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Hockey Daily Dose

Dose: The Climb

by James O'Brien
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Sometimes, you can get the same value out of a knock-off. Other times, it’s just best to go with the real thing.


That’s an elaborate way of saying “Don’t buy a rip-off Keurig, just go for the actual machine, even if it seems a little pricey.”


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PANTHERS 5, CANUCKS 4 (SO)


-- There's no sense trying to duplicate Jaromir Jagr, although I wouldn't be overly surprised if he was secretly the Czech Republic's hockey-playing answer to Wolverine.


He grabbed his latest milestone on Sunday, as he scored his 732nd goal, breaking a tie with Marcel Dionne for the fourth-most goals in NHL history.


He's only nine behind Brett Hull for third place, and I'd say there's a solid possibility he gets there before this season is over. He has 10 goals in 31 games played so far in 2015-16 after missing a little time with nagging issues.


His 732 goals easily best any other active player; Jarome Iginla's second with 598, so another milestone's coming soon.


Third place is already Alex Ovechkin, who has 492 goals vs. Marian Hossa's 491. You think Ovechkin will stay healthy long enough to eventually pass Jagr?


-- In one of the strangest developments I can remember, Ryan Miller played the whole game for Vancouver before getting injured during the shootout ... so Jacob Markstrom took the loss despite registering zero individual stats. I can't remember many, if any moments like those.


-- Henrik Sedin was unable to play in this game as his lower-body injury persists. Jannik Hansen still played well in his absence with a goal and an assist while Daniel Sedin generated a goal himself.


-- A three-game winning streak raises Roberto Luongo's season record to 13-11-3. That mark obscures great individual work, as Bobby Lou's save percentage is at .926.


CAPITALS 7, RANGERS 3


-- I'm not necessarily convinced that the Capitals are absolutely the best team in the NHL - their possession stats would argue that they might be closer to a top 10 team than the No. 1 squad - yet they moved to the top of the league standings in an awfully convincing fashion.


They're also far and away ahead of any other team in the East and could build more of a lead as others have generally played in more games than their 32.


They also top everyone with a +33 goal differential, so maybe I'm wrong and they're the absolute best?


-- Especially strong Sunday performances from Justin Williams (two goals, one assist), Nicklas Backstrom (three helpers) and Marcus Johansson (1 G, 2A). Maybe Washington's deadly power play moves the needle enough to make them the best of the best?


-- Henrik Lundqvist suffered a rare bad night, allowing five goals on 24 shots before giving way to Magnus Hellberg (who may have been even more unsuccessful).


Then again, maybe it's more of a rare slump as Lundqvist is now on a three-game losing streak in which he's allowed a troubling 13 goals.


BRUINS 2, DEVILS 1 (SO)


-- Wow, I knew the Bruins were playing really well, but it's remarkable that they're actually in good shape to take at least a small lead in the Atlantic Division. They trail the collapsing Canadiens by one standings point (43 to 42), but Boston holds two games in hand.


Interestingly, the Bruins have been especially stout on the road with a 11-2-2 away record versus a middling 8-7-2 mark at home.


-- Loui Eriksson extended his current point streak to three games with a goal (two goals, one assist during that span). He now has 28 points in 32 contests so far in 2015-16, really nailing his contract year so far.


With a 22 shooting percentage, I'd expect him to slip, although I wonder if most of that slide will come after the ink dries on his next deal.


-- Jonas Gustavsson generated his first win in almost a month, as his last victory came on Nov. 25. He's now 6-2-1 on the season even with an unremarkable .912 save percentage. Cory Schneider was strong in defeat.


LIGHTNING 5, SENATORS 2


-- I haven't always been so kind to Jon Cooper, especially not lately. Still, I have to tip my cap to his work in recent weeks, as the Lightning are remaining competitive - within a breath of Ottawa for the final East wild card after this game - despite being riddled with injuries.


Brian Boyle was banged up in this one, joining J.T. Brown on the growing list of Lightning injuries. Even so, Tampa Bay managed to win the shots battle and the game.


They've now won three of four and are 6-3-0 in December.


Not spectacular, but things could really improve since they five games remaining on a homestand that began against Ottawa on Sunday.


-- It IS worth noting that the score was inflated by two Lightning ENG's, though. Just saying.


-- Steven Stamkos scored one of those empty-netters while also finding the net on the power play. He now has 14 goals this season while Nikita Kucherov and Vladislav Namestnikov grabbed assists on each Stamkos tally.


-- Erik Karlsson is now on a four-game point streak (three goals, two assists). He logged a whopping 36:34 TOI despite this contest ending in regulation.


RED WINGS 4, FLAMES 2


-- It's been pretty odd since Detroit starting scraping together a nice win streak in mid-November. Remarkably, Detroit has only failed to grab at least a standings point once since Nov. 16, going 8-1-6 in that span. This 4-2 win marks just the third regulation win in that span, so it almost feels like Detroit views overtime as the finish line in a strange way.


That really might be the right mentality for some time, however. Only two of the Red Wings' next 11 games come at home, so it will be more beggars can't be choosers time for this group.


-- After going four games without a point, Dylan Larkin found the net for his 12th goal of the season. He hasn't been shy about shooting (94 SOG in 33 GP), so I feel solid about his chances of at least continuing to be a nice contributor, even if we may be reminded more often that he's a 19-year-old who's obviously still adjusting to the NHL game.


-- Did someone plug Dougie Hamilton in come December? After managed five points in 24 games, Hamilton now has seven points in nine December contests. He also has a +8 rating after suffering through a -6 mark in the first two months (though he did go +3 in November).


Talk about a sigh of relief for both the player and the Flames franchise.


BLACKHAWKS 4, SHARKS 3 (OT)


-- Jonathan Toews is now in Shayne Gostisbehere company with his third overtime goal of 2015-16 (which also marks Toews' fifth GWG of the season).


Toews has two of the GWG during Chicago's current three-game winning streak.


-- Another productive night for Patrick Kane: goal, assist, +4 rating, two PIM, seven SOG and two hits.


-- Corey Crawford is now at 18-8-2 with a fantastic .927 save percentage. Again, he deserves more credit as the salary cap bites bigger chunks out of Chicago's talent surplus.


-- Not a huge surprise that Rob Scuderi's been used sparingly and hasn't made any real positive impact since being traded to Chicago. Imagine most Blackhawks fans would agree that his main duty is "not to break anything."


-- Quite a multi-purpose game for Joe Pavelski: one goal, -1 rating, three SOG and 11(!) hits.

James O'Brien
James O'Brien is the Hockey Daily Dose's author and has been a contributor to NBC's Pro Hockey Talk for more than four years. Follow him on Twitter.