It was quite the night for the Maple Leafs Nazem Kadri who had the hat trick and chipped in with a couple of assists to give him five points and the best night of his NHL career.
That gives him seven goals and 15 points in his last 10 games and 40 points on the season in 57 games. He had been in a terrible slump before this as he had only a goal and an assist in 22 games. He has certainly broken loose and Kadri gives the Maple Leafs more scoring as they really do have a top-nine, rather than most teams who have a top-six and a bottom-six.
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TORONTO 6 COLUMBUS 3
As well as Kadri played as mentioned earlier, Frederik Andersen was just as big a star as he stopped 54 shots in a 6-3 win over Columbus. It was the third straight game that the Blue Jackets managed to get at least 50 shots on goal. The Blue Jackets outshot Toronto 57-28.
Besides Kadri, Patrick Marleau had a big game with a goal and two assists to go with a plus-four. Marleau has 19 goals and 32 points this season.
Nick Foligno had a pair of goals for the Blue Jackets and Jack Johnson scored once. It has been a tough season for Foligno offensively as he has only 13 goals and 26 points after he also assisted on Johnson’s third of the season.
Columbus held the Maple Leafs top line of Auston Matthews, William Nylander and Zach Hyman pointless as they were minus-six on the night. Nylander and Matthews had been hot entering the game with seven points in their last four games apiece. Mitch Marner also had seven points in the previous four games entering Wednesday night but he continued his streak with a goal and an assist. Marner has 13 goals and 45 points in 59 games and eight points in his last three contests.
It was a tough night for Joonas Korpisalo as he gave up five goals on 27 shots. He was on the verge of being pulled in the first but coach John Tortorella left him in the game, giving Sergei Bobrovsky the night off.
Jake Gardiner suffered a lower body injury in the first period and did not return.
COLORADO 2 MONTREAL 0
It was an outstanding performance by Colorado goaltender Semyon Varlamov as he stopped all 44 shots directed at him by the Montreal Canadiens as the Avalanche knocked off the Habs 2-0w
Varlamov won his first game since returning to action from a groin injury suffered on January 2. He had started two previous games and played in a third since his return on February 2 with Wednesday’s effort the best by far.
Alexander Kerfoot scored his 14th of the season in the third to clinch it as he rifled a puck from the slot past Niemi. He had the whole right side of the net open but put it in the one inch hole that Niemi left for him on the left side. That was something.
Niemi stopped 23 shots in taking the loss.
FLORIDA 4 VANCOUVER 3
James Reimer stopped 34 shots as the Panthers scored four in the first period and then held on to defeat Vancouver 4-3.
It was a wild and woolly first period as six goals were scored. The Panthers scored four times on 14 shots and chased Jacob Markstrom after 20 minutes.
Michael Del Zotto and Bo Horvat sandwiched a goal from Evgenii Dadonov as the Canucks got off to a 2-1 lead but the Panthers closed the period with three straight as Jamie McGinn with his eighth on the power play, Alex Petrovic with his first and Nick Bjugstad gave Florida a 4-2 lead heading into the second.
Things settled down in the second for the Canucks as Anders Nilsson entered the net and when rookie-of-the-year candidate Brock Boeser scored his 27th on the power play with 6:44 to go in the second, it looked like Vancouver would be able to come back at home.
But it was not to be as Reimer was stellar the remainder of the way as he picked up his 15th win of the season. Nilsson stopped all 20 shots he faced in the final two periods as Markstrom took the loss.
NOTES : The Rangers are hoping that Pavel Buchnevich is able to skate with the team on Friday as he is trying to recover from a concussion suffered on February 1…Chris Kreider joined the Rangers at practice Wednesday for the first time since he was diagnosed with blood clots on December 27…Roberto Luongo was taken off injured reserve Wednesday and is expected to see the crease for the first time since December 4th on the weekend as he will return from a lower body injury…Nathan MacKinnon (upper body) and Andrej Sekera (face) have been placed on the injured reserve list but both are eligible to return at any time…Tage Thompson was sent to the minors by the Blues but keep an eye on him next season as he could be a break-through player…The Cinderella Story of Jeff Glass, the 32-year-old goaltender who finally made his NHL debut on December 29, could be over as Chicago placed him on waivers Wednesday…Tomas Hertl left Tuesday’s game after crashing into the boards and did not return. Consider him day-to-day… It was a tough day and night for the United States at the Olympics as the men lost 3-2 in overtime to Slovenia and the women lost 2-1 to Canada.