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As usual on Monday, the NHL named their three stars of the week.
The first star was Chris Kreider of the New York Rangers. Kreider had five goals and seven points in three games and heading into action on Monday, Kreider was tied for the NHL lead in goals with Alex Ovechkin at 29 and the two helpers gave him 42 points on the season.
The second star was goaltender Ville Husso who momentarily has taken over as the Blues number one netminder, over Jordan Binnington. Husso was a perfect 3-0-0 with a 1.34 GAA and a .960 save percentage as he gave up only four goals on 101 shots on goal. Husso is 8-2-1 overall with a 1.93 GAA and a .941 save percentage.
The third star was Timo Meier who would have been my choice as the number one star. Meier did something amazing this week, scoring five times against the Los Angeles Kings on Monday and then potting one more on Thursday before being held off the scoresheet Saturday in a loss to Tampa Bay. Meier has 21 goals and 46 points this season in 37 games.
There were seven games in the NHL on Monday.
VEGAS 1 WASHINGTON 0
It was Robin Lehner night in Washington as the Vegas goaltender turned aside all 34 shots in closing the door on the Capitals in a 1-0 win. It was Lehner’s first shutout of the season and his third in a Vegas uniform as he improved his record to 17-11-1 with a 2.85 GAA and a .907 save percentage.
After a scoreless first period, Mike Amadio scored his fourth of the season in his 200th career game in the NHL as Brett Howden’s point shot was stopped by Vitek Vanecek who could not corral the rebound and Amadio was there to knock the puck from the crease into the yawning cage.
There was no more scoring in the contest as Vanecek was also strong in the Washington net. Vanecek stopped 28 shots but it wasn’t enough as he is 9-6-5 with a 2.47 GAA and a .912 save percentage.
The Capitals failed once again on the power play as they unable to score in five attempts while the Golden Knights could not score in four chances.
Alex Pietrangelo had six shots on goal to lead both sides.
ANAHEIM 5 BOSTON 3
The Anaheim Ducks came into Boston and upset the Bruins 5-3 as captain Ryan Getzlaf had a goal and an assist to give him three goals and 26 points this season.
It was not a good night for Tuukka Rask who has struggled too many times in the early going (for Rask who missed most of the season recovering from hip surgery, signing a contract with Boston on Jan. 11) as he gave up five goals on 27 shots Monday, less than a week after he gave up five goals on only 12 shots to Carolina last Tuesday before he was pulled. Rask is 2-2-0 this season with a 4.26 GAA and a .844 GAA.
John Gibson was in the Anaheim net and he made 23 saves in picking up the victory. Gibson has won three of his last four starts and is 14-10-6 with a 2.56 GAA and a .919 save percentage.
Pastrnak had six shots on goal.
Curtis Lazar had six hits.
Kevin Shattenkirk had six blocked shots.
DALLAS 3 PHILADELPHIA 1
The Philadelphia Flyers are in a huge tailspin as they dropped their 12th straight game, losing to the Dallas Stars 3-1.
It was a big night for Keith Yandle of the Flyers in a losing cause as he played in his 964th straight game, tying Seth Jarvis for the all-time iron man mark he set from the 1975-76 season until his final game in a Hartford Whalers jersey in the 1987-88 campaign. Yandle will get the chance to become the all-time leader on Tuesday with the Flyers in New York to face the Islanders.
Ivan Provorov tied the game at 1 in the second with his fifth of the season. Provorov was a favorite of mine a couple seasons ago but it seems like his career has stalled in Philadelphia and perhaps a change of scenery is needed to get him going.
It remained that way until just 3:25 left in the third when Jacob Peterson picked up the winner with his seventh of the season.
Joe Pavelski iced the game with an empty netter at the 18:23 mark.
Jake Oettinger got the start for Dallas and made 27 saves for the win as he is 10-4-0 with a 2.60 GAA and a .909 save percentage.
Carter Hart gave up only two goals on 35 shots as he was sharp in net but still took the loss. Hart is 7-14-5 this season with a 2.87 GAA and a .912 save percentage.
In a strange quirk, there were no penalties called in the contest.
Rasmus Ristolainen had six hits.
