For much of October, it seemed like Patrik Laine was going through some growing pains. After scoring 36 goals as a rookie and 44 markers as a sophomore, Laine was more miss-than-hit in October, finishing with three goals and five points in 12 games. At one point recently, Laine even found himself on the Jets’ fourth line. It was premature to panic, but some concern seemed warranted.
Maybe all Laine needed to get things back on track was a change of pace. The Winnipeg Jets began a two-game set against the Florida Panthers on Thursday and Laine rose to the challenge in his native country, scoring a hat trick to lead the Jets. I don’t usually put quotes in this column, but I can’t pass up sharing what Laine said:
"I don't think you guys could even imagine how good that feels," Laine told NHL.com. "It might be different if I would have played really well the first games we've played. But getting rewarded like that was pretty awesome.”
The Jets and Panthers will stay in Finland for another game on Friday.
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WINNIPEG 4 FLORIDA 2
As mentioned above, Laine led the charge with a hat trick. It also snapped him out of a five-game point drought.
Dustin Byfuglien collected a trio of assists. He’s up to two goals and 10 points in 11 contests in 2018-19.
Evgenii Dadonov scored a goal for the Panthers. It was his fifth goal and 11th point in 10 games.
James Reimer turned aside 32 of 35 Jets shots. He dropped to 1-4-1 with a 3.36 GAA and .885 save percentage in eight contests.
At the other end of the ice, Connor Hellebuyck stopped 36 of 38 shots. That gives him a 5-4-1 record, 2.90 GAA, and .912 save percentage in 10 starts.
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DALLAS 2 TORONTO 1
Devin Shore scored the game-winning goal. He’s up to three goals and nine points in 12 games.
Tyler Seguin assisted on both of Dallas’ markers. He has three goals and 14 points in 12 contests.
Anton Khudobin kicked out 31 of 32 Maple Leafs shots. He has a 2-1-0 record, 2.35 GAA, and .923 save percentage in three starts.
Frederik Andersen stopped 17 of 19 shots last night. He’s 6-5-0 with a 2.49 GAA and .917 save percentage in 11 starts.
Patrick Marleau scored a power-play goal for Toronto. He has two goals and six points in 13 games.
NY ISLANDERS 3 PITTSBURGH 2 (SO)
Thomas Greiss stopped 29 of 31 shots in regulation time. He was perfect through three shootout rounds to get the extra point.
Matt Murray kicked out 24 of 26 shots before the skills competition. He allowed another goal in three shootout rounds.
Evgeni Malkin scored a power-play goal for the Penguins. He’s up to seven goals and 20 points in 11 contests.
Josh Bailey netted a shorthanded goal in the second period. He also scored the deciding goal in the shootout.
Anders Lee also scored a goal for the Islanders. That gives him five goals and 12 points in 12 contests.
MONTREAL 6 WASHINGTON 4
Brendan Gallagher scored twice within the span of 2:34 minutes. He’s up to nine goals and 10 points in 12 games.
Jesperi Kotkaniemi also scored a pair of goals for Montreal. It was the 18-year-old rookie’s first two NHL markers.
Carey Price turned aside 27 of 31 Capitals shots. He has a 5-2-2 record, 2.43 GAA, and .910 save percentage in nine starts.
Braden Holtby surrendered five goals on 43 shots. He faced 19 shots in the first period alone, but actually only allowed one goal in that frame. After that, he allowed two goals on eight shots in the second and another two markers on 16 shots in the third.
Alex Ovechkin scored twice for the Capitals. He has 10 goals and 16 points in 11 games this season.
OTTAWA 4 BUFFALO 2
Jeff Skinner scored a power-play goal for the Sabres. He has seven goals and 13 points in 13 contests in 2018-19.
Carter Hutton kicked out 28 of 31 shots on Thursday. He’s 4-5-1 with a 2.95 GAA and .910 save percentage in 10 starts.
Dylan DeMelo found the back of the net and registered an assist. The Senators defenseman has two goals and seven points in 12 contests.
Colin White netted the game-winning goal. It was his third goal and seventh point in 12 games.
Craig Anderson turned aside 46 of 48 Sabres shots. Both of the goals were allowed in the third period when he faced a staggering 23 shots.
DETROIT 4 NEW JERSEY 3
Cory Schneider made his first NHL start of the 2018-19 campaign. Unfortunately, it didn’t go that well for him as he surrendered three goals on 30 shots.
Marcus Johansson scored a goal and registered an assist for New Jersey. That gives him two goals and four points in nine games.
Trevor Daley scored the game-winning goal. The blueliner is up to a goal and three points in nine contests.
Dylan Larkin registered a pair of assists for the Red Wings. He has six goals and 14 points in 13 games.
Jimmy Howard kicked out 25 of 28 Devils shots. He has a 3-5-2 record, 3.06 GAA, and .912 save percentage in 10 starts.
NASHVILLE 4 TAMPA BAY 1
Slater Koekkoek accounted for the Lightning’s only goal. He had been held off the scoresheet in two games going into Thursday’s action.
