The three stars of the week were announced and Noel Acciari was the top star of the week. The Florida center went his first 210 NHL games without a hat trick, picked up one on Monday and then got another one in his next game Thursday. He had seven goals and an assist in three games for the Panthers.
The second star was Roman Josi. He had six goals and an assist in four contests.
Joonas Korpisalo was the third star of the week as he won all four starts for Columbus, giving up only six goals on 98 shots.
It was a busy Monday, on the last day of the schedule before the Christmas break with 13 games on the slate so let’s get to the action!
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TORONTO 8 CAROLINA 6
It was a wild opening game as Toronto hosted a rare afternoon start so kids could go to the game during the Christmas break. And they were treated to a doozy!
Mitch Marner was the star of the show with two goals and three assists to lead the Maple Leafs to an 8-6 win over Carolina.
It was quite the contest as the Maple Leafs struck early and took a 3-0 lead just 5:10 into the opening frame, as James Reimer, the former Toronto netminder, was pulled after making only four saves on seven shots.
The Hurricanes scored the next five goals to take the lead entering the third. Auston Matthews scored to make it 5-4 then Erik Haula fired back to regain the two-goal margin but Toronto then scored three times in 59 seconds, led by Marner who had two goals and an assist in that span. An empty netter by Pierre Engvall completed the scoring.
John Tavares had a goal and two assists while Jason Spezza, Tyson Barrie and Matthews had one of each. Matthews’ set up of Marner’s first goal was a thing of beauty that you can watch here. William Nylander also scored for the Leafs.
It was not a great outing for Frederik Andersen who gave up all six goals on 40 shots but it was about time the Leafs bailed him out rather than the other way around. Andersen has won four straight and is 19-8-3.
Petr Mrazek, who came on in relief of Reimer, stopped 25-of-29 shots in taking the loss.
MINNESOTA 3 CALGARY 0
Devan Dubnyk made his first home start since November 16 count as he stopped all 22 pucks in a 3-0 shutout win over Calgary.
Dubnyk missed over a month of action, tending to his ill wife, before returning on Thursday in Arizona. It was his sixth win of the season and second in a row.
Cam Talbot got the start for Calgary and gave up a pair of goals while making 31 saves.
BOSTON 7 WASHINGTON 3
Tuukka Rask made 39 saves and improved his record to 14-4-5 with a 2.33 GAA and a .923 save percentage.
Braden Holtby started but gave up four goals on 11 shots before being pulled after one period. Igor Samsonov faced only four shots in the second and third periods, giving up one goal as the Bruins scored a couple of empty netters to make the score more lopsided than it was.
Tom Wilson picked up 12 minutes in penalties.
TAMPA BAY 6 FLORIDA 1
Andrei Vasilevskiy was a stud in net, stopping 29 shots for his 15th win of the season. After a rough start, Vasilevskiy is 6-2-1 in his last nine tilts.
It was not a great night for Sergei Bobrovsky who gave up six goals on 34 shots. The first-year Panther is 13-10-4 with a 3.20 GAA and a .899 save percentage. He has allowed 10 goals in his last two games on only 65 shots.
Jonathan Huberdeau broke up Vasilevskiy’s shutout bid with a power play goal in the second. It was his 14th of the season.
COLUMBUS 3 NEW YORK ISLANDERS 2
Vladislav Gavrikov’s fourth goal of the season was the winner as the Columbus Blue Jackets won their fifth game in a row, defeating the Islanders 3-2.
Joonas Korpisalo, who as previously mentioned, was the third star of the week with four wins, stopped 35 shots as he continued his wizardry in the net.
Kevin Stenlund with his second on the power play, and Nathan Gerbe with his first after being recalled from the minors on the weekend and playing in his first game of the season, scored for the Blue Jackets.
Thomas Greiss made 32 saves in taking the loss. It was his first action since Tuesday when he gave up five goals on 15 shots to Nashville before he was pulled after two periods. Greiss is 11-6-0 this season.
Jordan Eberle had a pair of assists.
Andrew Ladd played 9:53 in his first game of the season. The veteran had five hits to lead both teams.
PHILADELPHIA 5 NEW YORK RANGERS 1
Sanheim also had an assist to give him four goals and 12 points this season.
Nicolas Aube-Kubel scored his first NHL goal with 58 seconds left and it was a power play effort.
Carter Hart made 34 saves for the win as the Flyers scored four in the third in the victory. Hart has 13 wins this season and has been a top-15 fantasy goalkeeper most of the year.
Jesper Fast scored the lone goal for the Rangers and it was a shorthanded effort to open the scoring in the second period.
Henrik Lundqvist picked up the start and gave up all five goals on 30 shots.
OTTAWA 3 BUFFALO 1
Who would have thought it would be the Ottawa Senators who ended Jack Eichel’s streak. Eichel had scored in his previous 18 straight games (although the NHL didn’t recognize it as he was injured one game) but was held off the scoresheet by the Senators who won 3-1.
Craig Anderson looked like the Anderson of 2016-17 when he had a 2.28 GAA and was one of the top goalies in the NHL, as he stopped 43 shots for his sixth win of the season.