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NEW YORK RANGERS 3 LOS ANGELES 2 (Shootout)
Adam Fox scored in the sixth round of the shootout to give the Rangers a 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings.
After being named the first start of the week, Chris Kreider became the first player in the NHL to hit the 30-goal mark as he scored with just two seconds left in the opening stanza. It was his 15th power play goal of the season.
But Barclay Goodrow picked up his eighth of the season to send the game into extra time at the 14:15 mark of the third.
Igor Shesterkin was outstanding, stopping 34 shots for his seventh win in a row and 12th in his last 13 starts. Shesterkin is 19-4-2 with a 2.07 GAA and a .936 save percentage as he has to be getting plenty of Vezina Trophy consideration at this early stage.
Jonathan Quick was between the pipes for the Kings, making 28 saves in the shootout loss. He is 11-10-5 with a 2.53 GAA and a .914 save percentage.
Artemi Panarin assisted on both Rangers goals.
Brendan Lemieux was kicked out of the game for boarding Ryan Lindgren in the opening period as he got five for boarding and a game misconduct. Lindgren played the rest of the way as he was on the ice for 22:44.
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MINNESOTA 8 MONTREAL 2
It was all Minnesota on Monday night as they scored eight times to beat the Montreal Canadiens 8-2.
It was a big night for rookie Connor Dewar who scored his first career NHL goal and added an assist.
Cam Talbot returned to the crease for the first time since the Winter Classic and made 14 saves on 15 shots before leaving the contest after two periods for unknown reasons. Kaapo Kahkonen stopped five-of-six shots in relief.
CALGARY 7 ST. LOUIS 1
It was a huge night for the Calgary Flames as they scored seven straight times to beat the St. Louis Blues 7-1.
After Tyler Bozak opened the scoring for St. Louis with his third of the season, the Flames got hot as defensemen Nikita Zadorov and Chris Tanev scored their third and second goals of the season respectively, to give Calgary a 2-1 lead. Elias Lindholm made it 3-1 with a power play goal before the end of the first.
Jacob Markstrom was scored upon on the Blues first shot on goal but stopped the final 20 to pick up the win. He is 14-9-5 with a 2.21 GAA and a .924 save percentage.
As mentioned above, it appears that Ville Husso is the number one goalie in St. Louis at this time and Monday did nothing to disprove it. Jordan Binnington got the start and gave up all seven goals on 35 shots in the first two periods. Husso took over and stopped all 13 shots in the third.
Mikael Backlund had seven shots on goal while Monahan had six.
COLORADO 2 CHICAGO 0
Pavel Francouz stopped all 24 shots for his second straight shutout as the Colorado Avalanche defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 2-0.
Francouz missed all of last season and the start of this one with a hip injury in 2020-21 and an ankle injury to start this season. He won his sixth of the season and is 6-1-0 with a 2.03 GAA and a .932 save percentage.
After a scoreless first period, Nazem Kadri continued his outstanding season with his 16th goal of the season. It was a power play effort with assists going to Nathan MacKinnon and Cale Makar. Kadri is fifth in NHL scoring with 52 points, trailing only Alex Ovechkin, Jonathan Huberdeau, Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid. That is heady company to be keeping.
Marc-Andre Fleury made 27 saves in taking the loss. He is 13-13-3 with a 2.76 GAA and a .913 save percentage.
Kadri had seven shots on goal.
The Avs are 18-1-2 in their last 21 games and have moved easily into first place in the Central.
One by Many
Matthew Tkachuk – 5
Hampus Lindholm – 3
Johnny Gaudreau – 3
Rickard Rakell – 2
Artemi Panarin – 2
Jordan Greenway – 2
Alex Goligoski – 2
Kirill Kaprizov - 2
Shots on Goal
Mikael Backlund – 7
Nazem Kadri - 7
Sean Monahan – 6
David Pastrnak – 6
Alex Pietrangelo - 6
William Carrier – 6
Buddy Robinson – 6
Alex Ovechkin – 6
Lars Eller – 6
Curtis Lazar – 6
Brandon Duhaime - 6
Brendan Lemieux -15
Marcus Foligno – 14
Michael Pezzetta – 14
Josh Anderson – 9
Ryan Hartman – 7
Sam Carrick – 5
Nick Foligno - 5