There are plenty of games for us to cover tonight, but the biggest story didn’t directly involve any of them. During Ottawa’s game against Pittsburgh, the Senators traded blueliner Dion Phaneuf and forward Nate Thompson to the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for forwards Nick Shore and Marian Gaborik.
It’s a trade that features two big name veterans whose best days are likely well behind him. It also swaps two undesirable contracts as Phaneuf is inked to a seven-year, $49 million contract through 2020-21 while Gaborik has a seven-year, $34,125,000 deal through 2020-21. Ottawa is reportedly retaining 25% of Phaneuf’s remaining contract, so while the Kings are still getting the bigger cap hit between the two, it has been substantially mitigated.
That’s looking at this from a cap hit perspective though, Gaborik’s actually salary is going to decline significantly, to $3.175 million in 2019-20 and $3.075 million in 2020-21, so while Ottawa might not be sparing themselves a lot of cap space, they are saving money. In that same theme, Shore is a restrictive free agent this summer, so Ottawa has flexibility there while Thompson is in the first season of a two-year, $3.3 million deal.
Frank Seravalli calculated that even with Ottawa retaining part of Phaneuf’s contract, they’re going to save $5,455,107 in actual cash. Meanwhile, the Kings are picking up a physical defenseman that can chip in offensively and log top-four minutes. He’s not the blueliner he once was and he’s not worth his contract (he likely isn’t even worth his cap hit after the 25% retained by Ottawa), but he still has value on the ice and he might give the Kings that little extra push they need to get into the playoffs.
So while that trade might feel small compared to how big Gaborik and Phaneuf once were, it could have significant ramifications.
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BOSTON 5 CALGARY 2
Sam Bennett found the back of the net for Calgary. It was his eighth goal and 20th point in 57 contests.
Riley Nash chipped in the Bruins’ first two goals of the contest. He’s up to 10 goals and 26 points in 54 games.
Patrice Bergeron also scored twice for Boston and his first marker was the game-winner. He has 27 goals and 51 points in 50 games.
Tuukka Rask turned aside 28 of 30 shots last night. He’s won nine of his last 10 starts.
David Rittich stopped 35 of 39 Bruins shots. His busiest period was the second where he faced 16 shots, but he managed to save 15 of them. It was the third where he ultimately lost this game as Boston scored on him twice over 12 shots.
BUFFALO 5 TAMPA BAY 3
Sam Reinhart scored a pair of goals for Buffalo. He has 13 goals and 29 points in 57 contests in 2017-18.
Ryan O'Reilly netted the game-winning goal and registered two assists. That gives him 18 goals and 43 points in 56 games.
Ryan Callahan found the back of the net for the Lightning. It was his third goal and 10th point in 47 games.
Louis Domingue stopped 28 of 32 Sabres shots. He’s surrendered at least three goals in each of his last three starts.
At the other end of the ice, Chad Johnson saved 26 of 29 shots. He’s now won three of his last four starts.
COLUMBUS 5 NY ISLANDERS 1
Jaroslav Halak was overworked tonight as he turned aside 47 of a staggering 51 shots. The worst of it came in the first period when Columbus outshot the Islanders 26-11.
Believe it or not though, the Islanders actually had a 1-0 lead through 20 minutes thanks to a power-play goal from John Tavares. It was his 29th goal and 63rd point in 58 games.
Eventually the flood gates opened and Zach Werenski played a big role in that with his three assists. He has 11 goals and 25 points in 52 games.
Pierre-Luc Dubois scored the game-winning goal and registered an assist. That gives him 13 goals and 27 points in 56 contests.
Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 29 of 30 shots on Tuesday. He’s allowed just one goal in each of his last two starts.
NEW JERSEY 5 PHILADELPHIA 4 (SO)
Keith Kinkaid kicked out 31 of 35 shots in regulation time. He picked up the extra point by being perfect in three shootout rounds.
Michal Neuvirth turned aside 32 of 36 shots before the shootout. He surrendered one goal on two rounds.
Claude Giroux scored a goal and registered an assist for the Flyers. He’s up to 19 goals and 66 points in 57 games this season.
Nico Hischier scored a goal in the second period and registered an assist in the third. The Devils rookie has 10 goals and 34 points in 56 contests.
Jesper Bratt assisted on two of New Jersey’s goals. He has 12 goals and 33 points in 55 games.
PITTSBURGH 6 OTTAWA 3
Mike Condon got the start for Ottawa, but he was yanked halfway through the game because he surrendered four goals on nine shots. Craig Anderson stepped in and saved 17 of 18 shots, but the damage was done.
Zach Aston-Reese scored two goals for the Penguins. They were the first two markers of his NHL career.
Jake Guentzel also netted a pair of goals for Pittsburgh. That gives him 18 goals and 30 points in 58 contests.
Matt Murray saved 30 of 33 shots last night. He’s won five of his last six starts.
Matt Duchene scored a power-play goal for the Senators. He’s up to 14 goals and 32 points in 55 games in 2017-18.
CAROLINA 7 LOS ANGELES 3
Justin Faulk led the charge for the Hurricanes with a hat trick. It was his first career hat trick and he became the fifth Hurricanes defenseman to ever record one.
