The NHL got it right Monday when the Governors met in Palm Beach, Florida and decided not to change the rule for emergency goaltenders. I went into it on Friday in The Week Ahead as far as my views are concerned and I’m glad the rule will remain the same.
The NHL named its three stars of the week Monday afternoon and the first star was the Wild’s Kevin Fiala. The former Nashville Predators had four goals and five assists in four games with a couple of goals and a helper coming on the power play. Fiala has been a stud in the last month with 11 goals and 21 points in 14 games after starting the season with nine goals and 18 assists in his first 46 contests.
The second star was a teammate of Fiala’s in Nashville, Ryan Ellis. The defenseman had a goal and six assists in three games and had a four-game points streak heading into action Monday.
The third star was Colorado netminder Pavel Francouz who was a perfect 3-0-0 this past week with a 2.00 GAA and a .946 save percentage.
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COLORADO 2 DETROIT 1
Logan O'Connor’s second career goal was the winner as the Colorado Avalanche prevailed over the lowly Detroit Red Wings 2-1.
The 23-year-old from Missouri City, Texas took a pass from Gabriel Landeskog and went in alone on Detroit netminder Jonathan Bernier and beat him with a shot from the slot. Nathan MacKinnon drew the secondary assist and it was his 300th of his NHL career.
The Avs tied it with a goal from newcomer Vladislav Namestnikov who was an Ottawa Senator until a trade deadline deal a week ago.
Michael Hutchinson made his first start in a Colorado uniform and after giving up Mantha’s goal on only the Red Wings second shot of the game, he stopped the remaining 16 for his fifth win of the season as he was 4-9-1 with Toronto before the trade for Calle Rosen.
Bernier took the loss after giving up two goals on 27 shots. He has provided the Red Wings with solid goaltending this season, and has kept them in games they did not deserve to be in. Bernier is 13-21-3 with a 2.92 GAA and a .907 save percentage.
Alex Biega had six hits.
MacKinnon had five shots on goal.
Erik Johnson blocked five shots for the Avs.
The Avs rookie sensation Cale Makar was unable to go as he is out with an upper-body injury.
EDMONTON 8 NASHVILLE 3
The Oilers dynamic duo of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl are truly dynamic and they proved it once again Monday as they combined for 10 points in the Oilers 8-3 shellacking of the Nashville Predators.
Draisaitl was the offensive star with four goals and an assist but McDavid was not far behind as he scored once and added four helpers as the Oilers broke open a close game that was tied at 3 heading into the third period before Edmonton exploded for five straight goals.
Draisaitl leads the NHL in points with 107, as he surpassed the 105 he accumulated last season, his previous career best.
McDavid moved into second place in NHL scoring with 94 as he is 13 behind his teammate in the pursuit of the Art Ross Trophy.
Mike Smith picked up the start for Edmonton and made 27 saves on 30 shots for his 19th win of the season. He is 12-1-4 since the calendar switched over to 2020 as he has taken over as the Oilers top netminder.
Pekka Rinne started for the Preds but gave up all eight goals on 31 shots before he was replaced at the 9:55 mark of the third after Draisaitl’s third goal of the period and fourth of the contest. Juuse Saros turned aside all four pucks shot his way the remainder of the night.
Mattias Ekholm was a minus-three on the night.
Draisaitl led both teams with seven shots on goal.
Adam Larsson had five hits.
Leon Draisaitl - 4
Connor McDavid – 4
Darnell Nurse – 3
Shots on Goal
Leon Draisaitl – 7
Anthony Mantha – 6
Alex Biega – 6
Adam Larsson – 5
Nathan MacKinnon - 5
Trevor Daley -4