It was Hockey Day in America on Sunday, just eight days after the same event was celebrated in Canada (it was Hockey Day in Canada north of the border just in case it wasn’t obvious).
There were six games on the NHL slate and NBC did a great job with a couple of afternoon games as well as terrific stories from around the States.
Congratulations go out to the great Mike Emrick who was broadcasting his 1,000th NHL game for NBC. He is truly one of the all-time greats as far as hockey and sports announcing is concerned.
Editor's Note: Rotoworld’s Season Pass is now available for the low price of $19.99. You get plenty of extra articles including the minor league report, the power play report and much, much more. Buy it now!
PITTSBURGH 6 NEW YORK RANGERS 5
It was the second straight two-goal game for Malkin who has been a fantasy stud in his last four games with four goals and nine points as well as 17 penalty minutes.
Letang is having a strong season as the defenseman has 15 goals and 52 points in 57 games this season. He has three goals and six points in his last four contests.
The Rangers had a two-goal performance from Mats Zuccarello and a goal and an assist from Kevin Hayes. Both are pending UFA’s and it would not be a surprise if both Zuccarello and Hayes were no longer members of the Rangers at the 3:00 pm ET deadline on February 25. They both have helped their cause of late with strong efforts in the last month.
Casey DeSmith made 39 saves for the win even though he gave up five goals. It was his 14th win of the season.
It was not the same story as last Sunday for Alexandar Georgiev who made 35 saves on 41 shots on Sunday after stopped 55 of 56 shots last Sunday against Toronto. He is 9-10-0 with a 3.21 GAA and a .904 save percentage.
Sidney Crosby had three assists with four penalty minutes.
Pionk only played in the first two periods as he left the game after being high-sticked by Crosby near the end of the second period. He remained on the sidelines for precautionary reasons.
ST. LOUIS 4 MINNESOTA 0
Jordan Binnington has done it again! The rookie netminder has a 12-1-1 record and he picked up his fourth shutout of the season as the Blues beat Minnesota 4-0. He has sparkled since his recall and has a 1.58 GAA along with a .937 save percentage. The Blues were struggling mightily until the arrival of Binnington and he has solved the Blues goaltending woes so much so that even original starter Jake Allen has played well of late. Allen had a shutout in his last start on Saturday and combined with Binnington’s whitewash of Arizona on Thursday, the Blues are perfect in their last three games and have gone 187:16 without allowing a goal. The last time St. Louis gave up a goal was at the 12:44 mark of the third period Tuesday when Mirco Mueller scored his first of the season for New Jersey in an 8-3 loss to Binnington.
Vladimir Tarasenko has also been on a tear of late and he had a goal and a pair of assists to give him a 12-game points streak. Tarasenko has 11 goals and 22 points in the streak and has been instrumental in the Blues climbing from last place in the Western Conference to third in the Central as they have won 10 in a row and have gone from sellers to buyers come the trade deadline. They have outscored the opposition 40-14 in the 10 games.
Alex Stalock took the loss for the Wild as he was able to make 26 saves but saw four goals get past him.
Joel Edmundson was solid on the blueline with five hits as well as five blocked shots.
Alex Pietrangelo had a pair of assists and has two goals and five points in his last four games with a plus-11 rating.
Kudos to interim head coach Craig Berube who took over from Mike Yeo on November 20 as the Blues were 7-9-3 at the time. They have gone 24-13-2 since and Berube should get the interim removed from his title as he has been superb.
NEW JERSEY 4 BUFFALO 1
All of a sudden, Cory Schneider cannot be stopped. After winning his first game on Friday in relief of Keith Kinkaid, Schneider won his first regulation game as a starter since December 27, 2017 as he turned aside 34 shots as the Devils beat the Buffalo Sabres 4-1. Schneider is 2-7-2 this season with a 3.69 GAA and a .883 save percentage down from a 4.23 GAA just a couple of games ago.
Kyle Palmieri had a goal and two assists to lead the Devils. It was his 26th goal of the season and he has 47 points to lead New Jersey.
Carter Hutton started in the Buffalo cage and stopped 20 shots for the loss as Anderson’s goal was into the empty net as well as being shorthanded.
PHILADELPHIA 3 DETROIT 1
Carter Hart saw 38 shots for the second consecutive day against the Detroit Red Wings but this time he gave up only one goal in a 3-1 win Sunday. Hart gave up five goals to Detroit Saturday as he also picked up the win and after Sunday’s performance, the rookie is 13-6-1 with a 2.53 GAA and a .924 save percentage as he has become the Flyers number one goaltender.
Oskar Lindblom scored twice in the win as he now has 10 goals on the season. Ivan Provorov, who has struggled this season after a 41-point effort last season which included 17 goals. He has six goals and 21 points this season in 59 games and should be considered next season as a top-20 defenseman despite this season’s struggles.
Darren Helm broke up Hart’s shutout bid with a second period goal that tied the game at 1.
Sean Couturier had a pair of assists.
Danny DeKeyser was a minus-three on the night. He had five blocked shots and six hits.
Mantha had seven shots on goal.
Andy MacDonald had seven blocked shots.
FLORIDA 6 MONTREAL 3
Aleksander Barkov had the hat trick and four points as he led the Florida Panthers to a victory over the Montreal Canadiens. The Habs have lost three games in a row and are moving in the wrong direction as far as the playoff picture is concerned as they are only one point ahead of Carolina for the second and last wild card spot in the East.
Barkov has 22 goals and 57 points this season in 57 games and was a stud on Sunday.
Max Domi scored twice for Montreal and has 19 goals this season which is a career-high. It’s one better than his best in his rookie season of 2015-16. He scored nine goals in each of his last two seasons. Domi is one off his career high in points with 51 and should easily smash that as Montreal still has 23 games left to play.
James Reimer picked up the start for Florida as Roberto Luongo, the scheduled starter, left the team due to a death in the family. Reimer stopped 28 shots for his second win in a row. He has 12 wins this season.
Antti Niemi gave up three goals on nine shots and was replaced at the 13:57 mark of the first after Vatrano’s 20th goal of the season made it 3-1 Florida. Carey Price picked up the loss but made 24 saves on 26 shots.
Barkov had seven shots on goal.
ANAHEIM 5 WASHINGTON 2
Ryan Miller made his first start since December 9 as he had been out over two months with a knee injury and made 23 saves for his fifth win of the season. He is 5-2-1 with a 2.64 GAA and a .922 save percentage.
Braden Holtby stopped 34 shots on 39 attempts for the loss as he is 20-15-4 this season.
Corey Perry with his first of the season, also scored for Anaheim. Perry had a two-point night and has three points this season in eight games as he missed most of the season after undergoing knee surgery during training camp.
Ovechkin had seven shots on goal as well as five hits.
Ryan Getzlaf picked up two assists.
Cam Fowler picked up only his second assist in 17 games since returning from facial fractures that cost him almost eight weeks of action from November 12-January 6.