It was a short and sweet National Hockey League slate on Friday night, but we had a few nice fantasy producers. We also had a little franchise history being made, as a surprise team from last season's playoffs is out to prove that they were no fluke. It was a night of good hockey, too, as two of the three games were decided by one goal. Let's get started!
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The Hurricanes have fired out to a 5-0-0 start, which is the first time in Carolina/Hartford franchise history that they have posted five straight wins to open a season. The previous best was 4-0-1 starts both in 1995-96 and 2018-19.
A big reason for the success of the Hurricanes has been the old guard, as well as shrewd offseason acquisitions. The addition of Erik Haula in a trade with the Vegas Golden Knights is making general manager Don Waddell look like a genius. Haula has scored in four of his five outings, including two scores on the power play, and Friday's marker was the game-winning tally.
Andrei Svechnikov had an empty-net goal and an assist, giving him four consecutive multi-point performances. He is one of five players tied for the NHL lead with seven helpers. Svechnikov managed just 17 assists across 82 games in 2018-19.
Dougie Hamilton posted a goal and an assist, and he was making history, too. He has his three goals and four assists, typing Mark Howe (1980-81) and Risto Siltanen (1984-85) for the most points through five games by a Carolina/Hartford rearguard.
Meanwhile, Teuvo Teravainen scored a goal and now has two goals and six points in a five-game point streak to open the season. He also played in his 205th straight game, tying last season's captain Justin Williams with the fifth-longest streak in franchise history.
Jordan Staal had a helper, giving him a goal and three assists during a four-game point streak. Jaccob Slavin had an assist, too, as he has two goals and four points in a four-game point streak. Nino Niederreiter also had two assists for his 47th multi-point game in the NHL, and eighth with Carolina.
For the losing side, Brock Nelson registered a goal and an assist, both on the power play, but he took an ugly minus-3 to nullify that positive fantasy production somewhat. Johnny Boychuk was the other goal scorer for the Isles, his first point of any kind across three games.
Jordan Eberle also opened with a pair of assists, his first time on the stat sheet in four games so far.
Thomas Greiss was solid early on, but eventually he let in four goals on 39 shots. He is still a very sharp 1-1-0 with a 2.40 goals-against average and .928 save percentage across two starts and one relief appearance so far this season. Look for Semyon Varlamov to be back in the crease for Saturday's home tilt against the Florida Panthers in the second end of a back-to-back situation.
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Buffalo Sabres 3, Florida Panthers 2 (SO)
Mike Hoffman scored a goal for the visiting Panthers while taking nine shots on net. He has posted five goals and seven points during his current four-game point streak. Evgenii Dadonov also lit the lamp, giving him a goal and an assist. That's two straight games with a marker.
Sergei Bobrovsky was a little better than last time out against the Hurricanes, but he suffered another loss. He stopped 30 of the 32 shots he faced in regulation and overtime before losing in the shootout.
In regulation, Johan Larsson and Marco Scandella posted goals. They're not exactly the who's who of fantasy. Zemgus Girgensons and Kyle Okposo assisted on both goals, getting themselves on track after a slow start. Girgensons hasn't scored in five games, but he does have three assists over the past four. Okposo had a goal, his lone point, back on Oct. 5 against New Jersey. This was his first multi-point game since Nov. 19, 2018 in Pittsburgh.
Linus Ullmark picked up the win, stopping 41 of the 43 shots he faced. That's 81 saves in his two starts, as the Buffalo backstop is facing a lot of vulcanized rubber early on.
Anaheim Ducks 2, Columbus Blue Jackets 1
The game with the least amount of fantasy production was in C-Bus. Jakob Silfverberg netted a shorthanded goal to beat Joonas Korpisalo early in the second period. While Jean-Luc Dubois answered in short order, it was Cam Fowler putting a bow on the scoring in the second to grab his second game-winning goal of the season.
Ryan Miller allowed just one goal on 27 shots in his first action of the season. It was a tough loss for Korpisalo, who deserved a better fate, but had virtually no offensive support. He turned aside 21 of the 23 shots he faced, but it wasn't good enough.