The Islanders have been struggling on the blueline since New Year’s Eve when Adam Pelech suffered an Achilles tendon injury. New York has been going with ‘five and a half’ defensemen as they would not play rookie Noah Dobson in difficult situations, especially in the third period.
So the Islanders get a solid veteran in Andy Greene, who waived his no-trade contract to come to the Islanders from New Jersey and he will give New York another defensive presence on the blueline, but he has little in the way of fantasy value although he does block a lot of shots.
The Devils meanwhile, get another second-round pick and he could conceivably sign back with New Jersey as he becomes a UFA at the end of the season.
The Devils were not finished as they then dealt Blake Coleman to Tampa Bay for winger Nolan Foote and a first-round pick Tampa Bay acquired in the off-season in the J.T. Miller trade to Vancouver. The Devils get that pick if Vancouver fails to make the playoffs this season, otherwise it will be their 2020 first round selection.
New Jersey gets the 27th overall pick in the 2019 Draft in Foote, who has 15 goals and 33 points in 26 games with Kelowna of the WHL. Foote had 36 goals and 63 points last season with Kelowna despite playing most of the season with a fractured wrist.
Tampa Bay gets a lot of grit in Coleman, who knows where the net is as he has 21 goals this season after potting 22 last season. He did not get a lot of power play time in New Jersey as he had only four power play goals as part of his 43 goals over the last two seasons. Coleman gives Tampa Bay a strong third line winger and more importantly Coleman gives the Lightning the offensive presence to optimize the “power kill”.
The Lightning are dangerous at even strength, dangerous on the power play even though they have only scored only once on the power play in the last three weeks and now with Coleman and Brayden Point in shorthanded situations, they are extremely dangerous offensively.
The Lightning are ready to strike.
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PITTSBURGH 5 DETROIT 1
Patric Hornqvist scored twice and added an assist to lead the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 5-1 win over Detroit in the opening game of the NBC doubleheader on Hockey Day in America.
Matt Murray stopped 27-of-28 shots in the Pittsburgh net and was perfect after spotting the Red Wings a 1-0 lead on a goal by Valtteri Filppula in the first period. Murray is 17-7-5 with a 2.76 GAA and a .904 save percentage, not great stats for the netminder. He makes a good second goalie in most pools, due to his win total.
It was another tough day for Jimmy Howard, who has had plenty of them this season, as he gave up four goals on 16 shots and was pulled 7:55 into the second period. Jonathan Bernier took over and gave up one goal on 19 shots. Howard is 2-22-2 with a 4.08 GAA and a .886 save percentage. He is having one of the worst seasons in recent memory, worse than many expansion team goalies since the Washington Capitals of the mid-1970’s.
Alex Biega had eight hits.
BOSTON 3 NEW YORK RANGERS 1
Charlie Coyle’s unassisted shorthanded goal was the winner as Boston increased its lead in the Atlantic Division to three points over the hard-charging Tampa Bay Lightning who had the night off.
All three Boston goals came in the last 1:18 of the period as Charlie McAvoy scored with 42 seconds left in the first, Coyle with 1:18 in the second and Patrice Bergeron into the empty net with 13 seconds left in the game.
Mika Zibanejad scored the lone goal for the Rangers as his power play goal near the halfway mark of the third, cut the Bruins lead in half to 2-1.
Jaroslav Halak picked up the win as he stopped 25 shots. He won his fourth straight start as he has given up only five goals in 103 shots and is 15-6-6 with a 2.31 GAA and a .922 save percentage. Those are great stats for the Bruins backup.
Alexandar Georgiev played well in the Rangers net as he made 31-of-33 saves. The Bulgarian goalie is 14-12-1 with a 2.98 GAA and a .912 save percentage.
David Pastrnak was held off the scoresheet and saw his four-game points streak come to an end.
EDMONTON 4 CAROLINA 3 (Overtime)
Josh Archibald scored twice including the overtime winner as the Oilers picked up a much-needed victory, upending the Carolina Hurricanes 4-3.
