It was a great day on the National Hockey League ice, and a very memorable one from a fantasy perspective. While no one broke through for any hat trick, and we even had very few multi-goal performers, we did see three goaltenders produce shutouts to really help fantasy owners and DFS players tremendously. The average goals per game was just 4.73 on this night, but we still saw plenty of good production on this busy slate. Let's get started!
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The Canucks were playing at 10 a.m. their time, or 1 p.m. ET, and they didn't seem to be bothered by the early inner clock start time.
The second period was rather similar, as Bo Horvat gave the Canucks the lead, while Sam Reinhart struck on the power play to tie things up 2-2. Then, it was on to the third period, and that's when the fun started.
J.T. Miller gave the team the lead, while Zemgus Girgensons notched his seventh at 3:28 of the third to reel the Canucks back in again. However, Boeser and Jake Virtanen scored within 74 seconds of each other and the Sabres offense has no further answers. Jacob Markstrom was thankful for the support. He allowed three goals on 28 shots to grab the road win.
In Canada's capital city, goaltending reigned supreme. Carey Price and Marcus Hogberg were locked in quite the battle. Fantasy owners were glad Price was able to come out on top, as he allowed just one goal on 42 shots to earn his first win since Dec. 23 in Winnipeg. Marcus Hogberg allowed two goals on 25 shots to take the loss, although he certainly deserved a better fate.
Nick Suzuki struck for the power play goal in regulation, while Ilya Kovalchuk buried the game winner in overtime for his first goal in a Montreal sweater. Drake Batherson had his first goal of the season for the Sens, as he tries to endear himself and avoid a trip back to the AHL.
The B's and Isles also had a seesaw battle, as this matchup of Eastern Conference heavyweights couldn't be decided in regulation.
Scott Mayfield opened the scoring and gave the Islanders their only lead of the day, and that lasted until midway through the second period. Jake DeBrusk answered with his 14th in the second, and he added three shots on goal and two blocked shots. Six of his 14 goals have come across the past nine games as he starts to heat up.
John Moore scored a rare goal, but Mathew Barzal evened the score midway through the third and the game was headed for overtime. That's when Brock Nelson was whistled for tripping, and Patrice Bergeron took advantage on the 4-on-3 situation to bury the game winner.
Both Tuukka Rask and Semyon Varlamov held their own. Rask made 35 saves to improve to 17-4-6 with a 2.27 GAA and .925 save percentage in his 27 appearances, and he has not lost in regulation in the past seven outings dating back to Dec. 12.
It wasn't all great for the B's, as Matt Grzelcyk (lower body) left with a lower-body injury.
The defending Vezina Trophy winner Vasilevskiy was struggling in October and into November by his standards, but he has certainly righted the ship. He turned aside all 23 shots he faced to give him his second straight shutout, improving to 22-9-2 with a 2.58 GAA and .915 save percentage.
Hart received zero offensive support, and he nearly gave up anything, either. Pat Maroon was good for the only goal, an unassisted marker, and he was forced to leave the game late due to an undisclosed injury. That was it, the only point of the game, as goaltending reigned supreme.
New Jersey Devils 5, Washington Capitals 1
The Devils surprised the Caps, as Braden Holtby brought nothing to the rink on this day. He coughed up four goals on 21 shots, as New Jersey shocked the high-flying Caps, handing them just their 11th loss of the season.
Nico Hischier opened the scoring, and he returned midway in the third for his second goal, making him feel a little better after he wasn't named a winner in the NHL Last Man All-Star Vote by the fans. Blake Coleman had a shorthanded goal, Nikita Gusev notched his eighth and Miles Wood also got onto the board with an unassisted marker in the third to close the scoring.
Carolina Hurricanes 2, Los Angeles Kings 0
James Reimer and Petr Mrazek are involved in a little friendly battle. Mrazek blanked the Arizona Coyotes on Friday night, and Optimus Reim used the power of the Whale to shut down the Kings on Saturday.
Reimer stopped all 41 shots he faced for his third shutout of the season. The last few might have been the toughest, as he suffered some sort of injury in the final minute, needing a visit from the trainer, although he was able to finish the game. He made the home folks happy on Hartford Whalers throwback night, reaching 10 wins while giving Carolina two goalies with at least three shutouts in a season for the first time in Whalers/Hurricanes franchise history.
St. Louis Blues 5, New York Rangers 2
Jordan Binnington received all the support he needed in this win against the Rangers, his second straight against an Eastern Conference club. He made 21 saves on 23 shots to move to 22-7-4 with a 2.47 GAA and .917 save percentage across 33 appearances.
The Rangers actually staked Henrik Lundqvist to a 1-0 lead, as Filip Chytil broke through for his 11th. However, Robert Bortuzzo scored his first of the season, Vince Dunn added a goal and David Perron bagged his 20th on the power play, celebrating his addition to the All-Star roster in style.
Chicago Blackhawks 4, Anaheim Ducks 2
Robin Lehner was able to rebound after allowing six goals last time out. He allowed just two goals on 37 shots, moving to 13-7-4 with a 2.88 GAA and .923 save percentage. Dominik Kubalik was his best pal, posting two goals of support with a plus-2 rating. He now has lit the lamp in four consecutive games, as he continues to gain fantasy owners by the day. He is working on a five-game point streak, too.
Jonathan Toews registered a goal and an assist, and he now has seven goals, 14 assists and a plus-19 rating.
For the Ducks, John Gibson allowed four goals on 33 shots to take the loss, slipping to 13-18-3 with a 2.95 GAA and .905 save percentage. Max Jones stepped up with his fifth goal, but he later left with an upper-body injury. He joins Jakob Silfverberg, who also missed the game due to a UBI.
Calgary Flames 4, Edmonton Oilers 3
Perhaps the most memorable part of this game was the beating Zack Kassian gave to Matthew Tkachuk. The latter hit Kassian earlier in the game, and Kassian just wailed on him, dropping several hammers to the head even though Tkachuk was turtling and wanted no part of fighting back. Kassian picked up a game misconduct and pair of double minors for roughing. He might also pick up a suspension, too. Stay tuned.
Columbus Blue Jackets 3, Vegas Golden Knights 0
Elvis Merzlikins picked up his first-career shutout, and he upended Marc-Andre Fleury who allowed three goals on just 22 shots. It was an impressive 27-save shutout because of where it was and who it was against.
For the Jackets, Emil Bemstrom, Pierre-Luc Dubois and Alexander Wennberg got on the board with goals, while Kevin Stenlund was the only member of the multi-point club for CBJ. Merzlikins owes each a free buffet at Bacchanal for their offensive efforts.
San Jose Sharks 2, Dallas Stars 1
In the final game of the night, the Sharks were able to edge the Stars in another low-scoring goaltender duel, sort of a theme for the day.
Jamie Benn actually gave the Stars a brief lead, as he struck 1:32 into the game, and Dell looked like he was going to be in trouble. Tyler Seguin and Miro Heiskanen chipped in with helpers, and this was shaping up as a shootout. Brent Burns leveled the game near the end of the first, and all we got was a Patrick Marleau goal at 2:56 of the second and then someone shut off the offensive spigot.