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NHL Rink Wrap: Oilers win thriller, Backstrom at 1,000, Miller shines for Canucks

NHL Scores

VANCOUVER, BC - MARCH 9: J.T. Miller #9 of the Vancouver Canucks is congratulated by teammates after scoring during their NHL game against the Montreal Canadiens at Rogers Arena March 9, 2022 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)

NHLI via Getty Images

Top player in the NHL on Wednesday

J.T. Miller, Vancouver Canucks

The Vancouver Canucks are trying their best to stick around in the Stanley Cup Playoff race in the Western Conference, and J.T. Miller remains a big reason why. He had another four-point game for the Canucks on Wednesday night (his third four-point game of the season) in their 5-3 win over the Montreal Canadiens, scoring one goal and adding three assists. He has been a point-per-game player for the Canucks since joining the team and is having his best year to date this season, now at 67 points in 56 games. His name keeps getting mentioned in trade talks in advance of the 2022 NHL Trade Deadline later this month, but why in the world would the Canucks trade him right now? Not only if you think they still have a chance to make the playoffs, but he is still signed beyond this season.

Highlights from around the NHL on Wednesday

The Oilers and Capitals played an awesome hockey game on Wednesday night that ended in overtime with this Connor McDavid goal.

Here is the play that gave Nicklas Backstrom his 1,000th career point for the Washington Capitals.

The reason that game went to overtime is this T.J. Oshie goal with 0.8 seconds to play in regulation.

Elias Pettersson has struggled at times this season but he is still a highlight reel player with incredible skills.

Three takeaways from the NHL on Wednesday

Connor McDavid saved the NHL from a tough situation

McDavid’s overtime goal gave the Oilers a 4-3 overtime win, and it was the right result. Had it been a Capitals win it would have created a bit of controversy given the way the game made it to overtime. Oshie’s game-tying goal (shown in the video above) came after the Capitals were able to get away with a blatant hooking penalty that went uncalled, ultimately leading to their game-tying goal. It is the type of call that can not get missed in any game, let alone in the final minute of a one-goal game. It was bad. It should have been called and given the Oilers a regulation win.

Nicklas Backstrom at 1,000 career points

Backstrom has been one of the great players of this era (do not call him underrated; everybody knows how good he is) and he reached a significant milestone on Wednesday by reaching the 1,000 point mark for his career, recording all of them as a member of the Washington Capitals. If you look at the rest of the 1,000 point club the overwhelming majority of them are in the Hall of Fame or on their way to the Hall of Fame at some point in the future, and Backstrom should probably be among them. He has been an elite playmaker, an outstanding two-way center, a cornerstone piece for one of the best franchises of the salary cap era, and a key contributor to a franchise that has won three Presidents’ Trophies and the Stanley Cup during his career.

Canucks not going away

The Canucks are really doing their best to stay in this thing and are 10-4-0 over their past 14 games. Their 5-3 win over the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday night brings them to within three points of the second Wild Card spot in the Western Conference Wild Card race. The problem, though, is that three-point gap is made even more significant by the fact the two Wild Card teams (Nashville Predators and Dallas Stars) at the moment both have two games in hand. That is also true for the Edmonton Oilers who are now only one point behind Dallas after their win over the Washington Capitals on Wednesday night.

Thursday’s big story

The big story on Thursday is in Buffalo where the Sabres are hosting Jack Eichel and the Vegas Golden Knights. It will be Eichel’s first trip to Buffalo as a visiting player, and it is interesting to see what sort of reception he gets. It was not that long ago that Eichel was the cornerstone of Buffalo’s latest rebuild and the player that was supposed to return them to relevance. That is too big of a job for one player, though, and the Sabres never came close to building anything competitive around him. Then everything involving the player and team deteriorated with all of the losing and a disagreement over how to handle Eichel’s surgery this past offseason, ultimately resulting in the trade to the Golden Knights for Peyton Krebs and Alex Tuch.

Wednesday’s NHL Scores

Edmonton Oilers 4, Washington Capitals 3 (OT)
Vancouver Canucks 5, Montreal Canadiens 3