There were nine games on the frozen pond in the National Hockey League on Saturday night for the second consecutive weekend. The Islanders and Rangers battled in Gotham in matinee action, playing a high-scoring game at Madison Square Garden, and it set the tone for the remainder of the day. Hopefully you chose to watch pucks on Saturday instead of the snoozeville playoff football game in Philadelphia, and the blowout in New England in the afternoon. Two of the nine games were decided in overtime, with one going to a shootout. There were plenty of fantasy stats along the way. For the second consecutive Saturday there were no shutouts, either.
Mathew Barzal of the Islanders picked up two goals with three assists and a plus-5 rating, while Anthony Beauvillier joined him in the plus-5 club, chipping in with two goals and a helper. Jordan Eberle also posted a plus-4 rating and he added four assists to lead all skaters in that department. Among the slam-dunk fantasy options to shine, Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin was good for two goals and two assists. Geno was also good for a plus-2 rating in his team's rout of the Red Wings. Sean Couturier is up to 25 goals after lighting the lamp twice, and he added an assist with a plus-2 rating as his breakout season continues.
For the second consecutive weekend it was a fantasy fiesta after a rather bland set of games two weeks ago. It wasn't a total loss among goaltenders on Saturday, as Jonathan Bernier of Colorado, Devan Dubnyk of Minnesota and Tristan Jarry of Pittsburgh let in just one goal. Let's get started!
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N.Y. ISLANDERS 7 N.Y. RANGERS 2
Jaroslav Halak turned aside 37 of the 39 shots he faced in Saturday's trip to Madison Square Garden, his first outing in six starts yielding two or fewer goals. He has rolled up wins in back-to-back starts for just the second time since Nov. 25-28. He moved to 13-12-2 with a 3.19 goals-against average (GAA) while lowering his save percentage to .906.
John Tavares was a beast in the faceoff circle, winning 17 of his 27 chances. He also chipped in with an assist, plus-1 rating and two shots over 20:42 of ice time. He has just one goal over his past nine games, but he has posted six helpers during the span.
Thomas Hickey picked up a goal with an assist and plus-3 rating in Saturday's rout. It was his first multi-point since March 13 of last season. He entered the game with just one goal and five assists over his first 29 outings before posting three points in the past two games.
Ondrej Pavelec was sent to the showers early, coughing up five goals on 19 shots before getting the hook 6:51 into the second period. Henrik Lundqvist had his day off interrupted and he yielded two goals on 18 shots.
PITTSBURGH 4 DETROIT 1
Jarry let in just one goal on 30 shots against the visiting Red Wings, and that was a power-play goal off the stick of Justin Abdelkader midway through the first period. He improved to 8-3-2 with a 2.35 GAA through 16 outings. He can be relied upon as a No. 2 fantasy backstop in most pools at this point.
Malkin had his second consecutive two-goal game, and he has lit the lamp at least once in each of his past three. He has been red hot over the past month, going for 10 goals and 18 points over the past 12 outings.
Phil Kessel wired a power-play goal in and he added a pair of assists with a plus-1 rating and a team-high seven shots on goal. He has three multi-point games in five outings since flipping the calendar from 2017.
Jamie Oleksiak didn't get onto the scoresheet, but he delivered five hits and might be someone to target in deeper leagues if you need help in that category.
After stumbling down the stretch in December, Sidney Crosby is making up for lost time. He has three straight multi-point games, posting two goals with nine points and a plus-2 rating over the past three contests.
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BOSTON 4 MONTREAL 3 (SO)
Tuukka Rask hung on for the victory in the shootout, stopping 27 of the 30 shots he faced. The road team has won nine of the past 12 meetings in this series. Rask has won seven of the past eight starts, and he hasn't lost in regulation dating back to Dec. 4.
Charlie McAvoy is enjoying a nice stretch. He picked up two more assists with a plus-1 rating, his sixth straight game at plus-1 or better. He has four helpers and a plus-9 over his past six outings.
Jake DeBrusk stayed hot, posting a goal and assist with a plus-1 rating to extend his modest point streak to three. He has two goals and four points during the impressive span.
In a losing effort, Max Pacioretty lit the lamp and delivered five hits against the B's. Remember that 13-game goal drought, including no goals in the entire month of December? It's over. He has a goal in each of his past three tilts.
Phillip Danault (head) took a slap shot to the head from Zdeno Chara and he was hospitalized. He was taken off on a stretch, but he was moving and speaking to the medical staff while being taken off. He'll be re-evaluated Sunday.
PHILADELPHIA 5 NEW JERSEY 3
Couturier lit the lamp twice for his third consecutive two-goal game, and his fourth straight outing with at least one marker. He is red hot lately, going for nine goals and 14 points with a plus-5 rating over the past eight outings. He entered the season with a career high of 15 goals in 2014-15, but he is already up to 25 goals through 43 contests.
