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It was a bust Monday as far as news goes in the NHL. Late last night, the Canucks fired Travis Green and then it was announced in the early hours of Monday morning back East, that Vancouver GM Jim Benning was also on his way out. Bruce Boudreau is the new coach with a contract through the 2022-23 season while former Vancouver legend Stan Smyl is the acting GM.
Then on Monday morning, the Philadelphia Flyers, in the midst of an eight-game losing streak, fired coach Alain Vigneault and assistant Michel Therrien, and gave Mike Yeo the interim job as head coach.
The interesting thing is that both teams are in action on Monday.
As well, the three stars were announced and Jonathan Huberdeau was named the first star of the week for his one goal, eight assist effort in just three games.
Tampa Bay defenseman Victor Hedman was named the second star of the week with two goals and eight points in four contests while the third star was Jake Guentzel of the Pittsburgh Penguins whose hat trick and four-point night versus Vancouver Saturday, helped his cause and not the cause of Green and Benning. Guentzel had five goals and an assist in three games.
There are six games on the Monday slate.
COLORADO 7 PHILADELPHIA 5
Well, at least the coaching change provided more scoring for Philadelphia. The Flyers gave up seven goals for the second straight night but did score five times after scoring just 21 goals in their previous 13 games, still losing 7-5 Monday.
It was the Flyers ninth straight loss as they are 0-7-2 of late and in seventh place in the Metropolitan with an 8-11-4 mark. It was only a few weeks ago the Flyers were 8-4-2 and looking to close in on the top spot in the division but now the playoffs are getting further and further away.
The Flyers gave up 50 shots to the Avs on Monday while managing only 32 shots on their own.
Claude Giroux scored the opening goal of the first period before the Avalanche scored four unanswered goals in 5:46. Erik Johnson scored shorthanded, Gabriel Landeskog scored at even strength and then Alex Newhook and Cale Makar scored on the power play. It was Makar’s 11th goal of the season to lead all NHL defensemen.
The Flyers got two back before the end of the period and Oskar Lindblom scored his first of the season and Giroux scored his second of the game and ninth of the season.
Valeri Nichushkin scored the only goal of the second.
Martin Jones stopped 43 shots in taking the loss as he is 3-4-1 and 0-4-1 in his last five starts. He has a 3.41 GAA and a .908 save percentage.
Justus Annunen turned aside 27-of-32 shots in his first career start and win. He has a 4.34 GAA and a .863 save percentage. Annunen also had an assist in the contest.
Nathan MacKinnon had an assist as well as eight shots on goal.
Jack Johnson had five blocked shots in addition to an assist.
Zack MacEwen had six hits.
WASHINGTON 4 ANAHEIM 3 (Shootout)
It was a big night for John Carlson as he scored the equalizer in the second and then scored the shootout winner in the fifth round to lead the Capitals to a 4-3 win over Anaheim.
It was the first of five games for the Ducks this week as they play all five on the road.
Tom Wilson opened the scoring with the lone goal in the first period for the Capitals. It was the 100th goal of his NHL career.
It was a wild second stanza as Josh Manson evened the count with his third of the campaign. Carl Hagelin with his first of the season gave Washington a 2-1 lead before Sonny Milano and Vinni Lettieri scored to make it 3-2 Anaheim. Carlson tied it late in the second with only 23 seconds left and after a scoreless third, the game went into extra time.
Ilya Samsonov made 31 saves for the win as he is 11-1-1 with a 2.42 GAA and a .916 save percentage. Samsonov has an outstanding record and has been a stud in the Washington cage.
John Gibson stopped 26 shots in taking the shootout loss. He is 10-6-4 with a 2.69 GAA and a .914 save percentage.
Ovechkin had seven shots on goal.
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OTTAWA 3 NEW JERSEY 2 (Shootout)
Josh Norris and Tim Stutzle each scored in the shootout while Tomas Tatar replied for New Jersey as the Senators upended the Devils 3-2 Monday. It was the Senators third straight win while New Jersey has lost four straight.
Drake Batherson and Brady Tkachuk each scored once and added an assist for Ottawa while Damon Severson with his third just 35 seconds into the game, and Nathan Bastian on a tip-in, replied for New Jersey.
Mackenzie Blackwood made 21 saves in taking the shootout loss as he is 4-3-3 with a 3.07 GAA and a .907 save percentage.
