3 things we learned in the NHL: Best birthday ever

A milestone for a Staal, a special birthday for a Blackhawk and another bad night for Cam Talbot.

Here are three things we learned in the NHL.

A milestone night for Jordan Staal

Jordan Staal has been one of the more reliable defensive forwards since he broke into the league in 2006, but on Friday he reached an important offensive milestone.

His first-period power-play marker was the 200th goal of his career.

Staal, the second-overall pick in 2006, now has 13 goals this season. After scoring 29 as a rookie with the Penguins, he has hovered between 15 and 20 goals almost every year since.

Among his draft class, he’s fourth in goals behind Brad Marchand (209), Jonathan Toews (286) and Phil Kessel (314).

Now age 29 and in his 12th NHL season, Staal has seen his hard work pay off. He was named co-captain of the Hurricanes, with defenceman Justin Faulk, before the start of the season.

A quick night for Cam Talbot

Nothing has gone right for the Edmonton Oilers this season, and their awful start against the last-place Arizona Coyotes on Friday was just the latest thing to go wrong.

Cam Talbot was pulled less than four minutes into the game after giving up two goals on three shots. A less-than-ideal start for a team already on the ropes.

Talbot, who last year was in the Vezina conversation, is currently going through one of the worst stretches of any goalie this season.

Entering Friday, the 30-year-old had a 1-6-1 record dating back to Dec. 27. In six of those eight starts, he had allowed four or more goals, including four in an overtime loss.

Lucky for him, the Oilers erased that 2-0 deficit with two goals of their own later in the first and ultimately won the game 4-2. But most teams aren’t as bad as the Coyotes, and the Oilers need Talbot to be better if they want to turn this season around.

Happy birthday David Kampf

Chicago Blackhawks rookie forward David Kampf turned 23 on Friday and he celebrated in the best way possible. By scoring his first NHL goal.

Kampf also picked up an assist in the game, which ended with the Blackhawks beating the Winnipeg Jets 2-1.

The birthday boy was never drafted and signed with the Blackhawks as a free agent last summer. After spending the first part of the season in the AHL, he made his NHL debut on Dec. 28 and has appeared in every game since, picking up three assists before his two-point effort on Friday.

He became the second player this season and 15th all-time to score his first career goal on his birthday. Red Wings forward Martin Frk did the same thing on his birthday in October, but before that it hadn’t been done since 2009.

Article source: http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/3-things-learned-nhl-best-birthday-ever/

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