Usually when I write these articles, I’ll do each game’s notes first and then reflect on what I think the intro story should be. This time I’m writing the intro first and before all the games have even finished, because it’s that obvious what Saturday’s headline is: Patrik Laine.
After an amazing rookie campaign and even better sophomore showing, he started this season with a mere three goals and five points in 12 games. He’s just 20-years-old so no one is going to panic over a cold streak, but people were wondering how long it would take him to find his rhythm. Not long as it turns out and once he found it, he started playing better than ever.
He had five goals (FIVE!) on Saturday and that by itself is incredible, but it’s just one part of his incredible hot month. This was his third hat trick in just 10 games and it brings him up to 16 goals over that span, including 11 goals in his last four contests. In the blink of an eye, he’s gone from having a slow start to sitting atop the goal scoring race with 19 goals in total.
His five-goal night also puts him just one marker away from 100 – and again, he’s just 20-years-old and 177 games into his NHL career. Per, Hockey-Reference, Laine’s 99 goals ties him with Sidney Crosby for seventh place on the all-time goals list for players 20-years-old and below. Keep in mind that Laine’s birthday comes on April 19, so he has the rest of the season to climb up this list. If he gets 24 more goals before the season is done – not unreasonable given what he’s done thus far – then he would be in second place behind only Jimmy Carson.
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WASHINGTON 5 NY RANGERS 3
Brett Connolly scored the game-winning goal and registered an assist. He has four goals and 13 points in 23 contests.
John Carlson recorded three assists for the Capitals. That brings him up to five goals and 25 points in 22 games.
Pheonix Copley stopped 27 of 30 Rangers shots. He has a 5-2-1 record, 3.06 GAA, and .899 save percentage in nine contests.
Kevin Hayes assisted on two of the Rangers’ three goals. That gives him five goals and 16 points in 24 games.
Alexandar Georgiev surrendered four goals on 27 shots. He has a 4-3-0 record, 3.12 GAA, and .903 save percentage in seven contests.
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WINNIPEG 8 ST. LOUIS 4
As mentioned up front, Patrik Laine led the way with five goals. He has 19 goals and 22 points in 22 games.
Bryan Little also had a big night with four assists. He’s up to four goals and 14 points in 22 contests.
Kyle Connor contributed four assists as well for Winnipeg. That gives him 10 goals and 24 points in 22 games.
On St. Louis’ side, David Perron scored a goal and registered an assist. He has six goals and 13 points in 22 contests.
Laurent Brossoit allowed four goals on 27 shots. He has a 4-1-1 record, 2.05 GAA, and .937 save percentage in six games.
TORONTO 6 PHILADELPHIA 0
Andreas Johnsson collected a hat trick within the first 12:20 minutes of playing time. He has five goals and six points in 19 games.
John Tavares also found the back of the net for the Maple Leafs. It was his 15th goal and 27th point in 24 contests.
Garret Sparks earned a 34-save shutout. He’s been hit-and-miss this season with three starts where he’s allowed one or less goals and two contests where he’s surrendered five or more goals.
Travis Konecny tied for the team-high with three shots on Sparks. His three-game point streak came to an end.
Calvin Pickard recorded a shutout on Friday, but he stopped just two of six shots on Saturday. He was pulled after Johnsson’s third goal at 12:20 of the first period. With goaltenders Brian Elliott, Michal Neuvirth, and Alex Lyon all injured, Anthony Stolarz made his NHL season debut. He saved 33 of 35 shots the rest of the way.
BOSTON 3 MONTREAL 2
John Moore scored the game-winning goal. It was his first goal and third point in 20 games.
David Backes found the back of the net and recorded an assist. He has a goal and three points in 18 contests.
Tomas Tatar contributed a goal for the Canadiens. He has 10 goals and 19 points in 24 games.
Carey Price saved 32 of 35 Bruins shots. He has allowed at least three goals in each of his last three games.
Tuukka Rask kicked out 31 of 33 shots last night. He’s 5-4-2 with a 2.72 GAA and .913 save percentage in 11 games.
BUFFALO 3 DETROIT 2 (SO)
Linus Ullmark turned aside 35 of 37 shots in regulation time. He was only beaten once in seven shootout rounds to get the extra point.
Jimmy Howard stopped 33 of 35 shots before the skills competition. He was then scored on twice in seven shootout rounds.
Anthony Mantha scored a goal and registered an assist for Detroit. He’s up to seven goals and 11 points in 23 games.
