The Buzzer: First start, first shutout for Binnington; Karlsson gets hat trick of assists
1. Jordan Binnington, St. Louis Blues
We will forgive you if you haven’t heard of Binnington. He’s not exactly a household name. But they certainly know of him now.
Binnington dropped a 25-save shutout in his first NHL start as the Blues rallied behind their inexperienced goalie. Binnington’s only other NHL action has come in relief outings -- twice this season for Jake Allen, and another appearance way back in 2015-16. He had a career .840 save percentage and a 3.53 goals-against average coming into Monday. He’ll wake up on Tuesday with a .907 and 2.13, respectively, and perhaps more importantly, another start down the line.
2. Pekka Rinne, Nashville Predators
You know your team had a heck of a night when you allow only 18 shots on goal from a potent offense like the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Truth be told, Nashville’s incredible defensive core came out as advertised on Monday. But Rinne, despite the low shot totals, wasn’t relegated to just making routing saves. With just over four minutes left in the second period, Rinne stretched across his crease and robbed Mitch Marner of making the game 2-1 and changing its entire complexion.
Rinne’s last few starts have all been sub .900 save percentage outings, so it was nice to see him get back on the horse again and playing at his best. He’s up to a .921 save percentage on the year now.
3. Devan Dubnyk, Minnesota Wild.
The night of the goalie continued in Montreal, where Dubnyk came into the Bell Centre and stopped all 32 shots he faced from the Habs in a 1-0 win for the Wild.
Dubnyk has put in some good performances of late, getting wins against the Winnipeg Jets and Toronto Maple Leafs while winning four of his past five starts, including three straight now.
He’s improved his save percentage to .915 on the season with his first shutout of the season and the Wild are clinging to the second wild-card spot thanks to a three-game winning streak.
Other notable performances:
- Erik Karlsson made a little history with a hat-trick of assists in a 3-1 win for the San Jose Sharks.
- Johnny Gaudreau kept scoring, netting his 25th and 26th goals of the season in a 4-3 win against the Chicago Blackhawks. Johnny Hockey has seven goals in a five-game goal-scoring streak, 10 goals in his past seven games and 14 in his past 13.
- Kevin Fiala had a goal and an assist for the Predators in their big win.
Highlights of the night
Hart with an early save of the year candidate:
The law of angles (is that a thing?) was destroyed here:
Kopitar > Brown > Kopitar:
Jordan Binnington is the 35th goaltender in League history to record a shutout in his first career NHL start and second to do so with the @StLouisBlues, joining Rich Parent on Jan. 26, 1999 (3-0 W at SJS). #NHLStats #STLvsPHI pic.twitter.com/detdj3q4dt— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) January 8, 2019
Predators 4, Maple Leafs 0
Blues 3, Flyers 0
Wild 1, Canadiens 0
Flames 4, Blackhawk 3
Sharks 3, Kings 1