Do you feel like catching one more hockey game in 2016 before beginning your New Year's Eve celebrations? If so, you might be interested to see the Minnesota Wild host the Columbus Blue Jackets, starting at 6:00 p.m. ET. Going into the season that didn't seem like a particularly big matchup and under other circumstances it might not be a game that appeals to a lot of people beyond Wild and Blue Jackets fans. But these are two teams that deserve attention right now and especially for Saturday's game.
Columbus and Minnesota both won last night, extending their winning streaks to an incredible 14 and 12 games respectively. The Blue Jackets are currently the top team in the NHL and the Wild aren't far behind them. This isn't just the first time that two teams with streaks of 12 wins or more will face, it's the first time in NHL history that there has been two teams that have concurrently been on winning streaks of at least 12, per Elias Sports Bureau.
If Columbus ends up winning and extends its streak to 15 games, the Blue Jackets will also move just two behind the 1992-93 Pittsburgh Penguins, who hold the record with 17 consecutive victories.
Before we move on to the game recaps, this week's Fantasy Nuggets got up a little later than usual, so if you missed it you can check it out by clicking here.
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DEVILS 2 CAPITALS 1 (Shootout)
This was Josefson's first game back from a concussion that kept him out of five contests. He didn't get any points prior to the shootout, but he did record a hit and two blocked shots in 14:36 minutes of ice time.
PA Parenteau scored the Devils' lone goal in regulation time. It was his third marker in his last four games.
Daniel Winnik found the back of the net for Washington. He has five goals and eight points in 24 contests in 2016-17.
BRUINS 4 SABRES 2
Ryan Spooner scored two goals, including the game winner on Thursday. He has seven goals and 18 points in 37 contests.
Buffalo outshot Boston 16-9 in the first period and Tuukka Rask allowed two goals over that stretch. Rask was flawless the rest of the game though to finish with 31 saves on 33 attempts.
Robin Lehner kicked out 34 of 37 shots last night. This is the sixth straight game where he's had to face 33 or more shots.
Kyle Okposo scored a power-play goal for the Sabres. It was his 10th goal and 23rd point in 34 contests this season.
David Krejci had a goal and registered an assist. He's now recorded five points in his last three games.
CANADIENS 3 PANTHERS 2 (Overtime)
Phillip Danault scored the overtime winner and registered an assist on Thursday. He has seven goals and 16 points in 36 contests in 2016-17.
Max Pacioretty also had a goal and an assist for Montreal. That gives him 15 goals and 30 points in 36 games.
Florida's Vincent Trocheck found the back of the net. He has 10 goals and 19 points in 37 games.
James Reimer turned aside 38 of 41 shots last night. He was bombarded by 17 shots in the first frame, but he didn't allow a goal over that period.
Al Montoya kicked out 31 of 33 Panthers shots. This was his first win since Oct. 26 after dropping his previous five decisions. It's also the first time he's won a game since his dreadful outing against Columbus on Nov. 4 when he surrendered 10 goals on 40 shots.
MAPLE LEAFS 3 LIGHTNING 2 (Overtime)
Auston Matthews led the Maple Leafs with a goal and an assist. The 19-year-old rookie has 18 goals and 30 points in 35 games.
Nazem Kadri scored the overtime winner on a power play. It was his 13th goal and 21st point in 35 contests.
Antoine Bibeau turned aside 25 of 27 shots. It was his first NHL win in his second game.
Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 32 of the Leafs' 35 shots. He's allowed at least three goals in each of his last three starts.
Ondrej Palat netted a goal for the Lightning. That gives him six goals and 16 points in 32 contests.
WILD 6 ISLANDERS 4
With the Islanders down 4-2 going into the third period Brock Nelson scored two goals just 42 seconds apart to tie the game. Unfortunately for New York, Minnesota bounced back. Still, Nelson now has nine goals in 35 games.
Erik Haula was the one to break that 4-4 tie. It was his sixth goal and 11th point in 25 games this season.
Devan Dubnyk turned aside 24 of 28 shots. Not his best showing, but it still extends his personal winning streak to 10 games. Of course for the Wild this was their 12th straight win.
Mikko Koivu assisted on two of Minnesota's six goals. He has nine goals and 23 points in 35 games this season.
BLACKHAWKS 3 PREDATORS 2
Patrick Kane scored the game-winning goal and registered an assist on Thursday. With that, Kane has reached the 700-point milestone in his 696th career game.
Jonathan Toews scored a power-play marker for the Blackhawks. He has six goals and 16 points in 29 games.
