I don't know about you, but especially on (American) Thanksgiving weekend, I want nothing more than to get to the good stuff. Let's get to the 12 recaps on a very busy and eventful Saturday. And thanks to all for reading.
KINGS 3, BLACKHAWKS 2 (OT)
— Patrick Kane’s first-period marker set the record for a point streak (19 games) for an American-born player. It’s crazy to think that Kane has gotten better in his age-27 season when he already was one of the top players in the game to begin with. He also had an assist Saturday night. His 14 goals are second in the league, and 37 points rank first. Per NHL.com, Kane is two games away from tying the Blackhawks’ record of 21 games with a point set by Bobby Hull. His streak is the longest since Sidney Crosby’s 25-gamer in 2010.
— Too bad it was all spoiled. It looked good for the Blackhawks, too, after leading 2-0 entering the third period. Jeff Carter scored the first of three unanswered goals.
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— Marian Gaborik picked a great time to show he still has some of that world-class ability. His goal in the third period tied the game at 2, then he won it 2:04 into overtime. It has been an ugly season for Gaborik, who has five goals and seven points. Gaborik’s struggles can’t be pointed to his 9.1% scoring rate, either. He just hasn’t been engaged enough offensively.
— Los Angeles is back to looking like one of the best teams in the NHL. Look out.
FLYERS 3, RANGERS 0
— The Rangers have lost three games in a row, losing their first minus Derek Stepan. Quite frankly, a losing streak might be good for the team as their goalies were hiding their deficiencies. This is not a good possession team, and their defense pairs should be revamped.
— Two impressive wins in a row for the Flyers — against the Predators and Rangers. Philadelphia won at New York for the first time since Feb. 20, 2011.
— Wayne Simmonds had a hand all of the goals — scoring twice and adding a helper. These were his first points in seven games. Simmonds has generally been an asset in fantasy leagues for ability to record close to 30 goals, 50 points and a boatload of penalty minutes. His offense is way down (five goals, 12 points), though his PIMs are still there (40). More goals should come is way (8% scoring rate), though I wouldn’t be going crazy to acquire him.
— Steve Mason (24 saves) is starting to round into form, now with four games posting at least a .943 SV%. If an owner has soured on him due to his 2.78 GAA, .911 SV%, I’d look into snagging him. Wins won’t be there, but I think the rate stats will.
— The Rangers’ best forward was Viktor Stalberg, with three shots and three hits in 16:49. He will get a more prominent role (not in the press box) with Stepan out. He was a plus-eight Corsi (64%). Kevin Klein (plus-14, 70%) was also very good.
CAPITALS 4, MAPLE LEAFS 2
— The Capitals are looking like the best team in the Eastern Conference, there’s no question about that. Find a hole in their game. Coaching is great. Forward group/depth is strong. Defense is better than expected. And the goalie is elite.
— Jason Chimera got a goal and an assist. This is an example of a guy, despite a strong start with 14 points in 23 games, that I’d rather others own. He has topped out at 20 goals and 42 points in his career. He’s also 36. Not really a believer.
— Tom Wilson needed 23 games to score his first goal. The 2012 first-round pick has been a major disappointment early in his career, and he is not showing any reason for optimism. He has only 21 shots this season, with six points.
— Braden Holtby (32 saves) is one of my favorite netminders, especially for fantasy. He plays on a strong team and is a guy who will post elite rates. I am confident in matching him up against any in the league.
— On the other hand, Jonathan Bernier (19 saves) continues to do his best to ensure the Maple Leafs select very high in the next draft. Bernier has allowed four goals in three consecutive games and is 0-8-1 on the year.
DEVILS 3, CANADIENS 2 (OT)
— Are the Devils for real? I think they will be competitive but I don’t see them making the playoffs. They are still generating far too few scoring chances/shots, though they stay in games because of their ability to limit offense (and Cory Schneider).
— Happy to see John Moore get a long look with the Devils. He scored the game-winner and assisted on the tying goal by Kyle Palmieri. If you judged more on some nights, you’d think he was a Norris contender. Other nights, he looks like he should be in the AHL. He has two goals and six points this season.
— It took three games for Patrik Elias to net his first goal of the season. Even at 39, he is a major cog in the Devils’ offense. He has a goal and an assist.
