Brian Elliott’s season has been one of extremes so far – although even that statement has to be taken with a grain of salt given how little of the season has been played so far. That being said Elliott gave people some initial cause for concern by allowing a staggering 14 goals in his first three starts. It was particularly troubling because going into the campaign it seemed reasonable to assume that the move from St. Louis to Calgary would hurt him from a GAA and save percentage perspective, but to what extent was debatable. Obviously, there was no way Elliott was going to stay that bad all season, but there’s a lot in between that disastrous start and even mediocre.
Elliott’s bounced back though by surrendering just five goals in his last three games, including road outings against Chicago, St. Louis, and then Friday’s home game versus Ottawa. Just as it was unlikely that he would maintain a 4.72 GAA, his 1.63 GAA in his last three contests seems equally unsustainable. He might end up working out to be a fairly average starter this season in terms of his GAA and save percentage. Even then though, his first six starts have really left us with more questions than answers and I think it’s fair to say that, as indecisive as it is, it’s best to just wait and see with him.
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CAROLINA 3 NY RANGERS 2
The Rangers have struggled in games where they’ve kept the shot count down this season. This is the third time that Henrik Lundqvist has had to face 21 or fewer shots in 2016-17 and those three contests account for all of his losses thus far.
Rangers forward Mats Zuccarello did his best to avoid last night’s outcome by scoring two goals. He has four markers and seven points in eight contests this season.
Jeff Skinner had two goals of his own and added an assist. He’s on a four-game point streak and now has four goals and five assists in six contests in 2016-17.
Bryan Bickell accounted for the Hurricanes’ other goal. It was his first marker and point of the campaign.
Cam Ward saved 28 of 30 shots last night. That gives him a 1-2-1 record, 3.51 GAA and .872 save percentage in four starts.
CHICAGO 3 NEW JERSEY 2 (Overtime)
Artem Anisimov found the back of the net in overtime to extend his point streak to six games. He’s got five goals and 10 points in eight games so far after finishing with 42 points in total last season.
Artemi Panarin was a big contributor for the Blackhawks too with a goal and an assist on Friday. He has three markers and seven points in eight contests.
Corey Crawford kicked out 30 of 32 shots to earn his second win of the season. He has a 2.85 GAA and .904 save percentage in six contests.
PA Parenteau found the back of the net for the Devils, giving him three goals and four points in seven games. Not bad for a player that was waived by the New York Islanders before the season started.
CALGARY 5 OTTAWA 2
Dougie Hamilton stood out tonight with two goals and an assist for the Flames. Those were his first two markers of the campaign and he now has six points in nine games.
Brian Elliott also had a big game as he turned aside 31 of 33 shots. As discussed above, he has allowed five goals in his last three contests compared to 14 in his first three.
Andrew Hammond only had to face four shots in the first period and he turned aside three of them. He suffered a lower-body injury though and had to be replaced by Chris Driedger, who allowed four goals on 15 shots. If you haven’t been keeping tabs on Craig Anderson and are wondering why he wasn’t available, it’s because he had to temporarily leave the Senators to deal with a personal matter.
Kyle Turris netted a goal for the Senators last night. He has four markers and five points in seven games.
Johnny Gaudreau assisted on two of the Flames’ five goals. That gives him two markers and seven points in nine contests in 2016-17.
WINNIPEG 1 COLORADO 0
Michael Hutchinson needed to make 37 saves to earn the shutout Friday night. He has a 2-2-0 record, 2.77 GAA, and .918 save percentage in four starts.
That resulted in Semyon Varlamov suffering his third loss in his last four games despite turning aside 20 of 21 shots. He has a 2.82 GAA and .909 save percentage in five starts this season.
Shawn Matthias was the only player to find the back of the net. It was his second goal and third point in eight games.
Rookie defenseman Josh Morrissey assisted on Matthias’ marker. Morrissey has two points in eight contests.
Gabriel Landeskog led the Avalanche with five shots on goal. He’s gone four straight contests without a point.
EDMONTON 2 VANCOUVER 0
Connor McDavid netted his second game-winning goal of the season. He’s got five goals and 12 points in eight contests.
Milan Lucic had a goal and an assist last night. He now has four markers and seven points in eight games this season.
Ryan Miller saved 25 of 26 shots, but still earned his third straight loss. He has a 1-3-0 record despite his impressive 1.74 GAA and .939 save percentage.
COLUMBUS 4 ANAHEIM 0
Sergei Bobrovsky earned a 35-save shutout. He’s won three of his first seven starts and two of those victories have been in shutouts. He now has a 2.02 GAA and .940 save percentage.
Ducks goalie John Gibson allowed four goals on 32 shots and left the game after 49:53 minutes. It’s worth noting though that all of Columbus’ goals were scored in the first period. Regardless, Dustin Tokarski replaced him and stopped five straight shots.
Sam Gagner scored two goals on Friday, including the game winner. He has three points in six contests this season.
Brandon Saad netted the Blue Jackets’ other two markers. He’s on a three-game point streak.
Corey Perry launched a team-high six shots on goal. The Ducks forward still has four goals on 34 shots in 2016-17.