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The Buzzer: Electric Ehlers, red-hot Gibson, and one angry Tkachuk

Toronto Maple Leafs v Calgary Flames

CALGARY, AB - JANUARY 26: Matthew Tkachuk #19 of the Calgary Flames gets physical against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Saddledome on January 26, 2021 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images)

NHLI via Getty Images

Three Stars

1. Nikolaj Ehlers and the Jets

When asked about Patrik Laine getting traded, Ehlers admitted that he’d miss his friend. You could tell that the trade hit close to home.

Well, Ehlers might not want to reveal his other good friends, as the Jets might be tempted to trade them away. (Hey, hockey teams are superstitious.)

All kidding aside, Ehlers lit it up along with his Jets teammates against the defensively-challenged Oilers.

The speedy winger scored a goal and three assists to help Winnipeg break that game open in the third period. Along with those four points, Ehlers ended up with a +3 rating on the night. The 24-year-old extended his point streak to five games (5G, 5A for 10 points).

You could consider this a team award, though. Andrew Copp matched Ehlers’ four points, scoring two goals and two assists. Not far behind them, Adam Lowry collected three points (1G, 2A). Could Ehlers do even more damage once Pierre-Luc Dubois gets going? (Maybe you’d even want to spread the wealth and keep Ehlers with his current linemates?)

2. John Gibson

Yeah, this sure looks like the John Gibson who might have been the best goalie in the world for a couple of seasons. Perhaps the 2019-20 John Gibson was some shabby imposter?

Either way, Gibson kept his recent hot streak going with a 31-save shutout. The Ducks needed every single Gibson save, too, as Danton Heinen was the only player to find the net in that game.

Gibson already has two shutouts this season, and stopped 32 out of 33 shots to upset the Avalanche in his last appearance. Maintaining this pace won’t be easy for Gibson, yet if he can hover around this level for much of 2020-21, then the Ducks might be plucky by default. Not that it will always translate to the prettiest of hockey.

(Guess Gibson isn’t just slacking, eh, anonymous goober?)

3. Max Pacioretty

At first blush, it really seemed like the Blues were sitting on a two-goal lead in the third period. Then again, maybe the Golden Knights just wouldn’t be denied (a charity point)?

Both Pacioretty and Shea Theodore fired a staggering eight shots on goal in this shootout loss. According to the Golden Knights’ local broadcast, the team hit at least six or seven posts. The Blues carried a 3-1 lead into the second period, when Pacioretty scored the first of what would be three goals.

This appears to be Pacioretty’s first hat trick with the Golden Knights, and the seventh of his NHL career.

(Naturally, Jordan Binnington needed to be very good to secure that narrow victory for St. Louis, too.)


Minnesota Whitecaps 1, Metropolitan Riveters 0

In the waning seconds of regulation, Haley Mack scored the lone goal of the game to win it for the Whitecaps. By stopping all 38 shots, Amanda Leveille became the all-time NWHL leader in shutouts with six for her career. The Minnesota Whitecaps are the only undefeated team in the NWHL.

Toronto Six 2, Boston Pride 1

By making 37 saves, Lovisa Selander nearly pulled out a win for the Pride. Instead, the Toronto Six fought back from a 1-0 deficit with two third-period goals (tying tally by Brooke Boquist, clincher via Mikyla Grant-Mentis).


Wednesday’s NWHL schedule begins with the Boston Pride vs. the Connecticut Whale (5:30 p.m. ET). Wednesday’s NWHL action concludes with the Metropolitan Riveters against the Buffalo Beauts (8 p.m. ET). All games can be streamed on the league’s Twitch channel.

1. Whitecaps - 6 points (3-0-0; +3 goal differential)
2. Riveters - 4 points (2-1-0; +3 goal differential)
3. Six - 3 points (1-1-1; -2 goal differential)
4. Whale - 2 points (1-1-0; 0 goal differential)
5. Pride - 2 point (1-2-0; +2 goal differential)
6. Beauts - 1 point (0-1-1; -4 goal differential)

The single-elimination Isobel Cup Semifinals will be shown live on Thursday, Feb. 4 at 5:30 p.m. ET and 8 p.m. ET. The winners of the semifinals will advance to the Isobel Cup Final on Friday, Feb. 5 at 7 p.m. ET. In addition to coverage on NBCSN, live coverage will stream exclusively on and the NBC Sports app.

NHL highlight of Tuesday night

Roman Josi, allegedly a defenseman, scoring a beautiful overtime game-winner for the Predators:

Your latest round of Matthew Tkachuk angry hijinks

Most of the time, Matthew Tkachuk might as well have a troll emoji tattooed on his face along with the phrase “U Mad?” For those who can’t stand Tkachuk’s antics, they’ll quite enjoy Tkachuk getting very angry about Jake Muzzin’s ... gamesmanship? Honestly, even Tkachuk fans might get a (tka)-chuckle out of his angry reaction:

(Whoever cuts the Tkachuk meltdown to Megadeth’s “Angry Again” should get an autographed mouthpiece.)

Lowlight of the night

Yes, you can fail to score on a 3-on-0 breakaway. It’s especially staggering that you can fail in such a situation involving players as skilled as Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang:

Hockey, everyone.

NHL scores from Tuesday

Bruins 3, Penguins 2 (OT)
Sabres 3, Rangers 2
Flyers 5, Devils 3
Capitals 3, Islanders 2
Panthers 4, Blue Jackets 3 (SO)
Predators 3, Blackhawks 2 (OT)
Kings 2, Wild 1
Jets 6, Oilers 4
Stars 2, Red Wings 1 (OT)
Avalanche 7, Sharks 3
Ducks 1, Coyotes 0
Blues 5, Golden Knights 4 (SO)
Maple Leafs 4, Flames 3

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.