— Schneider made 30 saves. If he played on a better offensive team, he’d be considered with the Henrik Lundqvist’s of the world. Schneider is a player you should want to own based on some excellent rate stats (2.03 GAA, .928 SV%).
— Alex Galchenyuk scored twice. The 21-year-old continues to improve in each of his NHL seasons. He’s got star ability. I’d want him on my team, especially in keeper leagues.
ISLANDERS 3, LIGHTNING 2
— John Tavares scored the game-winner on the power play with less than four minutes remaining. If there is a “quiet” point-per-game season, it goes to Tavares. He has 11 goals and 21 points.
— Thomas Greiss (29 saves) has played in 11 games, and he’s given up three or fewer goals in all of them. That’s what you want in a backup netminder. Jaroslav Halak has played well, but Greiss is good enough to be more than second fiddle.
— A gut-punch loss for the Lightning, who held a 2-0 lead in the second period. Ben Bishop (19 saves) did not have a good night, but we’ll give him the benefit of the doubt with how well he’s played.
— Anton Stralman (goal, assist, six shots) is a tremendous player, much more so in real life. Hone in on him when you watch a Lightning game and watch how smooth he is — and how well he makes decisions.
OILERS 3, PENGUINS 2
— Seeing the Oilers on the schedule, you used to bank on that as an easy win/stat-padder. That’s not the case anymore. Todd McLellan has these guys playing tighter and the young players are maturing.
— The Oilers’ decision to send Draisaitl back to the WHL last season is looking like a genius move. Because now he looks like one of the top young guns in the league. Draisaitl’s goal gives him eight, to go with 18 points in 14 games. His upside is immense.
— Lauri Korpikoski got the other goal. He is nothing more than a solid bottom-six player and offers little from a fantasy perspective. He has three goals and four points.
— So much for Cam Talbot being the team’s number-one. His struggles have given Anders Nilsson (39 saves) an opportunity. It’s not that Nilsson (2.75 GAA, .911 SV%) has been all that amazing. He’s just been better than Talbot (3.17, .889).
— If there’s one thing gleaned from this column, please make Evgeni Malkin’s first goal one you watch … about 10 times. He strips the puck, then completes a beautiful spin-o-rama. He also had a goal less than three minutes later. Malin has 11 goals and 22 points.
— Can’t ask for anything more from your backup netminder. Jeff Zatkoff made 34 saves, giving up one of the goals shorthanded.
BLUES 3, BLUE JACKETS 1
— St. Louis has been a bit up-and-down lately, but you have to think a team with this skill and depth will be there in the end.
— The game-winner goes to Vladimir Tarasenko, with his 14th. He also assisted on Alexander Steen’s ninth. If you want to watch one of the game’s pure goal scorers, one who makes it look like an art, watch Tarasenko. That 24 points in 23 games seems low, tells you a lot about his skill level.
— Never would I have imagined that Jake Allen (23 saves) would rank 10th in the league with 18 games played at this point of the season. I was in the Brian Elliott camp, but Allen has done a great job to essentially become the main man. He has a .930 SV% this season.
— The bright spots from this game for the Blue Jackets — Ryan Johansen continues to settle in, now with four of his six goals during his past five games. And Sergei Bobrovsky (29 saves) doesn’t look like a total lost cause. At least my fantasy team likes the latter one.
SABRES 4, PREDATORS 1
— In many other seasons, Sam Reinhart would be in the conversation as one of the better rookies. This class is so stacked that he’s almost never talked about, though. His two-goal effort gives him six and nine points on the year. Reinhart is a dynasty-league gem. He had 170 points in 107 games during his final two WHL seasons.
— Ryan O’Reilly has been a great addition to this improving team. He had a goal (empty-netter) and an assist on Jamie McGinn’s goal. O’Reilly’s goal was his first since Nov. 19. What’s disconcerting lately is that he has five shots on goal in five games.
— Chad Johnson (28 saves) had a strong night in net. Johnson and Linus Ullmark have been splitting the starts lately, so it’s tough to rely on one of them. Johnson has been exceptional in his past two, though, giving up two goals on 57 shots in back-to-back starts.
— It will be a night to remember for Juuse Saros (20 saves) but not for his performance. The 20-year-old made his NHL debut. Saros had a 2.40 GAA and .919 SV% in the AHL before his recall. Little upside here in owning him now with Pekka Rinne still in town.
