It's the start of Thanksgiving week, at least Thanksgiving in the United States, and the National Hockey League schedule is a little strange this week. Normally Monday, Wednesday and Friday are rather light days, but they're very heavy, while Tuesday and Thursday are super light this week. It seems that the defenses were prepared on Monday, as we had a total of just 42 goals across nine games, or an average of 4.67 total goals per game. That's not great news for fantasy owners, although it was great news for most of the goaltenders. Six of the contests were one-goal games, and four were decided in overtime or a shootout. Let's get started!
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Tampa Bay Lightning 5, Buffalo Sabres 2
Andrei Vasilevskiy was in good shape in this one, allowing just two goals on 30 shots. He also had the benefit of plenty of offensive support, including a pair of expected goals on the power play. As far as the latter is concerned, two of Tampa's goals came on Buffalo's power play.
Cedric Paquette and Ondrej Palat picked up shorthanded goals in the third period within 49 seconds of each other, pushing a 3-2 lead to an insurmountable 5-2 victory. Palat also picked up a goal on Nikita Kucherov's goal, which came just 13 seconds into the game, and he added a helper on Mikhail Sergachev's power-play goal in the second period. Add in the fact Palat ended up with a plus-2 rating, a blocked shot and five hits, and he was one of the biggest fantasy starts of the night.
The only other Lightning player with two or more points was Ryan McDonagh, who had a pair of helpers with a plus-2 rating and three blocked shots.
Special teams really let down Carter Hutton, who coughed up five goals on 29 shots, but again, one goal was on the power play, and two came on a shorthanded situation. Only Sam Reinhart and Jimmy Vesey were able to provide any offense. Victor Olofsson and Jack Eichel were good for helpers on the opening goal, and Buffalo actually had a 2-1 lead before the Lightning struck for four unanswered goals.
Steven Stamkos continues to sit, but he might be rounding the corner and getting ready to play soon. Fantasy owners will want to keep him reserved until he can officially return and prove his health in a full game without any setbacks, however.
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New York Rangers 3, Minnesota Wild 2 (OT)
This battle at Madison Square Garden was very entertaining and heartwarming, and it started during the pregame. The return of Mats Zuccarello was special, as the crowd serenaded him with cheers, and he was the last off the ice with a pregame wave to the crowd. He ended up going scoreless with a minus-1 rating in his return to Madison Square Garden. His pregame celebration paled in comparison to the special moment when 7-year-old Bradley Lingad made his way onto the ice on Hockey Fights Cancer night. He fought cancer for two and a half years, finishing treatment this summer. Ring that bell, kid! I love it.
As far as the fantasy results, Brady Skjei opened the scoring in the first period, before Zach Parise answered for the Wild late in the second. Ryan Donato scored exactly midway through the third to give the visitors a lead, before Chris Kreider answered on the power play with just 2:50 left to help the Blueshirts force overtime. That's when Tony DeAngelo answered the bell, sending everyone to the subway stop in a good mood with his seventh of the season at just 0:32 of the extra session.
Philadelphia Flyers 2, Vancouver Canucks 1
It was a goaltender duel between two young, rising crease stars, as Thatcher Demko and Carter Hart battle in the City of Brotherly Love. Demko allowed just two goals on 34 shots, but that wasn't good enough to get the road victory. Hart yielded just one goal on 17 shots to pick up the home victory.
J.T. Miller reached double digits with his 10th goal of the season on a helper from Bo Horvat, and the Canucks held a 1-0 lead. That lasted from 10:34 of the first period until 5:34 of the second when Sean Couturier awakened the home crowd with his seventh of the season on assists to Jakub Voracek and Robert Hagg.
In the third period, Voracek got on the board with his sixth of the season, and Couturier returned the favor with a secondary helper, while Justin Braun had primary assist. That ended up being the game-winning tally, as the bearded one has goals in back-to-back games for the first time since Oct. 26-27. Three of his five multi-point performances have come against Canadian-based teams. He has four goals and nine points in nine games against Canadian teams, and two goals with five assists in 15 games against US-based clubs.
Pittsburgh Penguins 3, Calgary Flames 2 (OT)
The first period of this game featured two goal scorers getting their first of the season. Dillon Dube notched his second NHL goal, and his first points in five games this season, as he opened the scoring on assists from Rasmus Andersson and Derek Ryan. Alex Galchenyuk had his first of the season on the power play, helped out by the red-hot Dominik Kahun and Jared McCann.
McCann got on the board with his ninth of the season at 7:14 of the second period, giving him goals in consecutive games for the first time since March 10-12 of last season. Since flipping the calendar from October to November he has been on fire. He had four goals and five points in 11 games in October, but he has five goals and 11 points with a plus-10 rating across 11 contests in November.
Jake Guentzel notched the overtime winner with help again from Kahun and John Marino. Kahun ended up with two assists, giving him three goals and seven points with a plus-4 rating across the past five. Consider adding him in deeper fantasy pools, and remember him as a cheap DFS option.
