Happy New Year Everyone!
There is no better day in the regular season than January 1 as the epic Winter Classic has been a staple since 2009.
This year the matchup was between two of the hottest rivals in NHL history, the Montreal Canadiens and the Boston Bruins.
In front of 65,000-plus screaming fans at Gillette Stadium, the Canadiens whipped the Bruins 5-1.
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MONTREAL 5 BOSTON 1
The return of Brendan Gallagher to the Montreal lineup was huge in the Habs win.
Gallagher was reunited with Tomas Plekanec and Max Pacioretty and the line struck for two goals and six points as Gallagher and Pacioretty each had a goal and an assist while Plekanec chipped in with a couple of assists.
Montreal had really been missing the scoring prowess from their top unit as Pacioretty and Plekanec suffered major slumps during Gallagher's absence.
Mike Condon was terrific in turning aside 27 of 28 shots for the win. He has now won two in a row after going 0-7-1 since December 3. He is 11-9-3 with a 2.42 GAA and a .907 in what was the highlight win of his young career to this point.
Matt Beleskey's eighth goal of the season ruined the shutout bid of Condon.
Tuukka Rask made 25 saves while dropping his record to 14-10-3. He was the victim of some bad bounces and some crisp Montreal passing and should still be considered a top-ten fantasy goalie.
Dale Weise suffered an upper body injury in the second period and did not return.
VANCOUVER 2 ANAHEIM 1 (Shootout)
Alex Burrows opened the shootout with a goal and that stood up as the lone goal in the Canucks 2-1 win over Anaheim.
Jacob Markstrom was brilliant in stopping 27 shots plus all three in the shootout as he pushed his record to 4-4-3 as he has now won three of his last four starts.
Chris Tanev returned from injury to score the tying goal just past the halfway mark of the third period. It was the second goal of the season from the talented and underappreciated blueliner.
Ryan Kesler opened the scoring for Anaheim with his fifth of the season. It was a power play effort.
Frederik Andersen had a strong game as he stopped 24 shots in a rare start. John Gibson has taken over as the number one goalie in Anaheim and Andersen could be trade bait as the Ducks do need to find some scoring.
The floundering Ducks still have Bruce Boudreau as their head coach. The further they get away from a playoff spot, the better the odds that he will not finish the season behind the Anaheim bench.