It was another extremely busy night on the National Hockey League slate on Tuesday night, as 26 of the 31 teams were in action. We had three goaltenders post shutouts, and one skater had a historic hat trick to propel his team to a victory. There were also six games which were decided either in overtime or a shootout. In the 13 games we had an average total of 5.31 goals per game, so the fantasy output wasn't overwhelming, but a few of the games had multi-point performances. Let's get started!
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Boston Bruins 4, Vancouver Canucks 0
The Bruins had a balanced offensive attack in their home win against the Canucks in a rematch of the 2011 Stanley Cup finals. It was a Charlie thing, as Charlie Coyle and Charlie McAvoy were the only two players in the multi-point club. Coyle had a goal and an assist, while McAvoy had a pair of assists for his first multi-point outing since Nov. 16 against the Capitals.
David Krejci and Brad Marchand also contributed even-strength goals, while Karson Kuhlman struck for his first goal of the season, and it came on the power play. That was more than enough for Tuukka Rask, who posted his third shutout of the season, and 48th of his career, while stopping all 25 shots he faced. Jay Beagle slammed into Rask late in the game and McAvoy had to straighten him out a bit. Remember, Rask missed some time after taking an elbow from Emil Bemstrom of the Blue Jackets not long ago, forcing him out with a concussion, so you can understand why the B's might be a bit touchy.
Jacob Markstrom wasn't terrible, as he faced 42 shots, but he did let in four goals and wasn't close to the same level as Rask. The All-Star Markstrom slips to 20-14-3 with a 2.74 goals-against average and .917 save percentage.
Colorado Avalanche 6, Buffalo Sabres 1
The Avalanche fired out to a 2-0 lead with goals from Samuel Girard and Andre Burakovsky just 45 seconds apart in the first period. Sam Reinhart got one back on helpers to Jake McCabe and Jack Eichel, going to the room down just 2-1. That's as good as it got for the home side, however.
Carter Hutton, making the start in place of the injured Linus Ullmark (lower body), has won just once since late October, as he continues to struggle. He allowed goals to Nazem Kadri, Nikita Zadorov and Valeri Nichushkin, as the Avs chased him from the crease. Jonas Johansson replaced him and allowed one more goal to Mikko Rantanen, as the damage was already done.
Philipp Grubauer cruised to a victory, allowing just one goal on 24 shots. Burakovsky was the big offensive hero with three assists, too, while Nichushkin chipped in with two helpers. Burakovsky was a plus-3, as was Kadri, while Nichushkin and Ryan Graves ended up turning in a plus-4 rating. Cole Makar was also a solid plus-3 with an assist, too.
Tampa Bay Lightning 4, Vegas Golden Knights 2
It was a bit of a seesaw battle until the midpoint of the third period when the home side pulled away.
Brayden Point opened the scoring before William Carrier leveled the game at 1-1. Tyler Johnson gave the home side a 2-1 lead heading to the room after 20, and that's the way things would stay all the way until the third.
Paul Stastny has posted four goals and seven points with a plus-5 rating over the past six road games, as he has come alive on the trip. He evened the game at 2-2, and things were looking up early in the third. However, Steven Stamkos broke through for the winner at 10:36 of the third, and Alex Killorn tacked on an empty-net goal for the win.
Marc-Andre Fleury wasn't tested very frequently, allowing three goals on just 17 shots in the loss, and he has just two wins in the previous eight starts dating back to Jan. 4. Defending Vezina Trophy winner Andrei Vasilevskiy is having no such issues, as he improved to 27-9-3 with a 2.53 GAA and .917 save percentage. Remember when he was struggling early on? Yeah, not many remember anymore.
Ondrej Palat posted a pair of assists, and he now has two goals and nine point with a plus-8 over the past seven outings. Brayden Point has a four-game point streak after posting a goal and an assist, while Nikita Kucherov had two helpers to give him seven goals and seven assists with a plus-10 rating during his eight-game point run.
Montreal Canadiens 5, New Jersey Devils 4 (SO)
Charlie Lindgren stepped in for the ill Carey Price, who did not travel with the team. Lindgren wasn't terribly sharp, but he stopped 20 of the 24 shots he faced for the shootout road win, and he had a lot of help from his friends.
After falling behind 3-0 on goals to Miles Wood, Kyle Palmieri (power play) and Jesper Bratt, it was Joel Armia striking back for the Habs on a shorty. Nate Thompson then scored a rare goal to reel the Devils in within one. The good times continued to roll in the third, as Nick Cousins and Christian Folin struck within 2:13 of each other to give the visitors a brief lead.
The Habs were whistled for too many men at 18:51, and Palmieri was back for the power-play equalizer while also enjoying the extra attacker, forcing overtime.
Lindgren shut the door in the extra session, giving up nothing in overtime or the shootout, for his first win of the season. Ilya Kovalchuk hurt his former team with the only marker of the shootout against Louis Domingue.
New York Islanders 4, Dallas Stars 3 (OT)
Anthony Beauvillier opened the scoring for the homestanding Islanders, and he ended things with an overtime winner. That helped Semyon Varlamov stop an 0-3-1 skid, improving to 16-8-4 with a 2.60 GAA and .915 save percentage.
