Even though the NHL season goes through the whole winter, there are not too many cancellations.
But the Detroit-Carolina game was postponed due to poor ice conditions in Carolina.
The Hurricanes found that there was a broken seal on the main compressor in the equipment that runs the ice chiller. After numerous delays, the game was postponed when the teams figured that it would be 9:45 before the game could start.
Unfortunately, NHL rules say that a team playing back-to-back games must have at least 22 hours from the start of the first game to the start of the second. The Red Wings play in Tampa Bay Tuesday with a 7:30 start and that was 15 minutes less than would be necessary.
I don’t understand why the Lightning-Red Wings game could not be delayed 15-30 minutes but I don’t work for the NHL.
No makeup date has been announced.
Let’s get to the games that were actually played.
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NASHVILLE 2 PHILADELPHIA 1 (Shootout)
Ryan Ellis was the only goal scorer in the shootout as the Predators knocked off the Flyers 2-1.
Andrew MacDonald got the Flyers off to a 1-0 lead just past the halfway mark of the first when he blasted a shot past Rinne. Jakub Voracek and Ivan Provorov drew the assists. Provorov is a terrific rookie and the 2015 Draft is shaping up as one of the best of all-time. I think Provorov could be the best defenseman in the Draft and that is saying a lot as Noah Hanifin was drafted before him and Zach Werenski right after.
From there on in it was the netminders who stole the show. Thirty-four-year-old Rinne stopped 31 shots and is 13-8-4 with a 2.43 GAA and a .918 save percentage while Mason made 30 saves and is 13-9-4 with a 2.68 GAA and a .908 save percentage.
Voracek had six shots on goal while Forsberg managed five but had six hits. Radko Gudas and Provorov each had five blocked shots.
ANAHEIM 3 TORONTO 2
Gibson made 33 saves and many of them were outstanding as he robbed the Maple Leafs blind in a 3-2 win.
Frederik Andersen was almost as good as he played against his former Anaheim teammates for the first time since he was dealt in the off-season. Andersen stopped 26 shots and while the stats may not look so good, he certainly was. Andersen saw his record drop to 12-8-6 with a 2.65 GAA and a .918 save percentage.
After a scoreless first period, Auston Matthews, who is having a great rookie season, redirected a shot that he had no business tipping in and he beat Gibson who has no chance to give the Maple Leafs a 1-0 lead. It was his 15th of the season and Nikita Zaitsev and Zach Hyman drew the assists.
Ryan Getzlaf doesn’t score much anymore but he managed to tie things up at 1 with his fourth goal of the season, It was on the power play and sent the game tied into the third.
Nick Ritchie scored his eighth of the season as Ondrej Kase set him up 1:21 into the third. But Nazem Kadri scored on a shot from the blueline that seemed to go off Ducks defenseman (and former Leaf) Korbinian Holzer and into the net.
That set the set for Cam Fowler’s game winner which came after Hyman’s two minute minor for roughing. Ryan Kesler won a draw cleanly from rookie Frederik Gauthier who was making his seasonal debut and sent the puck to Fowler who whipped a shot past Andersen who had no chance.
Gibson saw his record go to 11-8-4 with a 2.66 GAA and a .908 save percentage. It looks like Jonathan Bernier will get the start Tuesday in his hometown of Montreal.
Fowler had a goal and an assist to give him nine goals and 23 points this season.
Kevin Bieksa was hit in the face by the puck in the second period and did not return. He is questionable for Tuesday.
EDMONTON 3 ST. LOUIS 2 (Overtime)
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored his sixth of the season in overtime to give the Edmonton Oilers a 3-2 win over the Blues.
After a poor outing on Saturday Nugent-Hopkins made amends as he lined up with Connor McDavid and Andrej Sekera to win it in three-on-three action. McDavid drew an assist and it was only his second point in the last four games. He leads the NHL in scoring with 40 points, two ahead of Vladimir Tarasenko.
Kyle Brodziak put the Blues ahead 1-0 in the first as Kevin Shattenkirk had the lone helper but Tyler Pitlick tied it up at 1 with his eighth of the season. Pitlick was injured late in the second period and did not return. Coach Todd McLellan said after the game that the injury did not look good and Pitlick would miss some time.
Tarasenko scored his 16th of the season just 33 seconds after Pitlick’s goal as he temporarily moved one point behind McDavid for the scoring lead.
Cam Talbot turned aside 25 shots for the win as he improved his record to 16-10-4 with a 2.52 GAA and a .917 save percentage.
Carter Hutton got a rare start in the St. Louis net as the Blues are in Dallas Tuesday and Jake Allen will get the start there. He is 2-4-2 with a 2.91 GAA and a .893 save percentage. The Blues need better goalkeeping out of their backup.
Leon Draisaitl set up both regulation goals for Edmonton.
CALGARY 4 ARIZONA 2
Brian Elliott made 25 saves and won his first game since October 28 as the Flames knocked off the Coyotes in Arizona 4-2.
It has been a tough go for the veteran who was dealt from St. Louis in the off-season to be the Flames top netminder, but a poor start and the emergence of Chad Johnson has seen Elliott watch most games from the bench. He is 4-9-1 with a 3.22 GAA and a .889 save percentage. Hopefully this outing will give him some confidence heading into the Christmas break.
The Flames scored three times on the power play en route to the win.
But Mikael Backlund tied it up in the second on the pp, while Troy Brouwer and Kris Versteeg’s power play goals in the third sandwiched Ryan White’s second of the season to give the Flames a 3-2 lead, a lead they would add to with a minute left to go when T.J. Brodie scored into the empty net.
Mike Smith stopped 24 shots as his record fell to 7-6-4. He has a 2.65 GAA and a .928 save percentage.