Archibald has nine goals this season and gave Edmonton some desperately needed secondary scoring with Connor McDavid still out with a quad injury.
Leon Draisaitl continued his outstanding play this season as scored once and added a pair of assists. The Oilers winger has 34 goals and 95 points, 13 ahead of David Pastrnak of the Bruins who sits second in NHL scoring.
Kailer Yamamoto on the power play, also scored for Edmonton.
Sebastian Aho continued his amazing season with a pair of goals and an assist. Aho has a career-high 33 goals and has 23 assists.
He drew an assist on Trevor van Riemsdyk’s first of the season, just 12 seconds into the opening frame.
Mike Smith picked up the victory as he stopped 28 shots for his 16th win of the season and fourth in his last five games.
James Reimer managed to turn aside only 20-of-24 shots and took the overtime loss. He is 14-6-2 but has gone 12-2-2 in his last 16 decisions.
Jaccob Slavin had a pair of assists.
Tyler Benson picked up his first NHL point of his career when he set up Archibald to make it 3-2 for the Oilers.
Andrei Svechnikov had an assist to give him a seven-game points streak. He has four goals and five assists in the streak.
ANAHEIM 5 VANCOUVER 1
Adam Henrique scored twice as the Anaheim Ducks upset the Vancouver Canucks 5-1.
John Gibson was stellar in the Ducks cage as he turned aside 37-of-38 shots to pick up his 17th win of the season. Gibson has struggled at times with the youthful Ducks but he is one of the best goalkeepers in the NHL despite his peripherals this season as he has a 2.99 GAA and a .904 save percentage.
Thatcher Demko got the start in net for Vancouver and it was not the best of nights for the netminder as he gave up all five goals on only 28 shots. He is 10-6-2 this season with a 3.05 GAA and a .905 save percentage.
NASHVILLE 2 ST. LOUIS 1
Kyle Turris’ ninth of the season with just 2:12 left in the third was the winner as Nashville beat the St. Louis Blues their fifth straight loss and second in two nights to the Predators, 2-1.
It has been a tough week for St. Louis, starting in Anaheim where Jay Bouwmeester had a cardiac episode that ended up postponing the game. The Blues have had trouble ever since, and rightfully so, as their lead in the Central has gone to zero as they are tied with the Dallas Stars at 74 points with Colorado just two points behind with two games in hand. The Stars have picked up eight points on St. Louis in the past 10 games.
Jordan Binnington made 22 saves in taking the loss. He is 24-11-7 this season with a 2.72 GAA and a .909 save percentage. He has slumped of late and is 0-2-2 in his last four games.
Pekka Rinne was outstanding for a change, in the Nashville net as he made 38 saves. He is 18-13-3 with a 3.04 GAA and a .898 save percentage. He has struggled plenty this season and has lost a lot of starts to backup Juuse Saros.
OTTAWA 4 DALLAS 3 (Overtime)
Artem Anisimov scored the overtime winner as the Ottawa Senators upset the Dallas Stars 4-3.
It was Anisimov’s 11th of the season and he was set up by Brady Tkachuk who had a big game with a goal and two assists. Tkachuk has 18 goals and 18 assists this season and had seven hits to make it a huge fantasy game for the sophomore.
Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored his 22nd of the season and added an assist to give him 36 points as his Ottawa career may be winding down. Pageau should be on the trade block with eight days to go until the NHL trade deadline of February 24 as he can become a UFA at the end of the season.
Tyler Ennis also scored for Ottawa.
Joe Pavelski scored his 13th of the season and his goal tied the game at 3 and sent it into the extra frame.
Craig Anderson made 36 saves for the win. He is 8-13-2 this season for the lowly Senators.
Anton Khudobin made 42 saves in taking the overtime loss. He was responsible for the Stars picking up the one point as he was sensational. He is 14-7-2 with a 2.33 GAA and a .927 save percentage.
Klingberg had seven shots on goal.
Anthony Duclair had six shots on goal but saw his goalless drought reach 21 games.