As he has been so often, Jean-Gabriel Pageau was the offensive star for the Senators with a pair of goals including the winner. He has 18 goals thus far and could be on the move at or before the trade deadline as he is expected to become a UFA at the end of the season.
Brady Tkachuk had the other goal and assisted on both of Pageau’s goals.
Connor Brown had two assists and was a plus-three, along with Tkachuk.
Zemgus Girgensons was the only Sabre to solve Anderson. His sixth of the season in the second period tied the game at 2.
Linus Ullmark stopped 27-of-29 shots in taking the loss.
Mark Borowiecki had six hits, five blocked shots and was a plus-three.
NASHVILLE 3 ARIZONA 2
Boy is Roman Josi on a hot streak! The defenseman had six goals in four games last week and continued his hot pace with the game winner as the Predators won at home 3-2 over Arizona.
Josi also had an assist to give him 35 points including nine in his last five contests.
Pekka Rinne stopped 26 shots and with the win, climbed to 13-5-3 with a 2.93 GAA and a .896 save percentage. Outside of his win total, Rinne has not performed well for fantasy owners this season.
MONTREAL 6 WINNNIPEG 2
Carey Price made 27 saves and won his third game in his last four starts. He is 16-11- 3 this season.
Patrik Laine and Kyle Connor replied for Winnipeg. It looks like Laine finally has his goal-scoring touch back as he has six goals in his last seven games after only seven goals in his first 27. He ended last season with nine goals in his last 57 games so it was a tough 12 months for the Finn.
Laurent Brossoit got a rare start and gave up six goals although he did face 48 shots.
Anthony Bitetto had six hits.
Danault had seven shots on goal.
NEW JERSEY 7 CHICAGO 1
Seven different New Jersey players scored including P.K. Subban who lit the lamp for the first time in 23 contests as the Devils steamrolled over the Chicago Blackhawks 7-1.
Mackenzie Blackwood made 32 saves for the win as he is 11-10-4 with a 2.81 GAA and a .909 save percentage.
It was not a good night for Corey Crawford as he gave up four goals on 20 shots before he was pulled after Hayden’s goal just past the halfway mark of the second. Robin Lehner stopped 21-of-24 shots in mopping up for Crawford.
Zack Smith actually gave the Blackhawks a 1-0 lead before the Devils struck for seven straight.
Miles Wood had no points but had six shots on goal as well as six hits.
Nikita Gusev had three assists.
Connor Murphy was a minus-four.
VANCOUVER 4 EDMONTON 2
Quinn Hughes power play goal in the third period was the winner as the Vancouver Canucks defeated Edmonton 4-2.
Tyler Motte, Bo Horvat and Loui Eriksson scored for Vancouver. It was only Eriksson’s second goal of the season as he has been a healthy scratch on numerous occasions thus far. It was into the empty net as he clinched the game with only 14 seconds to go.
Jacob Markstrom made 27 saves for his 12th win of the season.
Mikko Koskinen turned aside 24-of-27 shots in taking the loss.
McDavid and Draisaitl were each a minus-three.
Kelfbom had six blocked shots.
Alexander Edler had an assist and was a plus-three.
COLORADO 7 VEGAS 3
Pierre-Edouard Bellemare loves playing against his ex-Golden Knight teammates. He had a goal and two assists in his return after playing in Vegas the first two years of the franchise on October 25 and his scoring touch continued on Monday when he had a pair of goals as Colorado returned to Sin City and upended the Vegas Golden Knights 7-3. Bellemare has six goals and 12 points this season with five coming against Vegas in only two games.
Pavel Francouz has been one of the best backups this season and it continued on Monday night as he made 29 saves for his 11th win of the season against two losses and one overtime defeat.
It was a horrible night for Marc-Andre Fleury as the netminder gave up all seven goals on only 38 shots. He was not to pleased with himself, especially after the sixth goal which came on the power play.
Pacioretty had six shots on net.
Nichushkin got the Gordie Howe hat trick with a goal, assist and a fight as he took on Deryk Engelland in the second period.
Shea Theodore was a minus-four on the night.
ST. LOUIS 4 LOS ANGELES 1
Jordan Binnington was solid in goal for St. Louis, stopping 29 shots in picking up his 17th win of the season and his fourth straight. He has been a top-five fantasy goalie this season and is proving his Stanley Cup run of a year ago was no fluke.
All the goal scoring was in the first period as Alex Iafallo scored his sixth of the season on the power play to give the Kings their only goal of the night.
Jonathan Quick made 24 saves in taking the loss.
Brayden Schenn – 2
Mitch Marner – 2
Erik Haula – 2
Martin Necas – 2
Patrice Bergeron – 2
Victor Hedman – 2
Travis Sandheim – 2
Kevin Hayes – 2
Phillip Danault – 2
Tomas Tatar - 2
Zach Hyman – 3
Mitch Marner – 3
Brayden Point – 3
Nikita Gusev – 3
Shots on Goal
Alex Ovechkin – 8
Phillip Danault - 7
Tomas Nosek – 7
Alex Ovechkin - 6
Brayden McNabb - 6
Mark Borowiecki – 6
Anthony Bitetto – 6
Miles Wood - 6
John Hayden – 17
Tom Wilson – 12
Antoine Roussel - 7