Sebastian Aho scored a goal and registered two assists. The Hurricanes forward is up to 21 goals and 46 points in 53 games.
Cam Ward kicked out 27 of 30 Kings shots. He has a 17-7-3 record, 2.60 GAA, and .912 save percentage in 29 contests.
At the other end of the ice, Jonathan Quick lasted just over a period as he allowed four goals on 20 shots. Darcy Kuemper didn’t do much better in relief by saving 18 of 21 shots.
Anze Kopitar netted a goal and registered an assist. That gives him 23 goals and 61 points in 56 contests in 2017-18.
DETROIT 2 ANAHEIM 1
Jimmy Howard saved 32 of 33 Ducks shots. He improved to 16-17-6 with a 2.80 GAA and .911 save percentage in 41 games.
Frans Nielsen scored the game-winning goal. That gives him 13 markers and 24 points in 55 contests.
Dylan Larkin also scored a goal for the Red Wings. It was his ninth goal and 43rd point in 55 games.
Adam Henrique netted Anaheim’s only goal. He has 17 goals and 34 points in 57 games this season.
John Gibson turned aside 14 of a mere 16 shots. He never faced more than eight shots in a period and was only tested three times in the third frame.
NASHVILLE 4 ST. LOUIS 3 (OT)
The Blues had a 3-0 lead going into the third period, in part thanks to Alexander Steen, who scored a goal and an assist. He’s up to 13 goals and 37 points in 53 contests.
Austin Watson played a key role in the Predators’ comeback by scoring a shorthanded marker followed by the game-tying goal. He has seven goals and nine points in 53 games.
Filip Forsberg scored the overtime winner on a penalty shot. It was his 17th goal and 39th point in 41 games.
Pekka Rinne kicked out 28 of 31 Blues shots. He’s won an incredible 10 of his last 11 starts and you’d have to go back to Jan. 2 to find his last regulation time loss.
Carter Hutton stopped 29 of 33 shots last night. He has a 15-5-2 record, 1.81 GAA, and .940 save percentage in 26 games this season.
MINNESOTA 3 NY RANGERS 2
John Gilmour scored his first career goal. The 24-year-old Rangers defenseman was playing in his third NHL game.
Zach Parise netted the game-winning goal. He has three markers and seven points in 17 contests.
Eric Staal also found the back of the net for Minnesota. It was his 25th goal and 51st point in 56 games.
Devan Dubnyk turned aside 32 of 34 Rangers shots. He improved to 23-10-4 with a 2.59 GAA and .920 save percentage in 39 games.
Henrik Lundqvist kicked out 26 of 29 shots on Tuesday. He has a 23-18-4 record, 2.74 GAA, and .919 save percentage in 49 contests.
WINNIPEG 4 WASHINGTON 3 (OT)
Nicklas Backstrom scored his fourth goal in the span of five games. The Capitals forward is up to 14 markers and 29 points in 55 contests.
Mark Scheifele scored twice and registered an assist for Winnipeg. He has 17 goals and 42 points in 41 games.
Dustin Byfuglien assisted on two of the Jets’ four goals. That gives him three goals and 25 points in 45 contests.
Connor Hellebuyck kicked out 24 of 27 Capitals shots. He has a 29-8-8 record, 2.37 GAA, and .922 save percentage in 47 games.
Braden Holtby stopped 40 of 44 shots last night. He was obviously kept busy, but it’s also worth noting that this is the third time in the span of five games that he has allowed four or more goals.
VEGAS 5 CHICAGO 2
Chicago had a 2-1 lead through 40 minutes thanks in large part to Alex DeBrincat, who scored a goal and registered an assist. He’s up to 21 goals and 37 points in 57 games.
Reilly Smith aided in the Golden Knights’ third period rally by netting what became the game-winning goal. It was his 17th marker and 47th point in 56 games.
David Perron scored a goal and registered an assist for Vegas. He’s up to 14 goals and 51 points in 50 games.
Jeff Glass kicked out 32 of 36 Golden Knights shots. He dropped to 3-6-3 with a 3.31 GAA and .898 save percentage in 14 games.
Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 29 of 31 Chicago shots. He has a 17-6-2 record, 2.07 GAA, and .932 save percentage in 25 starts.
ARIZONA 2 SAN JOSE 1
Scott Wedgewood was having a good start with 28 saves on 29 shots, but he was forced to leave early in the third period in order to undergo the concussion protocol. Antti Raanta turned aside 12 shots to complete the victory. We don’t know much about Wedgewood’s status going forward yet so be sure to keep an eye on our player news for updates.
At the other end of the ice, Martin Jones saved 24 of 26 shots. He has a 16-15-5 record, 2.60 GAA, and .912 save percentage in 38 starts.
Mikkel Boedker scored the Sharks’ lone goal. It was his eighth marker and 18th point in 49 games.
Alex Goligoski netted the game-winning goal. He has eight goals and 29 points in 56 games.
Kevin Connauton also found the back of the net for the Coyotes. He’s up to five goals and 12 points in 49 contests.