Beauvillier has picked up five goals and nine points with a plus-3 rating over his past seven games after scratching out 10 goals and 27 points over the first 44 outings.
Denis Gurianov struck on the power play, while Jason Dickinson and John Klingberg scored for the visitors. Derick Brassard had an even-strength goal, and Mathew Barzal, the NHL's fastest skater, had a power-play goal to force OT.
Washington Capitals 4, Los Angeles Kings 2
Braden Holtby did a good job shutting down the skidding Kings, but it was anything but easy.
Ovie had a natural hat trick in the final 6:10 of regulation to turn a 2-1 deficit into a 4-2 home win. It was the 143rd multi-goal game of the regular season for Ovechkin, tying Phil Esposito for fifth on the all-time list in that area. It was also his 110th game-winning goal, tying him for fourth all-time with Brett Hull and Teemu Selanne in that department. In addition, he is the 13th player in NHL history to notch three goals in the final seven minutes of regulation, and first to do it since former Caps stud Peter Bondra turned the trick on March 26, 1996. He leads the league with 40 goals through 53 games, the second-quickest he has reached the mark (52 games in 2007-08). He also posted his 27th trick to pass Hall of Famers Maurice 'Rocket' Richard for the eighth-most in league history.
John Carlson also added a goal and three points, and he is well on his way to another multi-point month. He has 12 or more points in each of his months to date, including 23 in the opening month of October.
Columbus Blue Jackets 1, Florida Panthers 0 (OT)
Sergei Bobrovsky returned to Columbus for the second time since leaving in free agency last offseason. He lost for the second time back in Ohio, too.
Bob was strong, stopping 44 of the 45 shots he faced in a scoreless regulation. However, Zach Werenski beat him in overtime for the difference maker. He has four goals in two meetings with Florida this season, including a hat trick on NYE.
Elvis Merzlikins stopped all 32 shots he faced to pick up his fourth shutout in the past seven starts, moving to 11-6-4 with a sparkling 2.30 GAA and .929 save percentage.
Anaheim Ducks 3, Ottawa Senators 2 (SO)
Gibson allowed two goals on 32 shots, while Hogberg allowed two goals on 28 shots in the shootout loss.
Drake Batherson and Artem Anisimov each struck on the power play, and that's all Gibson would allow for the game. Hogberg was equal to the task in regulation, coughing up goals to Nick Ritchie and Ondrej Kase.
In the extra session Hogberg was beaten again by Kase and Rickard Rakell, as the visitors came away with the extra point in the intra-conference battle.
St. Louis Blues 6, Carolina Hurricanes 3
In the second period it was Zach Sanford and Colton Parayko breaking through to make it 3-0 in rather short order before Sebastian Aho struck for his 27th. However, Brayden Schenn added a pair of power-play goals to give the Blues four goals in the first 12 minutes of the second. Head coach Rod Brind'Amour stuck with Mrazek for the long haul, but the offense was unable to come close to bailing him out.
Schenn was blanked in 14 in a row, but he has three goals and four points in two games in February. Sanford is working on a six-game point streak, posting four goals and nine points with a plus-8 rating, and he has a plus-1 or better in each of his past six. Parayko also had an assist, giving him his first multi-point game since Oct. 24.
Jay Bouwmeester turned back the clock for a pair of assists, too, and he now has three helpers in two games after a 24-game scoreless skid.
Minnesota Wild 3, Chicago Blackhawks 2 (OT)
Kevin Fiala scored a pair of goals, including a power-play marker, to give Minnesota a 2-0 lead. Adam Boqvist and Olli Maatta answered for the home side to force overtime. However, Matt Dumba made the home folks happy with an overtime winner. He had just one multi-point game in his first 49, but he has two across the past three outings.
Stalock made 27 saves on 29 shots to improve to 12-8-3 with a 2.88 GAA and .904 save percentage. He is taking advantage of the struggles of Devan Dubnyk, and could be helpful to fantasy owners searching for some goaltending assistance.
Nashville Predators 2, Winnipeg Jets 1 (OT)
Mikael Granlund notched the winner in OT, his 11th goal of the season, which is ironic since Fiala had his 10th and 11th in Minnesota. The two were traded for each other last season at the deadline.
Hellebuyck stopped 34 of the 36 shots he faced, but he falls to 22-16-5 with a 2.71 GAA and .919 save percentage. Only Mason Appleton was able to offer any offensive support.
San Jose Sharks 3, Calgary Flames 1
Evander Kane notched his 20th of the season, and he was credited with the game-winning tally, his first since mid-December. That's five consecutive seasons with at least 20 goals and at least 35 points for the gritty forward.
Arizona Coyotes 3, Edmonton Oilers 0
In the final game of the night it was all Antti Raanta all the time. He was dominant with 30 saves for his second shutout of the season, and his fifth in an Arizona sweater. He also has 13 shutouts for his NHL career. He continues to take advantage of the absence of Darcy Kuemper due to a lower-body injury, which, ironically, is what happened to him when Kuemper emerged as took over the starting job last season.
Lawson Crouse was the big offensive weapon, posting a shorthanded goal and an assist with a plus-2 rating. He has six goals and nine points in 13 games since flipping the calendar from 2019, and he also has a career-high 13 goals while he is on pace for 20 goals and a career-best 32 points.