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NHL Rink Wrap: Bunting hat trick leads Maple Leafs rally; Oilers roll in Kane debut

NHL Scores

DETROIT, MICHIGAN - JANUARY 29: Michael Bunting #58 of the Toronto Maple Leafs reacts after scoring a goal with teammate Rasmus Sandin #38 in the third period of the game against the Detroit Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena on January 29, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

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Top players in the NHL on Saturday

Michael Bunting, Toronto Maple Leafs

Lately the Toronto Maple Leafs have had a difficult time holding onto leads. On Saturday it was them that did the rallying. The Maple Leafs overcame a two-goal third period deficit to get a 7-4 win against the Detroit Red Wings thanks in large part to a hat trick from Michael Bunting. Along with the three goals he also had a season-high seven shots on goal in the win. Bunting was one of the Maple Leafs’ bargain signings over the summer and he has been a great addition this season. His three goals on Saturday give him 12 for the season, putting him on a pace for close to 25 goals over an 82-game season. He also has five goals in his past five games for the Maple Leafs.

Highlights from around the NHL on Saturday

Scott Laughton puts an end to the Philadelphia Flyers 13-game winless streak with an overtime goal against the Los Angeles Kings. Read all about it here.

Evander Kane scores in his debut game with the Edmonton Oilers.

Johnny Gaudreau continues his great season for the Calgary Flames by scoring the game’s only goal in a 1-0 overtime win against the Vancouver Canucks.

Three takeaways from the NHL on Saturday

The big story for the Oilers on Saturday

The easy answer here is that Kane scored in his debut. But the big story in the Oilers’ 7-2 win is that they scored seven goals in their win against the Montreal Canadiens and did not get a single point from Connor McDavid. If the Oilers are going to turn this season around and secure a playoff spot they are going to need offense from players that are not McDavid and Leon Draisaitl (who did score two goals on Saturday to give him 30 goals for the season).

Another shutout for Jacob Markstrom

Johnny Gaudreau scored the game-winning goal in overtime for the Flames, but the only reason it got to overtime was the play of starting goalie Jacob Markstrom. He stopped all 15 shots he faced to record his seventh shutout of the season at the halfway point. Goaltending has been a significant part of the Flames’ season, and Markstrom is definitely playing to his contract.

Another strong game for Jonathan Huberdeau to take over scoring lead

The Florida Panthers rallied for a 5-4 overtime win against the San Jose Sharks, and it was another strong game for Jonathan Huberdeau in the win. He had a goal and two assists in the win, giving him 62 points on the season and the top spot in the NHL scoring race. He also faked a lacrosse goal attempt to set up one of the Panthers goals.

Sunday’s big story

The Colorado Avalanche look to extend their current winning streak to 10 games when they host the Buffalo Sabres. It does not matter what injuries the Avalanche are dealing with, who is out of the lineup, or who they are playing recently they are playing like the absolute best team in hockey. Since starting the season with a 4-5-1 record through their first 10 games the Avalanche enter play on Sunday night with a 27-3-2 record in the 32 games that have followed that start.

Saturday’s NHL Scores

Anaheim Ducks 2, Ottawa Senators 1 Philadelphia Flyers 4, Los Angeles Kings 3 (OT) Winnipeg Jets 4, St. Louis Blues 1 Florida Panthers 5, San Jose Sharks 4 (OT) Edmonton Oilers 7, Montreal Canadiens 2 Toronto Maple Leafs 7, Detroit Red Wings 4 Vegas Golden Knights 3, Tampa Bay Lightning 2 (SO) Carolina Hurricanes 2, New Jersey Devils 1 Buffalo Sabres 3, Arizona Coyotes 1 Calgary Flames 1, Vancouver Canucks 0 (OT)