Andrei Vasilevskiy turned aside 20 of 23 Nashville shots. He has a 6-2-1 record, 2.09 GAA, and .930 save percentage in nine starts.
Kyle Turris scored a goal and registered an assist. He has three goals and 11 points in 13 contests.
Calle Jarnkrok also had a goal and an assist for the Predators. That gives him three goals and five points in 13 games.
Pekka Rinne returned from an undisclosed injury that had kept him out of the lineup since Oct. 19. He saved 42 of 43 shots in his return to earn his fourth victory of the season.
ST. LOUIS 5 VEGAS 3
Oskar Sundqvist netted a pair of goals for St. Louis. They were his first two goals of 2018-19.
Tyler Bozak scored a goal and registered an assist. The Blues forward has three goals and six points in 11 contests.
After a long stretch of bad luck on the injury front, Robby Fabbri finally played for the first time since Feb. 4, 2017. He registered an assist in 8:45 minutes of ice time for St. Louis.
Alex Tuch scored a power-play goal and registered an assist. The Golden Knights forward has three markers and five points in five games.
Marc-Andre Fleury allowed five goals on 26 shots. He’s surrendered at least three goals in each of his last three starts.
Jake Allen turned aside 31 of 34 Golden Knights shots. Despite the win, he’s also been underwhelming with a 3.88 GAA and .878 save percentage in 10 starts.
CALGARY 6 COLORADO 5
Mark Giordano scored a goal and registered two assists. The Flames defenseman has two goals and 14 points in 14 games in 2018-19.
Matthew Tkachuk assisted on three of the Flames’ six goals. That brings him up to five goals and 17 points in 14 contests.
Colin Wilson had a goal and an assist for the Avalanche. He’s up to four goals and five points in 13 games.
Semyon Varlamov allowed six goals on 37 shots. That ended his run of four straight starts where he surrendered two goals or less.
Mike Smith kicked out 21 of 26 Colorado shots. Most of the damage came in the second period where he allowed four goals on 10 shots. The Avalanche entered the second intermission with a 4-1 lead, but obviously they didn’t end up holding onto it.
EDMONTON 4 CHICAGO 0
Mikko Koskinen stopped the 40 shots he faced to earn his first career shutout. He was appearing in just his second game for the Oilers in 2018-19. Edmonton signed him to be the backup goaltender after he posted a 1.57 GAA and .937 save percentage in 29 KHL contests last season.
Patrick Kane fired a team-high six shots against Koskinen. Nevertheless, Kane saw his six-game point streak come to an end.
Drake Caggiula scored a pair of goals, including the game winner. He has four goals and no assists in eight games.
Jason Garrison also chipped in a goal for Edmonton. It was the defenseman’s first goal and point in seven contests.
Cam Ward kicked out 25 of 29 Oilers shots. He’s 3-2-3 with a 3.93 GAA and .887 save percentage in eight starts this season.
NY RANGERS 3 ANAHEIM 2 (SO)
Alexandar Georgiev turned aside 28 of 30 shots before the shootout. He was perfect in two rounds of the skills competition.
John Gibson kicked out 22 of 24 shots in regulation time. He was beaten twice in the shootout, leaving the Ducks with just the mercy point.
Rickard Rakell scored a goal and registered an assist for Anaheim. He has two goals and eight points in 13 contests in 2018-19.
Brett Howden found the back of the net and recorded an assist. The Rangers rookie has three goals and eight points in 13 games.
Kevin Hayes netted New York’s other goal prior to the shootout. It was his third goal and fifth point in 13 contests.
PHILADELPHIA 5 LOS ANGELES 2
Oskar Lindblom scored the game-winning goal and registered an assist. He has three goals and five points in 13 contests in 2018-19.
Nolan Patrick registered a pair of assists for Philadelphia. He’s up to three goals and six points in 10 games.
Brian Elliott turned aside 23 of 25 Kings shots. He’s allowed just two goals in each of his last three starts.
At the other end of the ice, Jack Campbell kicked out 26 of 30 shots. Meanwhile it came out that Jonathan Quick will be out for three-to-five weeks after undergoing surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his knee, so Los Angeles will need to lean on Campbell for a little while longer.
Ilya Kovalchuk scored a goal and recorded an assist for Los Angeles. He has four goals and 10 points in 12 contests this season.
COLUMBUS 4 SAN JOSE 1
Kevin Labanc scored the Sharks’ lone goal. It was his second marker and eighth point in 13 games.
Seth Jones netted the game-winning goal. The blueliner has two goals in five contests.
Anthony Duclair found the back of the net and recorded an assist. He’s up to five goals and eight points in 12 games.
Sergei Bobrovsky kicked out 44 of 45 Sharks shots. He got off to a terrible start this season, but has allowed just two goals over his last two games.
Aaron Dell kicked out 23 of 26 shots last night. He has a 1-1-2 record, 2.70 GAA, and .913 save percentage in four starts.