STARS 4, WILD 3 (OT)
— If there’s a team you can’t count out this season, no matter the deficit, it’s the Stars. They went down 3-0 21:11 into the game … then scored four unanswered goals to win it.
— Tyler Seguin scored the winner with 1:03 left in overtime. He also assisted on John Klingberg’s game-tying goal in the third. Seguin has points in eight games in a row. He’d be building an MVP case if not for ...
— Jamie Benn, who also scored and assisted. He got his goal while shorthanded, and assisted on Seguin’s winner. He leads the league with 18 goals and his 35 points are second. He has goals (six altogether) in four games in a row and points in eight consecutive tilts. I don’t like calling players untouchable in fantasy leagues, but Seguin and Benn are two I wouldn’t consider parting with.
— Klingberg, who tallied a goal and an assist, has been a game-changer on defense. He adds a puck-moving element to the Stars’ back end, and is becoming one of the better offensive blueliners, too. Klingberg has points in five games in a row. His 22 assists are first in the NHL, with his 27 points good for fourth. You do the math — the Stars have three players in the top four in points.
— Thomas Vanek and Charlie Coyle recorded a goal and a helper apiece. Vanek has three goals and five points over his past five games. He has 10 goals and 19 points, and is turning the clocks back to his early Sabres days when he was a near lock for 30 goals.
— Darcy Kuemper (40 saves) earned his first start since Oct. 25. It looked like he’d easily get a win in this one and then the floor caved in. Camper has given up 10 goals on 99 shots in three games.
AVALANCHE 5, JETS 3
— In a game between two teams that should be much better than their records, the Avalanche nearly did their part to add to that story line. They jumped out to a 3-0 lead by 25:55 of the game. Then saw their lead wither to 3-2, then 4-3.
— Semyon Varlamov (25 saves) needs to be better. He has a 3.20 GAA and .890 SV%. There is no doubt that if the Avs want to be respectable the rest of the way, Varlamov can’t keep on like this.
— Gabriel Landeskog and Matt Duchene had a goal and two helpers apiece. Love to own guys such as Landeskog for his offense (seven goals, 20 points) and penalty minutes (26). At least if he's held off the scoresheet, there’s a chance he wasn’t a complete loss. Landeskog has points in five games in a row — eight total in that stretch.
— Jacob Trouba had gone seven games without a point, until this one when he scored and assisted. You wouldn’t know it from his line (two goals, five points), but there’s a lot of offensive ability here. Just another young defenseman finding his way. Nothing to worry about here.
COYOTES 4, SENATORS 3
— The Coyotes can thank Craig Anderson (15 saves) for this one. But their number-one star goes to Mikkel Boedker with three goals on eight shots. Max Domi and Anthony Duclair have stolen a lot of the headlines early on, but Boedker, with nine goals and 18 points is primed for a career season. Think 25 goals, 60 points.
— Mike Hoffman has become a go-to player for the Senators. He scored twice in this one, and he has points in four games in a row, with five goals and seven points during that stretch. He’s proving that his 27-goal season was no fluke. Hoffman is likely to shatter his 48 points, too.
— Mark Stone is also showing that his 2014-15 season was no fluke. Stone recorded a goal and an assist. While is goal rate is way down (five goals on 40 shots), Stone has 16 assists, 10th in the NHL.
SHARKS 5, FLAMES 2
— With all the talk about Tomas Hertl entering the season in great shape and more focused, I thought he’d do better than the 31-point second season. Even after a goal-assist night, Hertl (three goals, 11 points), is on pace to basically match that. Pretty disappointing. That he’s scored on 5.7% of his shots gives him upside there, though.
— Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Tommy Wingels each got a goal and an assist apiece. Vlasic is more of a shutdown blueliner, with limited fantasy appeal. Wingels’ goal was his first since Oct. 24, so that should tell you about his fantasy prospects.
— Jonas Hiller’s (24 saves) fall from grace his been quite drastic. He’s gone from an above average netminder to one who is looking like a bad backup. He has allowed four goals or more in three games in a row.
— Martin Jones (25 saves) keeps chugging along. What I like most about this one is that he did it after an off night (four goals on 25 shots).