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Hockey Daily Dose

Jamie Benn strikes in win over Lightning

by Michael Finewax
Updated On: January 29, 2020, 1:19 pm ET

Alex Ovechkin was forced to watch Washington play Montreal Monday as he was not allowed to dress due to the fact that he did not participate in the All-Star Game on the weekend.

The rule states that anyone missing the game because they did not want to attend, must sit out the game before the All-Star Game or the game after.

Since Ovechkin played against the Islanders on January 18, he would have to miss Monday’s game against Montreal.

The same thing will happen on Friday as Marc-Andre Fleury chose not to attend the festivities in St. Louis and he will not play in Carolina. It won’t be as bad for Fleury as the Golden Knights play in back-to-back nights and he likely would have sat out one game anyway.

The NHL got back in action Monday after a four-day break, with six games.

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WASHINGTON 4 MONTREAL 2

Braden Holtby had a big game, stopping 31 shots as the Capitals beat Montreal 4-2 Monday.
Holtby has a tenuous hold on the number one job in Washington as he is 19-9-4 with a 3.06 GAA and a .899 save percentage after the win over the Canadiens as he is trying to hold off rookie Ilya Samsonov who is 15-2-1 with a 2.06 GAA and a .927 save percentage. It didn’t hurt Holtby’s cause with the great effort in Monday’s win.

Jakub Vrana and Tom Wilson each had a goal and an assist in the victory while Travis Boyd and Nicklas Backstrom also found the back of the net. Vrana has a nine-game points streak.

Carey Price took the loss in the Montreal net as he gave up three goals (Backstrom’s 10th of the season was an empty netter) on 39 shots to see his record fall to 20-17-4 with a 2.85 GAA and a .909 save percentage. Not exactly vintage numbers for Price who has struggled at times in the Montreal cage.

Jeff Petry with his seventh, opened the scoring in the first period while Dale Weise, with his first of the season, made it 3-2 Washington in the third but Montreal could get no closer.

T.J. Oshie had a pair of assists for Washington.

Dale Weise and Garnet Hathaway each had five hits.

NEW JERSEY 4 OTTAWA 3 (Shootout)

Jack Hughes and Nikita Gusev scored in the shootout to give New Jersey and 4-3 victory over Ottawa and their first win in four games.

Marcus Hogberg could not make any saves in the shootout after a superb outing in regulation and overtime as he kicked out 50 shots to get a point for the Senators. Hogberg is 2-2-6 this season with a 2.90 GAA and a .912 save percentage. He has provided Ottawa good goalkeeping since his call up at the end of November.

Mackenzie Blackwood made 35 saves in the New Jersey net, as well as both shots in the shootout, for the win. He is 15-12-6 with a 2.95 GAA and a .906 save percentage. He has a good record for the Devils who are only 18-24-7 this season.

Damon Severson on the power play, Kevin Rooney with his second and Kyle Palmieri scored for the Devils.

Tyler Ennis scored on the power play while Vladislav Namestnikov and Chris Tierney both scored shorthanded for Ottawa.

P.K. Subban and Brady Tkachuk each had a major for fighting while Tkachuk also picked up a minor for high-sticking.

Jack Hughes had eight shots on goal.

Severson blocked five shots.

TORONTO 5 NASHVILLE 2

Frederik Andersen returned to form and made 34 saves in leading the Maple Leafs to a 5-2 road win over Nashville. Andersen had given up at least three goals in 10 of his last 12 games before the All-Star break but the time off, save for the ASG, seemed to have helped him regain his confidence. Andersen has a great 23-9-6 mark but his 2.86 GAA and .910 save percentage are not elite.

It was a big night for rookie defenseman Rasmus Sandin as he scored his first NHL goal and even more impressively, sent a 130-foot pass to a breaking William Nylander, who scored his 23rd of the season, a new-career high.

Zach Hyman joined Nylander and Sandin as he also had a goal and an assist. Jason Spezza and Auston Matthews with his 35th also scored for Toronto.

Mikael Granlund and Viktor Arvidsson replied for Nashville. It was Arvidsson’s 12th of the season in 36 games after scoring 34 times last season in only 58 contests.

Pekka Rinne made 26 saves in taking the loss. He is 16-11-3 with a 2.98 GAA and a .897 save percentage. Rinne has struggled of late, winning only three of his last nine.