Pekka Rinne turned aside 20 of 23 shots last night. He's now surrendered at least three goals in 10 of his last 11 contests.
Mike Fisher found the back of the net for Nashville. It was his 10th goal and 19th point in 31 games.
BLUE JACKETS 5 JETS 3
Alexander Wennberg scored two goals, including the game winner. That his third game-winning goal out of eight total markers.
Nick Foligno netted a goal and registered two assists last night. He's on a four-game point streak and has eight points over that span.
Their efforts contributed to Michael Hutchinson surrendering five goals on 35 shots. He has a 4-7-2 record, 3.13 GAA, and .896 save percentage in 15 games.
Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 31 of 34 Jets shots. That gives him a 23-5-2 record, 1.95 GAA, and .934 save percentage in 30 starts.
Blake Wheeler assisted on two of Winnipeg's three goals. He has 11 goals and 29 points in 38 contests.
RED WINGS 3 SENATORS 2 (Overtime)
Jared Coreau saved 26 of 28 shots last night. The rookie goalie has a 2-1-0 record, 2.93 GAA, and .908 save percentage in three starts.
Anthony Mantha netted the overtime winner, extending his point streak to four games. He has seven goals and 13 points in 21 contests.
Tomas Tatar also found the back of the net for Detroit. It was his eighth goal and 15th point in 36 games.
Derick Brassard had a goal and an assist on Thursday. The Senators forward has eight goals and 17 points in 36 contests.
Mike Condon saved 25 of 28 shots to drop his second game in a row. He has a 8-4-3 record, 2.38 GAA, and .917 save percentage in 17 games.
STARS 4 AVALANCHE 2
Matt Duchene had a goal and registered an assist. With that the 25-year-old forward has reached and surpass the 400-point milestone in 526 games.
Jamie Benn assisted on three of Dallas' four markers. He has 10 goals and 33 points in 37 contests in 2016-17.
Tyler Seguin scored two goals and registered an assist. He has 13 goals and 37 points in 37 games.
Kari Lehtonen turned aside 13 of 14 shots, but he had to leave the game in the third period to undergo the NHL's concussion protocol. Fortunately he's fine and even returned to the bench to watch the rest of the contest. Antti Niemi stopped four of five shots in relief.
Calvin Pickard saved 30 of 33 shots last night. He has a 6-8-1 record, 2.95 GAA, and .904 save percentage in 17 contests in 2016-17.
RANGERS 6 COYOTES 3
Matt Puempel went into Thursday's game with six career goals in 63 games. The 23-year-old stepped up though with a hat trick that included the game-winning goal.
Kevin Hayes assisted on three of the Rangers' six markers. He has 11 goals and 27 points in 38 contests in 2016-17.
Antti Raanta kicked out 18 of 21 shots last night. He improved to 10-4-0 in 17 games (14 starts).
Mike Smith stopped 26 of 31 shots in his sixth straight loss. He has a 7-10-4 record, 2.82 GAA, and .920 save percentage in 22 starts this season.
Anthony Duclair found the back of the net for the second game in a row. Hopefully this is the start of a turnaround as he has just seven points in 33 contests this season.
DUCKS 3 FLAMES 1
Mikael Backlund scored Calgary's lone goal. It was his 10th marker and 23rd point in 38 games.
Jakob Silfverberg netted the game-winning goal, extending his goal scoring streak to three contests. He has 11 goals and 24 points in 37 contests.
Ryan Kesler assisted on two of the Ducks' three markers. He has 12 goals and 31 points in 37 games this season.
John Gibson stopped 31 of 32 shots last night. He has a 12-9-6 record, 2.57 GAA, and .909 save percentage in 27 contests.
Chad Johnson kicked out 22 of 25 shots in his fourth straight loss. That gives him a 13-8-1 record, 2.34 GAA, and .920 save percentage in 22 starts.
OILERS 3 KINGS 1
Eric Gryba netted his first goal of the season and it proved to be the game winner last night. That was also his second point in 18 contests.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins also found the back of the net for Edmonton. He has seven goals and 17 points in 37 games.
Peter Budaj saved 32 of 34 shots, making this the second game in a row that he's lost while allowing just two goals. He has a 15-10-3 record, 2.04 GAA, and .920 save percentage in 31 games.
Nick Shore scored the Kings' lone goal. He has three markers and seven points in 35 contests this season.
Cam Talbot turned aside 28 of 29 Kings shots. He has a 18-10-5 record, 2.47 GAA, and .919 save percentage in 33 starts.