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NHL Rink Wrap: Maple Leafs lose big; Stars rally

Los Angeles Kings v Dallas Stars

DALLAS, TX - MARCH 2: Jake Oettinger #29 of the Dallas Stars is congratulated on a win against the Los Angeles Kings at the American Airlines Center on March 2, 2022 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Glenn James/NHLI via Getty Images)

NHLI via Getty Images

Top player in the NHL on Wednesday

Adam Fox, New York Rangers

The New York Rangers were 5-3 winners against the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday night, overcoming a brutal stretch in the second period where they allowed three goals on three consecutive shots in just a little more than two minutes of hockey. They rallied with three unanswered goals in the third period for the win. Leading the way for the Rangers in the win was reigning Norris Trophy winner Adam Fox who played a team high 24 minutes and recorded three assists in the win.

Highlights from around the NHL on Wednesday

Colin Blackwell’s shorthanded goal in the third period is the difference and gives the Seattle Kraken a 4-3 win over the Nashville Predators.

The Dallas Stars score three unanswered goals to beat the Los Angeles Kings.

Chris Kreider gets the game-winning goal for the New York Rangers against the St. Louis Blues.

Three takeaways from the NHL on Wednesday

Ugly loss for Maple Leafs

When the Toronto Maple Leafs are going well they can look like a top tier Stanley Cup contender. Sometimes, though, they can look ugly. That happened on Wednesday night in a 5-1 loss to the Buffalo Sabres. Goaltending is again an issue, but they also just got completely dominated by a Sabres team that had been on an extended losing streak. This is the second time in just a couple of weeks the Maple Leafs have lost big to a bottom team in the standings, recently losing an ugly game to the Montreal Canadiens.

Canadiens, Flames make minor trade; Stalock to Sharks.

The Calgary Flames and Montreal Canadiens made a trade for the second time in less than a month on Wednesday when the Canadiens sent goalie prospect Michael McNiven to the Flames for future considerations. That trade follows the Canadiens sending Tyler Toffoli to Calgary earlier in February. This trade, obviously, is not as significant. McNiven has played in just one NHL game in his career and has spent the majority of his professional career in the ECHL and AHL. He never seemed to get much of a chance in Montreal under the prior front office and this gives him a fresh start on a new new team. The future considerations are likely to not amount to much, as tends to be the case in these sorts of trades. There was another minor goalie trade on Wednesday with the Edmonton Oilers sending Alex Stalock to the San Jose Sharks, also for future considerations.

Stars rally for huge win

The Dallas Stars have been a wildly inconsistent team with extreme highs and lows this season and right now they are on one of the high runs. They overcame a 3-1 deficit against the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday for a 4-3 win. With that win the Stars now have the fifth best points percentage in the Western Conference.

Thursday’s big story

The Washington Capitals have been fighting it for a while now and are just 7-12-2 since the start of the new year, with only four of those wins coming in regulation. They have also lost six consecutive games at home. They look to snap the home losing streak against one of the NHL’s best teams, the Carolina Hurricanes. Carolina, meanwhile, is entering the game with a seven-game point streak (5-0-2) and owning the top spot in the Metropolitan Division and the top spot in the Eastern Conference. Right now this would be an opening round matchup in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Wednesday’s NHL Scores

Buffalo Sabres 5, Toronto Maple Leafs 1
New York Rangers 5, St. Louis Blues 3
Dallas Stars 4, Los Angeles Kings 3
Seattle Kraken 4, Nashville Predators 3