The three stars of the week were announced and the first star (and deservedly so) was Mika Zibanejad of the New York Rangers. Zibanejad scored seven goals in three games including a five-goal performance against the Washington Capitals where he became only the second player to score five times including the overtime winner.
Gabriel Landeskog was the second star of the week as the Colorado winger had three goals and six assists in four games.
Leon Draisaitl managed once again to gain a star of the week as he was the third star with four goals and four assists in four games. He leads the NHL with 67 assists and 110 points.
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BUFFALO 3 WASHINGTON 2 (Shootout)
Dominik Kahun scored in the seventh round of the shootout to give Buffalo a rare win of late, knocking off the Washington Capitals 3-2.
Both teams scored in the fourth round as Rasmus Dahlin and Evgeny Kuznetsov both found the back of the net, but otherwise Linus Ullmark of the Sabres and Braden Holtby of Washington, shut the door, until the former Penguin Kahun scored.
The Sabres scored the only goals of the first and second period as Victor Olofsson opened the scoring in the first while Jack Eichel’s 36th of the season just 53 seconds into the second, made it 2-0 on the power play. It was Eichel’s first point in eight games as the center had been in a prolonged slump.
But the Caps came back in the third as Alex Ovechkin scored his 48th of the season to tied David Pastrnak for the NHL lead, and then set up Dmitry Orlov with his fourth of the season to even the score at 2 and send the game into extra time.
Ullmark returned to action Monday for first time since January 28 when he suffered a lower-body injury. He made 33 saves to improve his record to 17-14-3 and snapped a six-game Buffalo losing streak. Expect to see a lot more of Ullmark down the stretch.
Holtby made 22 saves in taking the shootout loss and saw his record fall to 25-14-6 with a 3.11 GAA and a .898 save percentage.
Ovechkin had six shots on goal.
Dahlin had assists on both Buffalo goals.
WINNIPEG 4 ARIZONA 2
Nikolaj Ehlers scored once and added a pair of assists to lead Winnipeg to a 4-2 win over Arizona. The win vaulted the Jets over Nashville, Vancouver and Minnesota into the first wild card spot in the West while Arizona is now three points back with three teams to climb over and only 12 games remaining.
The Coyotes got off to a 2-0 first period lead as Nick Schmaltz scored both including his 11th with just two seconds remaining in the period.
But it was all Jets after that as they scored twice in the second on goals by Ehlers and Tucker Poolman, and twice more in the third as Cody Eakin picked up the winner with his fifth of the season and first in a Jets uniform after a deadline deal with Vegas. Mark Scheifele completed the scoring with an empty net goal, his 29th of the season.
Connor Hellebuyck turned aside 36 shots for the win as he improved his record to 30-21-5 with a 2.58 GAA and a .922 save percentage.
Darcy Kuemper made 30 saves in the Arizona cage and is 16-11-2 with a sparkling 2.22 GAA and a .928 save percentage. He is 1-3-0 since his return to action on February 25, missing over two months with a lower-body injury.
It was a tough night for Oliver Ekman-Larsson who was a minus-four.
VEGAS 3 EDMONTON 2 (Overtime)
Shea Theodore scored the overtime winner as the Vegas Golden Knights won a big Pacific Division matchup with a 3-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers who were without the services of the ill Connor McDavid.
The Golden Knights had 80 points in 49 games out of their defensemen when Gerard Gallant was the head coach but new head coach Peter DeBoer has his rearguards into the game offensively more than Gallant and it has shown up in the stats as they have 53 points from their blueliners in only 22 contests.
Alex Chiasson got the Oilers off to a 1-0 lead in the first with his 11th of the season.
There was no scoring in the second but in the third, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored his 22nd and increased his points streak to six games (four goals and seven assists) but Jonathan Marchessault, who helped set up the winner by Theodore, scored his 22nd of the season with 8:03 left to eventually send the game into overtime.
Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 22 shots for the win as he improved his record to 27-16-5.
Mikko Koskinen was great in the cage for the Oilers, stopping 45-of-48 shots but he took the OT loss as his record fell to 18-14-2.
It was a hard-hitting game as the Oilers had 46 hits to the Golden Knights 37, but surprisingly only two minors were called, both against the Oilers.
Darnell Nurse had seven hits as well as five blocked shots.
Leon Draisaitl was held off the scoresheet.
FLORIDA 2 ST. LOUIS 1
Chris Driedger made 26 saves as the Florida Panthers upset the St. Louis Blues 2-1 and moved to within one point of the Toronto Maple Leafs for third place in the Atlantic Division. The game was slated to be played on Tuesday in the original schedule but was moved to Monday to accommodate the Blues as they will play the Ducks on Wednesday in a makeup of the postponed game last month when defenseman Jay Bouwmeester suffered a cardiac episode.
Driedger has been great for the Panthers as he is 7-2-1 with a 2.05 GAA and a .938 save percentage. He is playing for the injured Sergei Bobrovsky but the truth be told, Driedger has outperformed Bobrovsky this season in his limited action.
Brett Connolly scored the eventual winner 4:23 into the third and that was all the scoring on the night.
Jordan Binnington made 32 saves but it wasn’t enough as he is 30-13-7 with a 2.56 GAA and a .912 save percentage. After last season’s Cinderella year, a lot of pundits thought Binnington would fall back into reality, but the netminder has been outstanding this season as well.
Aleksi Saarela assisted on both goals for his first two helpers of his NHL career. He had two goals in eight games this season before Monday’s action.
LOS ANGELES 3 COLORADO 1
Jonathan Quick made 21 saves as the Los Angeles Kings won their sixth game in a row, defeating Colorado 3-1.
Quick got off to a real poor start to the season, and I for one, thought he was nearing the end of his career, but Quick has bounced back nicely after an 0-3-0 start with a 6.44 GAA and a .793 save percentage. He picked up his 16th win of the season Monday and is 16-22-4. He has won his last three games in a row and has given up only two goals on 91 shots.
After a scoreless second period, Pierre-Edouard Bellemare scored his ninth of the season to cut the lead in half but Alex Iafallo scored his 17th of the season with 5:25 left in the third to clinch it for the Kings.
Pavel Francouz got the start in goal for Colorado and stopped 32 shots. He is 20-7-4 this season.
Nick Schmaltz – 2
Phil Kessel – 2
Nikolaj Ehlers – 2
Aleksi Saarela - 2
Shots on Goal
Max Pacioretty – 7
Alex Ovechkin – 6
Carl Soderberg - 6
Ryan Reaves – 9
William Carrier – 7
Darnell Nurse - 7
Adam Lowry – 5
Lawson Crouse - 5