Anton Forsberg made 22 saves in picking up the win. He is 4-4-0 with a 3.79 GAA and a .895 save percentage. That’s two wins in a row for Forsberg.
DALLAS 4 ARIZONA 1
It was a big third period for Jamie Benn as he scored twice and added an assist to lead the Dallas Stars to a 4-1 win over Arizona.
The red-hot Roope Hintz opened the scoring in the first with his 11th of the season. Hintz started the season with one assist in his first 10 games but has been flying ever since with 11 goals and 15 points in his last 12 contests.
The Coyotes scored the only goal of the second when defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere potted his fourth of the season.
It was 1-1 heading into the third and the Stars’ Jacob Peterson scored his fourth of the season for the eventual winner at the 9:01 mark.
Benn scored on the power play at 15:14 and then beat Scott Wedgewood less than two minutes later to complete the scoring.
Braden Holtby was not busy in the Dallas cage as he needed to stop only 18 shots for the win as he upped his record to 5-4-1 with a 2.18 GAA and a .928 save percentage. It was Holtby’s third straight win.
Wedgewood took the loss as he stopped 23 shots while giving up all four goals. Wedgewood is 3-7-2 with a 2.96 GAA and a .908 save percentage.
Alexander Radulov had a pair of assists.
Liam O'Brien had six hits.
VANCOUVER 4 LOS ANGELES 0
While the coaching change made no difference to the Flyers as far as winning the contest, it was a different story for the Canucks who beat the Kings by shutting them out to the tune of 4-0 behind the 31-save shutout of Thatcher Demko.
Demko was perfect in picking up his ninth win of the season as he is 9-11-1 with a 2.82 GAA and a .912 save percentage. It was his first shutout of the season and only the second of his young NHL career.
After a scoreless first period, Brock Boeser on the power play and Conor Garland scored inside the first six minutes of the second period while Juho Lammikko with his first of the season and J.T. Miller on the power play with his ninth, scored in the final stanza.
Cal Petersen was in goal for the Kings and gave up four goals on 30 shots to even his record at 5-5-1. Petersen has a 3.10 GAA and a .893 save percentage. It was thought at the beginning of the season that Petersen was the number one goalie for Los Angles but his adequate play has not been as good as veteran Jonathan Quick who has been terrific for the Kings this season.
Luke Schenn had seven hits.
Tanner Pearson had six shots on goal.
PITTSBURGH 6 SEATTLE 1
It was all Pittsburgh on Monday as they came into Seattle for the only time this season and scored three in the first on their way to a 6-1 win over the Kraken.
The Penguins struck early and often as Jeff Carter, Sidney Crosby and Danton Heinen all scored within the first 5:07 of the opening period to chase Philipp Grubauer from the Kraken crease as he made only one save in the game. Joey Daccord went the rest of the way, stopping 24-of-27 shots to keep Seattle competitive.
Jordan Eberle made it 3-1 with the Kraken’s only goal of the game, at the 3:43 mark of the second but Jake Guentzel with his first of two and Carter with his second of the game just 23 seconds apart late in the period, iced the contest for the Penguins.
Guentzel scored the only goal of the third.
Mike Matheson took the only penalty of the game as the Penguins did not have a power play opportunity while Seattle only had the one.
Casey DeSmith stopped 28-of-29 shots for the victory. He picked up his first win of the season as he is now 1-3-1 with a 3.44 GAA and a .885 save percentage.
Heinen and Guentzel each had three-point nights.
Crosby had a two-point night and has a six-game points streak with three goals and eight assists. He is back!
Dumoulin and Kris Letang were each a plus-four.
Claude Giroux – 2
Jamie Benn – 2
Jake Guentzel – 2
Jeff Carter - 2
Devon Toews – 2
Mikko Rantanen – 2
Travis Konecny – 2
Kevin Hayes – 2
Travis Sanheim – 2
Trevor Zegras – 2
Danton Heinen – 2
Evan Rodrigues – 2
Brian Dumoulin - 2
Alex Ovechkin – 2
Shots on Goal
Nathan MacKinnon – 8
Alex Ovechkin – 7
Tanner Pearson - 6
Luke Schenn – 7
Zack MacEwen – 6
Liam O'Brien - 6
Simon Benoit – 7
Tom Wilson - 5