Kasperi Kapanen suffered an arm injury in the first period and did not return.

DALLAS 3 TAMPA BAY 2 (Overtime)

Jamie Benn’s second of the game was the OT winner as the Dallas Stars upended the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2. Benn broke up a pass by Brayden Point and broke in alone on Andrei Vasilevskiy and deked him for the winner.

Benn has struggled this season as the two goals give him 14 this season, to go with 11 assists in 49 games. That’s a far cry from the Art Ross winning 89 points he picked up in the 2015-16 season and he is just a season removed from a 79-point season in 2017-18. It was thought his poor year last season was an aberration with 53 points in 78 games but that may be the new normal.

Denis Gurianov also scored. It was his 12th of the season and third in the last six games.

Ben Bishop was strong in the Dallas cage, stopping 25 shots to improve his record to 17-10-3 with a sparkling 2.27 GAA and a .927 save percentage.

Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 32 shots in taking the overtime loss for Tampa Bay. It was his first defeat since December 19 when he also lost in overtime to the Stars. Vasilevskiy is 24-9-3 with a 2.55 GAA and a .917 save percentage and is 11-0-2 in his last 13 contests.

Steven Stamkos scored both goals for Tampa Bay to give him 20 this season. Nikita Kucherov picked up a pair of assists.

Roope Hintz suffered an upper-body injury on his first shift of the game and did not return. Consider him day-to-day at this time.

Stamkos and Jason Dickinson each had six shots on goal.

VANCOUVER 3 ST. LOUIS 1

Thatcher Demko made 36 saves to lead the Canucks to a 3-1 win over the St. Louis Blues in a battle of the two first place teams in the Western Conference.

Demko raised his record to 10-5-1 as the Canucks extended their lead in the Pacific to three points over Edmonton, Calgary, Arizona and Vegas.

J.T. Miller scored twice and Bo Horvat scored into the empty net with one second left to clinch the victory.

Jake Allen got the start for the Blues as Jordan Binnington was given the night off after he played in Saturday’s All-Star Game. Allen stopped 23-of-25 shots and saw his record drop to 8-4-3.

Jake Virtanen had a pair of assists for Vancouver.

Brayden Schenn and Tyler Motte each had six hits.

SAN JOSE 4 ANAHEIM 2

Patrick Marleau and Stefan Noesen each scored twice to lead the San Jose Sharks to a rare win (at least of late) as they defeated Anaheim 4-2.

Aaron Dell made 26 saves to even his record at 9-9-2. He has taken over from Martin Jones as the number one starter in San Jose and it remains to be seen if he is able to hold onto the job.

John Gibson turned aside 27 shots as he took his 20th regulation loss of the season. He is 14-20-3 and has played well this season despite his record. Gibson has held the Ducks in numerous games they did not deserve to be in.

Ondrej Kase scored shorthanded while Nick Ritchie scored on the power play.  
Erik Gudbranson, who picked up an assist on Kase’s sixth goal of the season, fought with Evander Kane with 2:13 left in the third period. Each picked up five minutes for fighting.

Max Jones had eight hits.

NIGHTLY LEADERS

Goals

J.T. Miller – 2

Patrick Marleau - 2

Stefan Noesen - 2

Steven Stamkos – 2

Jamie Benn - 2

Assists

T.J. Oshie – 2

Jake Virtanen – 2 

Jesper Bratt – 2

Nikita Kucherov - 2

Shots on Goal

Jack Hughes – 8

Damon Severson – 6

Steven Stamkos – 6

Jason Dickinson - 6

Tyler Ennis - 6

Lars Eller – 6

Carl Hagelin - 6

Hits

Max Jones – 8

Stefan Noesen – 6

Brayden Schenn – 6

Tyler Motte – 6

Carter Rowney – 5

Timo Meier – 5

Oscar Fantenberg – 5

Austin Watson – 5

Dale Weise – 5

Garnet Hathaway - 5

Penalty Minutes

Brady Tkachuk – 7

Evander Kane – 5

Erik Gudbranson - 5

P.K. Subban - 5

Michael Finewax

Michael Finewax is entering his 16th season as the Senior Hockey Writer and Editor for Rotoworld. You can follow him on Twitter @mfinewaxhockey.