Brian Elliott made 26 stops to help the Flyers to their first victory in New Jersey since Feb. 16, 2016.
Taylor Hall had two helpers for the losers, and he now has five goals with eight points over his past four outings.
Radko Gudas blocked three shots and delivered three hits in his 300th NHL game.
MINNESOTA 4 WINNIPEG 1
Dubnyk turned aside a goal on 33 shots to shut down the red-hot Jets offense. After coughing up six goals last time out, he has rebounded for a pair of wins while allowing just two total goals. He has picked up seven wins over the past eight outings.
Matthew Dumba picked up a pair of goals in the third period to send the crowd in St. Paul home happy. He has come alive with six goals and 10 points over his past 13 outings.
Mikael Granlund extended his point streak to three games, giving him two goals and five points with a plus-4 rating during the span. In addition, he has six goals and 13 points over his past nine outings.
Connor Hellebuyck faced a lot of rubber in Saturday's 4-1 loss, turning aside 37 of the 41 shots he faced. Normally Winnipeg's high-octane offense bails Hellebuyck out when he doesn't bring his 'A' game, but the Jets offense was locked down by Dubnyk.
Both teams will be in for an extended rest soon. They play again on Sunday, but then have five days off until a showdown with Tampa Bay next Saturday. Winnipeg is heading into their week break.
COLORADO 4 DALLAS 1
Bernier has stayed hot in place of the injured Semyon Varlamov (lower body), picking up his fifth consecutive victory. He has allowed just six goals during the five-game span, as the Avalanche continue to exceed preseason expectations.
Nathan MacKinnon scored a goal with a plus-1 rating, as he extended his point streak to six games. He has posted four goals with nine assists during the impressive stretch.
Nikita Zadorov was busy, posting two assists while adding a minor penalty. He also delivered nine hits in the victory, and he ranks in the Top 25 in the category with 108 hits over 37 games.
For the second consecutive Saturday, Alex Kerfoot picked up two points. He had a goal, an assist and a plus-2 rating with a hit in just 9:42 of ice time. Overall he has 11 goals with 29 points through 39 outings to emerge as a solid fantasy option in deeper pools.
EDMONTON 3 VEGAS 2 (OT)
Darnell Nurse provided the heroics with a goal in overtime, and he chipped in with an assist and plus-2 rating while adding two hits. The rearguard has two straight multi-point contests while accounting for the game-winning goal in each battle, and he has posted four goals with five points over the past four outings.
Drake Caggiula posted a goal, an assist and a plus-1 rating while delivering a hit and blocking a shot, playing a big part in the team's victory. He entered the game with just five goals and nine points across his first 33 outings.
Patrick Maroon has recorded goals in each of his past two outings while totaling three points. It's his first time lighting the lamp in successive games since Oct. 26-28.
It was a rare loss for the Golden Knights and Marc-Andre Fleury at home. He gave up three goals on 30 shots, suffering just his second loss in regulation across 13 contests. Despite the OT loss he is still 9-2-2 with a 1.83 GAA and .942 save percentage.
ANAHEIM 4 LOS ANGELES 2
It was old-school hockey in Saturday's battle in SoCal, with Jared Boll and Kurtis MacDermid throwing hands 2:29 into the game, and then Kevin Bieksa and Andy Andreoff doing battle two seconds later. Then, it was Kyle Clifford and Nick Ritchie mixing it up at 2:33, as there were three separate rounds of fisticuffs in the first three minutes. It wasn't quite Ross 'The Boss' Rhea against Doug Glatt, but...
Ondrej Kase lit the lamp twice and he chipped in with an assist and plus-1 rating to serve as the offensive hero for the visitors. Apparently he was excited in his first game back in the show after his recall from San Diego of the AHL. It was the first three-point game of his NHL career.
Anze Kopitar scored his 18th goal of the season, but it was his first time lighting the lamp since Dec. 16. He has a four-point streak in four games in January. He had an un-Kopitar-like 12 goals and 52 points last season, but he's already up to 18 goals and 45 points through 43 games this year.
Jake Muzzin (upper body) continues to sit after an injury suffered on Jan. 8. Kevin Gravel stepped into the lineup, going scoreless with a plus-1 rating, a blocked shot and a hit over 15:14 of ice time.
SAN JOSE 6 ARIZONA 5 (OT)
Joonas Donskoi, Joe Pavelski and Joe Thornton each chipped in with three points in the track meet in the desert. Donskoi scored with 15.4 seconds remaining in regulation to force overtime. He entered the game with just one assist and no goals over his past 10 outings.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson picked up a goal, but he finished with a minus-3 rating. Overall, he has an unbelievably poor minus-40 rating through 45 games, negating any offense and making him useless from a fantasy perspective.