Tage Thompson found the back of the net for the Sabres. After scoring no goals in his first 13 games, he has three goals in his last four contests.
Jeff Skinner also scored for Buffalo on Saturday. He has 18 goals and 26 points in 24 games.
CHICAGO 5 FLORIDA 4 (OT)
Erik Gustafsson scored the overtime winner. It was his third goal and ninth point in 24 contests in 2018-19.
Patrick Kane found the back of the net and registered an assist. That gives him 13 goals and 27 points in 23 games.
Mike Hoffman chipped in a goal and an assist for Florida. He’s up to 11 goals and 22 points in 21 games.
James Reimer turned aside 36 of 41 Blackhawks shots. He’s allowed five goals in each of his last two starts.
Cam Ward stopped 34 of 38 shots Saturday night. He has a 4-2-4 record, 3.83 GAA, and .892 save percentage in 10 starts.
NY ISLANDERS 4 CAROLINA 1
Justin Williams accounted for Carolina’s only goal. It was his fourth goal and 14th point in 23 games.
Scott Darling allowed four goals on 19 Islanders shots. He stopped just four of six shots in the first period.
Josh Bailey scored a goal and registered an assist. That gives him seven goals and 21 points in 22 games.
Anders Lee assisted on two of the Islanders’ four goals. He has seven goals and 18 points in 22 contests.
Thomas Greiss stopped 26 of 27 Hurricanes shots. He has an 8-3-1 record, 2.40 GAA, and .928 save percentage in 14 games.
PITTSBURGH 4 COLUMBUS 2
Jake Guentzel led the Penguins with a hat trick. He’s up to 11 goals and 18 points in 22 games.
Tanner Pearson netted Pittsburgh’s other goal. That gives him three goals and five points in 23 contests, including four points in six games since joining the Penguins.
Casey DeSmith saved 37 of 39 Blue Jackets shots. He’s 5-3-3 with a 2.35 GAA and .927 save percentage in 14 contests.
At the other end of the ice, Joonas Korpisalo kicked out 32 of 36 shots. He has a 5-1-2 record, 3.73 GAA, and .886 save percentage in nine games.
Cam Atkinson scored a goal for Columbus. That extended his goal scoring streak to an incredible seven games.
COLORADO 3 DALLAS 2
Anton Khudobin stopped 33 of 36 Avalanche shots. He has a 4-5-1 record, 3.07 GAA, and .905 save percentage in 10 contests.
Semyon Varlamov turned aside 27 of 29 shots to extend his winning streak to four games. He has an 8-5-2 record, 2.34 GAA, and .926 save percentage in 15 starts.
Nathan MacKinnon scored a goal and registered an assist. He has 15 goals and 35 points in 23 contests this season.
Mikko Rantanen also had a goal and an assist for the Avalanche. That gives him 10 goals and 38 points in 23 games.
Alexander Radulov assisted on both of Dallas’ goals. He’s up to eight goals and 20 points in just 14 games.
VEGAS 6 SAN JOSE 0
For the second night in a row, Marc-Andre Fleury was perfect. This time he stopped 33 shots to earn his fifth shutout of the season. He’s 12-8-1 with a 2.33 GAA and .913 save percentage in 21 starts.
Evander Kane accumulated 26 penalty minutes. He got two-minute minors for high-sticking, tripping, and unsportsmanlike conduct. In addition to that he received a 10-minute misconduct and 10-minute game misconduct for abuse of officials and abusive language. Less than a minute after Kane was kicked out of the game, Sharks coach Peter DeBoer was booted too for yelling at officials.
Aaron Dell surrendered six goals on 36 shots. He had his own set of back-to-back shutouts, but this game obviously brought that to an end.
Alex Tuch scored a goal and registered an assist. That gives him seven goals and 17 points in 17 games.
Max Pacioretty scored a pair of goals. He’s up to eight goals and 11 points in 21 contests.
VANCOUVER 4 LOS ANGELES 2
Elias Pettersson scored the game-winning goal and registered an assist. He has 13 goals and 21 points in 20 games.
Sam Gagner found the back of the net for Vancouver. It was his first goal and second point in four contests.
Jacob Markstrom stopped 20 of 22 shots to bring his six-game losing streak to an end. He has an 8-8-2 record, 3.35 GAA, and .897 save percentage in 18 starts.
Drew Doughty netted a goal for Los Angeles. He has two goals and 13 points in 22 games.
Calvin Petersen saved 25 of 28 Canucks shots. He has a 2-3-0 record, 2.81 GAA, and .917 save percentage in six games.