The Buzzer: Voracek leads Flyers to fifth straight win; Wild remain in wild-card race
1) Jakub Voracek, Philadelphia Flyers
Voracek dished out four helpers in the Flyers’ 5-2 win against the New York Rangers Friday. Philadelphia picked up their NHL-leading 23rd home victory and improved its current winning streak to five games in addition. Voracek had several pretty passes throughout the evening to set up his teammates. In the opening period, he fed Sean Couturier while Rangers defenseman Brendan Smith broke his stick and was unable to break up the pass. Late in the second period and early in the third, Voracek helped Claude Giroux score twice to seal the victory in favor of Philadelphia. All of a sudden, the Flyers only trail the Washington Capitals by three points for the top spot in the Metropolitan Division.
2) Alex Stalock, Minnesota Wild
The odds were stacked against them, but the Wild are not giving up on their pursuit of a spot in the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Stalock made 24 saves and picked up his fourth shutout of the season as Minnesota blanked the Columbus Blue Jackets, 5-0. Stalock has quietly put together an impressive season with an 18-9-4 record, 2.60 goals against average and a .910 save percentage. Only two points separate the Wild from the top wild card spot in the west.
3) Tyson Jost, Colorado Avalanche
With Mikko Rantanen sidelined, the Avalanche need more offensive production from everyone in the lineup. Jost stepped up with two goals as Colorado defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2 and extended its winning streak to five games. The first-round pick from the 2016 NHL Draft opened the scoring 6:34 into the first period when his shot whizzed past Anton Forsberg. Jost took a bouncing puck away from Jake Gardiner prior to the goal. He gave the Avalanche a two-goal lead when he tucked a shot past Forsberg halfway through the middle frame. Colorado has two games in hand on the division-leading St. Louis Blues and only trail by three points. Home-ice advantage in the Western Conference will be awarded to the eventual winner of the Central Division.
Other notable performances from Friday
- Pavel Francouz made 45 saves and would be in the Calder Trophy conversation if not for the outstanding play of defensemen Cale Makar and Quinn Hughes.
- Teuvo Teravainen scored twice in the Hurricanes’ 3-2 loss and Sebastian Aho extended his point streak to 14 games.
- Zach Parise and Kevin Fiala each recorded a goal and an assist as the Minnesota Wild won their third straight game.
- Jason Zucker recorded two goals but the Penguins fell in regulation for the fifth consecutive game.
Highlights of the Night
Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog delivered a pretty cross-ice pass to set up Samuel Girard for the third-period go-ahead goal.
Artemi Panarin extended his point streak to 12 games with this jaw-dropping stretch pass to set up Jesper Fast.
Golden Knights forward Nicolas Roy converted this slick deke to even the score at 1-1.
Giroux pushed the Flyers lead to two goals with this one-timer that clanked off the crossbar before finding the back of the net.
Stats of the Night
Artemi Panarin became the fourth player in @NYRangers history to post multiple point streaks of 12 or more games in a single season. The others:— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) February 29, 2020
Brian Leetch in 1991-92 (17 GP, 14 GP)
Wayne Gretzky in 1996-97 (15 GP, 12 GP)
Jaromir Jagr in 2005-06 (12 GP, 12 GP)
Philadelphia Flyers 5, New York Rangers 2
Minnesota Wild 5, Columbus Blue Jackets 0
Colorado Avalanche 3, Carolina Hurricanes 2
Vegas Golden Knights 4, Buffalo Sabres 2
Anaheim Ducks 3, Pittsburgh Penguins 2
— Scott Charles is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @ScottMCharles.