There were only three games on Wednesday, but they were fun ones. We had Carter Hart earning his first career shutout in the Flyers’ 4-0 victory over the Devils. For all New Jersey’s promise, they’ve gotten off to a 0-2-1 start. Is it too early to panic? Absolutely. But the Devils are a young team and this will likely be a year that will involve intermittent growing pains, such as the ones we’re seeing now.
We also saw the Canucks blowout the Kings 8-2. Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick has allowed a staggering 14 goals over his first two starts. Quick was once one of the best goaltenders in the league, but he struggled mightily last season with a 3.38 GAA and .888 save percentage in 46 starts. To be fair to Quick though, the team in front of him wasn’t good last season and it’s probably not going to be too inspiring in 2019-20 either.
However, the highlight of the night was Eichel’s four-point performance to lead Buffalo to an overtime victory over Montreal. The Atlantic is a really interesting division this season. Tampa Bay, Toronto, and Boston all have superb teams that look more than playoff worthy, but Buffalo, Florida, and Montreal are all interesting teams too. That sets up the Atlantic for some potential surprises with perhaps one of the division’s big three not being as secure a bet to make the playoffs as you might assume once we get to the final months of the campaign.
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BUFFALO 5 MONTREAL 4 (OT)
Jack Eichel led the charge with two goals and two assists. The Sabres forward already has three goals and seven points in four games despite only contributing points in two of those contests.
Marcus Johansson scored the overtime winner and registered an assist. He has two goals and four points in four games.
Carter Hutton stopped 23 of 27 Canadiens shots. He improved to 3-0-0 with a 2.32 GAA and .908 save percentage in three starts.
At the other end of the ice, Keith Kinkaid allowed five goals on 39 shots. That was his first start of the 2019-20 campaign.
Joel Armia scored two goals and registered an assist for Montreal. He held been held off the scoresheet in Montreal’s first two games.
PHILADELPHIA 4 NEW JERSEY 0
Carter Hart stopped 25 Devils shots to earn the shutout. Although he was solid in his rookie campaign, this is his first career perfect game.
Taylor Hall fired five shots on Hart, but couldn’t break through. Hall has no goals on 14 shots this season.
Ivan Provorov scored the game-winning goal and registered an assist. That gives the defenseman a goal and three points in two contests.
Travis Konecny also had a goal and an assist for Philadelphia. He has just three goals and five points in two games.
Cory Schneider turned aside 30 of 34 shots last night. He’s 0-1-0 with a 3.50 GAA and .891 save percentage in two starts.
VANCOUVER 8 LOS ANGELES 2
Quinn Hughes scored a goal and an assist for Vancouver. It was the 19-year-old defenseman’s first career NHL goal. As an aside, his first goal came before his brother Jack Hughes, who entered the season as a favorite to win the Calder Trophy, but has no points in three contests so far with the Devils.
J.T. Miller had a goal and three assists on Wednesday. That gives him a goal and five points in three games.
Brandon Sutter scored twice and registered an assist. He had been held off the scoresheet in Vancouver’s first two games.
Jacob Markstrom stopped 37 of 39 Kings shots. He’s 1-2-0 with a 2.37 GAA and .922 save percentage in three starts.
Jonathan Quick was charged with all eight Vancouver goals over 25 shots. He’s 0-2-0 with a 7.18 GAA and .750 save percentage in two starts.
Tyler Toffoli scored for the Kings. He has two goals and three points in three games.