AVALANCHE 5, LIGHTNING 4
-- Nathan MacKinnon generated the first hat trick of his NHL career, and it was a revelation beyond that for a player who had been on a goal drought stemming back to Jan. 17.
That trio of goals coming on three SOG really is a funny coincidence, as he's generally been on the wrong end of puck luck; even with that three-for-three, he's connected on just 6.5 percent of his SOG. Considering that poor luck, it wouldn't be surprising if he enjoys a hard-charging stretch to end the season.
Even so, a hugely disappointing output for those who treated him as a top-50 pick. It just shows that NHL players in their teens are volatile stocks, especially when they're playing for knuckleheads.
-- Steve Stamkos, Ryan Callahan and Anton Stralman all failed to collect a single point and had matching -3 ratings on Sunday. I wonder how many close head-to-head matches hinged on those disappointing Sundays.
-- Is Andrei Vasilevskiy slowing down now that he has a backup roll locked up? He allowed five goals on just 18 shots and gave up three goals on 28 in his last defeat. He's now down to 4-3-1 on the season with a .912 save percentage.
-- Semyon Varlamov has won four of his last five games, doing a ton to keep Colorado more or less in the playoff picture. The good news is that Colorado needs this from him, so there's little reason to expect his usage to slow down. I wouldn't be shocked if he played most back-to-backs, even.
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WILD 6, STARS 2
-- If you turned this one off after a pretty tepid first two periods, you probably thought the final score was a typo. Dallas went into the third with a 1-0 lead only to lose 6-2, and Jason Spezza's second goal of the game was garbage material.
Don't get me wrong, though, it's been a delightful run from Spezza. He has 24 points in his last 24 games and you can break it down in other, wonderful ways.
-- In three games played with the Stars, Jhonas Enroth is 0-2-0 with a terrible .865 save percentage, a step down from already underwhelming stuff from his Buffalo days.
I'm starting to wonder if Dallas is a bit like Edmonton in that the Stars are just a rough draw for goalies.
-- Devan Dubnyk ownership rate: 73 percent in Yahoo. Can we check on owners with the remaining 27 percent? Worried about you ladies and gents.
-- Just 24 points from Mikael Granlund so far this season, but six of them have come in the last five games, including a goal and two assists last night.
CANUCKS 4, ISLANDERS 0
-- Miller got the win, stopping 10 out of 10 shots. Eddie Lack played almost two periods, stopping 27 out of 27 shots of his own. Kind of a bummer for Lack owners, though you at least got some incremental boosts here and there, right?
(He made more saves than Jaroslav Halak, who stopped 20 out of 23 ...)
-- Seems like the Sedins' linemate situation has been in a blender a bit, especially with Alexandre Burrows out of the lineup. They assisted on power-play goals from Zack Kassian and Radim Vrbata on Sunday, basically teasing owners of three different wingers (if you count Burrows) as of late. The best rule of thumb with tough-to-follow situations is asking yourself if that guy can produce on his own.
-- It IS impossible to ignore Kassian right now, though. He only has eight goals and six assists for 14 points this season, but six of those tallies and three assists have come in the last nine games. Wow.
-- John Tavares didn't exactly take the night off, firing six SOG.
PREDATORS 2, SABRES 1 (SO)
-- Michal Neuvirth is really spoiling some would-be stat-padding days lately. He's not really winning, mind you, but that's almost entirely his putrid team's fault. He stopped 37 out of 38 games against Nashville, for one thing.
I honestly wonder if Buffalo might trade Neuvirth because he's been good, aka Dubnyking.
-- It's been really hard to keep track of the Predators' lines lately, really ever since they split up Mike Ribeiro and Filip Forsberg. It looks like they're going back to square one with Ribeiro, Forsberg and James Neal, though.
For all the "just getting assists" talk about Ribeiro, he now has 12 goals. Interestingly, the pot-stirring playmaker has identical stats to Jason Spezza in that he has 50 points in 60 games. (Spezza has two more goals, though.)
-- Cody Franson got an assist in his second game with Nashville, receiving 19:22 TOI after 17:52 on Saturday. A ridiculous 6:23 of his ice time was on the PP, as Nashville received an absurd seven power-play opportunities. It's honestly pretty stunning that this game ended in a shootout instead of a blowout.
BRUINS 6, BLACKHAWKS 2
-- Wow, who saw this one coming? Four of Boston's goals came in the second period. Patrice Bergeron scored his 200th career goal, a pretty great milestone for those of us who once wondered what kind of career he'd have when he was dealing with some early concussion issues.
-- Dougie Hamilton scored his 10th goal and 24th assist of 2014-15, also giving him five points in four contests. He's not really getting just crazy puck luck, as he's at 6.6 percent shooting-wise. Hard not to like Hamilton and Torey Krug, at least from a fantasy standpoint.
-- Milan Lucic broke a four-game drought with a goal on four SOG. I can see why some find him frustrating, but it's easy to expect too much from big guys, who seem even that much more prone to dry spells.
-- Reilly Smith's feeling it. A goal and an assist on Sunday give him a four-game streak (two goals, three assists). Hard to complain about 32 points in 59 GP from the 23-year-old.
PENGUINS 5, PANTHERS 1
-- Florida actually dominated shots in this one, and not just because of the score; the Panthers generated 27 of their 35 shots in the first two periods.
Just a rough outing from Al Montoya who's now 4-6-2 with poor numbers.
-- Then again, he was facing some premium scorers. Sidney Crosby generated two assists and raves about his jump. Both Evgeni Malkin and Patric Hornqvist enjoyed two-goal, one-assist nights. Promising sign that Pittsburgh's offense might blow off the cobwebs and/or get some bounces.
-- Dhiren Mahiban brought up an interesting question: could Devan Dubnyk draw into the Vezina finalists (where Pekka Rinne and Carey Price are many car lengths ahead of every other car in the race)? One name I'd put ahead of him right now is Marc-Andre Fleury. He's 27-13-6 with a very nice .925 save percentage and a zany eight shutouts.
FLYERS 3, CAPITALS 2
(Still surprised they managed so little in those Buffalo games.)
There's little point to disparaging what he did this weekend, however. The Flyers beat the Capitals and Predators in back-to-back games, with Zepp besting Rinne and Holtby.
-- Man, what a run for Michael Del Zotto. He now has two goals and three assists in his last five games. His defense leaves something to be desired, no doubt, but it's surprising the 24-year-old was basically totally disregarded this offseason.
(Maybe he should have convinced someone that he was gritty.)
RANGERS 4, BLUE JACKETS 3 (SO)
-- Martin St. Louis scored two goals, giving him an impressive seven points in five games. MSL is really improving his chances of earning a better deal, even if it might be a short one considering his age.
-- Artem Anisimov is one of the many Columbus forwards who've been lost in the injury shuffle. He drew some very positive reviews for his play on Sunday, generating a goal and an assist.
It's hard to believe the Russian forward is only 26. I wonder if he'd be the kind of guy Columbus might float in a trade offer?
-- Speaking of that, James Wisniewski was a healthy scratch for ... well, no good reason was provided. He hasn't been traded yet, but if that happened, his versatile game could make for an exciting asset on the right team.
(He's a solid depth fantasy guy even in normal formats anyway, though.)
-- Nick Foligno just keeps scoring.