The Calgary Flames are 30 games into their season and with a win on Thursday, they now have as many points as the first place Edmonton Oilers (who control the tiebreaker by playing in one less game). Granted, the Flames position is partially due to the weakness of the division as their 15-13-2 record isn't exactly awe inspiring, but after finishing the 2015-16 campaign with 77 points, this is a meaningful step up.
What's surprising about it though is its source. Calgary has gotten help lately from Johnny Gaudreau as he's been hot since returning from a finger injury, but the Flames biggest asset thus far has been Chad Johnson. He was slated to be the team's backup goaltender this season, but so far he's been one of the best netminders of the 2016-17 campaign. After the immense goaltending woes the Flames endured last season and despite Brian Elliott's disappointing start, the Flames can suddenly count goaltending as one of their strengths. At least, they can as long as Johnson continues to exceed the preseason expectations.
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AVALANCHE 4 BRUINS 2
David Pastrnak scored both of the Bruins goals. He's recorded at least a point in five straight games and is on a three-game goal scoring streak. At this point he has an incredible 18 goals and 24 points in 23 contests.
John Mitchell has been the polar opposite this season. Going into this contest he didn't have a single point in 19 games, but he netted a goal last night and it proved to be the game winner.
Matt Duchene also found the back of the net for the Avalanche. It was his 10th goal and 17th point in 21 games this season.
Calvin Pickard kicked out 29 of 31 shots. The backup goaltender has a 5-2-1 record, 2.39 GAA, and .922 save percentage in nine contests.
Boston also started its number two goalie on Thursday: Anton Khudobin. He stopped 18 of 22 shots, dropping his record to 1-4-0 this season.
ISLANDERS 3 BLUES 2
Thomas Greiss stopped 24 of 26 shots to earn his third straight win. He has a 6-4-0 record, 2.42 GAA, and .919 save percentage in 11 contests.
Anders Lee scored two goals for the Islanders, including the game winner. That gives him eight markers and 10 points in 26 games.
John Tavares accounted for New York's other goal. He has eight goals and 21 points in 26 games in 2016-17.
Robby Fabbri scored a goal and registered an assist. He has six goals and 14 points in 26 contests.
Jake Allen turned aside 24 of 27 shots, bringing his winning streak to an end after eight games. He has a 13-4-3 record, 2.47 GAA, and .909 save percentage in 21 starts.
FLYERS 6 OILERS 5
Leon Draisaitl had a goal and two assists, making this his second three-point game in the span of five contests. He has 12 goals and 25 points in 29 games in 2016-17.
Connor McDavid also came up big, as he often does, by scoring a goal and an assist. That brings him up to 12 goals and 38 points in 29 contests.
Their efforts contributed to Steve Mason surrendering five goals on 33 shots. The Flyers goaltender had allowed just nine goals over his previous five starts. Regardless, he still picked up his sixth straight win.
That's thanks in large part to Jakub Voracek scoring a goal and registering three assists last night. He has 10 goals and 28 points in 29 contests.
Claude Giroux also helped the Flyers with two goals and an assist. It was his third multi-point game over a stretch of five contests.
Jonas Gustavsson stopped 25 of 31 Philadelphia shots. He has a 1-2-1 record, 2.90 GAA, and .893 save percentage in six contests.
CANADIENS 5 DEVILS 2
Carey Price stopped 19 of 21 shots to pick up his second straight win. He also lost his cool late in the first period when Kyle Palmieri crashed into him. Price started punching Palmieri, resulting in Price getting a double-minor for roughing and Palmieri getting two minutes for interference.
Cory Schneider allowed five goals at the other end of the ice, but he was a lot busier too. He faced a staggering 49 shots, including 24 in the final frame alone.
Taylor Hall had a goal and an assist on Thursday, making this his third straight multi-point game. He's up to eight goals and 19 points in 18 contests this season.
Torrey Mitchell scored twice for the Canadiens. He has seven goals and nine points in 27 contests.
Phillip Danault netted a goal and recorded an assist Thursday night. That gives him six goals and 11 points in 27 games.
