Patrick Kane

Chicago

RW

32

18

21

39

Sidney Crosby

Pittsburgh

C

28

19

19

38

Anze Kopitar

Los Angeles

C

28

6

27

33

Erik Karlsson

Ottawa

D

30

6

27

33

Nikita Kucherov

Tampa Bay

RW

27

15

17

32

Jakub Voracek

Philadelphia

RW/LW

27

7

22

29

Joe Thornton

San Jose

C

28

8

21

29

Artemi Panarin

Chicago

LW

32

11

18

29

Johnny Gaudreau

Calgary

LW

27

16

12

28

Joe Pavelski

San Jose

C/RW

28

13

15

28

Nicklas Backstrom

Washington

C

28

9

19

28

Evgeni Malkin

Pittsburgh

C

26

12

15

27

Evgeny Kuznetsov

Washington

C

28

7

20

27

Kris Letang

Pittsburgh

D

19

8

18

26

Ryan Spooner

Boston

C

30

6

20

26

 

Remember when Crosby started the year with two goals and nine points in the first 18 games? Yeah, me neither.

Kris Letang - Crosby's on a great run, but so is Pittsburgh's No. 1 defenceman. With two assists against Anaheim, Letang has 26 points (8 G, 18 A) in the past 17 games. Erik Karlsson is the only defenceman ranked ahead of Letang's 0.95 points per game.

Pavel Datsyuk - Detroit's slick puckhandler buried a couple of goals, on nine shot attempts (7 SOG), in a 3-0 win over Florida. He has 12 points (3 G, 9 A) in the past 11 games. While his points-per-game production is his lowest since his rookie season, Datsyuk continues to drive play for the Red Wings.

ZEROES

John Gibson - Anaheim's Pittsburgh-born  goaltender was the victim of Crosby's big night, allowing six goals on 31 shots before getting pulled with 13:13 remaining. It was the first time in 19 starts this season that Gibson allowed more than three goals.

Rickard Rakell - He had positive possession stats (16 for, 13 against, 55.2 SAT%), but won three of 14 draws (21.4%) and was on the ice for four goals against in a 6-2 loss at Pittsburgh.

Andrej Sustr - Despite solid possession stats (18 for, 12 against, 60.0 SAT%), the Lightning blueliner was on for four goals against in a 5-1 loss to Ottawa.

Seth Helgeson - Despite starting 71% of his shifts in the offensive zone, the Devils blueliner had team-worst possession (8 for, 26 against. 23.5 SAT%) and was on for both goals against in a 2-1 loss.

VITAL SIGNS

Aleksander Barkov - Florida's first line centre suffered an upper-body injury when he took a high hit by Detroit's Justin Abdelkader. If Barkov is out then Nick Bjugstad looks like he will get a shot with Jonathan Huberdeau and Jaromir Jagr on the top line. 

Alex Pietrangelo - St. Louis' No. 1 defenceman is sidelined with a knee injury, to be re-evaluated in three weeks.

Jason Garrison - The Tampa Bay blueliner suffered a lower-body injury in Monday's loss to Ottawa.

SHORT SHIFTS

Ducks C Ryan Getzlaf contributed a goal and an assist in a 6-2 loss at Pittsburgh; he has 13 points (2 G, 11 A) in the past 12 games…Penguins LW Chris Kunitz reaps the rewards of his gig alongside Crosby. Kunitz had a goal and an assist against Anaheim, and has 12 points (5 G, 7 A) in the past nine games…Rangers LW J.T. Miller scored a goal in a 2-1 win over New Jersey, his eighth goals in the past eight games.

Red Wings G Petr Mrazek had a 23-save shutout against Florida, and has a .941 save percentage over his past 20 games…Devils G Cory Schneider stopped 35 of 37 shots in a 2-1 loss to the Rangers. He has a .941 save percentage in his past 15 starts…Rangers G Henrik Lundqvist turned away 27 of 28 shots in the win, and has a .932 save percentage in his past 11 games.

FANTASY FOCUS

Players widely-owned in TSN leagues that have seen their production decline lately:

Colton Parayko - St. Louis' rookie blueliner had no goals and four assists in his past 20 games, but could be looking at more minutes in Pietrangelo's absence. Owned: 91.7%

Jeff Carter - The Kings pivot has just two goals and seven assists in his past 19 games. Owned: 100.0%

Mikkel Boedker - Arizona's speedy winger has one goal and four assists in the past 15 games. Owned: 83.2%

Much of the data included comes from www.war-on-ice.com, stats.hockeyanalysis.com www.hockey-reference and www.naturalstattrick.com

Scott Cullen can be reached at scott.cullen@bellmedia.ca