Let’s hop right in, folks.
(Also, R.I.P. David Bowie. Didn’t see that coming.)
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CAPITALS 7, SENATORS 1
-- This is one of those "What have I done with my life?" type-stats: at 30 years old, Alex Ovechkin's already scored 500(+) career goals ... not to mention making a mountain of money.
He's the fifth-fastest player in NHL history to accomplish the feat, and the first Russian one to do it at that.
Ovechkin deserves bonus points compared to some of those guys, as he's been fighting through significantly tighter checking than quickest-ever guy Wayne Gretzky (who did it in 575 GP to Ovechkin's 801).
Ovechkin already hit goal 501 in this same game, and he now has five tallies during a three-game goal streak.
He's also delightfully back in that "MLB pitcher's win-loss record" range: 26 goals, 13 assists.
Backstrom's on a particularly hot streak, as this extended his run to six games with a point (three goals, six assists).
-- Another sign of life from Andre Burakovsky, who generated two helpers in this win. He's still not scoring consistently enough to be a must-have, but if he can pitch in points here and there, the Caps just get that much more dangerous.
PANTHERS 2, OILERS 1
-- Al Montoya came in for Roberto Luongo, and Florida still made their goalie-leaning run continue. For the second straight game, the Panthers generated fewer than 20 SOG. This extends Florida's franchise-best winning streak to 12.
Montoya's now won five in a row himself, improving to 7-1-1 with a fantastic .940 save percentage.
The journeyman backup has combined with Roberto Luongo to give Florida fantastic goaltending on a nightly basis.
Are they masking other problems, though?
-- The Panthers' top line created the two goals, with Jaromir Jagr collecting the opening tally and Jonathan Huberdeau grabbing the GWG (with Aleksander Barkov and Brian Campbell getting the assists).
Campbell hasn't really had a great contract year. "Soupy" has two goals and 14 points in 42 contests.
-- Nick Bjugstad received a game misconduct and fighting major (17 PIM overall), so keep an eye out in case there's supplementary discipline.
SABRES 4, JETS 2
-- Winnipeg did it could to make fun of Evander Kane in his return, yet the Jets couldn't manage a win at home. The fan base is creative, at least.
Kane grabbed an assist on an ENG, by the way.
-- Sam Reinhart scored that ENG, not to mention two other tallies for his first career hat trick.
Reinhart has 12 goals and seven assists for 19 points in 42 games. He's getting nice ice time lately, so the chances are there, even if the second pick of the 2014 NHL Draft is a work in progress.
-- Nice win by Linus Ullmark, as he stopped 42 out of 44 shots. The Swedish goalie broke a four-game losing streak and managed just his second win since Nov. 12.
BLACKHAWKS 6, AVALANCHE 3
-- Chicago is on quite the roll of its own, with seven straight victories. The combination of the Blackhawks' rise and the Dallas Stars' struggles leaves Chicago just four standings points behind Dallas for the Central Division lead. Wow.
-- Patrick Kane scored two goals, including the GWG, hitting the 25-goal mark on the season. He's now at 25 goals, 37 assists for 62 points in 44 games. He has a +19 rating and five GWG.
-- Marian Hossa scored two goals of his own, but he closed off quite the icy run, breaking up a five-game pointless streak. He also hasn't scored a goal since Dec. 6. Very disappointing season so far for Hossa, who may finally be showing his age (36).
Jonathan Toews generated a goal and two assists during the game.
-- Matt Duchene produced two goals and one assists with four SOG. Duchene now has six points in his last four contests, giving him 37 points in 43 games this season.
DEVILS 2, WILD 1
-- Another Devils game, another ridiculously low-event contest. The two teams combined for 35 SOG. Jeez.
-- Adam Henrique scored his 15th goal of the season. His shooting percentage is pretty high (18.5 percent), so he might slow down a bit toward the second half of 2015-16.
As of today, the Devils are the second wild card in the East. Even if the gap is small, it's still a nice spot for New Jersey, who came into this season with marginal expectations.
RED WINGS 2, DUCKS 1
-- Petr Mrazek improved his record to 15-8-3 after winning his fourth straight game. He stopped 30 out of 31 shots in this one, and has allowed just five goals in four contests. His overall save percentage is excellent at .930.
-- Dylan Larkin was the only Red Wings who generated an assist, giving him a five-game point streak. Larkin now has 14 goals and 15 assists for 29 points in 41 games.