Jeez, Peter DeBoer’s beard really made it beyond the halfway point of the 2015-16 season. (Hands over $20 to imaginary bookkeeper.)
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BLUES 5, PENGUINS 2
-- I wonder if Pittsburgh just ran out of gas on Monday night. The Penguins raced off to a 31-17 SOG advantage through the first two periods, but they entered the third with a mere 2-2 tie before St. Louis took over.
Back-to-backs are tough, and maybe Pittsburgh expended a lot of energy beating Carolina 5-0 on Sunday. In this age of parity, you have to find ways to scrape out points in these tough situations.
-- For at least one night, Paul Stastny seemed like he was worth the big bucks he's pulling in. He scored a goal and three assists, including being involved in all three of those Blues' tallies in the final frame.
-- Brian Elliott gets another important win. Will this get Elliott a real chance to be the bride instead of the bridesmaid? Maybe, but I doubt it will be by the Blues' first choice.
OILERS 4, PANTHERS 2
-- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins broke his hand blocking a shot, and if "broke his hand" isn't clear enough, it isn't good. Not sure what it exactly means, but the Oilers said he's out long-term.
Can't blame you for outright dropping RNH rather than soaking up an IR spot, as the Oilers would probably be wise to wave the white flag.
-- That injury really soils this nice win for the Oil. Taylor Hall broke a relative slump with two goals and one assist, as he hasn't suffered his all-too-common season-ending injury (yet?).
-- On the heels of a somewhat surprising contract extension, Cam Talbot stopped 31 out of 33 shots to improve his record to 9-13-3.
He's been looking sharper lately, but that record and a .915 save percentage doesn't really scream "extend now, not later" to me.
-- If you've been reading the Dose this season, you may not be as surprised as others that Florida's now on a four-game losing streak. The Panthers showed signs of slowing down toward the end of their great winning streak.
Al Montoya's early struggles were more surprising based on his impressive work, although he's been used so sparingly, we should maybe consider that inevitable.
SENATORS 4, SHARKS 3 (SO)
-- Mike Hoffman represents the second big injury scare of Monday night, as he went crashing into San Jose's net and did not return.
Keep an eye out for updates on Hoffman, as it did NOT look good.
-- Max McCormick might get some added reps if Hoffman is hurt, if Monday is any indication. That might not be ideal ... for anyone other than McCormick, honestly.
-- Zack Smith's ninth goal of the season was on a penalty shot, and there was plenty of debate regarding whether it should have counted. The league said good goal, and that 3-3 tally allowed this one to go to OT and for the Sharks to eventually see their winning streak end at five games.
-- Bobby Ryan looked awfully confident out there in scoring his 15th goal of the season.
-- Craig Anderson deserves ample credit for this victory, as San Jose hogged the puck with a 35-17 SOG edge.
-- Erik Karlsson absorbed a -3 rating in this one, although he did manage an assist. Karlsson has 47 points in 46 games while Brent Burns has 41 points in 44 contests after grabbing an assist himself.
AVALANCHE 2, JETS 1
-- Don't blame Blake Wheeler for this loss. He generated 17 shot attempts, including 10 SOG. He's been fantastic this season, scoring 13 goals and 44 points in 46 games, setting the stage for Wheeler to soundly defeat his previous career-high of 69 points.
Unless his second-half luck is a lot like what we saw on Monday ...
-- Jarome Iginla's 13th goal of the season stood as the GWG, but that's not the only reason it was noteworthy. That was the 602nd tally of Iginla's distinguished career, placing him alone (previously tied with Jari Kurri) at 18th all-time in goals scored.
-- Semyon Varlamov went dry with two straight losses in which he allowed four goals, but he made up for that lull on Monday. The Russian netminder turned aside 36 of 37 shots and is now 16-12-3 on the season.
-- The shots were close (37-34 for Winnipeg), but Colorado needed to block 13 more shots, so yeah ... the Avs stole this one, at least to some degree.
SABRES 2, COYOTES 1
-- There was some nonsense at the end of this game, with Zach Bogosian and Anthony Duclair really sparking the shenanigans. (You're not going to believe this, but Shane Doan was also in the mix of bad stuff.)
Bogosian received the most PIM in that exchange with 17.
Anyway, monitor your favorite news sites SUCH AS ROTOWORLD NHL for word on whether there's any supplemental discipline for that altercation.
-- Great games for Jack Eichel (one goal, one assist) and Rasmus Ristolainen (two assists) for Buffalo. It's remarkable that Ristolainen has two more points (31) than Eichel (29) so far in 2015-16. Wow.
Ristolainen was also involved in the hijinks after the whistle, gifting his fantasy owners with 10 PIM.