Maple Leafs California Dreaming

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I'm in Vegas for the first time since before COVID at New York New York, and I could not believe how busy it was at the hotel before the start of the game. The hotel is right beside T-Mobile Arena and there were plenty of Oiler fans down from Canada to see the action.

It's pretty busy in Las Vegas and the atmosphere around the team is pretty high as every one is awaiting the appearance of Jack Eichel, once he heals from his replacement disk surgery.

I was a little bit surprised to see the San Jose Sharks place Evander Kane on waivers ahead of him completing his 21-game suspension from the NHL for not telling the truth about his COVID vaccinations.

Anyway, more will be known tomorrow at noon Eastern as that is when the waiver period ends. The thought at this time is that he will pass through waivers and be sent to the San Jose Barracuda of the AHL, and could never be back in a Sharks uniform again. If he remains in the organization, do not be surprised if the Sharks buy him out in the off-season.

The Canadiens front office saw upheaval as they fired GM Marc Bergevin and made former Rangers GM Jeff Gorton their new executive Vice-President of hockey operations.

There were seven games on the Sunday slate but the New York Islanders-New York Rangers game was postponed due to the COVID outbreak on the Islanders.

WASHINGTON 4 CAROLINA 2

John Carlson had a goal and two assists to lead the Washington Capitals to a 4-2 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes.

Alex Ovechkin opened the scoring with his 19th goal of the season as he moved into second place in NHL scoring with 37 points, one better than Connor McDavid and three behind Leon Draisaitl.

Just 59 seconds later, Aliaksei Protas scored his first career NHL goal in his 11th game this season, to give the Capitals a 2-0 lead after one period.

After a scoreless second period there were goals galore in the third as the Hurricanes tied it up on goals by Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Nino Niederreiter but Dmitry Orlov with his fourth of the season, gave the Capitals the lead with just 2:55 remaining. It was a power play effort and Carlson completed the scoring with his fifth of the season into the empty net.

Ilya Samsonov got the start for Washington and picked up the win, stopping 30 shots. Samsonov has been almost perfect this season as he improved to 9-0-1 with a 2.27 GAA and a .918 save percentage.

Frederik Andersen gave up three goals on 24 shots in taking the loss. He is 11-4-0 with a 1.98 GAA and a .932 save percentage.

Tom Wilson had two assists.

Nick Jensen had six hits.

Brady Skjei had a pair of minors.

MINNESOTA 4 TAMPA BAY 2

Ryan Hartman's 12th goal of the season was the winner as the Minnesota Wild upended the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-2.

Hartman has been a huge surprise to the Wild offense with his goal production as he has done it in only 21 games, the second best total of his career, trailing only the 19 he scored in the 2016-17 season when doing in 76 contests.

The Wild took a 1-0 lead in the first on a goal by Nick Bjugstad at the 11:03 make but Corey Perry with his second of the season just 48 seconds later, tied the score at one.

Victor Rask gave the Wild a 2-1 lead heading into the second period with his third of the season.

Alex Killorn with his eighth scored the only goal of the second.

Marcus Foligno iced the game with an empty net goal to make the final 4-2.

Cam Talbot made 28 saves to up his record to 12-5-0 with a 2.71 GAA and a .914 save percentage.

Andrei Vasilevskiy gave up three goals on 33 shots in taking the loss as he is 10-4-3 with a 2.15 GAA and a .926 save percentage.

Kevin Fiala had six shots on goal.

Mathieu Joseph left the game in the second period and did not return. There was no update after the game.

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NEW JERSEY 5 PHILADELPHIA 2

It was an amazing night for the Devils Andreas Johnsson as he scored twice and added two assists as well as going plus-five to lead the New Jersey Devils to a 5-2 win over the slumping Philadelphia Flyers.

The Flyers have lost six straight games and are 8-8-4 while the Devils improved to 9-6-4.

Dougie Hamilton got the Devils on the board in the first period with his sixth of the season while Scott Laughton evened the score late in the period with a shorthanded goal.

Johnsson with his first of the game and eighth of the season, scored the only goal in the second period while Joel Farabee with the only assist going to Laughton, scored 3:04 into the third to tie the game at two.

But it was all New Jersey after that as Jesper Bratt, Nathan Bastian and Johnsson again, completed the scoring for the Devils.

Mackenzie Blackwood made 28 saves for the win as he improved his record to 4-1-2 with a 2.72 GAA and a .922 save percentage.

