There were only two games last night, but one interesting bit of news came prior to the puck drop. Ilya Kovalchuk, whose contract with the Los Angeles Kings had been terminated, signed a one-year, $700,000 contract with the Montreal Canadiens. The deal is even two-ways, so the risk to the Canadiens couldn’t be smaller. It was reported that Kovalchuk was willing to sign for the league minimum to play for a contender and Montreal kind of qualifies as that. The Canadiens aren’t in a playoff spot right now, but they haven’t lost hope. They have a good core and goaltender Carey Price can steal games, so if the stars align, the Canadiens might end up surprising people.
Still, Kovalchuk clearly has a lot to prove after his disappointing stint with the Kings. If he can show that he can still be a decent complimentary scorer and a contributor on the power play, then the Canadiens will be pretty happy with this signing. If this goes well, he should also have more options over the summer.
From a fantasy perspective, it will be worth keeping a close eye on how Kovalchuk is used, but I don’t think he’s worth picking up right away if you’re in a standard league. It’d be better to wait-and-see instead of taking the risk.
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WASHINGTON 4 CAROLINA 3
Lars Eller netted the game-winning goal and registered an assist. He has nine goals and 23 points in 42 contests.
Evgeny Kuznetsov also had a goal and an assist for the Capitals. He’s up to 16 goals and 39 points in 39 games.
Ryan Dzingel netted a power-play goal for Carolina. It was his eighth goal and 25th point in 41 contests.
Petr Mrazek stopped 25 of 29 shots Friday night. He has a 16-9-2 record, 2.72 GAA, and .901 save percentage in 27 contests.
At the other end of the ice, Ilya Samsonov saved 38 of 41 shots. He’s 11-2-1 with a 2.33 GAA and .918 save percentage in 15 games.
DALLAS 4 DETROIT 1
The Red Wings’ lone goal was scored by Dylan Larkin. It was his 10th goal and 26th point in 42 games.
Joe Pavelski scored a goal and registered an assist for Dallas. He has eight goals and 18 points in 42 contests.
Three of the Stars’ four goals were assisted on by Esa Lindell. He’s up to two goals and 16 points in 42 games.
Anton Khudobin stopped 22 of 23 Red Wings shots. He’s won his last four starts.
Jonathan Bernier turned aside 23 of 26 shots last night. He has an 8-12-2 with a 3.04 GAA and .904 save percentage in2 6 games.