CANUCKS 5 LIGHTNING 1
Ryan Miller turned aside 38 of 39 shots to pick up the win, but he left with just over six minutes left in the third period. He was apparently feeling soreness in his lower body, but the Canucks think he'll be fine. Jacob Markstrom closed out the game with two saves.
Ben Bishop couldn't complete the game too, but due to different circumstances. He surrendered four goals on 20 shots over 40 minutes. Andrei Vasilevskiy stepped in for the third period, saving nine of 10 shots.
Jonathan Drouin scored the Lightning's lone goal. He has four markers and 11 points in 20 contests this season.
Jayson Megna found the back of the net twice. Those were his second and third goals in 11 games.
Jack Skille also netted a pair of markers and like Megna, Skille was an unlikely source of goals. In Skille's case those were his first two goals in 20 contests.
PENGUINS 5 PANTHERS 1
Matt Murray kicked out 28 of 29 shots, making this the second straight start where he only allowed one goal. He has a 9-2-0 record, 1.91 GAA, and .934 save percentage in 11 games.
At the other end of the ice Roberto Luongo turned aside 25 of 29 shots. He has a 9-8-2 record, 2.25 GAA, and .923 save percentage in 19 starts.
Sidney Crosby extended his point streak to six games by scoring a goal and registering an assist. He has 18 goals and 29 points in 21 contests.
Scott Wilson assisted on two of the Penguins' five goals. That gives him three goals and nine points in 24 games in 2016-17.
RANGERS 2 JETS 1
Kevin Hayes netted the game-winning goal with just 1:09 minutes left in the game. It was his 11th goal and 20th point in 28 contests.
Chris Kreider scored the Rangers' other marker and extended his point streak to four games in the process. He has seven goals and 18 points in 22 games.
Mark Scheifele found the back of the net for the third time in four games. In 2016-17 he has 14 goals and 27 points in 27 games.
Backup Antti Raanta picked up the win by saving 17 of 18 shots. He never faced more than seven shots in a single period and only had to turn aside five in the third frame.
Michael Hutchinson stopped 22 of 24 shots. He has a 2.95 GAA and .900 save percentage in 12 contests this season.
STARS 5 PREDATORS 2
Kari Lehtonen picked up the win by stopping 34 of 36 shots. He's allowed just six goals over his last four starts.
Jamie Benn scored his 200th career goal and registered two assists. He's the 10th player in franchise history to score at least 200 goals with the Minnesota North Stars/Dallas Stars.
Jason Spezza also netted a goal and recorded two assists. He has five goals and 14 points in 21 games this season.
Calle Jarnkrok found the back of the net for the Predators. That gives him five goals and seven points in 26 contests.
FLAMES 2 COYOTES 1 (Overtime)
Dougie Hamilton netted the overtime winner. He's now scored four goals this season and two of them have been GWG.
Johnny Gaudreau assisted on both of the Flames' goals. Since returning from a finger injury he's enjoyed three straight multi-point games. That gives him seven goals and 17 points in 20 contests this season.
Chad Johnson turned aside 27 of 28 shots in his fifth straight win. He's been leading the Flames with a 12-4-1 record, 1.98 GAA, and .932 save percentage in 17 starts.
Mike Smith stopped 33 of 35 shots, but still suffered his fifth straight loss. He has a 4-3-4 record, 2.70 GAA, and .926 save percentage in 12 games.
Max Domi scored the Coyotes' marker Thursday night. It was his fifth goal and 16th point in 26 contests.
HURRICANES 3 KINGS 1
Cam Ward stopped 21 of 22 shots to bounce back nicely after surrendering five goals on Tuesday. He has a 9-7-5 record, 2.17 GAA, and .922 save percentage in 21 starts.
Drew Doughty scored the only goal against Ward. He has five goals and 14 points in 26 contests.
Derek Ryan netted two markers Thursday night. That gives him three goals and seven points in 14 games.
Brock McGinn netted a goal and an assist for Carolina. Prior to that he had just one assist in 10 contests this season.
Jeff Zatkoff stopped just 15 of 18 shots. He has a 1-4-0 record, 3.05 GAA, and .887 save percentage in six contests.