NEW JERSEY 4 COLUMBUS 3 (Shootout)
Jesper Bratt scored in the seventh round to give the New Jersey Devils a 4-3 shootout win over the slumping Columbus Blue Jackets.
The Blue Jackets have not won in their last five games, going 0-2-3 but threw everything but the kitchen sink at Mackenzie Blackwood who made 52 saves in regulation and overtime and only gave up one goal in the seven rounds of the shootout.
Blackwood is 19-12-7 on a New Jersey team that is 22-26-10 this season. He has a 2.79 GAA and a .913 save percentage this season and really should receive Calder consideration despite his team’s poor record.
Nick Merkley also scored and it was his first NHL career goal in only his second game in the league. Congratulations go out to Merkley who was Arizona’s first-round pick in in 2015 (and 30th overall) and came to the Devils in the Taylor Hall trade earlier this season.
The Blue Jackets gave up three goals in the second and needed Kevin Stenlund’s fifth goal of the season in the third to garner a point and send it into overtime.
Elvis Merzlikins made 23 saves and got stuck with the shootout loss. The Latvian goaltender has given up only nine goals in his last four games but has a 0-2-2 record. He is 12-8-6 with a 2.20 GAA and a .928 save percentage.
Kevin Rooney had two assists for New Jersey.
BUFFALO 5 TORONTO 2
The Buffalo Sabres scored three goals in 91 seconds in the third period to break open a tight game and beat Toronto 5-2.
Jack Eichel scored the winner at the 6:06 mark of the third on the power play, while Kyle Okposo scored 49 seconds later and Jimmy Vesey found the back of the net 42 seconds after that, to give the Sabres a 5-2 lead and the eventual win.
Johan Larsson opened the scoring after a scoreless first, and Conor Sheary with his ninth of the season, made it 2-0 before Egor Korshkov, making his NHL debut, snapped a one-timer past Carter Hutton for his first career NHL goal on his first shot in the NHL.
Zach Hyman evened the score early in the third period before Buffalo put it away with the trio of scores.
Carter Hutton made several outstanding saves, despite seeing only 22 shots, and picked up his fourth straight win. He is 11-9-4 this season and was 6-0-0 to start the year, before going 0-8-4 in the middle of the season before his recent stretch of good games and wins.
Frederik Andersen held Toronto in the contest until the Sabres went on a spree, as he made 31 saves to lower his record to 24-11-6.
Hyman led both teams with six shots on goal.
Kyle Clifford drew the secondary assist on Korshkov’s goal for his first point as a Maple Leaf.
WINNIPEG 3 CHICAGO 2
Nathan Beaulieu’s first goal of the season was the winner as the Winnipeg Jets moved to within three points of a playoff spot in a 3-2 win over Chicago.
It was his second point of the game as he set up Mason Appleton in the second period to tie the game at 1.
Jack Roslovic with his 12th of the season, also scored for the Jets with Appleton drawing an assist on Roslovic’s marker.
Connor Hellebuyck stopped 31 shots for the win as he is 25-18-5 with a 2.70 GAA and a .919 save percentage.
Corey Crawford turned aside 35 shots but it wasn’t enough as he saw his record drop to 10-16-3 with a 2.89 GAA and a .912 save percentage.
Dmitry Kulikov had a pair of assists in the win.
Olli Maatta blocked six shots for Chicago.
There were no penalties called in the game as the referee’s just let them play.
Patric Hornqvist – 2
Josh Archibald – 2
Adam Henrique - 2
Leon Draisaitl – 2
Jaccob Slavin – 2
Tyler Seguin – 2
Miro Heiskanen – 2
Brady Tkachuk – 2
Kevin Rooney – 2
Dmitry Kulikov - 2
Colin Miller – 2
Shots on Goal
John Klingberg – 7
Zach Werenski – 7
Dylan Larkin – 7
Zach Hyman - 6
Boone Jenner – 6
David Savard – 6
Sebastian Aho – 6
Anthony Duclair - 6
Filip Forsberg – 6
Chris Tierney - 6
Alex Biega – 8
Brady Tkachuk - 7
Nick Ritchie – 10
Josh Manson -6