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NHL Rink Wrap: Hat tricks all around; Avalanche, Hurricanes dominate

NHL Scores

DENVER, COLORADO - FEBRUARY 25: Gabriel Landeskog #92 of the Colorado Avalanche celebrates his third goal of the game against the Winnipeg Jets with teammate Samuel Girard #49 at Ball Arena on February 25, 2022 in Denver, Colorado. The Avalanche defeated the Jets 6-3. (Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images)

NHLI via Getty Images

Top player in the NHL on Friday

Gabriel Landeskog, Colorado Avalanche

When the Colorado Avalanche are playing at their best they can embarrass you very quickly. The Winnipeg Jets found that out on Friday night. The Avalanche overcame a three-goal first period deficit by scoring six consecutive goals to roll to a 6-3 win to extend their lead in the Western Conference standings. Gabriel Landeskog led the way by scoring three goals on seven shots on goal. The Avalanche are now 34-5-3 in their past 42 games.

Highlights from around the NHL on Friday

While Landeskog scored three goals, Nathan MacKinnon also scored two including this impressive goal off the rush.

It was a night of hat tricks around the NHL as Chicago Blackhawks teammates Patrick Kane and Brandon Hagel also scored three goals each in their 8-5 win over the New Jersey Devils.

Jordan Kyrou scored two goals for the St. Louis Blues on Friday night to reach the 20-goal mark.

Three takeaways from the NHL on Friday

Hurricanes slow down Blue Jackets

The Columbus Blue Jackets have been one of the hottest teams in the NHL in recent weeks, entering Friday’s game against the Carolina Hurricanes with a 9-2-0 record over their past 11 games, including a four-game winning streak. That was no match for the Hurricanes who rolled to a 4-0 win that was not anywhere near as close as the final score indicated. Carolina outshot Columbus by a 50-19 margin. Columbus has definitely overachieved this season but it has also had a couple of really ugly performances, including an earlier game against Calgary where it allowed more than 60 shots on goal.

Kings jump over Golden Knights

Did you ever imagine this season that the Los Angeles Kings would be ahead of the Vegas Golden Knights in the standings at any point, let alone this late in the season? Well, it has happened. Thanks to the Kings’ 4-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks on Friday, combined with the Golden Knights’ stunning loss to the Arizona Coyotes, the Kings have jumped over the Golden Knights for second place in the Pacific Division with the same number of games played. Suddenly the Golden Knights find themselves on the Stanley Cup Playoff bubble with Edmonton and Anaheim right behind them.

Hagel boosts trade value

The Chicago Blackhawks are definitely going to be sellers ahead of the NHL trade deadline and one player that has been mentioned in trade rumors has been Hagel. They have reportedly set a high asking price, and if he keeps playing like he did on Friday night they might actually be able to acquire what they want. He now has 17 goals in 47 games this season after Friday’s hat trick against New Jersey.

Saturday’s big story

Outdoor hockey makes its debut in The Music City as the Nashville Predators play host to the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2022 Stadium Series game. It is also a fantastic matchup as the reigning back-to-back Stanley Cup champion Lightning visit a surprising Predators team that is trying to secure its spot as a playoff team in the Western Conference while also trying to figure out what to do with pending unrestricted free agent forward Filip Forsberg.

Friday’s NHL Scores

Carolina Hurricanes 4, Columbus Blue Jackets 0 St. Louis Blues 5, Buffalo Sabres 3 Chicago Blackhawks 8, New Jersey Devils 5 Colorado Avalanche 6, Winnipeg Jets 3 Arizona Coyotes 3, Vegas Golden Knights 1 Los Angeles Kings 4, Anaheim Ducks 1