I was in Las Vegas for the last four days (at New York New York) and saw a couple of games against Chicago and Dallas.
I was quite impressed with the Golden Knights crowd as it gets pretty raucous at the T-Mobile Arena. It was pretty funny whenever an opposition penalty occurs as the fans yell ‘Shame’ reminiscent of the goaltender from Slapshot.
The Golden Knights are a very good home team but are having their problems on the road as they are going to be in a battle for a playoff spot. They are always on the puck but there seems to be something lacking this season. It’s like they have become complacent.
The one thing I noticed in the arena is the lack of televisions when you leave your seats to go to the concessions or the washroom. If I owned the team, I would give the fans every opportunity to spend more at the concessions. Even if you are leaving the game early, you want to see what is happening.
Miro Heiskanen is going to be a star in the NHL for the Stars. He is quarterbacking their power play as John Klingberg is still out with a hand injury and had assists on both Dallas power play goals. Heiskanen is only 19 and was selected third overall in 2017.
Chicago is not a good team and let’s leave it at that. Duncan Keith is no longer seeing any power play time.
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TAMPA BAY 6 NEW YORK RANGERS 3
Steven Stamkos had the hat trick to lead the Lightning to a 6-3 win over the New York Rangers. The stud center started the season off with only one goal in his first 10 games but he has 14 goals in 22 games since then to return to his goal-scoring years. Stamkos was always a goal-scorer as he had 60 in the 2011-12 campaign but poolies noticed a big decline last season with only 27 in 78 games although he did chip in with 59 assists. But the Stamkos of years gone by has returned to form of late. His second goal was the 700th point in his career.
It was the seventh straight win for Tampa Bay and Louis Domingue’s sixth straight. Domingue turned aside 23 shots for the W.
Henrik Lundqvist picked up the loss for New York as he made 30 saves.
Erik Cernik and Matt Beleskey fought late in the game and each picked up five for fighting.
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PITTSBURGH 2 NEW YORK ISLANDERS 1 (Shootout)
Jake Guentzel scored the shootout winner to lead the Penguins to a 2-1 come from behind win over the Islanders. It is hard to believe but it was the first time that Guentzel had ever partook in a shootout.
Robin Lehner made 23 saves to take the shootout loss.
Anthony Beauvillier opened the scoring in the second period as he was the only one to beat DeSmith.
Both teams were 0-4 on the power play.
DETROIT 3 LOS ANGELES 1
It was the Jimmy Howard show on Monday night as he single-handedly defeated the Los Angeles Kings at home. Howard stopped 42 shots as only Anze Kopitar beat him to break up his shutout bid in the third period. Howard is 10-6-4 this season with a 2.68 GAA and a .923 save percentage as he is having quite the season in the Motor City.
Jonathan Quick managed to stop only 18-of-21 shots in the Kings net as he saw his record fall to 2-6-1 with a 2.91 GAA and a mediocre .893 save percentage.
Frans Nielsen ended up with the winner. He started the season without a goal in his first 22 games but has five in his last five games.
Dylan Larkin also scored for the Red Wings.
Tyler Toffoli had eight shots on goal for the Kings. Every player on Los Angeles managed a shot on goal.
SAN JOSE 5 NEW JERSEY 2
Timo Meier scored twice including his 16th of the season to lead the Sharks to a 5-2 win over the Devils.
Meier was drafted ninth overall in the 2015 Draft and started to show his value last season in December. He has been a fantasy-asset ever since.
Congratulations go out to Radim Simek who scored his first goal in his NHL career in only his fifth career game. The defenseman has two points this season and was a plus-three in the game to give him a plus-five rating thus far.
Joe Pavelski also scored as it was his 20th of the season.
Tomas Hertl sewed up the win with a power play goal, his ninth of the season, at the 14:23 mark of the third. Pavelski helped set up the goal and has seven assists.
Martin Jones stopped 22 shots for his 12th win of the season.
Keith Kinkaid got the start as well as picking up the loss. He stopped 29 shots.
Egor Yakovlev was a minus-three on the night.
Notes: The Maple Leafs dealt minor leaguer Adam Cracknell to Anaheim for minor league defenseman Steve Oleksy…Artem Anisimov missed practice on Monday as he has a suspected concussion after he was hit by the Canadiens Shea Weber Sunday…Alex Martinez is out with an upper-body injury…The Capitals T.J. Oshie could return as early as Tuesday from a concussion that has kept him out of action since November 14. He practiced Monday…Chad Johnson was placed on waivers by the Blues…Antti Raanta is out indefinitely with a lower-body injury and could be lost for the season…Elias Pettersson was the first star of the week with two goals and eight points in three games including a five-point effort Sunday, his second of the season…Louis Domingue won all three of his starts, allowing only four goals as he shown he has been a more than capable replacement for the injured Andrei Vasilevskiy…Johnny Gaudreau also had a two-goal, six assist week but he did it in four games rather than Pettersson’s three.
Steven Stamkos – 3
Kevin Hayes – 2
Anthony Cirelli – 2
Timo Meier – 2
J.T. Miller – 2
Brayden Point - 2
Shots on Goal
Tyler Toffoli - 8
Phil Kessel - 7
Stamkos – 6
Zach Aston-Reese - 8
Matt Martin – 8
Erik Cernik – 5
Matt Beleskey - 5