Martin Jones was between the pipes for the Flyers and he gave up four goals on 34 shots to take the loss. Jones is 3-3-1 with a 2.87 GAA and a .921 save percentage.

Bratt had two assists in addition to his goal and was a plus-four.

Hamilton had 10 shots on goal.

Zack MacEwen and Mason Geertsen got into a fight and each got five for fighting.

Claude Giroux was a minus-four.

Don’t forget, for everything NHL, check out NBCSportsEdge Player News, and follow @NBCSEdge HK and @mfinewaxhockey on Twitter.

BOSTON 3 VANCOUVER 2

David Pastrnak's power play goal with 3:24 remaining in the third was the winner as Boston came back from a one-goal deficit in the third, to beat Vancouver 3-2.

The Bruins scored a pair of power play goals in the third to win it as Brad Marchand tied the game at 2 with his ninth at the 8:45 mark to set up Pastrnak's heroics.

Tanner Pearson put the Canucks out in front early in the first with his third of the season as he scored with the man-advantage but the Bruins got a goal from an unlikely source as Anton Blidh potted his first of the season at the 5:51 mark of the opening frame to tie the game at 1. He left the game late in the third after being hit from behind by Oliver Ekman-Larsson, a costly penalty as Pastrnak got the winner on the ensuing power play. Blidh will be re-evaluated Monday and should be considered day-to-day.

Conor Garland scored the only goal of the second.

Linus Ullmark turned aside 36 shots for his second straight win improving his record to 5-3-0 with a 2.76 GAA and a .914 save percentage.

Jaroslav Halak returned to Boston for the first time since leaving the Bruins in the off-season after three years in Boston. He made 39 saves to keep the Canucks in the game but it was not enough as he saw his record drop to 0-4-1 with a 2.85 GAA and a .910 save percentage.

Pastrnak had seven shots on goal while Conor Garland had six.

SAN JOSE 2 CHICAGO 0

James Reimer stopped all 29 Chicago shots as San Jose defeated the Blackhawks 2-0. Reimer won for the third time in four games as he is 7-4-1 with a 2.12 GAA and a .933 save percentage.

Timo Meier had both San Jose goals and now has nine goals and 20 points in just 16 games as he is establishing himself as the Sharks top scorer. He scored 30 goals three seasons ago but a couple of off-years hurt his fantasy value and was a bargain in drafts this season, if he went at all.

Logan Couture assisted on both goals while Rudolfs Balcers had one helper.

Marc-Andre Fleury was between the pipes for the Blackhawks and he made 20-of-21 saves but it was not enough as Reimer was perfect. Fleury, last season's Vezina Trophy winner as the NHL's top goalie with Vegas, is 5-9-0 with a 2.91 GAA and a .914 save percentage in his first year with Chicago.

Meier had six shots on net.

Mario Ferraro was a big help on the San Jose blueline as he blocked seven shots.

TORONTO 5 ANAHEIM 1

Jack Campbell was sensational once again as he stopped 39-of-40 Anaheim shots in giving the Maple Leafs a sweep of California as well as running their road winning streak to seven games. The Leafs are 16-6-1 and pass the Florida Panthers as they are atop the Atlantic Division standings.

It was a big offensive night for Alex Kerfoot, Michael Bunting and William Nylander as all three had a goal and an assist. Auston Matthews and Wayne Simmonds also scored for Toronto while Hampus Lindholm scored for the Ducks, denying Campbell the shutout.

Campbell actually was able to lower his league-leading goals-against-average from 1.68 to 1.64 as he is 12-4-0 with a .946 save percentage.

John Gibson stopped 26 shots to take the loss.

John Tavares had two assists.

Trevor Zegras had eight shots on goal.

Jason Spezza played in his 1,200th NHL game.

NIGHTLY LEADERS

Goals

Timo Meier - 2

Andreas Johnsson - 2

Logan Couture - 2

Assists

John Carlson - 2

Andreas Johnsson - 2

Jesoer Bratt - 2

Tom Wilson - 2

John Tavares - 2

Patrice Bergeron - 2

Shots on Goal

Dougie Hamilton - 10

Trevor Zegras - 8

David Pastrnak - 7

Kevin Fiala - 6

Timo Meier - 6

Conor Garland - 6

Hits

Nick Jensen - 6

Marcus Foligno - 5

Zach Bogosian - 5

Beck Malenstyn - 5

Penalty Minutes

Zack MacEwen - 5

Mason Geertsen - 5

Brady Skjei - 4