The Washington Capitals were fined $100,000 on Wednesday for violating COVID Protocols. The NHL said that the fine was the result of "player violations of the League’s COVID‑19 Protocols which involved social interactions among team members who were in close contact and who were not wearing face coverings."
Shortly later when the NHL COVID Protocol Related Absence list was revealed it featured four members of the Capitals. Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Ilya Samsonov and Dmitry Orlov were added to the list. They would be big losses for the Capitals, but it is currently unclear if any of them will miss game action. Washington plays next on Friday when the Buffalo Sabres visit.
In other COVID news, the Carolina Hurricanes had all their games postponed through at least Jan. 23. The Hurricanes have five players on the COVID-19 list, including Teuvo Teravainen, Warren Foegele, Jordan Martinook, Jordan Staal and Jaccob Slavin. The team’s two-game series against Florida for Thursday and Saturday has been postponed after Carolina’s match against Nashville this past Tuesday was also pushed back.
EDMONTON 3 TORONTO 1
This was a fairly low-event game, which is surprising considering the talent that both teams possess. Still, it was a victory that the Oilers needed following a 1-3-0 start to the year and they played a solid road game to get the result they wanted.
Josh Archibald’s empty-netter sealed Edmonton’s victory.
Joe Thornton was injured in the contest and coach Sheldon Keefe expects the veteran center to miss some time.
Edmonton blocked 19 shots in the match, including five from Adam Larsson. He currently leads all skaters with 20 blocks.
SAN JOSE 2 ST. LOUIS 1 (SO)
San Jose avoided a three-game losing skid and won for the second time in a shootout this season. Tomas Hertl scored the only goal among eight shooters to give the Sharks the win.
Brayden Schenn opened the scoring at the 4:27 mark of the second period with his second goal in two games against the Sharks.
Marcus Sorensen’s first goal of the year evened the score late in the second stanza.
MINNESOTA 3 ANAHEIM 2
Minnesota bounced back from a 1-0 loss to the Ducks on Monday with a 3-2 victory on Wednesday night. The Wild squandered a 2-0 lead, but Joel Eriksson Ek’s second goal of the season early in the third period held up as the game winner.
However, the Ducks got two goals in the second period from Nicolas Deslauriers and Cam Fowler. Deslauriers also assisted on Fowler’s first goal of the season, while adding three shots and one hit in just 10:01 of ice time.
Carter Rowney had the primary helper on both Anaheim markers.
Kirill Kaprizov picked up the secondary assist on Eriksson Ek’s game winner. The rookie forward is up to five points (one goal, four assists) in four games.
Kaapo Kahkonen turned aside 22 of 24 shots to register a victory in his first appearance of the 2020-21 campaign.
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MONTREAL 5 VANCOUVER 6 (SO)
Vancouver and Montreal hooked up in a wild matchup where no lead was safe and it wasn’t decided until the shootout.
Bo Horvat provided two goals and one assist in the contest and he supplied the shootout winner to halt the Canucks’ three-game losing streak.
Quinn Hughes was Vancouver’s other multi-point producer with two assists in the match.
The Canadiens were led offensively by a hat trick from ex-Canucks forward Tyler Toffoli. He only had one assist in three games this season prior to this breakout effort versus his former team.
Jesperi Kotkaniemi notched one goal and one assist Wednesday night after going three consecutive contests without earning a point.
Tyler Motte, who also generated a game-high nine hits, had the other goal in regulation for the Canucks, while Brendan Gallagher, who had a game-high eight shots on goal, had the other score for the Canadiens.
Montreal and Vancouver will play again on Thursday night.
ARIZONA 2 VEGAS 5
Vegas has won four straight games to open the 2020-21 campaign, including the past two games against Arizona. The Golden Knights have outscored the Coyotes by a 9-4 margin and the team two teams face each other again on Friday and Sunday.
Shea Theodore and Alex Pietrangelo scored their first goals of the year for Vegas in the first period. Pietrangelo finished the contest with one goal, one assist and four shots, while Theodore scored twice on four shots.
Mark Stone had a big night as well with one goal, one assist and four shots on target. His second goal of the season held up as the game winner when he gave Vegas a 3-0 lead just over the halfway point of the match.
Alex Tuch notched one goal and two assists after going pointless in his previous two outings.
Nick Schmaltz got the Coyotes on the board shortly after Stone’s goal.
Phil Kessel scored for the fourth time in four games to round out the scoring.
Arizona’s Christian Fischer and Vegas’ Keegan Kolesar were credited with five hits each.