It was a busy night in the NHL as the week of Thanksgiving gives us a Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday schedule for the most part, rather than the usual Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday slate.
There was one major move tonight as Mike Yeo was relieved of his duties as the head coach of the St. Louis Blues following a 2-0 loss to lowly Los Angeles. He will be replaced on a temporary basis (for now) by Craig Berube.
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TORONTO 4 COLUMBUS 2
The two division leaders in the Eastern Conference met on Monday in Toronto and it was the Maple Leafs who came out victorious in a 4-2 win.
The Blue Jackets actually grabbed the early lead as Cam Atkinson and Pierre-Luc Dubois each scored in the first period to give Columbus a 2-0 lead heading into the second period. It was Atkinson’s fourth goal in the last two games as he had the hat trick Saturday.
It remained that way until the 13:01 mark of the second when fourth liner Tyler Ennis brought the Leafs to within one with his third of the season. Ennis started the season on the top line with Auston Matthews but he was replaced at game eight and has been a bottom-six forward ever since.
Toronto tied it up when John Tavares scored his 13th of the season and that’s the way it ended heading into the third.
There were no penalties called in the game, a rarity in the NHL.
NEW YORK RANGERS 2 DALLAS 1
Filip Chytil scored for the fourth straight game and it was the game winner as the New York Rangers knocked off the Dallas Stars 2-1.
It was a costly loss for the Stars as netminder Ben Bishop left the game after the second period with a lower-body injury and he is considered day-to-day at this time. He stopped 12-of-13 shots before leaving the game. He was replaced by Anton Khudobin who made nine saves but took the loss in giving up the Chytil goal.
Henrik Lundqvist picked up the win as he turned aside 16 shots.
Tyler Seguin gave the Stars the 1-0 lead in the second as he scored on the power play. It was his seventh goal of the campaign.
Jimmy Vesey tied it at 1 with his seventh of the season and that would set up Chytil’s heroics.
Cody McLeod had seven hits.
BUFFALO 5 PITTSBURGH 4 (Overtime)
Jack Eichel’s overtime goal at the 45 second mark, capped a furious Buffalo comeback as the Sabres handed the Pittsburgh Penguins yet another loss as the Sabres won 5-4.
The Penguins were up 4-1 as Derick Brassard with his second, Phil Kessel with his 10th, Jake Guentzel with his seventh and Tanner Pearson with his first of the season as a Pittsburgh Penguin countered the first of the season by the Sabres Tage Thompson.
Both teams were 0-3 on the power play.
Marco Scandella suffered a lower-body injury in the second period and did not return.
WASHINGTON 5 MONTREAL 4 (Overtime)
Lars Eller scored the overtime winner to give the Capitals a 5-4 victory over the Montreal Canadiens.
It was 2-1 for the Capitals after the first period as Mike Reilly scored for Montreal after goals from Ovechkin and Connolly but the Habs struck early and often in the second as Brendan Gallagher, Jeff Petry and Kenny Agostino with his first, scored in the first 1:35, forcing the Capitals to pull Copley for Holtby.
Carey Price made 29 saves in the loss.
Orlov and Max Domi each had a five minute major for fighting. Gallagher had seven shots on net.
FLORIDA 7 OTTAWA 5
Seven different Panther forwards scored including Mike Hoffman who extended his points streak to 16 as Florida defeated Ottawa 7-5.
James Reimer won his third of the season as he made 33 saves.
Mark Borowiecki had four shots on goal as well as four hits and an assist for Ottawa.
Vincent Trocheck suffered a major leg injury near the end of the first period and it took 10 minutes before he was carted off the ice. It looks to be a long-term injury.
LOS ANGELES 2 ST. LOUIS 0
Cal Petersen picked up his first NHL shutout as he turned aside all 29 shots to give the Kings a rare win, a 2-0 shutout over the St. Louis Blues.
There was no scoring in the first period but there was in the second as Matt Luff scored his first career NHL goal in his sixth game in the bigs as Adrian Kempe and the recently acquired Carl Hagelin drew the assists. It turned out to be the game winner.
Allen stopped 25 shots in taking the loss.
As previously mentioned Mike Yeo was fired after the game as the Blues dropped to 7-9-3 as they have the second-worst record in the NHL, better only than the Kings.
NASHVILLE 3 TAMPA BAY 2
Pekka Rinne made 29 saves as he continued his superiority over the Tampa Bay Lightning as the Predators defeated their rivals 3-2 in a battle of likely the two best teams in the NHL. (Sorry Toronto)
Rinne is now 9-0-1 in his career against the Lightning and if the two teams should meet in the Stanley Cup Final, the Lightning will have their hands full.
The Lightning got off to a 1-0 lead on a goal by defenseman Victor Hedman but the Predators evened the game before the end of the first on a power play goal by Kyle Turris. Filip Forsberg gave the Preds a 2-1 lead in the second with his 13th and Ryan Johansen extended the lead to two before the end of the period with the eventual winner.
Nikita Kucherov potted his eighth of the season in the third but that was all the scoring.
Louis Domingue stopped 31 shots in taking the loss.
Erik Cernak picked up an assist and it was the first point of his NHL career as he helped out on Hedman’s goal.
CALGARY 7 VEGAS 2
The Vegas Golden Knights came into Monday’s game tired off a win in Edmonton and they should have stayed there as Calgary scored the first seven goals of the game and cruised to a 7-2 win over the Golden Knights.
Matthew Tkachuk had two goals and four points and Johnny Gaudreau had a goal and three assists to lead the Flames to the win. Gaudreau had only one point in his last five games before Monday’s outburst.
Nick Holden broke up the shutout bid of Rittich with his third of the season just 47 seconds into the third and Max Pacioretty scored his fourth of the season to complete the scoring. It was a power play effort.
Malcolm Subban got the start and gave up all seven goals on 32 shots as the Golden Knights let him play the game out.
Mark Giordano had a couple of first period assists.
WINNIPEG 6 VANCOUVER 3
Elias Pettersson scored his 12th of the season on a power play effort while Nikolay Goldobin and Tyler Motte also scored. Jacob Markstrom was bombarded by 49 shots as he gave up all six Winnipeg goals.