We had 10 games on the National Hockey League docket Thursday night, and we continue to see new faces settling into their new places after Monday's trade deadline. Three games were decided in overtime, we had three games end in a 5-2 score and there was also one shutout, too. A handful of teams helped themselves in their pursuit of a postseason spot, too, while a few other teams on the outside looking in served notice to the rest of the league that they won't lay down, and they plan to step up. Let's get started!
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New York Rangers 5, Montreal Canadiens 2
The Canadiens got off to a hot start at home, leading in more than half of this game. That's likely surprising given the final score of the game.
Max Domi scored his 16th of the season at 3:12 of the first period to get the home crowd into it, and Tomas Tatar potted an even-strength goal at 17:01 of the second to give the Habs a 2-0 lead. Phil Di Giuseppe, of all people, notched his first goal of the season just 93 seconds after Tatar's goal to make it 2-1 heading to second intermission.
The third period was all Rangers, as Mika Zibanejad notched his 30th of the season, leveling the game 2-2. Adam Fox also scored what would end up as the game-winning tally, while Ryan Strome had an assist on the play. Strome then scored on a power play and he added an empty-net goal to finish off the scoring.
That was all Alexandar Georgiev would need, making 32 saves on 34 shots.
Chicago Blackhawks 5, Tampa Bay Lightning 2
The Blackhawks won on the road to level their record at .500, and a big reason for the rare road victory away from home was Dominik Kubalik. He posted the hat trick with a plus-2 rating and six shots on goal to make the difference.
Brandon Saad scored again, while adding an assist, and Slater Koekkoek notched his first goal of the season, and it just happened to come against his original NHL team. That was more than enough help for Corey Crawford, as he allowed just two goals on 38 shots.
The Lightning have dropped four in a row. Curtis McElhinney made the start, allowing four goals on just 26 shots. Nikita Kucherov and Brayden Point accounted for the only goals for the home side, and each had an assist as well.
Toronto Maple Leafs 5, Florida Panthers 3
The Jekyll and Hyde Leafs struck again. This is the same team which lost to the Carolina Hurricanes and an emergency goalie on home ice. They then turned around and won at Tampa Bay, and then again in Florida in this one.
Frederik Andersen bounced back, allowing just three goals on 27 shots, easily besting Sergei Bobrovsky. The latter allowed four goals on 28 shots, and only Mike Hoffman and Mark Pysyk provided the backstop any support.
Boston Bruins 4, Dallas Stars 3
John Klingberg scored a much-needed goal, as Dallas led 1-0 at 17:38 of ice time on the power play. The lead lasted just 2:06 until Charlie Coyle buried a power-play marker in the closing seconds of the first. That appeared to shift the momentum in favor of the home side.
Jaroslav Halak made 31 saves in the 4-3 win, snapping the B's back on track after Tuukka Rask lost his first game in regulation Tuesday against Calgary. The B's had been outscored 14-5 across their past two.
Ottawa Senators 5, Vancouver Canucks 2
Hockey can be a strange game. The Canucks just tuned up the first-place Bruins by a 9-3 score a few days ago. So, naturally, they took it on the chin against the lowly Sens.
In his second game back in the lineup it was Bobby Ryan notched his second, third and fourth goals of the season to make the hats fly.
Minnesota Wild 7, Detroit Red Wings 1
Ryan Hartman, Ryan Donato and Matt Dumba each lit the lamp in the first period before Anthony Mantha scratched out the lone goal for the Wings. Dumba was back with a power-play goal in the second, while Jordan Greenway added another and Kevin Fiala stayed hot with his 18th. Fiala also ended up with three points. Dumba also had a helper to give him three points. In total, 13 Wild players managed at least one point.
St. Louis Blues 3, New York Islanders 2 (OT)
The defending champs pushes aside the Islanders in a battle of heavyweights. Thomas Greiss came up short, allowing three goals on 32 shots in the overtime loss.
Mathew Barzal picked up a pair of assists, his third straight game with two or more helpers. He has eight assists and a plus-3 rating with two power-play helpers during his five-game point streak.
Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored in his second game is as many outings with the Islanders since his acquisition on Monday, but the Isles were unable to claim that second point.
Jordan Binnington wasn't tested frequently, but he did enough with two goals allowed on 17 shots. Brayden Schenn and Vince Dunn were the goal scorers in regulation, while Colton Parayko sent the faithful home in a good mood with his overtime winner.
Nashville Predators 4, Calgary Flames 3 (OT)
The big winner from a fantasy perspective was Mikael Backlund, as he posted a goal with three points for the losing side. Andrew Mangiapane also continues to impress, picking up his 16th of the season, while Rasmus Andersson had a goal and an assist.
David Rittich managed to allow four goals on 38 in the OT loss, as Mikael Granlund got him in the extra session for the late heroics. Backlund also had a goal with just one second left in regulation to force overtime, so the two points the Preds picked up can be credited to him.
Ryan Ellis ended up with three assists with four shots on goal while Colin Blackwell chipped in with a pair of helpers and a blocked shot. That's all Juuse Saros needed, coughing up three goals on 39 shots for the OT win.
Winnipeg Jets 3, Washington Capitals 0
In the second end of the home-and-home, the Jets were not about to let the Caps break out the brooms. After a 4-3 shootout win in D.C. on Tuesday, Connor Hellebuyck helped make The 'Peg happy with a shutout victory at MTS.
Hellebuyck turned aside all 34 shots he faced, tying him for the league lead with five shutouts. He is now 27-20-5 with a 2.67 GAA and .920 save percentage across his 53 contests.
Rookie Ilya Samsonov wasn't horrible in this one, allowing just two goals on 31 shots, but the offense couldn't solve his counterpart.
San Jose Sharks 3, New Jersey Devils 2 (OT)
The Devils fired out of the chute with goals from Travis Zajac and Nikita Gusev, who continues to be red hot. The 27-year-old Moscow native pushed his point streak to four games, giving him two goals and seven points with a plus-3 rating. Overall he has 12 goals and 40 points to emerge as a decent fantasy option in deeper pools. He'd be even better if not for that pesky minus-14 rating.
Cory Schneider was unable to hold the lead, allowing three goals on 30 shots. Mario Ferraro broke through for his second of the season, while Marcus Sorensen notched a shorthanded goal to make it 2-2 after two. That's how it stay until Logan Couture untied it in OT, making a winner of Martin Jones.