The National Hockey League featured just six teams in action on Tuesday night, as the schedule is a little jumbled up with a heavy Wednesday slate due to the Thanksgiving holiday. The Bruins ended up stuffing eight goals in the net for visitors in Montreal, as the Canadiens ended up getting mashed while giving up a cornucopia of offense to their rivals. The Wild and Devils tugged at the wishbone in a close game in New Jersey, and a rookie ended up picking up his first piece of the pie in his NHL debut. And the Blackhawks cooled off the Stars in Big D, as Corey Crawford continues to show out lately. Let’s get started!
Boston Bruins 8, Montreal Canadiens 1
It was an Original Six battle in Montreal, and one team looked like a well-balanced, historic team with great experience and the other looked like an expansion team.
The Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens played to a 1-1 tie after 14 minutes. Jake DeBrusk scored on the power play, and Shea Weber answered with an even-strength goal less than five minutes late in the opening period. That was about the only thing to be happy about if you’re a fan of Les Habitants. It went off the rails at Bell Centre shortly thereafter.
At 14:24 of the opening period it was David Pastrnak delivering the power-play tally, his 22nd of the season, with a little help from Brad Marchand and Zdeno Chara to push ahead 2-1. That marker stood up as the game-winning tally, but ‘Pasta’ was far from done. He added his second and third of the night in the second period, registering his sixth-career hat trick. He is now up to 23 goals through 25 games, the most goals through 25 team games since the 2005-06 season when Philadelphia’s Simon Gagne also scored 23 through 25.
Brad Marchand also joined in on the three-point club, as did Sean Kuraly. Marchand was good for a goal with two assists and a plus-2 rating, giving him four straight multi-point efforts. He has four goals, 10 points and a plus-8 rating during the impressive four-game span. As far as Kuraly is concerned, he had three helpers and a plus-2. He entered the game with just one goal and no points with a minus-7 rating in 11 November contests, and just one goal and three points in the first 23 outings. As such, he remains useful only in deeper pools despite the breakout performance.
Torey Krug posted two assists with a plus-4 rating, and he added three SOG and a blocked shot. That’s now two or more points in consecutive games, and he has two goals and nine points with a plus-1 rating across the past seven outings.
It was more than enough support for Jaroslav Halak, who stopped 36 of the 37 shots he faced, moving to 5-1-3 with a 2.39 goals-against average and .930 save percentage. Carey Price wasn’t as fortunate, allowing five goals before getting pulled early in the second period.
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Minnesota Wild 3, New Jersey Devils 2
The most competitive battle of the three-game slate took place in Newark. The Wild make a winner of Kaapo Kahkonen in his NHL debut, as he stepped in for Devan Dubnyk, away due to a personal matter. He was recalled from Iowa of the AHL with the Wild dealing with a back-to-back situation. He handled himself with aplomb, stopped 32 of the 34 shots he faced for the win. Jordan Greenway, Zach Parise (power play) and Ryan Suter each back the Finnish rookie with goals, and Suter also added an assist with a plus-2 rating to serve as the only player on either side to record a multi-point performance.
Louis Domingue was making his second straight start, but he coughed up three goals on 29 shots to take the L. Jesper Boqvist struck for his first-career NHL tally, and Kyle Palmieri added a power-play goal, but it wasn’t enough to avoid a setback at home.
Chicago Blackhawks 3, Dallas Stars 0
The most impressive goaltender performance of the evening easily belonged to Corey Crawford, as he made 32 saves for the 26th shutout of his career. He is now 4-1-2 across his past seven outings, re-emerging as a decent No. 2 fantasy option in most pools.
Kane’s goal came on the power play, and he now has 29 goals against Dallas, most against any team in his career. That’s also nine goals and 13 assists during his impressive 13-game run.
Anton Khudobin can’t catch a break for the Stars. He was making the start and was sharp again, allowing just two goals on 37 shots in the loss, the first for Dallas in the past 13 games. The Stars entered with a streak of 12 games with at least one point. Khudobin has a 6-4-1 record despite a strong 2.13 GAA and .931 save percentage. The Stars have provided two or fewer goals in seven of his 11 appearances to date.