Tristan Jarry stopped two goals on 34 shots to win his third straight start, improving to 4-3-0 with a 1.82 goals-against average and .945 save percentage.
Columbus Blue Jackets 1, Ottawa Senators 0
Another goaltender was shining in Columbus. Actually, both goalies were on point.
Joonas Korpisalo turned back all 25 shots he faced to pick up his second career shutout, yet the Jackets still made him work for it in a one-goal game. Craig Anderson allowed just one goal to Oliver Bjorkstrand on 19 shots.
Zach Werenski picked up assist, while adding a plus-1 rating. The former Michigan Wolverine, playing in enemy territory this week, managed to extend his point streak to seven games. HE has three goals and nine points during his impressive seven-game run. Boone Jenner also had a helper to give him two goals and four points in his current four-game point streak.
Nashville Predators 3, St. Louis Blues 2 (SO)
Nick Bonino opened the scoring in the Music City, giving him 10 goals on the season. Rocco Grimaldi and Dante Fabbro were good for the helpers, and the 21-year-old Fabbro from Coquitlam, B.C. has points in back-to-back games for the first time in his career.
Ryan Johansen gave the Preds a 2-0 lead, but David Perron and Brayden Schenn answered to knot the game at 2-2. Backup goaltenders Jake Allen and Juuse Saros did a tremendous job in rare starts for both, and the game had to be decided in a shootout. Robin Lehner of the Blackhawks LOVES shootouts, but the way. If you have some time, search Lehner and shootout on Twitter, and hear his thoughts. Classic.
Anyway, Perron was back to beat Saros, but Filip Forsberg answered against Allen. Then it was an unlikely hero, Daniel Carr, coming up with the winner to touch off a celebration in the Music City. Carr was just recalled from Milwaukee of the AHL to replace Viktor Arvidsson, injured on a cross-checking incident thanks to Robert Bortuzzo in the front end of the home-and-home. Carr saw time on the second power-play unit, and as a top-six forward. If he keeps bagging winners, he won't be headed back to the Cream City anytime soon.
Dallas Stars 4, Vegas Golden Knights 2
Malcolm Subban made the start and he coughed up four goals on 28 shots to fall in the Metroplex. Alexander Radulov beat him on the power play midway through the first, and Esa Lindell added to the total less than two minutes late to give Dallas a 2-0 lead.
Shea Theodore posted his third of the season on helpers to William Carrier and Ryan Reaves, who are normally known for their fists than their silky mitts. Jason Dickinson continues to roll along for Dallas, as he hit his fourth of the season late in the second to restore a two-goal lead for the home side. Dickinson was blanked in his first 12 games of the season, but he is making up for lost time with four goals and eight points over the past nine games, and Monday's marker stood up as his first game-winning tally of the 2019-20 campaign.
Johan Klingberg chipped in with three assists, and Radulov was in the three-point club with two markers and an assist while taking a team-high five shots on goal. Tyler Seguin also chipped in with two assists, which was more than enough for Ben Bishop. He allowed just two goals on 28 shots to win.
Anaheim Ducks 3, New York Islanders 0
The record-setting 17-game point streak is over for the Islanders. John Gibson had enough of it, apparently, as he stopped all 26 shots he faced to earn his first shutout of the season, and 19th of his career. It nearly didn't happen, as he took a shot in the ribs early in the game. While laying on the ice in the crease, he made a ridiculous save on his backside to rob Adam Pelech.
Ryan Getzlaf, Cam Fowler and Ondrej Kase backed him with all the offense he would need, and Getzlaf and Fowler also got into the multi-point club with assists. Erik Gudbranson added a helper, too, and he dished out three hits to help out his DFS owners. That was nothing compared to Nicolas Deslauriers, who was scoreless in his 12:07 of ice time, but he blocked a shot while picking up seven penalty minutes and five hits. Nick Ritchie and Carter Rowney also meted out six hits apiece.
San Jose Sharks 4, Los Angeles Kings 3 (OT)
Martin Jones faced his former organization and topped Jonathan Quick, the guy he used to back up in Los Angeles. Jones allowed three goals on 36 shots in the overtime victory. Quick allowed four goals on 26 shots to take yet another loss, falling to 6-9-1 with a 3.47 GAA and .881 save percentage. He has allowed four or more goals in seven of his 16 appearances, although this was his first such outing since coughing up five goals in a loss Oct. 30 against Vancouver.
Erik Karlsson opened the scoring, and Timo Meier then fired in a pair to build a 3-0 lead against Quick. The Kings showed some fortitude, however, as Adrian Kempe registered a goal at 18:59 of the second period to head to the room down just 3-1.
That late Kempe goal sparked the Kings' big guys, as Dustin Brown and Anze Kopitar were able to score in the middle of the third to square the game at 3-3. Kopitar and Kempe added assists to give them two points for the night, and Alex Iafallo picked up two assists to join the multi-point club.
Unfortunately for the home side, Patrick Marleau scored on the unassisted goal in the 3-on-3 situation to pick up the winner.