Well, it finally happened. With no hope of signing him, the New Jersey Devils dealt Taylor Hall, the 2017-18 Hart Trophy winner, along with Blake Speers, to Arizona for prospects Nick Merkley, Nate Schnarr, Kevin Bahl, a conditional first round pick in 2020 and a conditional third round pick in 2021. The Devils are expected to retain half his salary this season. The first-round pick is top-three protected and if the Coyotes pick in the top-three, the pick will be in 2021.
Hall will obviously fit in as a top-six forward but I am wary that he will play with Phil Kessel (except on the power play). At practice Kessel played with Christian Dvorak and Conor Garland while Derek Stepan centered Nick Schmaltz and Clayton Keller. I see Dvorak and Stepan remaining as their top-two centers and Schmaltz, Kessel and Keller seem to be top-six forwards so I think Garland will be the odd-man out.
We shall see.
The three stars of the week were announced Monday and Max Pacioretty of the Vegas Golden Knights was the first star. The winger had five goals and eight points in four games, highlighted by his two-goal, two-assist performance Sunday against the Vancouver Canucks.
Anthony Duclair was named the second star of the week as he had five goals and an assist in three games as the Senators went 2-0-1. Duclair had the hat trick Saturday against his old Columbus teammates in a 4-3 overtime win.
Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel was the third star. He also had five goals and an assist like the aforementioned Duclair, and has a 16-game scoring streak, the longest current streak in the NHL. He has 15 goals and 29 points during the streak.
The Los Angeles Kings placed Ilya Kovalchuk on unconditional waivers Monday. He has not played since November 9 as a healthy scratch and the Kings will terminate his contract once he passes through waivers at noon Tuesday.
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FLORIDA 6 OTTAWA 1
Noel Acciari had his first career hat trick to lead the Florida Panthers to a 6-1 win over Ottawa.
Acciari had not scored a goal in his previous eight games but now has eight goals and 10 points in 30 games.
Jonathan Huberdeau had four assists and his last helper gave him 400 career points in his 500th career game.
Sergei Bobrovsky has been hot of late as he seems to be snapping out of his season-long slump. He made 29 saves and is 12-9-4 with a 3.06 GAA and a .903 save percentage, much better than earlier in the year when his GAA hovered around 3.60 and his save percentage was far below .900.
Artem Anisimov scored the only goal for the Senators.
Anders Nilsson was in net for Ottawa and he made 25 saves while allowing all six goals. He is 9-9-2 with a 3.18 GAA and a .907 save percentage.
NASHVILLE 5 NEW YORK RANGERS 2
Juuse Saros finally put together a strong outing as the Nashville goaltender stopped 39-of-41 shots in leading the Predators to a 5-2 win over the New York Rangers.
Saros has struggled through much of the season as have the Predators. The win gives Saros a 5-7-2 record with a 2.97 GAA and a .899 save percentage. Although Pekka Rinne’s record is much better at 10-5-3, he has struggled this season as well and Saros has an opportunity to win the starters job in Nashville.
Roman Josi led the way offensively as the defenseman had a pair of goals and one assist.
Rocco Grimaldi was the only Nashville forward to light the lamp.
Brendan Lemieux picked up 12 minutes in penalties including a ten-minute misconduct. He also had eight hits on Monday.
Zibanejad had seven shots on goal while Kreider and Pavel Buchnevich each had six.
COLUMBUS 3 WASHINGTON 0
Joonas Korpisalo was perfect in the Columbus cage, stopping all 30 shots as the Blue Jackets beat the top team in the NHL, the Washington Capitals, 3-0.
The Capitals have been outstanding on the road this season, as they were 15-2-1 heading into Columbus but the Blue Jackets managed to shut them down and come away with the victory.
Braden Holtby stopped 18-of-21 shots as his record fell to 16-4-4 with a 2.82 GAA and a .909 save percentage.
Alex Ovechkin had nine shots on goal.
David Savard picked up 19 minutes in penalties as he fought Tom Wilson after Wilson slammed Savard’s defensive partner Vladislav Gavrikov hard into the boards with 2:08 left in the game. Wilson picked up a fighting major and a minor for charging Gavrikov.
ST. LOUIS 5 COLORADO 2
David Perron had the hat trick as St. Louis upended Colorado 5-2 Monday. The three-goal effort gives Perron 15 goals this season. His career best is 28, set in Edmonton in the 2013-14 season and he is well ahead of that pace.
Jordan Binnington made 26 saves for his 16th win of the season.
Philipp Grubauer stopped 30-of-34 shots in taking the loss.
EDMONTON 2 DALLAS 1
The win snapped the Oilers winless streak at four games (0-3-1) and put them back in a tie for first in the Pacific with Arizona with the Coyotes holding a game in hand.
Mikko Koskinen was terrific, turning aside 34 shots as Tyler Seguin’s goal with 2:37 left in the third, broke up his shutout bid. Koskinen is 12-5-2 this season and he broke out of a mini-slump as he gave up nine goals in his last two games, on only 63 shots.
Ben Bishop made 26 saves but took the loss as he is 12-7-3 with a .933 save percentage. He has been a top-five fantasy goalkeeper this season.
Connor McDavid had a couple of assists Monday and continues to lead the NHL in points with 59.
Noel Acciari – 3
David Perron – 3
Roman Josi - 2
Ryan O'Reilly – 2
Oskar Sundqvist – 2
Connor McDavid - 2
Shots on Goal
Alex Ovechkin – 9
Mika Zibanejad – 7
Pavel Buchnevich – 6
Chris Kreider - 6
Brendan Lemieux – 8
Adam Larsson -6
Jamie Oleksiak - 6
David Savard – 19
Brendan Lemieux - 12
Tom Wilson - 7